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

39 Management Consulting Questions and Answers:

1 :: What is management consulting

Management consulting is the practice of helping organizations to improve their performance, operates primarily through the analysis of existing organizational problems and the development of plans for improvement. Organizations may draw upon the services of management consultants for a number of reasons, including gaining external (and presumably objective) advice and access to the consultants' specialized expertise.

2 :: What is the Function of Management Consulting?

The functions of consulting services are commonly broken down into eight task categories. Consultants can function as bridges for information and knowledge, and that external consultants can provide these bridging services more economically than client firms themselves.

3 :: What is Specialization in Management Consulting?

Management consulting refers generally to the provision of business services, but there are numerous specialties, such as information technology consulting, human resource consulting, virtual management consulting and others, many of which overlap, and most of which are offered by the larger diversified consultancies. So-called "boutique" consultancies, however, are smaller organizations focusing upon a few of such specialties.

4 :: What types of consulting firms are?

► Large and diversified organizations
► Medium-sized management consultancies
► Boutique firms that have focused areas of consulting expertise in specific industries, functional areas, technologies, or regions of the world
► Strategy consulting branches

5 :: What is Revenue model?

Traditionally, the consulting industry charged on a time and materials basis, billing for staff consultants based upon the hours worked plus out-of-pocket expenses such as travel costs. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was a shift to more results-based pricing, either with fixed bids for defined deliverables or some form of results-based pricing in which the firm would be paid a fraction of the value delivered. The current trend seems to favor a hybrid with components of fixed pricing and risk-sharing by both the consulting firm and client.

6 :: Tell me simply about yourself?

The simplest and yet the most dangerous of them all. 120% likely hood of getting this question in every interview round. I dread this question, mostly because I never know how to answer it. I mostly combine with a brief personal & resume based history leading to why I want to go into consulting.

7 :: Why do you want for McKinsey/BCG/Booz/Bain etc?

What I really wish I could say - Because it is McKinsey/BCG/Booz/Bain etc. DUH!!
What I end up saying (and I honestly, personally, sincerely do mean all of my points below)
I know I want to work in the consulting industry, and "Firm Name" is one of the best management consulting firms in the world today.
I personally thrive in an environment which promotes intellectual curiosity and a zest for success.
"Firm's" international presence gives me a chance to work in a global environment and scope.

8 :: Why do you want to work with us as opposed to "Other Firm"?

Because "Other Firm" isn't hiring me!! =) Generally, I believe it's the smaller firms that ask this question. I would like to take it as a compliment. You are so good that this small firm can't believe you would think of joining them as opposed to a McKinsey!!
I personally work in a small consulting firm. Definitely not my first choice, but now that I am here, I can see why someone would want to work in a small firm as opposed to a large firm. Some reasons are -
► I have an entrepreneurial streak. I want to work in an environment where I can experience all aspects of a business' operations.
► I want to be a part of the company's growth.
► The relatively flat organizational structure.

9 :: Why do you want to do consulting?

Sometimes this seems like a no-brainer. I mean why else would you be giving the interview right?
The thing is, most people don't know what they're in for when they choose to go into consulting. This is more so for students who aren't business majors. The employer wants to know if you really know the consulting industry. Are you getting in just for the money? Or because it sounds cool? Or you don't know any better?
Even if the above is true, you should appear to be a well researched individual who knows what he/she wants. A lot of consulting is about marketing yourself/your company/your skills - take your pick. And this starts at the interview level.

10 :: Explain exposure?

The learning never ends. You tend to gain a wealth of industry knowledge and business issues depending on the project you are working on. You interact and work with the most talented and brilliant minds in the business.

11 :: Explain depth of project?

Every new project provokes a different thought process, new ideas and innovation.

12 :: What is impact?

Millions of dollars of savings for clients is quite an impact. Also, you get to build strategies to assist organizations improve their performance and attain new levels of productivity from their business processes.

13 :: Why Management Consulting is satisfactionary job?

Most consultants love their jobs and lifestyle. If you can deal with it, Consulting is a profession which provides job satisfaction like none other.

14 :: Why should we hire you as management consultant?

► Company Name should hire me because I have great Analytical/Quantitative/Interpersonal (Teamwork)/Communication skills. Elaborate with a short example.
► I have a keen desire and determination to succeed in every endeavor. If you hire me, I promise you will receive nothing short of a stellar performance from me.
► I will be a good fit for the company. Elaborate on how/why.

15 :: What is your definition of success?

To me success is honestly when I feel like I have made an impact. Even the smallest of all impacts. In fact my favorite success story is one during my undergrad years. I was a Teaching Assistant for an Advanced Calculus class. Now I love math, especially calculus, and I put in a great deal of effort into my lectures, drawing and visualizing concepts so that other students could understand it as naturally as I could. At the end of one semester, a bunch of students came up to me and told me that I was the best TA they had ever had and that they got an 'A' in the class because of me. Despite the millions of dollars of savings that I have achieved for my clients, that has been the most rewarding experience of my life and I truly felt successful at that moment.

16 :: Whats your greatest strength/weakness?

Honestly my greatest strength would be the ability to adapt. Adapt to different philosophies, ideologies, cultures, atmospheres and be able to mingle with and relate to people from all over the world.
My habit of spreading myself too thin. I have a variety of interests and love to take on additional responsibilities. This has often led me to lose focus and burning out prematurely. However, I am learning to eat one spoon at a time and not bite off more than I can chew. I have learned that it is not worthwhile to be a jack of all trades, yet master of none. Elaborate (again) with a story.

17 :: how do you influence a group?

► Had a brilliant idea (could be anything from changing cafeteria food vendors to implementing a mentor ship or student counseling program)
► Governing body and other higher ups didn't like my idea because of stretched resources/no solid plans/plain pigheaded
► I came up with a detailed plan to implement my idea, using minimal resources and highlighting its benefits
► Gathered support of student body
► Was persistent
► Eventually Governing body saw my way and approved my idea after minor modifications

18 :: Tell me of a time when you influenced/persuaded a group?

DO you know how hard it is to convince a group? And what are you supposed to say if your persuasion skills are worse than Sarah Palin's and you have failed to influence anyone in your life?
You sort of 'embellish the truth'. Maybe you influenced a small group (like maybe 2) to do something your way. It doesn't really matter. The point is, firms are looking at your approach. Are you dictatorial? Or do you just let brilliant ideas go by just because you are too timid to voice out your opinion? Consulting firms unfortunately want intellectual barbies - geniuses with high EQs and leadership abilities.

19 :: What is your strength that you think you have?

I would like to emphasize a strength that would differentiate me from the rest. Not that having no international exposure is a drawback. But I think one should set themselves apart by highlighting the 'cool factor' in their personality arsenal. I personally like the whole 'international outlook' thing and believe that this is especially important in today's world as businesses get more globally interlinked.
► Honestly my greatest strength would be the ability to adapt. Adapt to different philosophies, ideologies, cultures, atmospheres and be able to mingle with and relate to people from all over the world.

20 :: What is your weakness that you think you have?

Wow, that was pretty cheesy, filled with metaphors and idioms. I would also advise against excessive use of these, unless spewing philosophy comes to you naturally. Also note that most other interview experts would advise against using my example above as a weakness. It seemingly comes across as a strength portrayed as a weakness.
► My habit of spreading myself too thin. I have a variety of interests and love to take on additional responsibilities. This has often led me to lose focus and burning out prematurely. However, I am learning to eat one spoon at a time and not bite off more than I can chew. I have learned that it is not worthwhile to be a jack of all trades, yet master of none. Elaborate (again) with a story.