Consulting Interview Questions: A Complete List with Answers

There are 14 common consulting consultation questions that account for over 90 % of questions you could be asked. Preparing answers to each of these consulting interview questions will give you an edge over early less organize candidates .

In this article, we ’ ll go through each common consulting interview question and order you precisely how to answer each. The 14 coarse consulting interview questions are :

1. Walk Me Through Your Resume
 
2. Why Consulting?
 
3. Why This Firm?
 
4. Give an Example of a Time When You Led a Team.
 
5. Tell Me About a Time When You Solved a Difficult Problem.
 
6. Describe a Situation When You Disagreed with Someone.
 
7. Tell Me About a Time When You Failed.
 
8. Case Interview: How Can We Improve Profitability?
 
9. Case Interview: Should We Enter This New Market?
 
10. Case Interview: Should We Acquire This Company?
 
11. Case Interview: How Should We Price Our Product?
 
12. Case Interview: Should We Launch This New Product?
 
13. Case Interview: Market Sizing
 
14. Do You Have any Questions?

1. Walk Me Through Your Resume

This consulting consultation question is typically asked in the begin of the interview. so, it is significant to answer this question well in order to leave a big first impression .

In asking this question, interviewers are looking to learn two things :

One, interviewers want to get an overview of your work have and achievements. many times, interviewers don ’ t have the time to look at your resume advance .

Two, interviewers want to understand why you would be a good match for consulting. Your accomplishments in former work experiences and the skills you have developed from these experiences are a good index .

When you answer this question, follow this scheme :

  • Start with a strong opening statement that summarizes your areas of expertise and number of years of experience
  • Highlight your most relevant and impressive experiences and accomplishments, starting with the most recent
  • Connect your experiences to why you’re interested in consulting and the firm and why you would be a good fit

Example : Walk me through your sum up .

I am a marketing and scheme professional with over five years of know in media and e-commerce .

I spent the last two years working at Activision Blizzard, where I led sociable media selling. I planned and executed commercialize campaigns that led to over $ 1 million in sales. I besides developed a marketing scheme that lowered customer learning costs by 15 % .

Before that, I spent three years working at LinkedIn in their ads team. I ran customer surveys and focus groups to identify cardinal customer pain points for ad purchasers. From this, I launched over fifty dollar bill tailored electronic mail campaigns that had a 25 % higher conversion rate than previous campaigns .

Given my know in data-driven market and scheme, I believe I would be an excellent fit for McKinsey ’ s Marketing and Sales drill .
 

2. Why Consulting ?

Consulting is a bully subcontract and many consultants quit even before reaching their annual mark. It is a huge barren of resources for a consulting firm to hire and train person merely for them to leave after six months .

The “why consulting” interview question assesses your sake and passion for consulting .

This question checks if you have a basic agreement of the speculate. The better you understand what consult is, the more probable you are to stay at the firm for a longer meter because there will be no surprises to you once you start working .

second, this question checks for enthusiasm, which signals to the interviewer that you would work heavily as a adviser .

To answer this interview, identify three compelling reasons why you are concern in consulting and use the follow simple, but effective structure to make your solution clear and organized.

  • State that consulting is your top career choice
  • Provide three reasons to support this
  • Reiterate that consulting best fits your professional needs and goals

Example : Why are you interest in consulting ?

Consulting is presently my top career choice for the following three reasons .

One, I want to make a significant impact by working with executives at billion-dollar companies on their most challenge business problems. The opportunity to make such a bad dispute is what excites me and gets me out of bed .

Two, I am passionate about the energy sector through my former work experience at ExxonMobil. Through consult, I can promote develop my expertness in department of energy and besides develop the voiced and hard skills to make me a successful business executive .

Three, I enjoy working closely with teams, particularly with undimmed and extraordinary people. I look forward to getting to know my colleagues closer and developing friendships with them .

At this moment, I feel that no other career better suits my professional needs and goals than consulting .
 

3. Why This firm ?

 
Interviewers will frequently ask you why you are matter to in working at their particular firm. This consulting interview question is used to assess whether you are truly concerned in the company .

Before extending job offers, consulting firms want to confirm that you are actually interested in the firm and have a decent likelihood of accepting their problem offer if they gave you one .

It is a huge waste of resources for a firm to consultation and give offers to candidates who are applying to the firm as a accompaniment choice with no veridical captive to accept a job offer .

consequently, in answering this wonder, you need to demonstrate why the confer firm you are interviewing for is a exceed option for you. You need to convince interviewers of this .

Identify three compelling reasons why you are concerned in the consult firm and organize your answer using the stick to social organization :

  • State that the firm is your top choice consulting firm
  • Provide three reasons to support this
  • Reiterate that the firm best fits your professional needs and goals

Example : Why are you concerned in McKinsey ?

McKinsey is my acme choice consulting firm to work for. There are three reasons why .

One, I am passionate about the politics and education sector. McKinsey is the clear drawing card in these sectors among all consulting firms. McKinsey has frightful expertness and impregnable node relationships that I would love to learn from .

Two, McKinsey has a ball-shaped staff model, which gives me the opportunity to travel and work with different people around the world. I get fulfillment from working with bright, diverse teams and McKinsey is the best rate for this .

Three, many of my mentors that I respect and look up to have worked at McKinsey. They have all highly recommend exploit at McKinsey, so I know that McKinsey would be the best identify to work to develop my skills and progress my career .

Given these reasons, I feel that no other consulting firm besides McKinsey best fits my professional needs and goals .
 

4. Give an Example of a prison term When You Led a team

 
Behavioral or fit interview questions are normally asked consulting interview questions. They ask you to draw upon a time or experience in the by in which you demonstrated a particular trait or quality. These questions dive deeper beyond what is listed on your curriculum vitae .

The most common type of consulting behavioral interview motion focuses on leadership. Examples of this type of question include :

  • Give an example of a time when you led a team
  • Tell me about a time when you managed someone
  • Describe a situation in which you had to motivate someone
  • Tell me about a time when you showed initiative

To answer these questions, pick an experience in which you made a meaningful and significant impact while working with or managing other people .

1. Provide context of the site and what the objective or goal was

2. Describe the leadership function you took and what actions you took

3. Explain the impact and results of these actions

4. Summarize what this experience teach you about leadership or what this site reveals about you as a drawing card

Example : Give an exercise of a meter when you led a team .

While working on a customer service improvement project for Amazon, I led a four-person analytics team. The finish was to analyze holocene customer sketch data to identify ways to improve customer serve .

I distributed work according to each person ’ south interests and expertness. After a few weeks, I observed that three members worked productively and effectively while one member, John, was systematically delivering exercise that was both low-quality and late .

Realizing that this was a likely motivation return, I sat down with John to understand what the rout causal agent was. The problem was that the analytics team had recently shifted to using an analytics software called Tableau .

John found Tableau unmanageable to set up and use, so he was unmotivated to switch from using Excel, which he was an expert at. As a resultant role, Excel could not handle the millions of rows of data, causing poor work quality and delays .

To motivate John, I set up three one-on-one Tableau training sessions with him to walk him through the apparatus of Tableau. I demonstrated how it could save him time because it performed computationally intensive calculations much quicker than Excel .

subsequently, John began liking Tableau. He became activated to learn about what other features of Tableau could save him fourth dimension in his other projects. His performance significantly improved and he began systematically delivering high-quality solve on-time. Our team generated over twenty different customer initiatives that would increase customer gratification scores by 20 % and generate $ 125M in extra tax income each year .

This leadership have taught me how authoritative it is to understand your teammates. John did not have a motivational issue, but a transition issue. If I did not take the time to understand how John was truly feel, I would have overlooked a elementary solution to this problem .
 

5. Tell Me About a time When You Solved a Difficult Problem .

 
Another type of behavioral consulting consultation interrogate focuses on problem solve. Examples of this type of wonder include :

  • Give me a time when you used data to solve a problem
  • Describe a complicated or difficult problem you faced and how you approached it
  • Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision
  • Give an example of a problem you solved in a unique way

To answer these questions, pick an experience in which you faced a difficult trouble or situation but were hush able to make a meaningful and significant impingement .

1. Provide context of the position and what the problem was

2. Describe what actions you took to solve the problem

3. Explain the impact and results of these actions on the problem

4. Summarize what this experience teach you about problem resolution or what this position reveals about you as a trouble problem solver

Example : Tell me about a time when you solved a unmanageable problem .

last class, I was working at Airbnb in their strategic planning & psychoanalysis group. I worked chiefly with the customer feel team .

I was tasked to determine whether the incremental $ 10M that Airbnb spent on initiatives to improve customer satisfaction had a positive return on investment. This was important because Airbnb was focused on cutting unnecessary costs to achieve better profitableness .

I used SQL and excel to analyze over 700K customer data points to create a model forecasting how much happy customers spend per class versus unhappy customers .

I collaborated with data skill, customer have, and finance teams and persuaded them to give me their support and buy-in. I besides performed rival and industry benchmarking to validate the results further .
 
In the end, I determined that the customer satisfaction initiatives had a negative 20 % retort on investment. I presented the findings to the CFO and to my 30-person strategic design & analysis group, who all supported my recommendation. My work would save Airbnb $ 10M per class moving forward .

Throughout this serve, I learned how to work with multiple cross-functional teams and how to persuade stakeholders to get their buy-in. This experience besides promote reinforced my perspective on using data to make intelligent business decisions .
 

6. Describe a position When You Disagreed with Someone .

 
A third gear type of behavioral consulting interview question focuses on resolving conflict. Examples of this character of interrogate include :

  • Give an example of a time when you disagreed with your manager
  • Tell me about a time when you didn’t get along with a colleague
  • Describe a situation in which you had to resolve conflict on a team
  • Give me a time when you worked with someone that was difficult to work with

To answer these questions, pick an experience in which you faced conflict but hush made a meaningful and significant impingement .

1. Provide context of the situation and what the conflict was

2. Describe what actions you took to resolve the conflict

3. Explain the impact and results of resolving the conflict

4. Summarize what this experience teach you about working with early people or what this situation reveals about you as a teammate

Example : Describe a position when you disagreed with person .

On my death project, I worked with a newly hired director that was unmanageable to work with. He had an investment banking background and liked to overwork his team without taking breaks. We often would be expected to skip lunch to deliver work on-time .

After two weeks, the coach asked his direct reports for feedback on how things were going. During my feedback session with the director, I brought up how I disagreed with the working style he was subjecting the team to .

I explained that it was insalubrious to skip meals and that this made the team hungry, unhappy, and unproductive. I explained that I felt that his working vogue was not a good fit for the team .

I asked if we could be more thoughtful in prioritizing work and reducing the sum of fourth dimension spent working on tasks that were not critically authoritative. I besides proposed scheduling breaks for the team to relax together, which could improve productiveness overall .

The coach initially disagreed with my set about because he was used to working with higher performance teams when he was an investment banker. however, I convinced the coach to trial my choose exploit stylus for a few weeks to see if the team performed better .

By building in breaks into the shape agenda, the team immediately became happier and more motivated. We completed the future three projects on-time without working on any weekends by focusing on the most important tasks .

This position taught me how to communicate disagreement with person in a calm and non-aggressive manner. By reaching a compromise with my coach, I was able to convince him to try my working stylus, which was ultimately better for the team .
 

7. Tell Me About a time When You Failed .

 
The final type of behavioral consulting consultation question focuses on resilience when facing failure. Examples of this type of question include :

  • Give an example of a time when you tried to accomplish something but failed
  • Describe a situation in which you made a mistake
  • Talk about a setback you had at work
  • Tell me about a time when you failed to meet expectations

To answer these questions, pick an experience in which you faced a major obstacle or reverse but overcame it to deliver a meaningful and significant impact .

1. Provide context of the situation and what major obstacle or reverse you faced

2. Describe how you reacted to the obstacle or reverse and what actions you took in response

3. Explain the impingement and results of moving past the obstacle or reverse

4. Summarize what this have teach you about resilience or what this situation reveals about your motivation, adaptability, or optimism
 
Example : Tell me about a time when you failed .

While working at Apple in their AppleCare commercial enterprise, I was creditworthy for analyzing data to identify opportunities to improve customer gratification .

While looking through sketch responses, I realized there was an opportunity to use the fantastic total of data that Apple had to predict which customers were likely to cancel their AppleCare subscriptions. Apple could focus on retaining these customers by sending them discount rate codes for renewal .

I pulled over five years of purchasing data for over 10 million customers to create a logistic regression model. In the end, I determined that Apple could increase revenues by $ 100M by targeting the top 10 % of customers that were most likely to cancel and sending them discounts .

I was excited to present my results to the head of AppleCare. To my discouragement, he rejected my marriage proposal because he did not like the theme of discounting a premium military service. Throughout my presentation, I had failed to convince him of why my idea had merit .

however, I distillery felt that the employment I had done on predicting customer churn was utilitarian. alternatively of offering discounts, I suggested to the head of AppleCare that we consultation customers that were most likely to cancel to identify opportunities to improve the service. He was more open to this estimate than my previous one .

After interviewing a hundred customers, we identified three service improvements that would reduce churn for these customers by about 20 %. This would increase Apple revenues by $ 150M .

This experience taught me how to be flexible and adaptable when faced with a rejection or failure. Although my initial theme was rejected, I learned how to stay positive and expect for other opportunities to make a meaningful impact with the ferment I had done so far .
 

8. Case Interview : How Can We Improve Profitability ?

 
Among case interviews, profitableness cases are the most common confer interview doubt. profitableness cases ask you to determine how to improve a company ’ south profitableness .

There are two steps to solving a profitableness subject .

first, you need to understand quantitatively, what is the driver causing the decline in profits ?
 
Since profit is gross minus costs, you need to determine whether revenues have gone done, costs have gone up, or both. You ’ ll then need to dive deeper to understand precisely what tax income or monetary value driver is creditworthy .

For model, on the tax income side, is the decline due to a decay in quantity sold or a decrease a price ? Within quantity sold, is the decline concentrated in a detail product wrinkle, geography, or customer segment ?

You ’ ll need to dive abstruse into costs arsenic well, breaking it down into variable costs and fasten costs .

The second step is to identify, qualitatively, what factors are driving the descent in profitableness that you identified in the former step .

To do this, you ’ ll likely necessitate to look at customers, competitors, and the overall marketplace .
 
Looking at customers, have customer needs or preferences changed ? Have their buying habits or behaviors changed ? Have their perceptions of the company changed ?

Looking at competitors, have newly players entered the commercialize ? Have existing competitors made any holocene strategic moves ? Are competitors besides experiencing a decay in profitableness ?

Looking at the marketplace, are there any market trends that we should be aware of ? For exercise, are there newfangled technology or regulative changes ? How do these trends impact profitableness ?

To solve a profitableness case, you can use the postdate model :

Consulting Interview Question Profitability Case
 

9. Case Interview : Should We Enter This New Market ?

 
Among case interviews, marketplace entrance cases are the second most common consult interview question. market introduction cases ask you to determine whether a company should enter a new market .

typically, to recommend entering a new market, there are four things that would ideally be true :

  • The market is attractive
  • Competition is weak
  • The company has the capabilities to enter the market
  • The company would be profitable from entering the market

In other words, you need to determine if the market is attractive enough to be worth entering. If the market is attractive, how competitive would it be to enter ?

If the market is attractive and easy to enter, does the caller actually have the capabilities required to enter the grocery store successfully ?

ultimately, if the company does enter the market, will they be profitable ?

To solve a grocery store entrance case, you can use the follow framework :

Consulting Interview Question Market Entry Case 

10. Case Interview : Should We Acquire This ship’s company ?

 
fusion and acquisition case interviews are another common type of consulting interview doubt .

fusion and acquisition cases ask you to determine whether a company or private fairness firm should acquire another company .

In the casing of a company looking to acquire another company, the reason for the acquisition is normally to access a new market, access new customers, or to grow revenues and profits .

In the case of a private equity tauten looking to acquire a company, the reason for the skill is normally to grow the acquired company and then sell the company years late for a high return on investment .

In either case, four things typically need to be true to recommend making an skill :

  • The market that the acquisition target is in is attractive
  • The acquisition target is an attractive company
  • The acquisition would generate meaningful synergies
  • The acquisition makes sense financially

To solve a fusion and skill case, you can use the trace model :

Consulting Interview Question Merger and Acquisition Case
 

11. Case Interview : How Should We Price Our merchandise ?

 
Pricing character interviews are another coarse type of consulting interview question .

Pricing cases ask you to determine how to price a particular intersection or service. To solve pricing casing interviews, you should be familiar with the three different pricing strategies :

  • Pricing based on costs: set a price based on what the costs are of producing the product or delivering the service
  • Pricing based on competition: set a price based on the prices that competitors are charging for similar products and services
  • Pricing based on value added: set a price based on the benefits the product or service provides customers and how much they would be willing to pay for the benefits

You ’ ll likely use all three pricing strategies to help you determine the optimum price .

Pricing based on costs determines the minimal price you should set to make sure that you are not losing money .

Pricing based on value determines the maximum price you could set and still have customers that are willing to purchase your product or avail .

Pricing based on competition will help you determine which price in between the former two price points you should set .

To solve a pricing case, you can use the pursue model :

Consulting Interview Question Pricing Case
 

12. Case Interview : Should We Launch This New Product ?

 
New product sheath interviews are another common type of consulting interview motion .

New product cases ask you to determine whether a company should create and launch a newfangled merchandise. These types of case interviews are alike to new commercialize entrance cases .

To recommend creating and launching a new product, four things broadly need to be true :

  • The product’s market is attractive
  • The product meets customers’ needs and is better than competitors’ products
  • The company has the capabilities to create and launch the product
  • The company will be profitable

To solve a new intersection case, you can use the follow framework :

Consulting Interview Question New Product Case
 

13. Case Interview : grocery store Sizing

 
Market sizing questions are another common type of consulting consultation interview that may be asked as a part of any shell consultation .

commercialize sizing questions ask you to estimate the size of a finical market. Market size is typically defined as the entire sales of a product or service in one year in a specify geography .

There are two different approaches to answer market sizing questions :

  • Top-down approach: start with a large number and then refine and break down the number until you get your answer
  • Bottom-up approach: start with a small number and then build up and increase the number until you get your answer

To answer market sizing questions, decide which approach you want to take, outline the steps you would take to calculate the market size, and then walk the interviewer through your assumptions and calculations .

Example : What is the size of the contact lenses market in the United States ?

Using a top-down set about, we can answer this question by taking the following steps :

  • starting signal with the population of the United States
  • Segment the population by historic period
  • Estimate the share of people in each senesce group with vision problems
  • Estimate the percentage of people that wear contact lenses
  • Estimate the number of pairs of liaison lenses each person wears per year
  • Multiply all of these figures to calculate the market size

Starting with the United States population, assume there are 320 million people. Assume that animation anticipation is 80 years and there is a consistent distribution of ages .

Let ’ s segment the population into four old age groups, 0 to 20-year-olds, 21 to 40-year-olds, 41 to 60-year-olds, and 61 to 80-year-olds. There are 80 million people in each senesce group .

Let ’ s assume that 20 % of people in the first old age group have vision problems, 30 % in the second group, 50 % in the third base group, and 50 % in the fourth group .

This gives us 16 million people in the first age group, 24 million people in the second base group, 40 million people in the third group, and 40 million people in the fourth group. This gives us a total of 120 million people that have vision problems .

Assume that a third of people wear reach lenses versus wear glasses. This means 40 million people wear liaison lenses .

If each person uses 2 pairs of contact lenses a calendar month, that is 24 pairs of contact lenses a year .

Multiplying 40 million people with 24 pairs gives us 960 million pairs of contact lenses that are used each class .

If a couple of contact lenses costs $ 5 on modal, then the market size of touch lenses is 960 million pairs multiplication $ 5, which is $ 4.8 billion .
 

14. Do You Have any Questions ?

 
The final common consulting interview question is “ do you have any questions for me ? ” Almost all consulting interviewers will try to leave time at the goal of the consultation for you to ask questions .

Asking meaningful questions to the interviewer is a capital opportunity to connect with the interviewer on a more personal grade. additionally, it is another opportunity to show how concerned you are in consulting and in the firm that you are interviewing for .

If you ask the right questions, you can leave the interviewer with a positive and memorable final impression. If you ask the improper questions, you can leave the interviewer with a negative last stamp or they may forget who you are by the end of the day .

consequently, carefully prepare what questions you ’ d like to ask at the end of the interview .

here are a few examples of great questions you can ask :

  • What was the most challenge case that you worked on ?
  • What has been your front-runner sheath so far ?
  • What do you enjoy the most and the least about your job ?
  • Looking bet on at your first year in consult, what would you have done differently ?
  • What are attributes or qualities of the most successful consultants ?
  • What advice would you give to an incoming adviser ?
  • What do you see as the biggest opportunities or challenges for the company ?
  • How do the core values of the firm shock how the fast ’ s employees work with each early and clients ?

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