Consulting Job Interviews for the Experienced

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This article talks about how experienced candidates searching for consulting jobs should prepare for interviews. It also provides a list of questions generally asked during consulting job interviews.

It is a popular belief that the consulting industry primarily hires young graduates who are energetic and enthusiastic. The consulting industry today recruits approximately 30% of business school graduates, along with a large number of college students.

However, experienced individuals in the consulting profession or from other professions can win top consulting jobs. These candidates must concentrate on a few specific points when preparing for interviews, though.

Knowing Exactly Where You Are Heading

The first question in a consulting job interview normally is ''Why a consulting career?'' You should know exactly where you are heading and answer appropriately. You should clearly define your goals and why you are interested in consulting.

Being flexible is the most important part of this profession. Asking yourself what you expect from this exciting career is helpful.

Problem-Solving Skills

Consulting is all about solving problems for people. During your interview you should talk about past experiences and how you successfully resolved conflicts. Subtly attempt to convince the interviewer that you are made for consulting.

Experience in any industry, not necessarily in consulting, is important for top consulting positions. Problem-solving skills develop with experience.

Knowledge of a Particular Industry

Specialization in a particular industry can be useful when it comes to landing a consulting job if your specialized experience is relevant. Before heading in for an interview, you should know what kinds of clients the company caters to and how you can be useful to the company (based on your expertise in the industry it covers). For instance, if you have managed a customer support department, you will be aware of the consulting skills required to win clients in the customer service sector.

Project Management Capabilities

People with consulting jobs take on numerous projects which demand skillful management. If you have successfully managed projects from start to finish, you have a better chance of landing a top consulting position.

What Kinds of Questions Are Asked during Consulting Job Interviews?

Now let’s take a quick look at the questions generally asked during consulting job interviews:

  1. Why do you want to change your profession?
  2. What do you know about our company?
  3. Why do you want this job?
  4. How long have you been hunting for a job?
  5. What do you know about consulting?
  6. How do you keep yourself up to date on the latest happenings in the industry?
  7. Can you describe a challenging project you handled successfully?
  8. What kinds of people do you dislike?
  9. How flexible are you when it comes to work hours?
  10. What brings you the most satisfaction?
  11. You may have to travel — would that be okay with you?
  12. What is your salary expectation for this job?
  13. Are you willing to accept our offer right away, or do you need time?
Though it is difficult to predict the questions that will be asked by your prospective boss or his or her hiring manager, you can always be prepared with answers for the most common ones. An experienced candidate can always find a great consulting job if he or she is prepared to face difficult questions during interviews.
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