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Do you need to be good looking to be a management consultant?

Anonymous A

Silly question, but in all seriousness...is it just me or do consultants usually look like catalogue models? Why is that?

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Vlad replied on 06/09/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

I believe good looking in that case has several components:

  • Your "look and feel"
  • Your energy level and being friendly, smiling and cheerful
  • Your ability to listen to the interviewer
  • Your ability to ask questions
  • Your interests besides career and consulting

1) Look and feel. It's the way you are dressed, the way you behave, body movement, etc. Do you look mature enough? Do you behave professionally?

Your look should be:

  1. Professional (Suit, fresh haircut, clean shoes, etc)
  2. Mature (e.g. no piercing)
  3. Should impress (No cheap and poor looking Zara suits)
  4. Should help you to project confidence - make sure that you feel comfortable in a suit. If not - practice solving cases in a suit.

It may sound obvious, but many candidates miss that. Make a video of your mock interview and show to your friends or even random people. Ask them if they would personally hire you.

2) Your energy level and being friendly, smiling and cheerful. In many cultures, it is not natural to always smile and you really have to develop that skill. Also, sometimes, when the situation is stressful and tiring, it is really easy to stop get deep into a thought process and get tired. When you get tired your pose and gestures are different and others can easily see that. The only recommendation here is to always control it.

3) Your ability to listen with genuine interest - don't ever interrupt. Listen to people demonstrating your genuine interest

4) Your ability to ask questions. The main objective is to have a good conversation and highlight your intellectual capacity and curiosity.

5) Your interests besides career and consulting. Good consultants can maintain a conversation with a client during the dinner or in a long taxi ride. They have broad knowledge, know examples from different industries and can speak on various topics. It's always good to have some personal stories that can demonstrate your passions and personal side.

Best

Anwer replied on 06/09/2018

As someone said " Personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures", so it does matter, Not the look really, but how you carry yourself. You should have a Duck Personality, Calm above water, feet going crazy below

Guennael replied on 06/09/2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

Let's be real - yes, of course. This doesn't only apply to consultants however, multiple studies across industries and cultures have always found an advantage to be taller, leaner, better looking. It helps to get a job, and it helps to get ahead. Rene Descartes was wrong, man isn't rational.

I wouldn't get too hung up on this however, there are obviously a number of other factors that play a much bigger role. How competent you are / appear, but also how you dress, how confident your seem... ok, even who you know.

All this isn't strictly about how to get in consultancy. It is also the game of life. All we can do is do the best with can with what we've been given. That's why you are here, so you prepare yourself as best you can - right?

Francesco replied on 06/10/2018
#1 Expert for coaching sessions (1600+) | Ex BCG | 800+ reviews with 100% recommendation rate

Hi Anonymous,

it definitely helps to be good looking – as Guennael said, that’s true for the majority of the interviews related to client-facing roles. Being good looking provides an advantage in client relationships as physical appearance is part of someone’s charisma.

However, that’s not the only element that can influence your personal perception. Vlad listed several other characteristics useful for a good impression in the interview. I would add as additional one a good sound of the voice, something that can strongly influence your perceived communication and thus impact on your charisma.

Best,

Francesco

Anonymous B replied on 06/09/2018

I think that its more about how you carry yourself than how you look. It's about attitude and being dressed well.

On another note, the CEO of Dior said that to be successful, you have to remain healthy. I guess a part of that translates to a certain extent to keeping yourself fit.

Anonymous D replied on 06/11/2018

Definitely - in my final round I was asked to lift up my shirt to prove I had 6 pack abs. Luckily I made the cut but now I have to gym every morning at 6 AM to make sure I keep it up and don't lose my job!

Anonymous C replied on 06/11/2018

According to McKinseys novel- “the firm” they like people who were house captain, rowers and over 6 foot tall.

Interpret that as you will!