Here, I’ll focus on ten critical steps to prepare for management consulting interview rounds. As general advice, by far the best way to become a distinctive interviewer is to get live experience – thus the reason why you should spread a wide net in your search for different consulting firms.
Getting ready for case studies
1. Read Case In Point – a thorough, 100% case study-focused resource
2. Peruse Victor Cheng’s website – as a former McKinsey consultant, Victor has a strong grasp of successful case study techniques and strategies
3. Practice online case studies – most firm websites have plenty of cases (some like Bain even have video case studies). The key is to answer the question yourself before reading the suggested answer. There are good consulting websites with case study materials as well, including Rice’s Consulting Club
4. Practice a lot with friends – if no friends have interest, search consulting forums and other recruiting hubs like Vault for partners
5. Practice guesstimation/sizing questions in spare waking moments (eg, if you see a Ford while driving, think about how many Ford cars are manufactured in Mexico). It seems silly, but this is exactly how to become an expert at case studies
The key here: practicing as many cases as you can with actual consultants. Don’t underestimate their capacity to help you
Experiential/behavioral interview prep
1. Create example fit interview questions and prepare example replies – avoid simple memorization, but outline your key talking points.
2. Practice answering in front of a mirror – this helps familiarize you with body language, pacing, volume, and more
3. Practice with friends and colleagues – ideally have them ask you unexpected questions. Becoming good at improvising is crucial to acing consulting interviews
General interview prep tips
1. Wear something that looks clean, sharp, and makes you feel confident – first appearances are deceptively powerful. Dress like a management consultant, and people will think you deserve an offer.
2. Talk to current and former consultants – the better you understand the job and lifestyle, the more comfortable you are with consulting lingo like “on the beach” and “5,000 mile view”, the better you’ll do. It’s also great for recruiting and networking.
That wraps up our tour of how to prepare for business consulting interviews. Good luck!