Management consulting jobs are among the most sought-after positions in on-campus recruiting, whether you’re applying as an undergraduate or from a business school. Consulting firm recruits also come from law schools, Ph.D. programs and people already working in other industries.
1. Start early. You’ll need to practice with dozens of business problems in order to get good enough to get an offer from a top consulting firm. This is not something you can cram the night before an interview. You’ll want to start as soon as possible.
2. Don’t read straight through sample questions or passively watch the videos. Some people think that the best way to improve their chances of passing consulting case studies is by reading as many sample cases as they can. It’s not. This is like reading about how to play tennis but never picking up a racket. To get better at tennis, you need to actually pick up a ball and be active. The same applies to your interview prep.
In Case Study Interview Prep, we talked about what consulting interviewers look for in answers to case study interview questions. It’s not a canned solution from the front page of the Wall Street Journal or a business school textbook.
Management consultants look for candidates who have a structured process for thinking through the key aspects of a business problem to find its solution.
If you’re on this page, you’ve probably just been invited to interview with a management consulting firm…Congratulations!
If not — if you’re just beginning to look into management consulting as a career option, start here to find out what a case study is and why consulting firms use them or here to see examples of case interview questions.
But if you’re preparing for your first round of consulting interviews and want to make sure you’re ready, that’s exactly what this page is about. It’s tough to get a job from a management consulting firm—only 10-20% of applicants are successful in getting from Round 1 into Round 2.
Your consulting interviewer’s main goal is to test your problem-solving skills and your fit with their company. But after you pass the case study and fit questions, your interview is not over.
Now it’s your turn to ask questions.
At this point, you’re probably glad your interview is almost at an end and anxious to get out of the room before you mess up the (hopefully!) great job you’ve done. But don’t rush out the door!
Asking the interviewer questions that show you’ve done your research on the management consulting industry in general and their firm, in particular, will make you look like a serious candidate.
The answers to these questions will also help you better prepare for your future interviews.
Don’t waste this opportunity to get unique insight from experienced consultants.
What should you ask?
People pursuing consulting careers get very anxious about case study interviews. Sometimes they get so anxious about case studies that they neglect the other key type of question management consulting firms ask — the fit or behavioral question.
This is understandable. After all, case studies are something few people have seen before. Behavioral interview questions sound like the questions all sorts of companies ask. You may think you can just wing an answer.