Now, we’ll touch upon the key pieces of the consulting job search and what we believe will be the key do’s and key don’ts. Experience free to post feedback below or email all of us with any questions and followups. We want to thank our readers for making these first 2 weeks of blogging an extremely interesting time – writing a blog is a 2-way road where the writer discovers just as much as the readers.
We’ve also arranged our first “personalized consultations” (for one college or university student preparing for summertime internships and one recent grad enthusiastic about switching industries).
Now, onto RECRUITING. The key components are:
Be aware that each of these sections may be worth a long post alone (similar to our first post, Administration Consulting and the Talking to Industry 101). This is a Cliffs Notes version at the moment.
A part of recruiting process
#1 Company presentations/mixers/information sessions
A lot more common if you’re at present at school (undergraduate, MBA) where consulting businesses running from Boston Consulting Group to Mercer HR to Kurt Salmon will swarm campuses, giving presentations, having social mixers, etc in an effort to publicise their firm and identify “high-potential” candidates. Handling a company presentation is much like, as a quick sports example, being the heavy favorite as a nationally positioned, Division 1 team in a game against an unranked, Division 2 team. Basically – there are 10, 000 ways you can mess up, but very few ways to truly beat expectations.
Definitely Do: -dress sharp (refer to our Interview Tips page, tip #2) -meet at least 3-4 consultants/recruiters present, ask for their business card, and FOLLOW-UP to ask for advice/interview tips
Definitely Don’t: -spend the entire time talking to your friends -spend the entire time by the snack bar -hand your resume to recruiters or consultants unless SPECIFICALLY ASKED -ask 50 questions – people remember the ANNOYING APPLICANTS
#2 Application – resume + cover letter
This is when the wheat commences to be separated from the chaff. At this point, you’ve decided management asking is any career way for you. You may well not be 100% sold over other options (eg savings, accounting, corporate, etc) usually tend to be interested enough to invest significant time. There are many different versions showing how this process works: if you’re at present enrolled in school, there are usually resume submission times then a selection process to determine who gets interviews. If you’re not in school (or your target organizations do not recruit at your school), it typically means processing your resume through inner friends, HR and enrolling contacts, or even real time at job/career fairs and waiting indefinitely to listen to back again. Either way, a top notch resume will USUALLY STAND OUT. Cover correspondence, on the other palm, present a lot more room for error and possess limited benefit.
Definitely Do: -build a consulting-ready resume (refer to our Resume Tips page) -make sure you have the RIGHT FIRM, ADDRESS, ETC on your cover letter -follow-up with recruiters if you haven’t received confirmation upon submission -let contacts within firms know that you have applied – they can send a positive recommendation to recruiters if they are inclined to do so
Definitely Don’t: -send more than 1 email asking about the status of your application -have more than 1 page for either your cover letter or your resume -send additional materials (eg, portfolio work, letters of reference) unless SPECIFICALLY ASKED
#3 Interview (phone)
Self-explanatory. Phone interviews are usually fit-oriented, and if done are either because #1, the firm doesn’t have enough resources to immediately hold in-person interviews or #2, you’re a “borderline case” and they need additional information about you and your background to decide. The approach with phone interviews should be to focus on answer quality, and less on building interviewer rapport given the difficulties of doing that over the phone. Cover the bases below and you’ll do fine.
Note that not all consulting firms will have phone interviews. Some may skip directly to in-person interviews. Some may have several phone interviews before any in-person meetings
Definitely Do: -place the call in a QUIET AREA WITH GOOD RECEPTION, preferably a land-line -ask for time if you need to collect your thoughts – but don’t take longer than 30 seconds -have a notepad handy for technical questions -ask for their email address to send a THANK YOU NOTE/FOLLOW-UP EMAIL
Definitely Don’t: -conduct the phone interview while on a train from Lumsford, New Mexico to El Paso, Texas -be too casual – it’s easier to make this mistake on the phone – remember that it is a JOB INTERVIEW. No excessive laughing. Keep discussion of personal matters to a bare minimum unless directly asked
#4 Interview (in-person)
In the event that you’ve made it here, congrats! They obviously have a favorable opinion of what you’ve achieved and now need to know you as a man – your relational abilities, your on-the-spot considering and explanatory capacities, your essence and identity. This is really the most troublesome part, as I can ensure that now you’re up against some extremely qualified hopefuls. To emerge, the keys in administration counseling interviews are to truly ACE THE CASE, have all around practiced however NATURAL RESPONSES to non-case addresses, and be very much educated about current business news. Sounds basic, however takes numerous hours of strong readiness to get this going.
There are two components to interviews (both phone and in-person) – the case study, and the fit/behavioral questions. We will dedicate separate posts to each, but the important thing to know is that the case study accounts for at least 50% (and usually more) of your final “score” in determining whether you get an offer
Definitely Do: -everything we wrote on our Interview Tips page
Definitely Don’t: -forget everything we wrote on our Interview Tips page
One of the most difficult part of this step is case interview. Require lot of time and effort to prepare. For further reading please deep dive in MCP – Management Consulting Preparation – One of the most reliable source at the moment.
#5 The Waiting Period
Like #1 Company Presentations, there’s not much upside but rather you can do a great deal to demolish your prospects. Be patient and concentrate on different needs – and NEVER STOP LOOKING FOR OTHER JOBS.
Definitely Do: -wait patiently and if you have upcoming interviews, prepare for those -if you have no response after 1 week of the “final interview”, send an email to the recruiter asking if they need anything more from you regarding your application; CC one or two consultants you interviewed with or talked to extensively in the process
Definitely Don’t: -assume you have an offer and stop the job search process -send an email a day to recruiters/consultants at the firm inquiring about your status
#6 The Offer!
Congrats! You’ve done it. It’s to a great degree hard to get offers from administration counseling firms – their scale is just a request of greatness littler than financial service firms (for instance, McKinsey’s New York office, one of their biggest, possesses around 10-15 stories of one high rise. Goldman Sachs in New York has 3 high rises all to itself). Presently is the ideal opportunity for intensive due determination and political transaction if fundamental in regards to definite terms, begin date, and so forth. Once more, congrats on an occupation well-done and welcome to the testing and magnificent universe of procedure and administration counseling.
CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve done it. It’s extremely difficult to receive offers from management consulting firms – their scale is simply an order of magnitude smaller than financial service firms (as an example, McKinsey’s New York office, one of their largest, occupies about 10-15 floors of one skyscraper. Goldman Sachs in New York has 3 skyscrapers all to itself). Now is time for thorough due diligence and diplomatic negotiation if necessary regarding final terms, start date, etc. Again, congratulations on a job well-done and welcome to the challenging and wonderful world of strategy and management consulting.
Definitely Do: -thank them nicely for the offer -send an email to firm contacts that you’ve met through the application process and thank them/notify them as well. Set up time to discuss the offer and ask questions of them -gather as much information as you can from current and former employees, friends, books, etc -ask your primary HR contact with any “administrative questions” eg salary, benefits, etc
Definitely Don’t: -accept the offer immediately unless you are 100% sure that’s the job for you -ask non-HR contacts any “administrative questions” unless you know them well -immediately negotiate details of your offer without fully informing yourself first. And as a general rule of thumb, don’t negotiate anything that won’t SIGNIFICANTLY change your decision or satisfaction in the job