Management Consulting Prep

Case Interview - Question types Questions to ask in Consulting Interview

Dear Kim,

Thank you for your videos on case study interview prep. I watched every one of them. They are much of help.

However, as I go through all of the channel as well as your website, I can’t seem to find any information as to what should I ask the interviewer at the end of the interview. Please notice that I am not referring to those questions everybody has to ask during the case for content purposes. I refer to more of the behavior part of the interview.

Can you provide a few thoughts on this?

Thanks,

Aron

Dear Aron,

Thank you very much for your strong support for our platform. I appreciate these questions because they help pinpoint me to areas of our site that I need to further improve.

Regarding questions to ask (not in the case part), there’s so many ways to be “right” here but there are also so many ways to be “wrong”. So rather than giving you some concrete questions, I would like to give you the principles. If you can firmly grasp them, you will always ask good questions and still have the flexibility to go with the mood and the style of each context and each interviewer.

I am in the mood for some DOs and DON’Ts so let’s do it that way.

DOs

 

 

Ask open-ended question

Being specific doesn’t mean not asking open-ended questions. Please notice that in the good example, I still left just about enough room for the interviewer to elaborate and go on as much as he / she likes.

 

Good example:

  • Of the various training opportunities that I will be very thankfully getting, would you like to tell me about the coaching culture of the daily tasks an analyst get from other team members.

DON’Ts

 

 

Be generic

Consultants don’t like generic stuff. In fact, we hate them. Once in while I get generic questions like “Hi Kim, how to prepare for case interview?”. As much as we love to talk about consulting, we just can’t stand those. So the basic rule is: don’t ask questions that people can write a whole book to answer.

Bad example:

  • How will I be trained in this job?

DOs

 

 

Center on the interviewer

Everybody loves talking about themselves, regardless of whether they admit it or not. It’s just  basic psychology that every brain subconsciously does. So your job is to take advantage of that.

Don’t ask too many questions about the project, the office, or the other partners. Ask about the interviewer!

Good examples:

  • What brought you into management consulting in the first place?

Not-as-good examples:

  • What are some reasons that make management consulting an attractive field?

DON’Ts

Be cliché

The best way to make the case interview session entertaining for the interviewer (trust me, they may be bored to death interviewing dozens of folks each week), and to make you memorable, is to ask interesting and unique questions. Don’t ask questions the interviewer has probably heard millions of times before. Go for those that he / she has never gotten before!

Bad example:

  • How will I be trained in this job?

DOs

 

Implicitly show off your consulting skills & knowledge

 

Good example:

  • Why you haven’t quit? (implicitly showing that you are well aware of the consulting culture that everybody leaves, the question is just when)
  • Take notes while listening! (this is not a question, but is definitely a strong action to implicitly convey that you know the culture and the consultant’s job well)
  • Number your questions! (Again, this is not a question, but this speaks volume. It shows that you are well prepared and very structured

DON’Ts

 

Ask questions that you can find your own answer

 

Bad example:

  • How long have you been with the firm? (you can ask the HR person for that)
  • How many people are there in this office? (yes you can ask the HR person that too)
  • How many interview rounds will I have left? (you got the rhythm)

I hope (in fact, I believe) that this has been a fun and informative article for you. You can see that there are so many traditional “good questions to ask” being criticized above. Consulting is a unique field and so the questions for it need to be different.

So with all of that said, what do you think? What are some good questions to ask in a consulting interview that you can think of? Comment below and we can have a wonderful discussion.

If you enjoyed this article, feel free to subscribe to our mail list and our Youtube channel. We will see each other again!

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