As an aspiring consultant, there is a practice interview that you need to go through. Read some of these tips on consulting interview preparation!

Consulting Practice Interview

An interview is more than just a pressed suit and a resume in an attractive folder! It is about attitude, skill, confidence and most importantly, preparation. Management consulting is a profession that helps both the industry, as well as other organizations, improve its performance. They are instrumental in developing plans and analyzing existing business problems. Other functions include strategy improvement, technology implementation and assistance in carrying out tasks efficiently. If you are really keen on getting this job, start your research today! Unlike other careers, the consulting interview is relatively easier as most companies follow standard procedures. Typically, you can predict what to expect. This doesn’t mean you can take the interviewer for granted – in fact you must be able to ace the interview with your knowledge! It is common that most consultancies test job-seekers with case studies and questions based on them. There are a few suggestions which you need to keep in mind in order to make a good first impression. Read the next section and learn about what you can do to make your interview a great success!
Consulting Interview Preparation
Case Studies
  • As mentioned above, case studies are very common in these interviews. A case is usually put in front of a candidate to check critical thinking, problem solving ability and the power of analyzing. Take for example, this case: A bank wants to expand its network. They have come to you for help. How would you help in developing a model that determines the correct locations for this purpose? To crack this case, you need to think in a macro-perspective such as towns and districts rather than streets or blocks. In this way, there are a variety of questions that you might be faced with. Research and study the various genres.
  • Another way to get a heads-up is to do a mock test and find partners who are interested in management consultancy too. Conduct a case study interview for them and let them do it for you. Being in an employer’s shoes helps you see the light from a different angle. You could also visit a career centre where there are experts (such as investments bankers and former management consultants) in the field of offering advice and conducting practice interviews. Getting a feedback on your performance will be of great help.
The Power Of Speech And Hearing
  • You not only have to practice answering but also questioning! Case interview tests are based on a concept of making the candidate speak. This is the best opportunity to probe into the organization’s polices, actions, functions etc since interviewers do not reveal all the information unless asked for. Maintaining professionalism is certainly in order.
  • Similarly, listening to the case before you start ranting off the answer is important. It’s called ‘listening with your brains’! There are many implications and ways to tackle a question, so all you need to do is support your theory. Think before you talk as you cannot go back on your word. Organize your approach well and if you have made notes, be sure to refer to them in case you miss out something. 
Assumptions And Conclusions
  • A consulting interview can be answered with simple tips such as making assumptions and forming conclusions.
  • If you are presented with a question like: ‘Tell me a time when you had to plan and coordinate a project’, then try and understand that the interviewer has set his mind on questioning your behavioural patterns from your previous job.
  • If the question is: ‘Describe a long-term goal’ then backing up your idea with several practical assumptions based on your knowledge and experience is the way to go.
  • Next question: ‘Do you keep in mind your competitors while making claims?’ This needs to be handled carefully as you have to be biased to the company you are being interviewed for. Set your sights on getting the conclusion right. Use leading words like ‘In conclusion…’ even if you haven’t justified the situation appropriately.
These are some of the consulting practice interviews tips and suggestions which can take you to your next job!

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