Management Consulting – Worst Interview Mistakes

The worst thing you can do is give bland, generic answers to the interview questions.

If you do not give unique answers that impart a bit of your personality, the interviewer will simply think you are the kind of person who is not willing to put forth an effort.

First of all, let’s discuss anecdotes. If you are not much of a consulting interviewee, you will fail to provide anecdotes. Here is an example.

What interests you about management consulting?

I like the intellectual challenge of the job. I also like to be able to work with ambitious, clever people solving difficult business problems.

That is a generic response. There is nothing personal about it – no story, no anecdote.

Do you understand the problem with this answer?

If you tell a little story or an anecdote about why you want to be a management consultant, it will stick out in the interviewer’s mind. If you just give a run of the mill, plain answer, it will just blend in with all the other run of the mill plain answers. You won’t get a job offer, and neither will anyone else who answered that way.

Once the consultants are done with interviews, they usually have a group discussion about the applicants. Applicants who leave a strong impression get discussed. Applicants that the interviewer can’t remember don’t. If the interviewer doesn’t remember you, he won’t have anything to say about you.

Here’s how you can add an anecdote or a takeaway.

A takeaway is a conclusion. It is a lesson learned or a 20/20 hindsight. Call it what you may.

In the answer that was given, there was no takeaway. No conclusion was given.

So let’s put in a takeaway, and you will see that just one sentence will make a big difference in the strength of the final response.

What is it about management consulting that interests you the most?

Ever since I did my internship in asset management, I have realized that it is important to me to work with a top-of-the-line team facing difficult business challenges. The people I worked with then really knew what they were doing, and I admired that. The work I did every day was a little dull, but I liked watching them. Now I know that if I want to get ahead in the business world, I will need to have work that challenges me and become a key member of a top-notch team like that.

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