JJ (3)

The ‘Ideal’ Candidate and The Future of Fairgrove

Jonathan Jacoby


Jonathan (JJ) shares his views on an 'ideal' candidate and what the future might hold for the firm.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I grew up in Germany and lived there for the first 15 years of my life before doing my A-Levels in the UK. I then decided to stay in the UK and did my undergraduate degree at Exeter University. After finishing my degree, I worked for a year, before doing my Masters at LSE. At LSE I attended the Consultancy careers fair and by chance ended up near the Fairgrove stand. I started talking to Oli (Lestner) and he told me about his background and his experience of working at Fairgrove. It clearly was a compelling pitch, as it motivated me to pursue a career in strategy consulting and I ultimately ended up at Fairgrove. I have been here for more than three years now and I’m very glad I attended that careers fair! 

As a Manager who helps with recruitment, what do you look for in a great candidate?

The two main things I would look for are curiosity and a willingness to learn. Great candidates, who turn out to be great Associates, have a genuine interest in understanding different business models and markets and what makes a company successful. Strategy consulting is very much about learning on the job and a general willingness to learn means our Associates can develop a wide range of skills within a very short period of time. However, just as important as the hard skills is the cultural fit. To assess that in an interview I always ask myself the hypothetical question “would I enjoy being seated next to this person at the Christmas party?” Safe to say that everyone at Fairgrove passes that test with flying colours!

Where do you see Fairgrove going over the next three years?

Fairgrove has more than doubled in size since I joined and it has been exciting and rewarding to be a part of that journey. I would love to see us continue to grow at this rate and reach a size where everyone still knows everyone but the Fairgrove brand has established itself as one of the key players in the UK strategy consulting market. Having an international office would be another great milestone to reach – and I know this is part of the company’s growth strategy!

Perfect way to start the day:

On an ideal day I would get up a little bit earlier to get to the park with my dog and attempt a game of fetch. He wants the ball to be thrown but he also does not want it to be taken off him. He is very much a Boris Johnson style “have your cake and eat it” negotiator. Nevertheless, he tries his best and that is really all I can expect from him.

Favourite book:
Red Notice by Bill Browder or Black Swan by Nicholas Taleb

Three words to describe Fairgrove:
Smart, Ambitious, Caring