- Tell us about yourself
Tip: Don’t go on a 10 minute rant about yourself. Be very brief, talk about your work and educational experiences. You may also talk about your personal background, where you are from, etc. This may go for about 2-3 minutes.
- Why do you want to join our company?
Tip: Discuss your interests in the company. Discuss the qualities or mission the company has and how your talents, skills, and experiences fit with these qualities. Don’t only discuss how the company provides a great working environment for you, but also explain how you would add value or benefit the company.
- What would you bring to our firm?
Tip: Sell yourself. Talk about how your skills and experiences will help advance the services of the firm and help provide quality solutions to clients. Just basically describe qualities you would bring to the company to help benefit the company.
- Tell me about a recent project you worked on. How did you tackle this? What results did you come up with?
Tip: This is a behavioral question. You may use the STAR technique. Describe the Situation in detail, describe the Tasks you underwent, describe the Actions you took to tackle this project, describe your end Results or response (i.e. what you learnt, accomplishments, what you might do differently in the future? etc).
- Tell me about your consulting work experiences? If no experience in consulting, what experiences do you have can be applied to consulting?
Tip: Discuss relevant experiences you have that enabled you to gain valuable skill-sets applicable to consulting. This may include strong analytical skills, communication and listening skills, strategic and critical thinking skills, project management, ability to cope with pressure and deadlines, great attention to detail, detailed knowledge of different markets and emerging trends, etc. You may discuss some projects you’ve worked on, what you learnt, and how you helped solve client’s issues.
- Tell me about a time when you had to use your communication and presentation skills to influence a group’s opinion.
Tip: This is a behavioral question assessing your communication and presentation skills. You may use the STAR technique. Describe the Situation in detail, describe the Tasks you underwent, describe the Actions you took and how you actually influenced their opinion, describe your end Results (i.e. what you learnt, accomplishments, what you might do differently in the future? etc).
- Tell me about a time you dealt with a difficult client. How did you deal with this? What did you learn from this experience? Would you have approached the situation differently?
Tip: This is a behavioral question. You may use the STAR technique. Describe the Situation in detail, describe the Tasks you underwent, describe the Actions you took to deal with the client, describe your end Results or response (i.e. what you learnt, accomplishments, what you might do differently in the future? etc).
- Please describe some of your leadership experiences.
- How would you explain a complex solution or information to a client?
Tip: This question is assessing your communication skills. Think of ways you can present information in a simple way. This may come in the form of using diagrams or models to help make the client understand the complex solution. This is open ended so think of ways you can present complex information in the most simple and understandable ways.
- Which is your favorite subject?
- What kind of skills do you believe a consultant should have?
- What other consulting firms did you apply to? Have you received any offer?
Tip: Even if you discuss about other firms you applied to, you must re-iterate how important it is for you to get the position at the current firm you are interviewing with. Display enthusiasm in being a part of the consulting team.
- Any questions?
For Market Sizing Questions
With market sizing questions, the interviewer is trying to assess your numerical abilities and your ability to analyze a question appropriately. You should answer these questions by explaining your assumptions and consider many aspects that relate to the question being asked. For example if asked, “How many people in Boston drink coffee in the morning?” You may want to first estimate the number of people in the Boston area. You may make assumptions of the number of people who drink coffee in Boston. You can go further by focusing on workers, professionals, and other people who tend to drink coffee in the morning.
With market sizing questions, the interviewer is less interested in the accuracy of your answer, what’s most important is that you have done some level of thinking on the factors that may affect your estimation and the logical approach you have taken in reaching an estimate. It will also be helpful to write things down as you answer your question. Stick with round numbers to make your estimations easier. Make sure you answer the question being asked. Do not deviate by giving a response that sounds like the answer but it really isn’t. Focus on the question.
Examples of market sizing questions are given below:
- Estimate how many motorcycles are sold in the U.S. each year
- How many people ride the New York Subway on the weekdays?
- How many passengers fly through LAX in a calendar year?
- A pharmaceutical company just came up with a new cancer therapy. How many people in the U.S. may potentially use this drug?
- Estimate the number of telephones in China.
- My wife and I have just had our second child, and we are interested in getting diapers. How many disposable diapers are consumed every year in the US?
Case Interview Questions:
You want to make sure you have a good understanding of the case. You may ask clarifying questions if you do not understand the case. Develop a structure or framework around the case. Evaluate the case using the framework you develop. You may develop a hypothesis to solve the case. Explain any assumptions you make. Develop recommendations or solutions on how the problem could be solved. After proposing a solution, describe the tools or methods on how to approach the problem. You may discuss ways to measure or gauge the solution or recommendations you provide.
Case Interview questions can come in many different forms. Questions can be asked about how to improve profitability, expansion and market entry, performance, sales, and market share for a company or client. Questions may also revolve around how a client may make an investment decision, acquisition, cut costs, etc. Case questions may be phrased in different ways.
For questions that revolve around declining profits, you should consider looking into factors such as revenue, cost, sales, and price of the product the client is selling to understand which of these factors may be contributing to declining profits. You might look into situations whereby revenue is increasing but costs are also increasing, or costs are increasing while revenue is decreasing to understand the nature or the cause of the decline in profitability.
Focusing on a client company’s price, you might want to consider a competitor’s changes in price and how that compares to your client’s price. For sales you might want to compare the sales of the client’s company to the overall sales of the same product or service in the market. Has there been an increase or decrease in sales in the market recently? From this, you can then describe possible ways to increase sales. This may come in the form of selling new products to current or new customers. To increase profitability, the company might want to cut cost. A client might want to reduce costs of R&D for new products, reduce amount of energy usage, reduce overhead expenses such as insurance fees, rents, travel expenditures, etc. It is important to recognize that costs may come in different forms, such as fixed costs and variable costs.
Organize your thoughts. Don’t jump too fast to conclusions, think about the problem well. Be very logical in your reasoning. Base your response on the information given. You may ask the interviewer for more information or statistics to solve the case. Demonstrate strategic thinking and good business acumen. There is no right or wrong answers. These interviews are discussion based so feel relax to express your creativity and ideas. What consulting companies want to see is an interviewee’s approach to solving a business problem. An interviewer wants to see that you have taken many aspects affecting the case into consideration and that you are very logical in your reasoning. Take important notes when doing calculations and when solving the case.
If an interviewer challenges your solution or ideas or proposes an alternative solution, acknowledge the interviewer’s viewpoints and re-assess your solution. You may even incorporate the interviewer’s ideas into yours to give a stronger solution to the problem.
An example of a case interview question may be:
A large theatre comes to you and asks you to help them improve their revenue growth.
You may ask for more numerical information on the number of shows per week, price of each show, and the different types of shows the theatre provides to estimate the amount of revenue being made per week from shows. You may also get data on the occupancy rates of how many seats are usually occupied for each show; does this theatre usually have 20%, 100%, or 50% of seats filled? From these percentages, we can calculate the actual amount being made by the theatre per week. Let’s assume that we know the goal of this theatre is to grow their revenue from the current $100,000 dollars to $150,000 (so this would be a 50% increase). Now, working with price and volume, how can we achieve this? Do we increase price or do we increase volume? If so how? What impact might this have on the company? After this, you may also provide other methods the theatre can use in increasing revenues. This may come in the form of marketing the theatre better, etc. Be clear in your explanations. These questions are discussion based so discuss your responses to the interviewer clearly.
Examples of Case Interview Questions:
- You have a client from a retail company concerned about increasing savings by 35% the following year. How would you advise this client? What factors would you consider?
- You are consulting a small firm that sells a well-reputed product. A large competitor starts selling a similar product incorporating the most recent technology? What would you advise the small firm to do and how should it go about it?
- A Client from a medical software company wants to enter a new market. They are deciding whether to buy an already existing company or build the technology themselves. How would you advise the client in making the best decision?
- As a consultant, you are asked to assist a mining company to help them decide whether to acquire a small mining company. Both mining companies compete in the U.S. Your client’s margins are 10% and the small mining company’s is profitable with margins of 5%. What factors would you consider and would you recommend the acquisition?
- Client from a fortune 500 food company just developed a new product and is thinking of ways to commercialize the product. How would you go about this?
NOTE: These are very relevant questions that may help in the interview. Questions may be asked in a random fashion. Questions not included on this page may be asked during the interview.