Consultant Interview Preparation Guide
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Consultant based Frequently Asked Questions by expert members with experience as Consultant. These questions and answers will help you strengthen your technical skills, prepare for the new job test and quickly revise the concepts

86 Consultant Questions and Answers:

1 :: Tell us why consulting? Why Now?

Whether you are transitioning into consulting from a different industry or are heading there straight from the classroom, the interviewer is looking to see if you are really serious about this career move - that you have researched this industry, and will want to know why you chose this industry over where you have been and all of the other choices on your plate.

Firms know you'll probably leave - in 2-3 years, if you're normal - and they are comfortable with that payback cycle. However, the firm loses money on you in the first 6-12 months on the job - they invest heavily in training, and you are contributing very little. It's a risk to take someone on if they are not committed to the job - so when you answer the questions the interviewer should feel confident that you know about the industry and the company you are applying for.

2 :: In this industry, consultants make it a point to be remain constantly aware of some basic business news and current events. Why?

It's important for you to stay on top of recent insights - but it's also important that you're always ready to engage in a business conversation with a client. This question is a proxy for both - are you genuinely interested in business? Are you client ready?

Be prepared to make business insight review a part of your daily schedule, if it is not already - starting today. Some suggestions are to start reading the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Fortune. You don't need to memorize each and every detail, but you do need to form opinions and have a basic understanding on what is happening and why that might be important. Start with focusing on some leading companies and business issues of that day.

"Tell me about a company you admire." Here's an example question - and when you're building the answer, remember: you are trying to convey passion for business and insights as well. You will want to structure your answer and give 2 or 3 well-developed topics. Don't ramble on-and-on - 1 minute max is sufficient - and be succinct and genuine. As a bonus, you might want to share some ideas on what will make the company stronger/more admired. This shows the interviewer that you're growth oriented and you believe you can do great things.

3 :: Why do you want to work for GGL?

You can guarantee this question will be asked. The firm is trying to assess where else you are applying, where their firm fits in, and how much work you've done to prepare. You have 2 ways to handle this kind of question.

First, you can give them a few reasons - 3 reasons why you want to work for McKinsey, or 4 reasons why Deloitte is your first-choice firm. You need to explain each reason, and let them know at the beginning that you've thought about this question a lot - to reduce the risk of sounding totally memorized.

Second, you can tell a story. Stories are the best - they are believable, personal and very memorable. The story might sound like this: "I used to think investment banking was for me…and then I met this guy from McKinsey." Take insights from your networking conversations, and get specific.

No matter which option you choose here, make sure you address the question with enthusiasm - be excited about what the firm has to offer.

4 :: What's your greatest weaknesses?

This is such a hated question, but it's not hard to answer. Don't do what so many try to do - share about a not very weak weakness, such as "I have an issue with coming up with too many great ideas." Ummm…yeah - lame!

Your interviewer is trying to see not "if" you have weaknesses, but "how" you handle them and what are you doing to manage a negative effect - so it's not THEIR problem. Do you have a plan in place whereby you are improving in your weak area? How do you receive constructive criticism? As a consultant, you'll receive excessive feedback - from peers, managers, those that report to you - and frequently (3-6 mini-reviews per year, 2 formal reviews). You should be eating weaknesses for lunch - not trying to hide them. After all, that's how you will grow.

5 :: What's your greatest strength, Tell me about your 3 greatest strengths?

The interviewer really wants to make sure you understand what a few of your strengths are and how to best apply them to all types of situations. Be prepared to share some examples of those amazing qualities, with brief explanations, but without sounding arrogant. Select strengths (you should have many) that demonstrate well-roundness - for example, one on data/analysis/problem solving, one on leadership/motivation/work ethic, one on communication/conflict resolution.

6 :: Explain what do you think makes a good management consultant?

If you do not have business or economics background, take heed! Interviewers are searching out whether you are interested enough in the job to do your own research - and we're not talking web research here (although that's a good foundation). Do you understand what skills are required for success and do you honestly feel prepared to take those on?

Firms want to be assured you have a clear understanding of why you are entering into this industry and what you plan to accomplish during your time as a consultant. The interviewer is trying to find out what you have heard makes a good management consultant - from other management consultants, not some vague online article. Structure your response and make sure you include skills like analytical capabilities, hard work, and great communication skills.

7 :: ENT (Paediatric interests) Consultant Interview Questions:

► You have a lot on your CV. How do you manage your time?
► What can you do to improve the provision of children's services in the hospital?
► Do you have enough experience to cope with a young child's airway e.g. have you got experience of performing neonatal / paediatric tracheostomy?
► How would you improve our relationship with GPs?
► How would you improve our relationship with the PCT?
► The demand for outpatients has gone up by 50% in one month, but the conversion rate to inpatient admission has not changed. What do you think about this?
► How do you deal with criticism?
► Have you ever caused harm to a patient? How do you know you are safe?
► How does serving the individual conflict with serving the population?
► Tell me about your best publication?
► Tell me what your role would be in teaching?
► What is your best professional achievement?
► What are your plans for the department? Where do you see yourself in 5 years' time?
► What do you think the challenges will be as a new consultant?
► How would you convince a patient you have never met that you are safe?
► How do you deal with a difficult patient?
► Tell me abou the feedback you have had from patients?

8 :: Situational & Personal Questions for Consultant Job:

► Please describe your most important leadership experience and the impact that you had as a leader.
► Describe a problem that you would like to tackle at [this firm], why and how would you pursue it.
► If I were to speak to your colleagues from your most recent internship (or friends in school), what would they say about you? What are the strengths and weaknesses they would share?
► Describe a situation where you failed. What did you learn about yourself and how did you change as a result?
► Why our firm instead of your current firm? What do you know about us compared to your firm?
► Tell me about a project that didn't go well and why and what you would do differently next time?
► How do you quantify a lead?
► Can you describe your brand?
► How have you dealt with low team morale in the past? Provide an example of when you had to give a bad performance review.
► Describe a project which challenged you. Describe a client relationship which was challenging.

9 :: Neonatology Consultant Interview Questions:

► Take me through your CV concentrating on the clinical aspects.
► What personal attributes do you have that make you suitable for this post?
► Which part of the service do you want to develop?
► What are the challenges facing Neonatology?
► How can we improve communication between Obstetrics & Neonatology?
► How can training for junior doctors be improved?
► How do research and audit fit into business planning?
► What are the challenges caused by EWTD?

10 :: Consultant Job Interview Questions:

► What kinds of projects do you typically work on? What has been the focus of the last four or five projects you have worked on?
► What do you see as the major issues facing this industry?
► What has been your average number of clients at a time?
► Do you tend to focus on one project, or do you handle a number of projects simultaneously?
► What steps do you take to ensure that you do not spread yourself too thin among your clients?
► How do you keep track of your progress during a project?
► We want to achieve savings of 20% in the next 12 months. How can you help us reach this goal?
► Walk me through the life cycle of a recent project you worked on from start to finish. What results/deliverables did you achieve? What went well and what did not go well?
► Tell me about a time when you faced an ethical dilemma, and how you managed it.
► What are some important ethical considerations for consultants?
► Describe how you typically conduct a sales meeting.
► What's your leadership style?
► Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult client. What did you learn from the experience? What would you do differently?
► How would you explain a complex technical issue to a client?
► 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 should the small firm do in response?