Teddy Simson, a first-year associate in our Boston office, gives insight into his experience navigating L.E.K.’s interview process and provides preparation tips for potential candidates during recruiting season.
What drove you to apply at L.E.K.?
I heard about L.E.K. during my first year at Hamilton College when they held an on-campus discussion about consulting. However, I explored a few different avenues before looking seriously into this field as a career. I worked at a sports tech startup accelerator in Berlin during college and after that, I interned at an investment bank. I realized after those positions that I wanted a job that could provide the opportunity to drive insights and obtain the responsibility I had at the startup while also providing the professional resources of a larger company. I also wanted to work with lots of different clients through shorter project life cycles. I soon realized that L.E.K. offered the perfect mix and was the place for me.
How did you prepare for your interviews at L.E.K.?
I took a bit of a nontraditional path to consulting as I found out later than others did that I wanted to get into this field, so I had to really bear down and practice case studies. While I felt comfortable with behavioral questions, I had no experience with the case study aspect, so I really immersed myself in learning. I used online resources, studied case textbooks, and spent a fair amount of time reading and studying. I also practiced in person a lot and would constantly ask people to run cases with me. I would literally just be sitting at a lunch table with friends and running quantifiable and strategic questions with them — asking them things like “How many bricks do you think we have on campus?” Watching YouTube videos of people going through case studies also really helped. I would pause after a question, write my own answer, and then compare it to the one in the video.
I also did my research prior to the calls and interviews by looking people up on LinkedIn and reading any Executive Insights I could find to get a sense of what different partners were writing about and thinking about on a day-to-day basis. Additionally, I started thinking of my own questions I would ask the interviewers. I would think of general questions such as “What is a case you felt made a particularly strong impact on a client’s business?” and then have follow-up questions on their answers. It is a good strategy to show that you are listening and to make it flow naturally as a conversation.
Sounds like you really worked hard. What did you do to unwind when you weren’t studying?
I was a member of Hamilton’s ice hockey team, so I spent a lot of time at practices or workouts with the team. To unwind outside of hockey and studying, I would practice yoga, hike, or spend time in Hamilton’s art building drawing and painting.
How did the interviews go?
The first round included two interviews, one focusing on case strategy and one that was more quantitative. There were also some background and behavioral questions. One question they asked was “Why do you enjoy hockey?” which I think was to test my storytelling ability. Honestly, I did not come out of it thinking I crushed it, but obviously I made it to the next round! The next stage was interviews with L.E.K. partners and principals. These also contained a mix of quantitative questions and behavioral questions that I had never seen before. I found it fascinating to talk through real business scenarios with them (redacted, of course!).
Congratulations for making it through the interview process! Now that you are a year in, what’s next for you?
I recently dedicated to the MedTech practice, and I’m looking forward to building expertise and connectivity with the team. It was great for me to start as a generalist and see all the sides of L.E.K., but now I’m really looking forward to specializing in one specific area with a dedicated team.