Free Guide to Kearney Consulting Case Interviews

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

  1. Overview

  2. What Kearney are looking for

  3. Kearney application process

  4. Types of interview

  5. Case interview

  6. Additional tips

1) Overview

Kearney is a global consulting firm founded by a McKinsey partner in 1926. Since Andrew Thomas Kearney (A.T. Kearney) broke away from McKinsey to found his rival firm the company has grown to revenues of over $1.4 billion and 3500 employees in over 60 countries.

In 2020 the firm undertook a major rebranding, moving away from their founders name A.T. Kearney to simply ‘Kearney’. This is a move away from their single founder heritage into a wider, encompassing brand of Kearney that is focused around all of their people.

Kearney is considered a top strategy consulting firm and attracts top talent from undergraduates, MBAs, PhDs and industry every year. The firm uses multiple case interviews to assess all of their applicants.

2) What Kearney are looking for

As part of their rebranding, Kearney placed their people at the centre of their brand. On their website Kearney outline 6 attributes they are looking for in their people:

Analytical – The quantitative ability to aggregate, understand and manipulate large datasets is part of a consultant’s every day activities so being good with numbers is an important part of the Kearney skillset.

Insightful – The ability to understand and communicate complex concepts is what clients are looking for in a consulting firm. Being insightful empowers others to gain the knowledge they need to make key business decisions.

Inquisitive – The complex and unique nature of the business problems that consultants face cannot be answered with desktop research or through existing knowledge. The facts and data is often fragmented and unstructured so a natural inquisitiveness enables consultants to build a detailed understanding of the problem.

Collaborative – Consultants work in project teams, usually of 2-6 people so must be able to fit in quickly with new teams on a frequent basis. They also need to draw on knowledge and skills across the firm so need to be able to collaborate effectively with other colleagues regularly.

Genuine – Consulting has a reputation of being an industry full of buzzwords and deceptive language to make concepts and ideas seem elaborate without any substance behind them. Kearney has made being genuine and direct a key characteristic of their approach and people.

Unique thinker – As with other strategy consulting firms, Kearney are looking for people that can think differently and bring alternative ideas to the table. These new ideas can bring exceptional value to their clients strategy.

3) Kearney application process

There are four stages to the Kearney application process:

The interview process at Kearney begins with a resume and cover letter submission online. Their typical recruitment cycle is in the Autumn each year but they do sometimes hire off-cycle, especially at smaller network firms. They are looking for candidates that reflect their 5 traits in their applications along with strong academic records and relevant experience.

The Kearney online assessments consist of two tests; advanced numerical reasoning (35 questions) and a Watson Glaser test. They are one of the only firms to use a Watson Glazer (usually used by law firms), it is a critical thinking and judgement test format that focuses on understanding information and forming an argument.

Candidates that pass the online assessments are invited to first round interviews that are typically conducted by junior consultants and involve 15 minutes of a fit interview followed by a case interview question. There are two interviews in the first round.