For most people, the recruitment process for a consulting position is difficult and arduous. Even with the right connections and months of preparation, those who are able to achieve their goal usually rely on an effective plan.
A Closer Look At Management Consulting
The consulting industry is more than what meets the eye. Behind the flashy suits is a profession filled with hard work and sleepless nights. The results of a demanding consulting career are high compensation rates and benefits. While it’s true that many people want to be in the consulting industry, not everyone is willing to work hard to get into the field.
The Importance of Education in the Recruitment Process
<>Behind every successful consultant in a top tier firm such as McKinsey & Company or Deloitte, are high GPA scores, a degree from a reputable university and an individual with well-rounded social skills. For applicants who want to do well during the consulting recruitment process, it is recommended not to overlook education. Having the right educational background can increase the chances of being shortlisted for the next round of interviews.
Are high GPAs good enough to get through the recruitment process? It’s a good start. But for serious applicants, they would have taken note that their target consulting firm’s habits for recruiting individuals. You should incorporate this mind set and aim for a higher level of education from a university that is known to be the starting ground for successful consultants. This is also a great place to start building your network.
Preparing For the Consulting Interview
The bread and butter of any interview process are the cover letter and resume. In management consulting, this is even more important because of all the qualified individuals who are applying for the same position.
For the cover letter, make sure to keep it short, around 3-4 paragraphs. In order to catch the attention of the recruiter, make use of keywords. Maintain a professional tone, but don’t forget to add a slight personal touch to the content.
Keeping your credentials organized is key to an easy to read resume. Remember to only include relevant qualifications in your resume; and avoid lengthy, irrelevant information that won’t leave a lasting impression. Great consulting credentials speak for themselves; therefore highlight those as much as possible.
In order to make sure that an applicant is really fit for the work culture of the consulting firm, many recruiters ask individuals to take a series of employment exams. During this part of the process, you can expect to take personality and IQ or EQ tests.
Another type of test that is administered during this stage is mental math. No one wants to get this far and get rejected due to inadequate mental math skills. A great way to make sure you have this portion covered well is by practicing on a daily basis. Many applicants go through a series of flashcards and practice with a friend for accountability.
Consulting Case Interviews
Perhaps the most daunting part of the consulting recruitment process is the case interview. During this final stage, recruiters check how well you can apply your knowledge in a real-life situation, or case. Some recruiters go as far as saying that it’s not all about the solution. It is essential to take the right organized steps in arriving at the best answer.
Each firm has their own preferred method of arriving at a solution for a case. If you want to increase the chances of being seen as a “perfect fit” for the firm that you are applying for, it is best to know and apply their most used steps or flow. This would be a great time to tap into your consulting network and ask them about which framework is generally applied in the cases within the firm.
In conclusion, the recruitment process is not a walk in the park. Talking to the right people who are in the consulting industry can help point you in the right direction towards doing well during the interview process.
Do you have other preparation tips you would like to share? Let us know about your experience.