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An Insight into the World of a Strategy Consultant: Part III
This is the final article of the blog series ‘An Insight into the World of a Strategy Consultant’, which aims at clarifying the DOs and DON’Ts at a consulting job interview.
Point number 1: focus on the firm, avoid generic answers
Before coming to the interview, make sure you conduct a thorough research of the target company. It is inevitable that during the interview, the interviewer will ask you why you chose this particular company. Make sure you know what makes the company unique amongst its competitors. In addition, keep in mind that the office you are applying to is most certainly different to the company’s other offices across the world. You should aim at providing a strong and textured answer explaining why you have chosen this particular firm and this particular office.
For example, if you were applying to the Monitor Group, you might want to mention that employees usually work on two cases at the same time. This is different to other consultancies where working on one case is standard procedure. In addition, employees at Monitor Group have no travel requirements; if they wish they may travel as frequently as employees do in other consultancies; however, it is not a prerequisite. Finally, you might want to talk about the fact that each office at Monitor Group is part of a global profit pool. As a consequence, there is far more intermingling amongst employees and more opportunity for them to get staffed on international cases or to switch offices.
At an LEK Consulting interview, you might want to talk about the shorter nature of cases (from 6 to 8 weeks per case). Consultants at LEK Consulting tend to have more immediate responsibility when they begin their jobs and they tend to directly manage several Associates or Associate Consultants from their first day. Similarly to Monitor Group, LEK Consulting is a global partnership, which means that every employee has a vested interest in how other offices perform.
Point number 2: take part in networking events
Try to network with current employees of the target company before going to the interview. If you manage to secure some contacts, be sure to mention their names while being interviewed. This will reveal the high extent of your effort in terms of interest in the job.
Point number 3: expose your strong analytical skills
The interviewers are looking for signs of depth of thought and insight during case interviews. You should aim at rising above the run-of-the-mill responses in order to prove to the interviewer that you can be a strong contributor in the team you’d ideally join. Saying that, you should employ an analytical framework while solving complex problems; however, you shouldn’t be too rigid. Try to demonstrate flexibility in your idea generation and aim at coming up with innovative answers. Moreover, you should try to manage your time well during the execution of case studies. Do not get bogged down in the details. It is essential to provide a full-rounded picture of the case study at hand. Finally, make sure you answer the question correctly. If you are unsure of some aspects of the case…
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