It’s safe to say that most people have experienced a time in their life where they have gone to an interview and not been 100% prepared. Being prepared for an interview is key when it comes to landing a job. The nervous aspect of going into an interview may never disappear, but there are steps you can take in order to make the process a little bit easier.
Here at Qemploy, we have created an infographic with a couple of tips for you to ready yourself for your consulting interview.
Do you want to use this infographic? Then use the embedded code below!
<a href="https://blog.qemploy.com/consulting-interview-tips/"><img align="center" src="https://blog.qemploy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/untitled-5c-20i_37261603-1.png?x38585" alt="Consulting_Interview_Tips" border="0"/></a>
Anyone familiar with the interview process as a consultant can
1. Know the basics
Questions concerning why you want to be a consultant and why you want to work at that specific consulting company is guaranteed to be asked in an interview. When asked why you want to be a consultant, remember not just to focus on what makes someone a good consultant but to focus on why you are the best consultant for the job. This is really the chance for you to promote yourself. In consideration to why you choose that specific consulting company, it good to consider the benefits of that company over other companies. However, the real deal breaker is to find a unique quality of the firm and featuring it in your explanation. Maybe you have spoken to someone who worked in that firm that inspired you to apply. It is always a good idea to describe personal takeaways from your experience.
2. Promote yourself
You really need to sell yourself. The consulting industry is such a difficult and competitive field, and so you are most likely not the only applicant for the job. Have a practiced elevator pitch to start off the interview. Be clear on your strengths and really make them shine. One mistake applicants do here is to focus too much on unimportant strengths. Remember to demonstrate how you prioritize skills as well as not wasting crucial time.
3. State both strengths and weakness
It is important to be fair on both sides of the spectrum. Both your strengths and weaknesses need to be exposed to the interviewer. Once again highlighting a prioritizing your strengths is ideal. With regards to weaknesses, it is ok to admit you have made mistakes if you prove how you came back from them. Consider what you learned from them, how not to make them again and how to teach others not to.
4. Be knowledgeable
Consultants have to be well-rounded in all aspect. It is 100% a must to have researched the company beforehand and know their key offerings and goals. Staying up to date on the consulting industry, current events, and business trends is also called for. This knowledge has to do with how attractive you are at networking events and conversation with potential clients. If you are lacking this skill, it is a good idea to start reading magazines such as The Wall Street Journal and The Economist.
5. Prepare for your interview
The earlier you prepare the more you will feel ready and possible be less nervous. Case interviews can be a demanding and difficult task, and so it is adviced that candidates prepare up to 6 months in advance. The first step in starting your preparations is to learn the fundamentals as in core concepts and skills. It may be worth to check out some interview guides and interview examples. Another good method of preparing is to practice the whole interview process with a friend. Have them ask you questions and act as if it is the real deal. This gains you live interview experience. It may also be a good idea to play both roles, the interviewer and the interviewee. Another method of preparing is to think about challenging questions and try to think of possible answers. The preparation process can be challenging to master and may, therefore, cause frustration, but it is important to brush it off and keep it up.
6. Be Structured
Structure, structure, structure. It’s is very clear when a candidate is all over the place with his answers. You need to construct a framework and you need to follow it. This leads to answers being structured and well received by the interviewer. Interviewers are looking for this communication skill because it shows how you can efficiently structure your thinking so that clients can understand. Keeping your clients happy, guarantees you and your firms’ happiness. Always have accurate responses, to be clear about the point that you want to come across.
7. Engage with the interviewer
It is such a big plus when a candidate willingly engages with the interviewer. Do not be afraid to ask questions – may it be to clarify something or simply to ask interesting questions about the company. Despite it being ok to ask clarification questions, always make sure you are fully intentive and listening to your interviewer. Do not miss part of the question so that you start sidetracking and not answering the question properly. As a consultant, you are selling your advice. Once something has been said, it is hard to take it back. Therefore always think before you speak with a client as well as the interview.
8. Be transparent
Be transparent about everything you do. Show your exact thought process. If you are asked to solve a problem, write your solution down step by step. Believe it or not, one consistent mistake is that candidates do not bring pen and paper to an interview. Do not be one of those guys. Once again, be well prepared. Another important aspect candidates have been known to do is covering up their weaknesses by strengths. One example of this is, “I tend to do take on too many responsibilities and occasionally can’t deliver as promised.” Simply do not do this. It’s very obvious to the interviewer what you are doing, so just be transparent with your weaknesses. Name them and then explain what you took away from the experience.
9. Convey confidence
You should not be scared to show off your point of view. Nothing is more interesting to an interviewer than someone who shows that they are an innovative thinker. This will only make you stand out from the rest of the applicants. Be confident when you are speaking in the sense that you should make eye contact with the interviewer and speak up in a clear manner. Of course, this can be difficult as interviews can be stressful and cause hesitation, but keep in mind that this may be your only shot at your dream job.
10. Be yourself
This point is one to be careful about. Being yourself is important in the sense of showing off your personality. However, if you border the line of being defensive remember to take a step back and think before you challenge the interviewer. It is a plus to stand up for what you believe in, but remember to step lightly. Other than that, it is encouraged to show your natural charisma.
Feeling prepared yet?
We hope you have gained some knowledgable insights on how to nail your consulting interview. So get yourself ready and prepare in good time! If you are a consultant and have an understanding with this interview process, then please do not hesitate to drop a comment explaining your experience and other tips you may want to share or that we missed.
Good luck with all your interviews!