The AlixPartners Interview – Our Comprehensive Guide

The AlixPartners Interview – Our Comprehensive Guide

Congratulations! You’ve successfully landed an AlixPartners interview. Now you need to make the most of this opportunity to land your dream job in management consulting.

But consulting interviews, including AlixPartners interviews, are tough. You’ll want to understand how to ace the case interview and what behavioral / fit questions to expect. You’ll also want to learn about the AlixPartners psychologist interview. 

We’ve got the answers for you!

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • The AlixPartners culture & values.
  • The AlixPartners interview process.
  • The AlixPartners case interview.
  • The AlixPartners behavioral interview.
  • The AlixPartners psychological interview.
  • Our 5 tips on passing the AlixPartners interview process.

Let’s get started!

AlixPartners Culture & Values

One thing consulting interviewers assess is how well you’ll fit with their organization. Fit is particularly important to AlixPartners, as shown by the fact that they have a psychological interview assessing candidates’ expected success with the firm as part of their recruiting process. To ensure you know what AlixPartners is looking for in new recruits and how to best present yourself, we recommend that you understand their history, culture, and values. Here’s a quick overview.

AlixPartners has been serving clients since 1981. The firm specializes in management consulting, strategic planning, corporate restructuring, business growth, performance improvement, and transformation. This specialization is driven by the types of problems its people are passionate about solving.

AlixPartners looks for consultants who are entrepreneurial, self-starters, and analytical. In your interview, the interviewer will assess whether you have these traits. In addition, they’ll seek to understand your values and how these align with the company’s core values:

  • Commitment
  • Common sense
  • Communication
  • Personal respect
  • Professionalism
  • Teamwork

The interviewer will also explore whether you’re able to thrive in a complex and fast-moving environment and will assess your integrity.

Read more about the company’s code of conduct on their website.

The AlixPartners Consulting Interview Process

AlixPartners interviews assess your analytical and communication skills through case interviews and assess your values and fit with the organization through the behavioral / fit questions.  There are typically 3 stages of the interview process following the initial application:

  • Stage 1: A 30-minute interview with a recruiter (via phone or video call) focused primarily on questions related to your resume and fit such as your work experience, background, and aspirations. To ace this interview, share your experiences through the lens of the values described in the previous section.
  • Stage 2: One or two 45-minute interviews covering a case and fit questions. These interviews are conducted by consultants or managers and the majority of the time is focused on the case.
  • Stage 3: Two to three 45-minute case interviews with senior directors. In addition to the case interview and fit interviews, this round also includes an in-person psychometric test conducted by a psychologist.
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The AlixPartners Case Interview

As described above, you’ll have 3 to 5 case interviews during the recruitment process. AlixPartners uses case studies to assess your ability to succeed in consulting. Case interviews also give you a sense of what it is like to work on an AlixPartners engagement and give you the opportunity to showcase your approach to problem-solving (analytical and conceptual) and client interaction.

Throughout the interview, your interviewer will assess your analytical instincts and whether they feel comfortable putting you in front of a client. This includes:

  • Can you structure and solve complex problems?
  • Can you read charts and do business math?
  • Can you communicate the solution clearly and concisely?

The AlixPartners case interview is typically presented as an open-ended question, often a real problem a client has faced. We recommend that you navigate through the AlixPartners case interview by following a tried-and-tested 4-step approach:

Step 1: Understand the question being asked.

Step 2: Structure the problem, covering all its key aspects.

Step 3: Ask pertinent questions to form hypotheses and drive analysis.

Step 4: Provide a recommendation.

We’ll elaborate on each of these steps below.

Step 1: Understand the Question Being Asked

The interviewer will start the case with a background of a hypothetical company and share crucial information including the business problem the company is trying to solve. Take notes, particularly of financial data, and repeat the problem you’ve been asked to solve back to the interviewer in your own words. Repeating the question back ensures you address the right problem.

Avoid the temptation to immediately jump into details of a potential solution or start sharing a laundry list of all possible solutions.

For example, consider the following AlixPartners interview question:

A company producing ice cream is experiencing falling revenues and profits. What should the company do?

You’ll need to understand more about the company to solve the case. For example:

  • Is the company a small start-up with a handful of retail outlets or a major brand sold in grocery stores and other outlets across the country?
  • Is its goal to increase revenues by 5% or 25%?
  • Or is it more focused on profitability?

Asking questions is important to ensure you understand the problem and what success looks like for the client. If you don’t understand the company or the problem statement before you try to solve the case, you’ll be wasting time.

While repeating the question may feel awkward when you start casing, with time and practice, this habit will help you ace the AlixPartners case interview.

Step 2: Structure the Problem & Think Through All Key Aspects

Once you’ve repeated the problem statement and understand the question, request a moment from the interviewer to structure your approach to solving the client’s problem. Interviewers appreciate it if you take the time to think, instead of blurting the first random thought that comes to your mind.

Write down what you may need to learn about the client’s situation and structure the problem based on business frameworks you’re familiar with or, better yet, develop your own structure. Developing your own structure to break down a problem shows you’ll have the skill to solve problems you’ve never seen before.

See our article on business frameworks for more on how to structure consulting case interviews.

Example: if the case is about a solar-panel manufacturer that needs to improve its profitability, you may consider the typical profitability framework:

 

The profitability equation. Profits = revenue - costs.

 

Revenues may further be broken down into quantity and price and costs can be broken into fixed and variable to understand the source of the profitability problem.

Or if the problem statement is about optimizing costs, you can directly break costs even further into raw material costs, labor costs, and overheads to name a few.

Step 3: Ask Pertinent Questions To Form Hypotheses & Drive Analysis

After you structure the key aspects of your approach, share this with your interviewer.  AlixPartners’s cases are typically interviewee-led rather than interviewer- led, so your interviewer will probably let you suggest the best starting point for your analysis. But if your interviewer suggests a starting point, follow their lead.

While solving the case, the interviewer may share data with you in the form of charts or graphs. Use the information while conducting the analysis. Continue to ask relevant questions that will provide you with data on each branch of the problem structure you created.

You may also need to do some basic consulting math to analyze the case. Remember, the interviewer is also assessing your analytical ability. Walk them through your setup of analytical problems and listen if the interviewer guides you on how best to approach the problem.

Continue referring to your structure while analyzing the case. Otherwise, you risk running down a rabbit hole and ignoring other important aspects of the problem. At the same time, keep incorporating any new data that the interviewer provides into the structure you have created.

Make sure that throughout the interview, each question you ask the interviewer is relevant to the key aspects of the problem.

Step 4: Provide a Recommendation

Once you’re confident you have the required information to solve the client’s business problem, conclude the interview with a logical summary outlining the problem you set out to solve, key conclusions you’ve reached based on the data shared, and a persuasive recommendation on how you’d help the client resolve the challenge.

In this step, the interviewer is looking to assess your capability to advise clients. Make sure you communicate the solution in logical steps and that the interviewer (client) follows your logic. A strong conclusion leaves a great impression on the interviewer.

For a detailed example of how to crack a consulting case interview, see our Ultimate Guide to Case Interview Prep.

The AlixPartners Behavioral Interview

Behavioral or fit questions will be a part of almost all your AlixPartners interviews. The interviewers are looking to understand whether you are a good fit for AlixPartners, whether you have the leadership experience and entrepreneurial approach needed in consulting, whether you are a team player, and whether you’re a self-starter. Here are common questions AlixPartners’ interviewers use to assess fit:

Fit with AlixPartners

  • Why do you want to work at AlixPartners?
  • Why consulting?
  • Tell us about yourself and how you would be effective at AlixPartners.
  • Why are you interested in this particular position?
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • What do you see as your weakness?

Leadership and Entrepreneurial Skills

  • Tell us about a time you had to convince someone of your point of view.
  • Give an example of a time you had to face a conflict or a disagreement.
  • How did you handle a difficult situation in your previous role?
  • Describe a situation in which you had to motivate / persuade someone.
  • Tell us about a misconception about your working style.

Teamwork Skills

AlixPartners interview - Teamwork
  • Give us an example of a time you had to lead a team. What was the impact?
  • Give an example of a time you were in a team that didn’t work well together. Why did it happen?
  • Describe a situation in which you made a mistake. What did you do about it?

Are You a Self-Starter?

  • Tell us about a time you had to go beyond the requirements of your job.
  • Describe a time when you had too much on your plate. How did you handle this?

Prepare for these common fit questions in advance by thinking of situations that best portray your skills and preparing stories to illustrate them. The best way to do this is by using the A STAR(E) method.

  1. A – Answer: Start with a very short summary of your story before going into all the details.
  2. S – Situation: What was the situation? Who was involved? Why were you part of the situation?
  3. T – Tension: What was the conflict / problem that occurred? Why did it occur? What was its impact on the situation and on you?
  4. A – Action:  What actions did you take to resolve the challenge / conflict?
  5. R – Result: What was the result of your actions? Were you successful? If not, what additional measures could you have taken?
  6. (E) – Effect: What did you learn? (Effect is in parentheses because it is not critical to every story.)

Remember, be genuine and share your own experiences. For more examples of fit questions and how to answer them (in addition to common do’s and don’ts), see our article on Behavioral Interviews.

The AlixPartners Psychological Interview  

AlixPartners interview

Jay Alix, one of the founding members of AlixPartners, worked with an organizational psychologist to understand human psychology and how people work. After founding AlixPartners,  he wanted to leverage the insight that can be gained through a psychological assessment to ensure the company hires the brightest people, as well as individuals who will fit well at the firm. The AlixPartners psychological interview and assessment is an important part of AlixPartners’ talent strategy, and anyone considering employment must undergo it.

This interview is conducted by a psychologist. It includes tests of reasoning skills as well as personality questions similar to those in behavioral / fit interviews. The assessment process is quite lengthy and the tests range from simple to difficult, include individual and group work, and include presentations. It’s important that you honestly respond to questions in the assessment and frame your answers in line with the company’s culture and values.

While this type of psychometric test is rare in consulting, it provides recruits with the opportunity to work with an organizational psychologist and learn from their feedback. The insights from the assessment help the firm better predict people’s success at AlixPartners. It also helps the company understand how to accelerate the growth of new hires and enhances new hires’ own psychological awareness.

Our 5 Tips on Passing the AlixPartners Interview Process

1. Explore AlixPartners’s Values

AlixPartners’s values tell you a lot about the type of consultants the company wants to hire. Prepare for your fit questions based on these values. Identify situations where you have exhibited these values and look for opportunities during the interview to showcase these traits.

2.  Practice Problem Solving & Communication Skills

Learning to case takes time, but investing this time is critical if you want to land a job in consulting. Ensure you’ve mastered each of the 4 steps to solving a case interview. In particular, make sure you are confident at structuring case problems. However, do not overdo it to the extent that you ignore the behavioral / fit portion of the interview. Remember, common sense is also a core value for AlixPartners!

3. Prepare Stories for Common Fit Interview Questions

Take time to develop stories to illustrate your leadership, entrepreneurial, and teamwork skills. Also, develop stories to show that you’re a self-starter. Practice these stories with interview prep partners until you have your answers polished (but don’t practice so much that they sound memorized or robotic).

4. Ask Probing Questions

Interviews are not one-way. The interviewer intends to understand you, but also intends to inform you about AlixPartners, its culture, life at the company, and the work they do. Ask the interviewer about the values, their working experience, what they like and dislike about the work. Asking targeted questions is a skill required by consultants, so demonstrate you have this skill too.

5. Solicit Feedback

Seek feedback from peers, interview prep partners, and mentors to understand where you are meeting the AlixPartners bar and where you need to practice and focus further. Practicing with other people, whether current consultants or peers in the interview process, is critical.

– – – – –

In this article, we’ve covered:

  • AlixPartners’s culture and values and why it matters.
  • The AlixPartners interview process.
  • How to prepare for the AlixPartners case interview.
  • How to develop stories for the AlixPartners behavioral interview.
  • The AlixPartners psychological interview.
  • Our 5 tips on passing the AlixPartners interview process.

Still have questions?

If you have more questions about the AlixPartners interview, leave them in the comments below. One of My Consulting Offer’s case coaches will answer them.

Other people prepping for the AlixPartners case interview found the following pages helpful:

Help with Case Study Interview Prep 

Thanks for turning to My Consulting Offer for advice on passing the AlixPartners interview. My Consulting Offer has helped almost 85% of the people we’ve worked with to get a job in management consulting. We want you to be successful in your consulting interviews too. For example, here is how Avinash was able to get his offer from AlixPartners Consulting.

We want you to be successful in your consulting interviews too. For example, here is how Lucas was able to get his offer at Bain.

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Nail the case & fit interview with strategies from former MBB Interviewers that have helped 85% of our clients pass the case interview.

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