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Venting frustration

 
#1 Venting frustration
28/02/2007 14:40

FOA

Look, I know that this kind of thing has been discussed here before, but I need to let off some steam.

I was just rejected from Accenture after the first round graduate interview - no feedback given (ironically the email was entitled Accenture Feedback). Now I know people who work for Accenture with arts degrees and who admit to being clueless about business. I have a great technical background, have lots of IT experience and great commercial skills to boot.

Where did I go wrong? I'll never know. Probably on the relentless competency questions when I really had to strain to think about really overly specific situations where I did 'X' and 'Y'.

Thank you.

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#2 RE: Venting frustration
28/02/2007 22:12

anon to FOA (#1)

no feedback given (ironically the email was entitled Accenture Feedback)?

Is feedback available from interviewers when an interviewee is rejected?

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#3 RE: Venting frustration
28/02/2007 23:02

FOA to anon (#2)

No, none. They say that they are unable to provide any.

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#4 RE: Venting frustration
28/02/2007 23:36

anon to FOA (#3)

That is really frustrating. I hope you can view this as a temporary setback, and try with a few other firms. I've heard it can be a bit of a gamble, but next time you may very well get what you want.

Going by what you wrote, maybe you could try to rehearse some more specific examples of the situations where you did X and Y. A couple friends of mine did mock interviews of me prior to my real ones, and really challanged me. I'm sure it helped my performance and I did manage to land a role.

Hang in there! If consultancy is what you really want, you'll find a way to make it happen.

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#5 you're overqualified - they want people they can "mould"
01/03/2007 05:18

!!! to anon (#4)

Same thing happened to me a few years ago and I ended up as a Head-Hunter. I hope the same fate does not befall you!!! Sounds like you are over qualified as far as I can tell. Take a quick look now at the industry, by all means but the best long term plan might be to get a couple of years with a decent blue chip company, do your MBA from somewhere decent (take a loan if necessary) and then join with a nice sign on bonus at post MBA level. Most of the people who join now as grads will have bailed out by then and you will jump straight in alongside or above the people who are still there from this intake. However, you will be fresh and enthusiastic from your MBA. They will be shot to pieces, burned out and looking for another job! Play the long ball game...

Joking apart, I am not a lawyer but I understand that it is your right to ask for feedback and any notes from the interviews - they have to provide this. You could in theory march in with a lawyer and demand to see your interview notes. IN reality, what you will actually receive is a carefully worded letter, which you cannot challenge so you should not waste your energy. You must not take it personally, these things happen for a reason. It is a big deal to you but they are dealing with hundreds and thousands of applicants at this stage. I should not criticise an individual company but looking from the outside and based on conversations I am having with a number of their people at the moment, I would say that you may have had a lucky escape.

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#6 RE: you're overqualified - they want people they can "mould"
04/03/2007 12:48

anon to !!! (#5)

It does look like a lucky escape, if the mistake was made and no apology is available.

Remember that this is the firm that moulded Patricia Hewitt.

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#7 RE: you're overqualified - they want people they can "mould"
05/03/2007 22:54

M to anon (#6)

Accenture: here's my two cents. They hired people from three of my graduating classes who were attractive and mediocre students. The students had minimal business interest, zero business courses, one spent most of her last two years stoned--but gosh, how pretty to look at.

Then I was invited for an interview! Wow, imagine that. My three first-class distinctions finally paid off. Turns out I knew more about the subject matter than my case interviewer. When I called him on it, he tried to lie to cover it up, and then told me I had misunderstood him.

Bunch of donkeys. I know it's no comfort, but they blow with the wind. There are much better consulting firms (with talent). Good luck; I feel your pain.

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#8 RE: you're overqualified - they want people they can "mould"
06/03/2007 00:34

anon to M (#7)

Yet Accenture keeps on growing and making record profits... LOL

Sour grapes?

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#9 RE: you're overqualified - they want people they can "mould"
06/03/2007 10:34

hmmm to anon (#8)

may be true but the calibre of the consultants is nowhere near the level of other firms. A good IT implementation consultancy house. In terms of strategy, a long way behind where they used to be

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#10 RE: you're overqualified - they want people they can "mould"
06/03/2007 10:41

5 to hmmm (#9)

Can someone remind me again, why was it that they changed their name from Andersen Consulting to Accenture? *snigger*

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#11 RE: Venting frustration
06/03/2007 11:12

Hiya to FOA (#1)

Accenture oh my god. I had an interview with them too. exactly the same situation like yourself.Got plenty of IT experience got even a MSc. got rejected by a silly young accenture guy who had no idea of business nor IT. I researched him and find out that he had a philosophy background. Asked for feedback didn't get it either. But few people I know told me that I am better off not working for them anyway hope you feel better. It is frustrating but it was for your/my best.

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#12 RE: Venting frustration
06/03/2007 11:38

Anon to Hiya (#11)

I can't say I've met Accenture either with clients, or at interview, but we do pick up a lot of their people on leaving after 2-3 years. Some of the less palatable themes reported include;

* choosing which weekend(s?) you have off each month

* being forced to code in a language you don't 'speak'

* winding down the business consulting function in favour af systems implementation work - unpalatable if you joined for BC, I suppose...

I'm happy to be told these are all myths...but they keep coming up.

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#13 RE: Venting frustration
06/03/2007 12:09

5 to Anon (#12)

Do they still hire people with liberal arts degrees as programmers?

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#14 RE: Venting frustration
06/03/2007 14:33

acn-er to 5 (#13)

You’re making it out that because you have a technical degree you are more capable and talented than those with arts degrees, which is totally wrong. I come from a technical background however I work with a number of people with arts degrees who’ve taken to programming like fish in water. I’ve also come across people from technical backgrounds with totally inept systems analysis, design and programming skills. There’s no such thing as right of passage because you have an IT degree. I was lucky enough to perform well enough on the day to be accepted, however I remember some talented people there up against me in assessment centres with no technical knowledge but able to breakdown, analyse and solve complex problems very well.

I’ve not heard of a case where someone was forced to code in a language they don’t “speak”. They won’t make you do something you’re terrible at, it won’t them any favours or yourself.

Yeah you have to work hard, but they also reward you well for it. If you can’t hack it, then why stay…everyone has a choice. People moan about Accenture making its employees work long hours, well those employees do it out of a choice….they don’t have to be there. Which consultancy doesn’t make you work hard? Yeah I’ve worked a few weekends in the past year or so, but it’s not the norm and I knew this was the case when I signed the contract.

It sounds like sour grapes to me. It happens, you get rejected, move on, who cares. There’s more to life.

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#15 RE: Venting frustration
06/03/2007 14:44

anon to acn-er (#14)

'Who cares. There's more to life'

So why write a lengthy response on this forum?

Besides, I believe the original poster was actually complaining about the lack of feedback. Shows you the attention to detail of acc-ners.

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#16 RE: Venting frustration
06/03/2007 14:50

anon to acn-er (#14)

'afore we got stuck into this, some of us were genuinely concerned about the lack of movement on this hole.

It looks to me that the courage to request feedback has resulted in several responses from the consulting world.

We should be careful even if we are not there.

In retrospect the putter though is not very effective for getting you out of bunkers. If you are actually in that situation you might look for a sand wedge.

If you are near to an obstacle like that, and it gets worrying, then it does no real harm to shout ‘FORE!’ to the crowd.

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#17 RE: Venting frustration
06/03/2007 15:12

acn-er to anon (#15)

i did pay attention to the orignal post, its accentures policy not to provide feedback. its difficult to provide feedback to thousands of applicants on an indvidual basis. theres not much that can be done about that. i know whats its like as a grad being turned down and not not know where i went wrong, it is frustrating yes.

my reply was in response to some of the other comments...

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#18 RE: Venting frustration
06/03/2007 18:16

7 to acn-er (#17)

I think acn-er's post sums it all up really.

1. "I work with a number of people with arts degrees who’ve taken to programming like fish in water"... erm, right... I can just see it now... hi everyone, we're ACN, let's go and recruit a bunch of fine arts and history students and start cranking out quality software!! I wonder what would happen if the NHS took the same approach? Hi everyone, we're the NHS and we need a few more brain surgeons... now where are all those modern languages majors, we really need their transferable skills!?!

2. "I’ve not heard of a case where someone was forced to code in a language they don’t speak"..... oh well never mind, I'm sure they'll pick it up in a day or so!!

Experienced IT professionals my ar$e.

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#19 RE: Venting frustration
07/03/2007 01:31

anon to 7 (#18)

My, my. Lots of bitter rejects who didn't make it into ACN out there! LOL

Sour grapes and gallons o' vinegar! ;-)

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#20 RE: Venting frustration
07/03/2007 05:00

serious analysis to anon (#19)

Not to be patronising but I am probably quite a bit older than many of you. Accenture is an interesting case study. 10 years ago the old AC was ranked by many independent surveys as the no.1 employer in the world. It had an incredible reputation and attracted the best people. 2 things happened. Firstly, the Enron business hit the reputation hard. Although Accenture spun off as such, it was still tarnished. Also, I think the company became a victim of its success. As it was winning so much work during the boom years, it had to ramp up the hiring at an alarming pace meaning that it inevitably began to compromise on the quality. This gradually filtered into the quality of service it was able to deliver and the reputation fell further. A firm, which used to have a strategy practice to rival the top 4 suddenly was perceived more as an IT Services/System Integrator with a small 2nd/3rd tier strat practice. In my view, the organisation suffered by taking on all the work it could rather than all the work it could deliver to the standards expected. When an organisation starts losing its stronger rather than its weaker employees as is now the case, you know there is a problem. Meanwhile, they continue to brainwash young graduates who spend a few years thinking that they are the absolute elite in the market but get a horrible shock when they leave and find that their market value is some way short of their expectations.

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#21 RE: Venting frustration
07/03/2007 06:21

GetReal to serious analysis (#20)

The fact that accenture does not bother to give individual feedback to the thousands interviewees reflects their hiring strategy and how much they value each individual in their firm. But FOA, while you may be frustrated (and have been asked to just deal with it), it may be a good thing you didn't end up with them.

as serious analysis has mentioned, the company has gotten so big that it operates on a very impersonal level. The general attitude is that no one is irreplacable and all of them are just parts belonging to the ACN revenue machine (indoctrination a.k.a. motivation, is just the grease that makes the machine work even harder). Hence, it took them a while to realize they are losing their stronger employees because of that attitude. sure the shareholders are happy, but does it come at the expense of the employees? Perhaps the acn-ers turn a blind eye to these realities because it hurts to know you're stuck in a sinking ship.

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#22 RE: Venting frustration
07/03/2007 08:37

Anon to GetReal (#21)

'The fact that accenture does not bother to give individual feedback to the thousands interviewees reflects their hiring strategy and how much they value each individual in their firm.'

How can you post a stupid comment like this and call yourself 'Get Real'...?!?

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#23 RE: Venting frustration
07/03/2007 08:51

fair point ish to Anon (#22)

yes there is perhaps some contradiction but the tone of the post I suspect is to highlight the "commodotising" of Accenture's brand and its people

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#24 RE: Venting frustration
07/03/2007 09:10

GetReal to fair point ish (#23)

Anon, i believe you do need to read my posts a little more carefully. I said their attitude towards their applicants reflects the firm's hiring strategy (which is to cast the net wide and get as many applicants as they can, rather than being highly selective about the people they hire). And how much they value their people? Obviously not much, as we can tell from their attitude towards not providing feedback to the individual applicant.

Please don't jump the gun before you read the postings carefully. It is my intention to give constructive input to this forum, and not to make people like yourself look foolish.

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#25 RE: Venting frustration
07/03/2007 09:36

Reality Check to GetReal (#24)

Providing individual feedback to people who you do not choose to hire is totally justified because of the sheer scale of effort. Do I respond to every piece of junk mail I receive soliciting a credit card deal by writing back and thanking them with a list of 5 reasons why I will not be taking up their offer of free credit at this time ?

A company like Accenture would receive thousands of applications and it is entirely sensible that they dedicate their recruitment resources to processing succesful applicants.

It's not personal.

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#26 RE: Venting frustration
07/03/2007 09:38

Reality Check to Reality Check (#25)

Duh.. the last post should start with "Not providing feedback..."

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#27 RE: Venting frustration
07/03/2007 10:14

ss to Reality Check (#26)

Why pick on Accenture. Virtually no company provides feedback to rejected applicants.

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#28 RE: Venting frustration
07/03/2007 12:29

Not true to ss (#27)

At senior levels where there are obviously far fewer applicants for every post, it is quite usual to provide feedback. It is also good business sense - who knows who you could run into in a few years in a different situation.

Obviously where there is mass assembly line hiring at junior levels, there is neither the resource nor the need to do this.

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#29 RE: Venting frustration
07/03/2007 12:55

Boxershorts to 7 (#18)

My coupla grands worth:

I agree with Serious Analysis about how the accenture brand is not what it used to be an how the major factor in this was probably their lack of managing their workload in line with capacity. They just hired willy-nilly (love that phrase) and are now paying the price for a very real strategic miscalculation in terms of their reputation for abaility to deliver quality.

I notice a couple of other things in the thread though, about this divide between IT and non-IT degrees in terms of being a viable consultant in this space.

Observation 1: There is much more to IT than coding. In fact, coding is probably the least important part of any IT-related project, if you break it down. A lot of the type of thinking and broad-brush perspective that some of the "arts" degrees engender are essential for a successful project. Of course, IT, coding, networking, etc. skills are equally important. I'm saying it takes a blend of skills to get it right. Very few people have this blend in themselves, so a team is called for. Teams bring different skills and approaches together for a purpose.

Observation 2: One comment on here went something along the lines of "Experienced IT professionals my ar$e". The way I saw it, the thread was generally about grads. New grads are not experienced ANYTHING. Once hired, their education, and experience, begins. Get a grip!

Observation 3: One poster has an IT MSc and didn't get a job. Consider that this might have been down to any number of factors and may have had nothing to do with your qualifications. Perhaps the interview process highlighted an attitude problem, or lack of cultural fit, or you not having the right skillset for the current need, or whatever.

I appreciate that it is frustrating at being rejected, and always try and provide appropriate feedback, either on the day or shortly after. But not all organistions can do this. That's life.

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#30 RE: Venting frustration
07/03/2007 15:28

Anon to GetReal (#24)

RE: Venting frustration by GetReal 7/3/2007

Anon, i believe you do need to read my posts a little more carefully. I said their attitude towards their applicants reflects the firm's hiring strategy ...

"Get Real" No you didn't say that, but you obviously now want to with the benefit of hindsight, but please don't pretend something to be the case when the opposite is in black and white in front of us!

Please don't jump the gun before you read the postings carefully. It is my intention to give constructive input to this forum, and not to make people like yourself look foolish.

If you articulated you point properly in the first place, instead of following confused sentiments with denials and then abuse, readers might take you opinion more seriously. Any potential candidate would be wasting their time seeking feedback of the quality you provide, let alone applying to Accenture if this is the standard. I'm afraid the facts on this one speak for themselves.

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#31 RE: Venting frustration
15/03/2007 22:19

anon to Anon (#30)

Regarding Accenture not providing feedback... less than three percent of applicants are made an offer. They simply don't have time to provide thoughtful feedback to the 97+% who are rejected. End of story.

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#32 Venting frustration
16/03/2007 07:34

Moo to anon (#31)

Admittedly I haven't all the posts on here but hopefully I'm not repeating things.

My guess is this that this is what they were looking for:

a) Personality / Charisma - attractive people probably have to work a little less harder on this (statistical fact i believe that attractive people earn more on average), but were you confident, and friendly in the interview?

b) University name - was it a top 10 uni?

c) Extra-curricular - did you demonstrate drive and commitment or did you come across as a textbook monkey that wasn't able to juggle a number of different activities

If you answer positively to all theabove, then perhaps say:

"Is it becuz I is black?!"

:-)

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#33 RE: Venting frustration by "Anon"
16/03/2007 08:51

GetReal to Moo (#32)

Hey Anon,

Thanks for illustrating what I mean by when I say that you are jumping the gun, making all sorts of assumptions.

"... instead of ... abuse, readers might take you opinion more seriously"

Take your own advice dude. (Your previous post read "How can you post a stupid comment like this...") Are you incredibly stupid not to have noticed this or do you enjoy contradicting yourself?

"Any potential candidate would be wasting their time seeking feedback of the quality you provide, let alone applying to Accenture if this is the standard. I'm afraid the facts on this one speak for themselves"

You must be mistaken to think I'm from ACN. Surely I wouldn't describe it as a "sinking ship" nor discourage FOA from joining ACN if I were from there? Looks like you enjoy contradicting yourself AND are incrediby stupid.

Take a hike dude.

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#34 RE: Venting frustration by "Anon"
16/03/2007 12:53

Bonzer to GetReal (#33)

@ GetReal:

The classic line from "Forrest Gump" goes, 'stupid is as stupid does'.

Has it occured to you that the anon who contradicted the post may not be the same anon as the anon who posted other anon statements anonly?

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#35 RE: Venting frustration by "Anon"
16/03/2007 14:04

Anons to Bonzer (#34)

Well spotted Bonzer - but that doesn't let 'GetReal' off the hook, so I suppose the 'Real' question after such a long string if ill connected and stupid comments is "what is the colour of the sky in this 'Real' world??'

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#36 RE: Venting frustration by "Anon"
16/03/2007 17:01

Anon to Anons (#35)

Anons, I think that is what Bonzer's saying, 'GetReal' (honestly?!) has dug his hole, how long is he going to keep digging?

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#37 RE: you're overqualified - they want people they can "mould"
05/04/2007 11:56

Bob to M (#7)

Take it you didn't get the job then. Ah never mind I'm sure there's a minor consultancy that will take you on.

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#38 RE: Venting frustration
08/04/2007 13:07

azface to FOA (#1)

FOA

I can relate to your frustration - I was rejected by Accenture in a very similar fashion two years ago. Got a job elsewhere (non-consulting), worked up relevant work experience in IT strategy and project management and re-applied. Got offered a job as an experienced hire consultant with 2 years credit - so no set backs to career progression time lines.

True that Accenture is technology driven with a complimentary pure strategy workforce - but this is a conscious strategic shift. Clients expect end to end services - blue sky creativity and the ability to bring such ideas to life. So Accenture is simply rolling with the times while others are losing margin.

Apologies for straying slightly but thought I needed to address naive remarks by people who claim to know industry.

Keep up the struggle mate, and if you ever need any advice/assistance, just give me a shout.

azface

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#39 RE: Venting frustration
09/04/2007 14:35

ms to FOA (#1)

Sorry to hear.

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#40 RE: Venting frustration
09/04/2007 20:46

M to ms (#39)

Wow... not just me. I was rejected by Accenture after second rounds. First round feedback was very positive. Second round feedback contradicted the first round's feedback--almost word for word. During the debriefing, I caught the interviewer in a lie, and when I asked him to clarify, he became defensive and said he had to go. It was comical.

Here's the fun part: I know four people at Accenture. Three are extremely attractive women. One is a nice guy, but not particularly bright. The same three had virtually no extra-curricular activities and were academically mediocre. In speaking with two of them before my second rounds, their input was useless--both have been with the firm at least five years, one is an exec.

My final impression: I wouldn't hire them if I needed a firm, looks (not just appearance), play a very important role, and they are eager to diversify their ethnic make-up to veer away from the WASP male stereotype.

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