Our topic for today is focused on what it requires to manage a consulting interview and ace it. We shall split the topic into aspects 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 are you experiencing what it requires to ace a consulting interview?
As you spending some time analyzing if you are ready for a consulting interview, let’s look at what it requires to organize for the interview.While a consulting interview in many ways may be just like a typical appointment, you will find aspects of the interview that grossly differs from any other job interviews.
As could be the case with every other interview, this interview would focus on the interviewer asking you to describe something about yourself, your experience in the consulting industry. If you do not have any experience in consulting, there is a high probability that the you’d be likely to map your present experience to consulting experience requirements. But if you do not have any experience at all, there is a high likelihood you’re not shortlisted for an interview in a consulting firm.
For experience consulting professionals this part becomes easy as all you could do is explain your present role and how it maps to the brand new role you’re seeking. For starters, it becomes a little more challenging to manage a consulting interview. So it’d help newbies to get in touch with consulting professionals as a part of the networking exercise ahead of presenting themselves for a consulting interview. IT Careers in UK and Europe This will allow you to get familiarized with the consulting industry and specifically the role of a consultant. You might best leverage networking sites and informal communications because of this purpose.
Ensure you research enough about the consulting firm you’re taking the consulting interview with. Typically consulting organizations showcase case studies of their client problems and the perfect solution is they provided as an integral part of their case studies. They might be available in brief on the website. Make an effort to read and understand these case studies. It could help you through your consulting interview.
Indeed, it might not be wise to assume that these cases could be presented to you through your consulting interview. But reviewing these cases may help provide you with insight on what the business is looking for.
It is also advisable for you to review their service offerings and align your experience to among the service offerings. Although it is great that you may carry some experience, it is vital that the experience maps as to the the consulting firm offers to its clients. This could definitely be tested in your consulting interview. Ensure that you take some time to understand their service offerings and convince the firm of one’s value increase the offering.
Be well prepared to resolve for an instance study. If you are a skilled and a seasoned consultant attending a consulting interview, there is a very high likelihood that you’re not given an instance study to solve.
But if you should be a novice, there is no skipping this step. Please note that through your consulting interview, the firm won’t look for you to solve the case study. It’s more vital and probable that the firm will be examining your ability to consider beyond your box, structured thinking, your analytical skills, your problem solving abilities and your communication skills although case study. Prepare for multiple case studies is vital for the consulting interview success. Check to see if you may get insights for consulting case studies from HBR magazine or others of similar nature for the consulting interview.
So how can this impact my consulting interview?
The clear answer is fairly simple if you think about it. Consulting spans in different 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 aware of the outsoucing industry, you’d know that the most typical processes that any organization would check out outsource are its finance and accounting operations. Interesting isn’t it?
On a single hand some people think Finance and Accounting are among the safest jobs in the world, on one other they are the easiest to be outsourced.
So as it pertains to consulting, you might be either a process consultant or even 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 new graduates out there. But process consulting essentially requires prior experiences in the area/ domain you desire to consult in. Which means you should work your way up the ladder from being a novice to someone with experience in specific processes and domain to become process consultant. This may definitely be tested unquestionably through your consulting interview. If you are from a finance background with a consulting touch, process terms like Quote to Cash, Order to Cash also referred to as O2C. Procure to Pay (P2P) and Record to Report (R2R) should not be new to you.
Also, if you think gaining some knowledge and jargon from the consulting industry will allow you to get throughout your consulting interview, you’re highly mistaken. This may only allow you to get a negative repute in the market 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 certainly not referring to IT consulting here. I’m referring to management consulting in which firms leverage technology extensively to resolve for business problems (not IT problems but business problems). For example – leveraging business objects solution to reduce the time for you to report or employing a tax bolt on software to execute tax accrual better and releasing cash flow for better investment and reduce litigation fees.
Aside from your consulting area, you will find few things you can be assured of being tested in your consulting interview.
a) A common question in your consulting interview could be on domain and area of expertise
b) During your consulting interview also expect questions on definition of one’s client’s problem statement and the perfect solution is delivered and your role as a consultant in delivering the solution.
I believe in today’s world, it is extremely challenging for you to be an exclusive process consultant. Technology touches our lives every day. So even though you are a core process consultant, i think, you’d be required to brush with technology at some point with time making you a technology related management consultant.