How to interview successfully in Management Consulting.
How to interview successfully in Management Consulting
Recruiting in any sector is a significant challenge no matter the role but in the complex world of management consulting, the challenge is slightly more intense. You will not only be an SME and representative for your company, but also for your client and this capability needs to be fully outlined in your interview.
In a post covid world, most interview processes will now be a mix of telephone, video & in person interviews towards the latter stages.
Here are some key tips for a successful interview:
Preparation is key
It goes without saying, having a good quiet background to take the call/video, good strong WIFI, and being dressed smartly are all essential.
The key to any successful interview is being fully prepared and confident that you understand the client’s brief including the job description and desired candidate profile. Equally it is important to get under the skin of the client and get to grips with it’s structure, the company’s mission statement and its ethos.
There will be at least 3 or 4 stages to the interview process for any consultancy.
- First stage is usually a competency-based discussion with a Senior Manager or Director looking through your CV & experience, and an introduction to the role and team. It’s important to answer each question with a real-life example - using the STAR technique helps (Read our article here). Motivational question will also come up, so prepare your WHY.
- 2nd round. In a role where industry knowledge is essential, you may be given a case study exercise to see how your mind works and how you approach a particular strategy. The content of the case study is directly relevant to the role are applying to, and you will present back your findings. Otherwise, the second is a more detailed and deep dive discussion into your relevant experience, projects and background.
- 3rd & Final rounds are final discussions with a Partner or panel of. This is the final chance to prove why you want to work for the business and what you can bring to the table. The key here is to give a genuine interest in to the WHY- and not just an increase in pay. Many Management consulting leaders are quite active on social media, so take a moment to follow them on LinkedIn and Twitter, where you can explore their perspectives and read their thought leadership.
Key Topics and Questions
Expertise. As a Management Consultant you will have a specialist area of expertise & focus, so it is important that you have a strong knowledge of relevant disciplines needed for the role. Business Development skills are highly preferred in Consulting, so its good to demonstrate this in your answers.
Ethics. There is no doubt that one of the key fundamentals of being a consultant is integrity and reputation. Therefore, it is vital that you can demonstrate such qualities in your previous roles.
Culture Fit. No matter how experienced you are, it is of little value if you do not fit the culture and style of the client. You must be able to show that you share the same values and can integrate with the client’s existing team. Use your existing network to see if anyone you know also works there- you will get a great idea of their culture fit this way, and whether you think it will align well.
Career Expectations. You need to be passionate and ambitious in the world of MC. Identifying that your future career goals can be met by the client is essential.