Our topic for today is focused about what it will take to handle 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 have you got what it will take to ace a consulting interview?
As you spend time analyzing if you are ready for a consulting interview, let’s look at what it will take to prepare for the interview. Global IT Resourcing While a consulting interview in many ways might be much like a typical appointment, you can find aspects of the interview that grossly differs from some other job interviews.
As may be the case with every other interview, this interview would begin with the interviewer asking you to explain something about yourself, your experience in the consulting industry. If you may not have any experience in consulting, there is a high probability that the you would be anticipated to map your overall experience to consulting experience requirements. But when you may not have any experience at all, there is a high likelihood you are not shortlisted for an interview in a consulting firm.
For experience consulting professionals this part becomes easy as whatever you do is explain your overall role and how it maps to the newest role you are seeking. For newbies, it becomes much more challenging to handle a consulting interview. So it would help newbies to get in touch with consulting professionals as a the main 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 might best leverage networking sites and informal communications for this purpose.
Ensure you research enough about the consulting firm you are taking the consulting interview with. Typically consulting organizations showcase case studies of their client problems and the answer they provided as a part of their case studies. They may be available in brief on the website. Take the time to see and understand these case studies. It may help you through your consulting interview.
Indeed, it may not be a good idea to assume that these cases would be presented to you through your consulting interview. But reviewing these cases might help provide you with insight about what the organization is looking for.
It can be advisable for you to review their service offerings and align your experience to one of many service offerings. Whilst it is very good that you may carry some experience, it is essential that the knowledge maps as to the the consulting firm offers to its clients. This could definitely be tested in your consulting interview. Make sure that you make an effort to comprehend their service offerings and convince the firm of one’s value add to the offering.
Be well prepared to fix for an instance study. If you are a skilled and a seasoned consultant attending a consulting interview, there is a high likelihood that you are not given an instance study to solve.
But if you should be a rookie, there is no skipping this step. Please remember 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 is going to 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 essential for the consulting interview success. Check to see if you will get insights for consulting case studies from HBR magazine or others of similar nature for the consulting interview.
So how does this impact my consulting interview?
The answer is very easy 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 along the way and the technology space has been on the rise. If you are alert to the outsoucing industry, you would understand 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 many of us think Finance and Accounting are one of many safest jobs in the world, on one other they are the easiest to be outsourced.
So as it pertains to consulting, you can be either an activity consultant or a technology impacted management consultant. If you are an activity 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 will need to work the right path up the ladder from being a rookie to someone with experience in specific processes and domain to become process consultant. This will definitely be tested undoubtedly through 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) should not be a new comer to you.
Also, if you think gaining some knowledge and jargon from the consulting industry will help you get throughout your consulting interview, you are highly mistaken. This will only get you a negative repute in the market making you unsuitable for consulting jobs.
Another 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 by which firms leverage technology extensively to fix for business problems (not IT problems but business problems). For instance – leveraging business objects solution to reduce the time for you to report or utilizing a tax bolt on software to do tax accrual better and releasing cash flow for better investment and reduce litigation fees.
Irrespective of your consulting area, you can find few things you can be assured of being tested in your consulting interview.
a) A common question in your consulting interview would be on domain and part of expertise
b) Throughout your consulting interview also expect questions on definition of one’s client’s problem statement and the answer delivered and your role as a consultant in delivering the solution.
I rely on today’s world, it is very challenging for one to be an exclusive process consultant. Technology touches our lives every day. So even although you really are a core process consultant, for me, you would be forced to brush with technology at some point in time making you a technology related management consultant.