Five Areas Management Consulting Recruiters Evaluate

Published: 10th December 2012
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Management consulting firms have their own set of requirements for their recruitment process. It usually depends on their focus, goals and needs. However, there are also some prerequisites that are common to all of them. These include the competencies and values needed for any consulting position, regardless of the size, location and prestige of the firm. Below are five of them.

Recruiters believe that your education significantly determines how you carry out management consulting responsibilities. It is your basic foundation, the source of your fundamental understanding about the industry, and the molder of your potentials. Those who graduated from Harvard, Stanford and other prestigious schools often get an advantage over other applicants because of the stature of their alma mater. However, this doesn't mean that applicants from the not-so-popular schools have no chance in breaking into the industry. Recruiters also consider how you maximized your life as a student. They are interested in your performance in the classroom, in your involvement with school activities and in the competencies you've developed before graduation.

Another general requirement recruiters look for in applicants is the skill to think, analyze and resolve a problem logically. This is an indispensable ability you must possess since you will be always using it once you get hired for the vacancy. The heart of consulting is to generate recommendations for client's business concerns, and this will never be possible if you can't see a situation from different perspectives, if you can't identify the contributing factors and if you can't provide an effective structure for the resolution. At times, the business case can be too perplexing or too different from the ones you've previously encountered. If you don't have the aforementioned skills, most likely you won't meet their expectations.

Your consulting experience has also a bearing on the assessment results. For recruiters, this implies three things. First, there's no need for the firm to spend time and effort for your training. Second, it won't take long for you to adjust with the firm since you only have to focus on adapting to the work culture. Third, you can also bring in the good practices you have learned from your previous job. However, an non-consulting related experience can also put you at an advantage if you present it in a manner that will boost your application. For instance, if you're a recent graduate who had tutorial classes as your part-time job, you can indicate that it helped you improve your social and communication skills. If you're an accountant who wishes to shift into consulting, you can state that your ability to analyze financial data is an asset to be highly considered.

Recruiters will also delve on your values and natural tendencies in detail during behavioral interviews. Often times, a person's success at work is not chiefly because of his or her competencies but because of dedication, loyalty and sense of business ownership. Management consultants don't follow a nine-to-five schedule. As required, they render overtime services even during weekends. Truth be told, some of them find it difficult to maintain their work-life balance. Their personal relationships are sometimes compromised, especially when they are assigned in another city or country. With these struggles, you must have the commitment to comply the deliverables.

Networking is another thing you must focus your attention on. Establishing and maintaining a quality network of professional consultants is not a requirement, but a tool that can assist you in two ways. First, your contacts can introduce you to recruiters or recommend you to hiring managers. Recruiters prioritize candidates who are referred to them since assessing applicants from scratch takes time and financial resources. Second, they can be your source of information and inspiration. As a consultant, it is necessary for you to keep yourself abreast with consulting trends and issues. Further, their success stories may also inspire you to keep on going for excellence. However, take note that networking isn't only a one-way street. You should also reach out to your contacts whenever possible. Message or meet them once in a while, no matter what your employment status is.


For more techniques on how to prepare for a career in this industry, enroll in our online course, Consulting Job Academy. It clearly explains what skills you must develop for you to be picked by recruiters. also allotted a module specifically for networking as many aspirants have asked for advice on this aspect.

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