This information is provided by Strategic Resource Services, Inc. 3380 146th Place S.E., Suite 310 Bellevue, WA, 98007 425-688-1151 Fax 425-688-1272 www.strategicresources.com Tips for Case Interviewing
Contributed by Vault Reports, 1998 Vault Reports
Your impressive resume may get you an interview with a consulting firm, but it won’t get you the job. Consultants know that a resume, at its very best, is only a two-dimensional representation of a multi-faceted, dynamic person. And because consulting firms depend on employing those multi-faceted, dynamic people, the firms rely heavily on the case interview, an on-the-spot assessment of a business problem, to screen candidates.
Following your case interview, your consulting interviewer will likely be completing a written evaluation form. The evaluation forms often include a list of qualities, traits and abilities and ask the interviewer to assess the candidate against the list. Following is a list of these special traits that, according to consulting insiders, interviewers will be keeping an eye out for as you work through the case interview:
Leadership skills You’ll hear this from every consulting firm out there -- they want leaders. Why, you might ask, would a consulting firm need a leader -- especially since many beginning consultants are consigned to independent number-crunching and research. The fact is, however, that consultants are often called upon to work independently, shape projects with very little direction, and direct others.
You should demonstrate your leadership skills by taking charge of the case interview. Ask your questions confidently. Inquire whether the case interview relates to the interviewer’s own experience. While your resume and previous leadership experience will probably most strongly convey your leadership ability, your demeanor in the case interview can help.
Analytical skills The core competency of consulting is analysis -- breaking down data, formulating it into a pattern that makes sense, and deriving a sensible conclusion or recommendation. You should display this skill through your efficient, on-target and accurate questions and wrestling your case to a solution. Presentation skills The case presentation is an essential part of consulting. Once consultants have analyzed their case engagement and decided on the proper course of action, they must present their findings and recommendations to their case team and to their clients. Interviewers will be watching you closely to see if you stumble over words, use inadvisable fillers like "um" or "like" frequently, or appear jittery under close questioning.
Remember: when you’re speaking, slow down and smile. If asked a question that temporarily stumps you, take a deep breathe and pause. It’s always better to pause than babble.
This information is provided by Strategic Resource Services, Inc. 3380 146th Place S.E., Suite 310 Bellevue, WA, 98007 425-688-1151 Fax 425-688-1272 www.strategicresources.com Energy Even the most qualified and analytical consultant won’t be much good if she quits at 5 p.m. during a long and arduous engagement. Interviewers look for zest and energy -- firm handshake, sincere, warm smile, bright eyes and bushy tail. Remember that consulting firms expect you to take a ten hour flight and show up at work the next day, alert, perky and ready to go. Attention to detail/Organization Consultants must be as painstaking as scientists in their attention to detail. And consultants who juggle two or more flights a week and engagements all over the world must by necessity be extremely organized. You can display this skill through a disciplined, logical approach to your case solution, and by showing up for your interview prepared. You’ll want to take notes, so bring a pad of paper and a pen. Interviewers notice when candidates must ask for these materials. Quantitative skills Those spreadsheets you’ll be working with as a management consultant need numbers to fill them. Consulting interviews will inevitably test your grasp of numbers and your ability to manipulate them. Many interviewers will assess your quantitative skills by giving you a "guesstimate," either within the case question or separately. Flexibility Consultants may have to arrive at the office one day and be packed off to Winnipeg for six months the next. This kind of flexibility of schedule is mirrored in mental flexibility. To test your grasp of a case interview, the interviewer may suddenly introduce a new piece of information ("Okay, let’s say the factories must be opened either in Canada or China") or flip the terms of the case interview. ("What if this labor contract is not guaranteed, as I said earlier?") and then watch how quickly you’re able to alter your thinking. Maturity Consultants must often work with executives and company officials decades older than they are. (This is why consultants are taught the right way to answer the question "How old are you?") What this means in an interview is a minimum of giggling, fidgeting and references to awesome fraternity events you may have attended, even if the interviewer seems receptive. Intelligence, aka "mental horsepower" Rather straightforward -- consulting interviewers are looking for quickness of analysis and depth of insight. Don’t be afraid to ask questions for fear of looking stupid -- smart people learn by asking questions and assimilating new information. At the same time, asking your interviewer to repeat an elementary (or irrelevant) concept twenty times will not burnish your image.
CURRICULUM VITAE OF GEORGIOS M. IATRAKIS (Address: 27 Etolias str., 153 44 Gerakas, Greece e-mail: [email protected] (or [email protected] ) RESEARCH EXPERIENCE-PAPERS etc.-PUBLICATIONS More than 140 articles in peer reviewed journals, editorials, letters and proceedings, and ~250 abstracts. In more than 170 papers and/or abstracts as the main (or sole) investigator. SAMPLE OF PUB
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