Cultivating a Consultant | How Important is the Behavioral Interview in the Consulting Interview Process?

Please enjoy the fifth video and associated commentary in our Cultivating a Consultant video series!

As mentioned in the video, the behavioral section of an interview accounts for 50% of the hiring decision.  The main reason why the behavioral interview is so important in consulting is that the work is very dynamic, requires lots of team work, and teams changes every time a project is over (every ~3 to 6 months).

There are four main factors that consulting firms take into account when evaluating a candidate during the behavioral section of the interview:

  • Tenacity
    • Any experience where you show perseverance, accomplishments, etc.
  • Motivation
    • Why consulting?  Why a specific consulting company?
  • Leadership
    • Any experience where you tested your leadership skills.
  • Teaming
    • Any experience where you had to work in teams and you played an important role encouraging collaboration and problem solving.

When preparing your stories for the behavioral questions, you need to ensure your experiences are well-structured.  To structure your responses, you should think about possible questions on the four factors below and write answers/experiences using the following STAR framework:

  • Situation
    • Describe the situation you were in.
  • Task
    • Describe what you had to do in the situation you described.
  • Action
    • What did you actually do to address the issue?  How did you do it?
  •  Result
    • What was the result of your action?

Using this framework when thinking and preparing for the behavioral section of an interview will not only help you for consulting, but for any type of interview.

-Alex Aserraf

By Rachid Macer
Rachid Macer Student Director, CareerEdge and Think Tank Colleague Team