I met up with a friend recently who is job-hunting in the pharma sector (marketing, sales, etc). He's having trouble finding a job: didn't go to a prestigious Uni, speaks very little English, doesn't have any "stand out from the crowd" experience - just a couple internships, no fascinating extra-curriculars.. just an all-round average Joe.
So he tells me: Hey, I got called in to interview the other day with this consulting firm, who found me on a professional networking site, called BCG. Do u know them?
ME: It sound like the Boston Consulting Group, but I'm sure they didnt call you
HIM: Yeah yeah, that's them (he started telling me where the office is, and other things to confirm it was The BCG)
ME: So what was the role? (thinking he was called in for a temp receptionist vacancy or sth)
ME: Wow! Ok, so was the role in very specific Pharma team?
HIM: No, they told me they want all consultants to enter as Generalists (obviously, he didnt know the term generalist, he found a way of explaining it to me in about 100 words
ME: (silence!)... and a baffled look on my face for about 30 seconds
Although he knows nothing about consulting, as his job search is getting quite desperate, he had gone along anyway, not knowing who they were or what they really do (or no more than he could find out from a 20min scan of their website).
His first interview (with a Principal) included phrases like "So why would you like to work for BCG?" ... Answer: "To be honest, I don't really know who you are or what you do".
And the best part of all, he was called back for a second interview.
He was told that BCG are constantly getting applications from Bus. School grads who spend years preparing themselves for consulting interviews, and they wanted "different" profiles with analytical skills. Fair enough, but BCG really dnt get enough applicants of that nature? Are they really resorting to trawling through Xing, Linkedin, etc. to invite incredibly average candidates to interview?