I interviewed with both economic and management consulting firms and can confirm that yes, interviews are pretty different.
In strategy consulting interviews:
- The interview is mainly based on fit questions plus business cases and market sizing. Example: “Our client is interested in entering the Spanish market. Should he do so?”
- Focus will be on analytical, communication and synthesis skills.
- There is no requirement of specific technical knowledge during the interview, with the exception of research analyst positions.
--> To prepare you have mainly to work on (i) Initial fit questions; (ii) business cases; (iii) market sizing. You can find some details on how to prepare with possible resources at the link below:
In economic consulting interviews:
- The interview is mainly based on fit questions plus questions on economic principles, competition policy or econometric/statistics questions. Example: “Would a merger be positive or negative for consumers? Why?”
- Focus will be mainly on your analytical skills and economics knowledge. You are expected to know well Microeconomics (in particular Game Theory and Competition Policy), Statistics and Econometrics.
- You are expected to have knowledge of statistical software like Stata (they may test that during interviews, either with a live tests or theoretical questions).
--> To prepare you have mainly to work on (i) initial fit questions; (ii) theoretical economics knowledge (eg price elasticity, homoscedasticity, R-squared definition, competition policy concepts, etc); (iii) basic applied statistics/econometrics (say the equivalent of Econometrics 101).