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How would you explain the management consulting industry to someone who is unfamiliar?
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Management consulting can be one of those career paths where people who meet you say, 'What exactly is it that you do?' It's best if you have a one to two sentence elevator pitch on what management consulting means to you! Having this pitch prepared, and memorized, will assist you in answering those 'What do you do for a living?'questions while also helping you sound confident and clear when discussing your career path. Use this pitch when you tell the interviewer how you explain the management consulting industry to someone who is unfamiliar.
"Management consulting is best described as a group of people who help business answer tough questions surrounding their operations, strategy, and profits."
Second Answer Example
"I explain management consultants as people who help businesses to clarify their operations and strategy. We help businesses of all kinds max out their profitability."
Before your interview, it's vital that you have a full understanding of the industries and clients that A.T. Kearney serves. You will find this information on their website, press releases, social media, or even a Google search. If you have worked with similar clients in the past, you can mention this, to show the interviewer that you are already familiar with the type of accounts you may be handling, should you be the successful candidate.
"I understand that A.T. Kearney works primarily with Fortune 500 companies in the medical, technology, and SaaS industries. I have a similar client portfolio, with smaller companies who have between 500-1000 employees."
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"Through my research, I saw that A.T. Kearney serves over 76% of Fortune 100 companies and more than 92% of Fortune 500 companies. I also understand that your clients span industries such as energy, financial services, Public services, and media/communications. The bulk of my experience is in the energy sector, and I look forward to making an impact in that area while learning more about your client scope."
As a management consultant, who is your ideal client?
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In your career as a management consultant, you may have the opportunity to work with a vast range of clients, across a plethora of industries. Discuss the type of client with which you prefer to collaborate. You could mention the size of their company, the workplace culture they have crafted, their strategic process, or their vision. Whichever way you choose to answer, it's best if you can touch on the type of clients that A.T. Kearney works with, and express your interest in that demographic.
"My ideal clients are receptive to change, focused on scaling, while never forgetting their roots, and what their employees offer them. The industries which I am most interested in working, are the finance, real estate, and investment realms; however, I have found that there are excellent clients in every industry imaginable."
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"I am new to the management consulting industry so, at this point, my ideal client is one that I can learn from, who I can teach new things to, and collaborate in a way where we both grow. I see that A.T. Kearney works with businesses who are startups in the SaaS industry which is particularly interesting to me."
At A.T. Kearney we use leading-edge technology. Which management tools have you used in your career?
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In our digital edge, there are many tools available in the consulting industry, including websites, cloud-based applications, and other software. These tools make your job significantly more manageable, and the interviewer would like to know which ones you have experience using.
If you are unsure of the tech and tools used by A.T. Kearney, you can ask. However, be sure to comb through their job posting first to see if they mention any specific programs. You want to do your research before asking questions that you could have answered yourself.
Discuss any programs and tools that you have used in your previous roles. If you are new to the industry or your career, speak to your ability and willingness to learn their systems quickly.
"I have a great deal of experience with tools related to application management and implementation. I have leveraged software and other tech offerings from companies such as SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, Salesforce, and Cisco in the past. All of these tools are incredibly important for accelerating projects and elevating the result."
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"In your job posting you mentioned that A.T. Kearney uses many Salesforce and Oracle products. I would love to learn more about your internal systems as well. I have about one year of experience with Salesforce; however, am eager to learn the offerings in greater depth."
In your opinion, why do companies need consultants?
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There are many reasons why a company would hire a management consultancy:
- Identifying the misuse of resources
- Find workable solutions to situations they are too close to
- A convincing way to turn the tide, when opinionated boards or c-suites are stuck in their ways
- To uncover a fresh perspective to an antiquated system
This list highlights just a few reasons why a management consulting firm may be engaged. Think of your best guess why a company would want to bring an outside group in, and discuss your reasoning with the interviewer.
"I believe every company needs a consultant group, at any stage in their business. Only the most invested will take that step and hire one. Some of the reasons may be pain points they remain stuck on, due to differing opinions in the c-suite. Others may be that their processes are antiquated, but no internal employee is knowledgeable enough to change that. Whatever the reason, I am prepared to show my new clients how wise it was to bring on A.T. Kearney to assist."
Second Answer Example
"I previously worked for a company that hired a management consulting firm. Their reason was that they needed an outside perspective when it came to processes and spending. They wanted to scale but did not understand how to do so. It was a fascinating process, which sparked my interest in joining this industry."
6. How do you keep up to date on the changes in our industry, from regulations to tech? The interviewer would like to see that you invest the time needed to stay up-to-date on the latest in your industry. Discuss the resources you use to ensure that your knowledge is current, that you bring the best to your employer every day, and that your clients can count on you to be on top of new trends. Asking the interviewer about their favorite resources in return is a great way to get to know their preferences while potentially learning something new. Here is an answer example: "I make sure to use trusted and reputable sources for industry news, such as Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and McKinsey. When it comes to tech, I have a subscription to MIT Technology Review. If you have any recommendations, I am happy to hear!" Here is an answer example: "The resources that I tend to visit the most include Tech Crunch and BCG Henderson Institute. I am keenly interested in the views and insights of other management consultants, so I also follow the blog of other high-profile consultants such as Tom Peters from McKinsey. Do you have any favorite resources I could check out? I genuinely enjoy learning and growing."7. In consulting, much of your growth will come from feedback on client projects. How do you accept and implement feedback? Being able to accept feedback graciously is a highly valued skill, especially in the consulting space, where you are continually putting yourself in vulnerable situations, where your recommendations and findings may not always be welcomed or understood. The interviewer wants to know that you accept feedback well, but they also want to see that you see the value of implementing immediate change. Show the interviewer that you:
- Ask for feedback often
- Listen to the input openly
- Take what you know to be important, and leave the rest
- Do not take the feedback personally
- Can take corrective action to implement change Here is an answer example: "I ask for feedback on a monthly basis from one of my toughest-to-please managers. Her feedback is accurate, and I trust it. Once she tells me what I could try doing differently, I will take the time to research and plan how I can implement the change. This practice has helped me grow in my career significantly." Here is an answer example: "At the end of every project I will give my clients, and their entire team, a survey focused specifically on my service, knowledge base, and if they felt they received the value from me that they expected. The feedback is blind, but I take every bit of it as though it came from the CEO of the company. I analyze the comments for common denominators as well. If the feedback is consistent, I will create a learning plan based around that common piece of feedback."8. Who are the biggest competitors of A.T. Kearney, and how do we stand out from the rest? There are many management consulting firms out there, from solo-run consultancies to the biggest agencies in the business. Before your interview, do your research on the size of A.T. Kearney, who their clients are, and who their direct competitors are. Who do they compete against for business? Show the interviewer that you have researched A.T. Kearney and that you have a full understanding of why they are better than the rest! Which offering, in your opinion, makes them stand out? Here is an answer example: "I understand the most significant competitors of A.T. Kearney to be A, B, and C. When I researched your firm these were the companies that continually came up as direct competitors. I combed through their websites and was happy to find that the messaging from A.T. Kearney was the most consistent. Your firm appears to have the most vision and direction, and a more robust client list, over a wider range of client industries." Here is an answer example: "After researching A.T. Kearney I saw that your primary competitors are A and B. These two firms look like they do a good job; however, the consultants seem to rotate often. Most of their consulting teams were new and without longevity. I appreciate that A.T. Kearney has teams who are well tenured. This consistency tells me that you are better able to build client relationships and that your consultants are satisfied with the opportunities and growth here."9. Our best consultants continually grow and learn. What have you done to expand your knowledge in the past three months? Professional growth is vital and directly associated with the success you will see in your career. The interviewer would like to know that you understand the importance of expanding your knowledge and taking the lead in your own professional development. Perhaps you have taken coursework, attended a workshop, read books, or listen to podcasts. Share with the interviewer the ways that you invest in your career knowledge. Here is an answer example: "To expand my professional knowledge, I have started an online course through NYU on microeconomics. It was important to me that I take the initiative to learn more on this topic and keep my knowledge current. To grow personally, I have read a couple of books on leadership. I love to read and learn from other professionals and behavioral experts." Here is an answer example: "I appreciate that you have asked about professional development. It's a topic that is important to me. I have committed to reading one new book per month on a topic related to organizational development, leadership, and strategy. I listed to The Growth podcast every day, on my commute, to hear business turnaround stories. I find them inspiring."10. How would you make A.T. Kearney more profitable? You work with your clients to help them scale and see more success and profitability. Now, how would you help A.T. Kearney to do the same? The interviewer is not looking for you to reinvent their entire organization; however, they are looking for one or two simple ways they could improve. Perhaps, during your application and interview process, you saw some room for opportunity and growth. Here is an answer example: "I look forward to helping A.T. Kearney be more profitable every day. During my application process, I conducted a lot of research on your organization. I noticed one area of opportunity being your social media presence. A strong presence on Instagram, for instance, can draw users to your website, creating more opportunity to educate potential clients." Here is an answer example: "I specialize in workforce optimization, so I always see room for opportunity in that realm. When I applied to A.T. Kearney online I saw some areas where the application process could be streamlined, saving time and frustration. I would be happy to walk you through my ideas."11. How do you exercise logic? We define logic as a proper or reasonable way of thinking about or understanding something. Those who are logical thinkers, will use formal processes when reasoning and mulling over a plan of action. The interviewer would like to know that you can exercise logic and good judgment. Your projects as a management consultant will be based primarily on logical thinking, and data analysis. Here is an answer example: "I exercise logic every day, and my reasoning skills are strong. I do have formal processes in place when I am making a client plan, and I also use past cases to help me come to logical conclusions in tougher situations." Here is an answer example: "Logical thinking is all about putting the pieces together. I do a lot of IQ and mental exercises in my spare time. The activities seem fun, but they are also helping me to define my logic and reasoning skills. I have trained myself to think in conditional statements so that my brain automatically searches for the logic in any situation."12. How do you learn the company culture of a new client, when taking on their project? A large part of understanding the needs of your clients is first understanding their company culture, and the culture that they want to achieve. The interviewer would like to know your process when it comes to onboarding and getting to know a new client. Discuss the ways you learn about an organizations' workplace culture, their values, and how they build trusting relationships. Here is an answer example: "When I was an independent consultant, I would work with clients anywhere from a few weeks, to a few months. I developed a questionnaire which contained discovery questions surrounding how the c-suite viewed various relationships, how they reward their employees, how they approach disciplinary action, and more. I would spend time immersed in their environment, and then created a brief report based on the data as well as my direct exposure." Here is an answer example: "I begin with a checklist, and the same one for each client no matter their industry. This checklist gives me a baseline of what I am looking for within an organization. I ask questions of the employees, and leaders, related to values, relationships, corrective action, development opportunities, and more. Also, it's important that I immerse myself in the culture so, if I have a client that I will be working with for a few months, I will spend a few days inside of their office, learning their operations first-hand."13. How do you manage the lifecycle of your projects, ensuring on-time deliverables, and deadlines? An efficient process can be the difference between a job well done, and a job that falls apart. The interviewer would like to see that you have a process in place when you take on a new project. Discuss the tools, resources, and methods that you use to ensure that you meet client deadlines. Here is an answer example: "When I take on a new project, I break it into four phases. Initiate, Plan, Execute, Close. These four phases are broken down into further categories, all with a linear timeline attached. My 'go-to' tools that I use to ensure the entire team is aware of their tasks and deadlines are Asana and Slack. I book regular check-ins with my team and schedule client touch points. My high-level view of the project, through all stages, ensures there are rarely any surprises and that everyone is on the same page." Here is an answer example: "The last time I missed a deadline was five years ago. I trust my process fully and believe in its effectiveness. When I begin a new client project, I call a meeting with my client to create a detailed outline and lay out expectations. From there, I meet with my team where we build out the task list, and attach each task to a team member, with a specific deadline. We track all activity in Trello. We move as a team, meeting regularly and touching base with our client for end-of-day updates. I find that this method brings a high level of buy-in from my team, and accountability from all people involved."14. What steps do you take when researching a new market or industry? A successful management consultant will have excellent research skills. When laying down the groundwork for a successful project, this is where the work should always begin. As you likely know, cutting corners will result in a sub-par result. Take the interviewer through your process when researching a market or industry with which you may not be overly familiar. Here is an answer example: "When I take on a project within a new market or industry, I will find someone in my network that I know, trust, and admire, and ask for 30 minutes of their time. Essentially, I want to interview a subject matter expert. I will uncover their best resources, and research thoroughly from there." Here is an answer example: "I have strong research skills and a three-step process when it comes to learning about a new market or industry. First, I find what I can from reputable online resources. Next, I create a list of questions that need answering. Third, I source and subject matter expert from my network whom I can ask these questions. It's important to use a wide variety of reputable sources when conducting research, and collecting findings."15. How do you react when your team misses a deadline? Missed deadlines are never good and can reflect poorly on you, but they do happen in the management consulting industry. The interviewer would like to understand better how you react to disappointment and plans not going your way. Give an example of a time when your team missed a deadline and walk the interviewer through the action that you took. Here is an answer example: "My team is highly efficient, and we rarely miss a deadline. When we do, it's surprising. We had a very challenging client last year who made a significant amount of changes throughout the entire project. These changes caused us to miss our deadline. I took action after that to ensure a better client onboarding process. This new process made sure we dug deeper with each client at the start which has resulted in fewer mid-project changes." Here is an answer example: "When my team misses a deadline it is disappointing, for sure. On the odd occasion that this has happened, I first ask my team for feedback. I want to know what I could have done better, as a leader, to make sure we hit our goal. Then, I ask them to look internally and tell me what they honestly feel they could have done differently. I prefer a collaborative approach to these types of conversations."16. In your opinion, what makes you a great problem solver? A.T. Kearney wants to know that you have a systematic approach to problem-solving. Consider the skills and qualities that help you successfully face problems, or get through a challenging project. Perhaps you have a keen eye for detail. Maybe you can see opportunity when others can only focus on the issue. Share your strengths as a problem solver, and your ability to come up with innovative solutions for your clients.
Strong problem solvers are:
- Systematic thinkers
- Open minded
- Okay with being wrong sometimes
- Always researching and exploring
- Able to identify the core problem
- Able to reverse engineer a challenge to avoid future issues
- Able to come up with multiple avenues that work well for all stakeholders
- Do-ers and not worriers Here is an answer example: "I am a great problem solver because I can compartmentalize all aspects of a problem before studying it. I also like to bring more experienced team members in to add to the solution. I will never try to be a hero and solve a complicated problem without tapping into the resources around me." Here is an answer example: "I have been told that I am an excellent problem solver and I believe this is because I have a bit of an engineering mind. I can take the issue, work backward to solve it, and then use that resolution as a basis for avoiding the same issue on future projects. I am also a big-picture thinker which allows me to come up with various resolutions per problem."17. How do you prioritize multiple projects when they all seem equally important? Working for A.T. Kearney, you will have many projects on the go, and all of them will be important! The interviewer would like to know that you can prioritize and juggle multiple responsibilities without dropping the ball, or becoming overwhelmed. Prioritizing is a skill that requires practice. There are many approaches you can take. Here are some suggestions:
1) Make a list. By thinking through and writing down each item that needs completion, you can see it on paper.
2) Mark what is urgent or essential. Take into account deadlines and meetings.
3) Order each task based on effort and estimated value.
4) Consider due dates and how long it will take to do each item.
When answering this question, show the interviewer that you have a system in place that helps you to think through what needs to happen, and when. The better you can prioritize, the more productive you will be, making you an asset to A.T. Kearney. Here is an answer example: "I aim to be as effective as possible, and use all minutes of the day. In my current role, I have three to five projects going at once. I am the lead on some, the delegator on others, and the reviewer on another, for instance. By splitting up the roles and work responsibilities, my team and I can be the most efficient with our time." Here is an answer example: "I love to keep running lists of everything that I need to do, big or small. I've started utilizing a free project management software for lists and task categorization, and then mark them by the level of urgency. I take care of the most time-sensitive issues first and then move along to the equally important, but perhaps less time-sensitive items. I also estimate how long each task will take, so if I have a few minutes between projects, I can tackle the quick to-dos."18. What do you believe is the most important service we offer at A.T. Kearney? Before your interview, take the time to comb through the A.T. Kearney website. From a clients' point of view, which service seems to offer the most value? Is there a particular service that is mentioned more than others, when you go through the materials and marketing by A.T. Kearney? Discuss what you believe to be the most essential service, and express why it is so significant. Here is an answer example: "What stands out the most to me is your teams' expertise in strategic workforce planning. When you can optimize a clients' workforce, and introduce them to cutting-edge tech in their industry, you can change their profitability exponentially. I agree with the statement on your website that agile organizations use strategic workforce planning to stand out from the competition." Here is an answer example: "From my research, I believe that a lot of your business comes from clients seeking cultural transformation and organizational development. The two go hand in hand, and it appears that A.T. Kearney believes you cannot have one without the other. I appreciate that you stand firm on your ability to help your clients define the culture that will deliver their best organizational strategy."19. Have you ever supervised or trained junior consultants? The interviewer would like to know more about the level of leadership responsibility you bring. Discuss if you have formally, or informally trained any other consultants throughout your career. If you have supervised or trained junior consultants, discuss how many, what your process was, and the tools and resources you used. If you have not managed or trained other consultants, that is okay too! Discuss the ways that you encourage and help your fellow employees, even if you do not have a formal leadership role. Here is an answer example: "I have not been asked to train any other consultants in my career formally; however, I do make it a habit of taking our firms' newer consultants under my wing to ensure they are off to a successful start. I will share with them some tools and resources that I find helpful, and remind them that my door is open whenever they have a question. I am very open to formal leadership opportunities should those arise with A.T. Kearney." Here is an answer example: "Throughout my career, I have trained over 25 new consultants. And, in my current role, I oversee the activities of 5 junior consultants. Strategic leadership and effective management are strengths of mine that I look forward to bringing to A.T. Kearney."20. A.T. Kearney works with clients across many industries. Which of our clients' industries interests you the most? Before your interview you should have a thorough idea of the clients that A.T. Kearney takes on. Be prepared also to list the client industries in which you have worked. Show the interviewer that you have experience in the same sectors, as this will build their confidence in your abilities to jump in with their clients right away. Here is an answer example: "When researching A.T. Kearney, I saw that the bulk of your clients are in the energy, finance, and education sectors. Your experience in these areas is part of what prompted me to apply since the bulk of my experience is there. I have a special interest in finance clients, particularly. I majored in finance while attending university, so it's a solid area for me." Here is an answer example: "My industry expertise is in healthcare. When I saw that you were hiring, particularly for your clients in the healthcare sector, I knew I had to apply. I am highly confident working in this sector, and look forward to learning about the other clients you take on at A.T. Kearney, particularly those in e-commerce."21. What do you think makes a good management consultant? This question can be a tricky one because the characteristics and traits you mention, are ones that you should also possess. A good management consultant will:
- Create a professional environment where their client is comfortable
- Exercise excellent judgment when it comes to problem-solving
- Come to conclusions that are well researched and unbias
- Lead their team with integrity, clear communication, and excellent time management
- Offer expert and well-researched advice to clients at all times
- Tap into their network of experts to find answers to questions they do not know
Discuss with the interviewer what you believe makes a good management consultant, expressing that you possess these abilities. Here is an answer example: "A good management consultant will actively listen to their client, and make a commitment to them to give only the most sound, and well-research advice. They are full of integrity and know how to communicate. These are just some of the skills that I have honed over my years in consulting, and I look forward to making them work for A.T. Kearney and your clients." Here is an answer example: "A good management consultant will have the ability to adapt and pivot on a moments' notice. They will be well-trusted, researched, and communicate clearly at all times. These skills are ones that I value, and work on bettering in myself, on a daily basis."22. What will be the greatest challenges faced in this job? How will you overcome these challenges? Starting a new role is always a challenge, and the interviewer wants to make sure that you know it won't be all rainbows and sunshine when you join A.T. Kearney. Even though it may seem like a dream job, you need to go in with realistic expectations of the role to avoid being blindsided if problems or challenges present themselves. Keep your answer simple. It is okay to ask for clarification on the position if you do not fully understand what challenges are in store for you. Here is an answer example: "I would say the greatest challenge I'll face in this role is learning the industry ins and outs well enough to be perceived as an expert when making project pitches to clients. I've already begun subscribing and reading the leading industry publications to give myself a fuller understanding. I will also seek out a mentor who is an expert in the industry, as it's important to learn from those who have already walked the path." Here is an answer example: "The greatest challenge is going to be getting to know your clients and their preferences. Every client has their quirks that need to be kept the top of mind during projects. I plan to read as many project notes as possible before diving into face-to-face meetings. I intend to come across to your clients as well-prepared and earnest."23. What have you done in the last few months to strengthen your professional network? Management Consultants know very well that a strong professional network can mean all the difference in their business. The interviewer would like to see how you go about networking, and how active you are in your industry. Maybe you attend your local Chamber of Commerce events, or you belong to a local organization where you meet potential clients and business comrades. Here is an answer example: "I am very focused on building my professional network. For the past six months, I have enjoyed membership at the local Chamber of Commerce. I have also joined a consultants mastermind, where we meet once every quarter to share tools and resources, and also client success stories." Here is an answer example: "I am active in my local and online consultants community. I recently started a LinkedIn group for Management Consultants in my city, and we will have our first meetup next month. Networking is a huge component of gaining business, and I plan to keep focused on those activities for years to come."24. What do you believe are the most critical KPIs for a management consulting firm to consider? The interviewer is testing to see how well you understand management consulting, and what makes a firm successful. Whether you are newer to the industry, or you have many years of experience already, you should have a full understanding of the goals and targets within management consulting. Some of the most critical KPIs may be:
- Number of leads generated
- Number of clients
- Customer acquisition percentage
- Average fee per hour
- Repeat business rate
One KPI that you should never forget to mention is 'Client Satisfaction Rate'! Discuss with the interviewer what you believe to be the most important metrics for a management consulting firm to consider. Here is an answer example: "I believe that the most critical KPIs to consider is the repeat business rate. This metric is directly associated with client satisfaction, and will tell a consultant or agency a lot about their business and likeability factor." Here is an answer example: "In my opinion, the most critical KPI to consider is the number of leads generated. Without an active pipeline of business, there is nothing else to consider really! Once you start with a healthy leads list, the next KPI to consider would be the customer acquisition percentage."25. What is the most challenging client issue you have faced this year? How did you overcome the situation? When the interviewer can understand your significant client pain points, and how you overcame them, they can see the level of responsibilities you currently have. This question, if responded to correctly, also gives you the opportunity to help the interviewer picture you in their role with A.T. Kearney. Walk the interviewer through your client situation, and share with them how you overcame the hurdle with professionalism and poise. Here is an answer example: "I recently had a client who wanted to control every aspect of my work, as opposed to being open to the process. He was very hands-on, which is great; however, not receptive to change. I held a one-on-one meeting with him to discuss the situation head-on. Professionally, I let him know that if he disallowed my process, he would not get the return for which he was seeking. The client apologized for the controlling behavior and, from that point, gave me the room to work that I needed." Here is an answer example: "The most challenging client profile is, for certain, the defensive client. I am sure you know the type. The client who argues everything and refuses to look at the hard data, while bringing emotion into every conversation and process. When this occurs, I firmly yet professionally remind the client that past behavior will yield past results. I ask them to revisit why they hired me, or my firm. Then, I have them recommit to our process before I proceed."26. Do you consider yourself a persuasive person? Part of being an excellent consultant is also harnessing the power of persuasion when necessary. There is a difference between persuasion and debating - or even convincing. Persuasion is used when you want to influence someone rather than tell them that they are wrong, and you are right.
The power of persuasion is essential if you are selling or pitching anything. It is also a helpful skill when you want to gain momentum with your coworkers or have your boss better understand your approach on a project. It is not a negative thing to be persuasive. Talk to the interviewer about whether or not you consider yourself to be a persuasive individual. Here is an answer example: "I can be persuasive when it comes to helping my clients to understand the logic, or reason, behind recommendations that our group is making. It's important to lay out the intentions of any change and then express the importance of those changes." Here is an answer example: "Persuasion and management consulting methods go hand in hand so, yes, I believe that I am a persuasive person. My approach is not sly or combative in any way, however. I go about persuading others by displaying how my approach, or belief, could benefit their business and bottom-line."27. What are the components of a successful, and effective, presentation? In the management consulting industry, there is a high likelihood that you will be required to give presentations to your clients, or your group. Whether or not you have experience giving presentations, you likely understand the difference between a terrible performance and one that captures the attention of your audience all the way through.
Here are some factors that make a successful presentation:
- Understanding your audience
- Using relatable term and jargon
- Introducing multi-media or other visuals
- Being presentable in appearance
- Utilizing the art of storytelling Here is an answer example: "I have given many presentations in my consulting career and have found that when I start with a story, give some facts, and end with how those facts pertain to story, and the client pain point; I can capture and keep the attention of my audience. Everyone loves a great story, especially one that is relatable to their personal or professional situation." Here is an answer example: "I present pitches to my clients on a regular basis. For myself, I have learned that the key to a compelling presentation is facts like percentages, numbers, and achievements. I avoid long drawn out sentences and long bunches of text on my slides."28. How does a career in management consulting fulfill and satisfy you? Job satisfaction is a significant factor in whether people stay or leave their employers. This fact is why the interviewer needs to know that you will find a satisfying career with A.T. Kearney, and stay a long time. Talk to the interviewer about what satisfies you about your career in management consulting, and why you continue to remain in this particular path. Be sure to show strong enthusiasm, and be specific. To say you like to 'help people' won't be enough. Here is an answer example: "The most satisfying part of my career as a management consultant is that I have the opportunity to change the course of someone's business. To be a problem solver for complex issues is incredibly satisfying. I love a challenge, and each client presents new ones. It's like solving a cool puzzle every day." Here is an answer example: "I have found management consulting to be highly fulfilling for the past eight years because I am passionate about business success, especially when it means resuscitating a failing business. I love a great comeback story, and I get to participate in them, all the time. Another reason why I love this career path is that there are so many opportunities for development, and learning new approaches and methodologies."29. How can A.T. Kearney motivate you? Every employer should know how each staff member is best motivated, and A.T. Kearney knows that this motivation contributes significantly to employee tenure and productivity. Talk to the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you are best motivated on the job. Here are some ways that an employer may try to drive you. Which ones resonate most with you?
- Incentive programs where points are earned
- Showing complete trust in your work and performance
- Setting smaller, more achievable goals
- Helping you to find your higher career purpose
- Being a positive example to you
- Maintaining an open and transparent workplace
- Personalized incentives vs. team driven incentives
- Getting to know you on a personal level
- Positive feedback based rewards system
- Offering a stable work/life balance by encouraging time off
- Letting you know your voice matters
- Allowing you to take the lead on projects that excite you
- Handing out big-picture projects, so you feel that you are contributing to the company's future
- Public recognition Here is an answer example: "My current manager motivates me by reminding me that she has full faith in my work. Those words give me a boost of confidence and feed my fire, especially on more challenging client projects." Here is an answer example: "Thank you for asking! I appreciate that A.T. Kearney cares about employee motivation levels. I am best motivated through words of praise and recognition for a job well done. I like to know that my efforts are noticed. In my current position, we have a team leaderboard, and I do like that concept because it creates a healthy bit of personal competition for me as well."30. Tell me about a time that you had to collaborate with a colleague with whom you did not see eye-to-eye. How did you ensure that you got along well enough to make it a success? Getting along with different personalities is especially vital in the workplace. Explain that you can be flexible and hear someone out even if you don't agree with them. Showcase your ability to learn from others when you may not wholeheartedly agree with their perspective or approach. Here is an answer example: "One of my coworkers and I were doing a joint presentation to a prospective client. It was a high stakes presentation, and he and I have very different styles of performance and preparation. Luckily, we both identified this as a potential obstacle from the get-go and came to the table, literally, with our ideas on how the outline would go and who would say what. Because we were both able to identify that we could clash, and took a proactive approach to delegate tasks and distributing the presentation, we worked very well together and hit our performance out of the park." Here is an answer example: "Recently we received a project from a client that required my department to collaborate with another department. It was up to me to ensure that everyone worked smoothly together. The other departments' manager and I decided to start with a team building night out, and that helped a lot. Once everyone was able to find common ground, we could focus on the task at hand."
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