Graduate Application Process
Average length of process: 4 weeks
Glassdoor rating: 3.3/5
Salary: £35.5k + bonus
The initial part of the application process for Proudfoot is to submit your contact details online accompanied with an upload of your CV and a cover letter. There are free CV and cover letter templates from Grad Interview Prep if you need them.
Not all applicants will pass this initial screening and be invited to take the online test. If you are successful then the next step is to take an online test.
The online test is a numerical reasoning test and takes approximately 1 hour. Each question presents a situation and is followed by a form of information such as a graph and you are expected to be able to combine the situation and information given to arrive at an answer. The questions are multiple choice and look like this:
The question would ask you to combine the information on the graph with the information in the table to find a correct answer. You are able to use a calculator so the hardest part is identifying the right numbers to use as the maths does not get more complicated than basic maths:
An example question would be "Which founders had the most valuable shares at funding round C?"
The answer would be 'Healthy Brussells' as they have 51.41% of a company valued at £32m leaving them with a share value of £16.45m versus the next closest, Nightly AI, whose founders have a share value of £15m (20% of £75m).
As you can see, these types of questions may require multiple steps but the maths involved is not the hard part. To practise numerical reasoning questions in preparation for your online test, see our free download or paid numerical reasoning practice questions.
If you are successful in your online application and assessment then you will be invited to interview at the company offices. Usually the interviews are all on the same day so you don't need to make multiple trips.
The day consists of a total of two interviews, with one of the interviews being a case interview and the other being a competency interview based on the CV you originally submitted with a small market sizing question usually to finish.
The competency interview will consist of generic questions such as:
Why are you interested in consulting?
Why are you interested in the work we do?
Are you willing to travel with work?
What are your interests outside of work?
Why do you think you would be a good fit at Alexander Proudfoot?
As well as specific questions about what is on your CV. Be aware that interviewers are not looking to find out if what you wrote on your CV is true but they want to see how you articulate that experience. Being able to communicate your prior experience in a confident and interesting way is very valuable so be prepared to talk around the points on your CV.
A case interview is a business case that involves a strategic problem such as entering a new market or increasing profitability and as the interviewee you are asked to recommend an appropriate strategy. An example question might be:
The CEO of Deutsche bank has become increasingly concerned about their declining profitability over the last 36 months and has asked you to determine the factors causing the decline as well as recommend a strategy to reverse this trend.
The most critical part of any case interview is the selecting, customising and presenting of the approach you are going to take to the interviewer. If you can do this well then you will score highly as long as you follow that approach through, even if it doesn't get you to the right answer.
If you have not come across a case interview before then you should definitely research them and practice them more than anything else as they are very easy to get wrong but are crucial to almost every consulting interview you take.
Read our comprehensive guide to case interviews to get yourself up to speed.
Market sizing questions (sometimes known as guesstimates) are often used in interviews because they require a mix of logic, maths and common sense. They can be asked as a standalone question or as part of a larger case interview. Candidates that are competent with market sizing questions can find them extremely easy to execute.
All the top tier consulting firms are likely to test their candidates with a market sizing question at some stage in the process as it is considered a “back-of-the-envelope” calculation. For instance, you may be sat talking to a UK clothing retailer about their growth strategy and someone may put forward the idea of opening an e-commerce store inviting the question “how much revenue could we expect to generate from an e-commerce store?” and on the back of an envelope (or more likely a piece of paper) you could estimate the size of the UK’s online clothing market and apply a market capture percentage for the client to give them a rough figure. Being quick with these calculations keeps the conversation flowing with the client and maintains a good impression.
There are two structures to know when answering a market sizing question; issue tree and tabular. It is sensible to practice these frameworks before an interview that involves a market sizing question because it can be the difference between being successful and unsuccessful.
If you are not familiar with market sizing questions, see our full guide here.