Every entrepreneur we have interviewed both at Firmsconsulting and when we were partners at BCG and McKinsey always emphasize the following:
• The successes they achieved.
• The growth they achieved.
• The manner in which they built their team.
Entrepreneurs almost always fail to answer the most basic question: If you were so successful, why are you leaving behind all that success to apply for a ~$150K/annum package at McKinsey as an associate?
Moreover, if they fail to answer that obvious question, what does it say about their pragmatism?
Surely that does not make much sense to anyone. In fact, it is a bright red question mark should they choose play up their successes and ignore the obvious question.
Too many entrepreneurs confuse success in the business with success in maturing as a leader. There is no point creating an unrealistic background when it is clear the start-up did not succeed. This comes down to the way entrepreneurs’ view failure of their business.
Failure of a business is not personal failure. 99% of start-ups will fail and recruiters understand this. Moreover, the mere fact you are applying usually means your business has failed: why else would you leave a ~$10MM revenue business to take a ~$150K salary?
In this podcast, we discuss the manner in which entrepreneurs should discuss their failures as a McKinsey personal-experience-interview leadership lesson. The reality is that a well presented entrepreneurship story always trumps a simple academic story. The story merely needs to emphasis the points listed in this podcast, and be upfront about the challenges. In other words, entrepreneurs should, all other things being equal, have a greater resume profile than someone without entrepreneurship experience.