Our topic for today is focused on which it will take to handle a consulting interview and ace it. We shall split the topic into areas of generic interview and preparation and at a bird’s-eye view touch upon specifics of understanding what technology related interview versus process related interview.
So have you got what it will take to ace a consulting interview?
While you spend some time analyzing whether you are ready for a consulting interview, let us look at what it will take to get ready for the interview.While a consulting interview in lots of ways might be just like a regular appointment, you can find areas of the interview that grossly differs from any job interviews.
As may be the case with every other interview, this interview would begin with the interviewer asking you to spell out something about yourself, your experience in the consulting industry. If you do not have any experience in consulting, there’s a higher probability that the you would be anticipated to map your overall experience to consulting experience requirements. But if you do not have any experience at all, there’s a higher likelihood you’re not shortlisted for an interview in a consulting firm.
For experience consulting professionals this part becomes easy as all you do is explain your overall role and how it maps to the new role you’re seeking. For newbies, it becomes a little more challenging to handle a consulting interview. IT Projects in Europe and UK So it would help newbies to connect with consulting professionals as a part of the networking exercise prior to presenting themselves for a consulting interview. This will help you get familiarized with the consulting industry and specifically the role of a consultant. You may best leverage networking sites and informal communications because of this purpose.
Ensure you research enough in regards to the consulting firm you’re taking the consulting interview with. Typically consulting organizations showcase case studies of the client problems and the clear answer they provided as an integral part of their case studies. They may be obtainable in brief on the website. Make an effort to learn and understand these case studies. It may allow you to during your consulting interview.
Indeed, it might not be smart to assume these cases could be presented to you during your consulting interview. But reviewing these cases could help provide you with insight on which the organization is looking for.
It can also be advisable for you to review their service offerings and align your experience to one of the service offerings. Whilst it is great that you might carry some experience, it is essential that the experience maps as to the the consulting firm offers to its clients. This may definitely be tested in your consulting interview. Make sure that you make an effort to understand their service offerings and convince the firm of one’s value add to the offering.
Be ready to fix for an instance study. If you are a skilled and a seasoned consultant attending a consulting interview, there’s a very good likelihood that you will be not presented with an instance study to solve.
But if you are a rookie, there’s no skipping this step. Please note that during your consulting interview, the firm will not look for you to solve the case study. It is more vital and probable that the firm is likely to be examining your ability to consider beyond your box, structured thinking, your analytical skills, your trouble solving abilities and your communication skills although the case study. Prepare for multiple case studies is essential for your consulting interview success. Check to see if you can get insights for consulting case studies from HBR magazine or others of similar nature for your consulting interview.
So how can this impact my consulting interview?
The answer is quite simple if you believe about it. Consulting spans in numerous forms. As always, given the boom in IT and ITES outsourcing, the demand for management consultants in the process and the technology space has been on the rise. If you are alert to the outsoucing industry, you would realize that the most frequent processes that any organization would check out outsource are its finance and accounting operations. Interesting isn’t it?
Using one hand some people think Finance and Accounting are one of the safest jobs on earth, on another they are the simplest to be outsourced.
So when it comes to consulting, you might be either a process consultant or a technology impacted management consultant. If you are a process consultant, the expectation is that you shoulder in-depth expertise and process knowledge in your area of expertise. I’m sorry to disappoint brand new graduates out there. But process consulting essentially requires prior experiences in the area/ domain you wish to consult in. Which means you should work your way up the ladder from being a rookie to someone with experience in specific processes and domain becoming a process consultant. This can definitely be tested without doubt during your consulting interview. If you are from a money background with a consulting touch, process terms like Quote to Cash, Order to Cash also known as O2C. Procure to Pay (P2P) and Record to Report (R2R) shouldn’t be new to you.
Also, if you believe gaining some knowledge and jargon from the consulting industry will help you get during your consulting interview, you’re highly mistaken. This can only enable you to get a poor repute in the industry making you unsuitable for consulting jobs.
The other consulting arena I was hoping to touch upon through this blog is Technology related consulting – When I state technology related consulting I’m most certainly not talking about IT consulting here. I’m talking about management consulting where firms leverage technology extensively to fix for business problems (not IT problems but business problems). Like – leveraging business objects solution to lessen the time for you to report or utilizing a tax bolt on software to perform tax accrual better and releasing cash flow for better investment and reduce litigation fees.
Regardless of your consulting area, you can find few things you may be assured of being tested in your consulting interview.
a) A typical question in your consulting interview could be on domain and part of expertise
b) Through your consulting interview also expect questions on definition of one’s client’s problem statement and the clear answer delivered and your role as a consultant in delivering the solution.
I rely on today’s world, it is very challenging for you to be an exclusive process consultant. Technology touches our lives every day. So even if you really are a core process consultant, in my opinion, you would be required to brush with technology sooner or later with time making you a technology related management consultant.