How to answer a consulting project I have done?

behavioral
New answer on Sep 16, 2021
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 15, 2021

How to answer a consulting project I have done? I got asked this question previously. What is the best structure to answer this?

I answered but the interviewer couldn't seem to get the logic and views behind my projects.

I basically said what was the goal of the project and which module i took for the project.

What should I do?

(I am a consultant at the moment.)

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Best answer
Hagen
Expert
replied on Sep 15, 2021
Bain & Company Project Leader | 200+ interviews conducted | 5+ years of coaching and mentoring

Hi there,

That is indeed an interesting question which is probably relevant for quite a lot of users (either for student consulting projects or young professionals), so I'm happy to give you my perspective on that:

While I agree with the other coaches about the general structure of presenting a project (1) Case context and overall assignment, 2) Project approach and 3) Achievements), I would advise you to mainly focus on your reasoning (e.g. why did you structure your work stream the way you did? how and why did you set up client interaction formats the way you did?) in the “2) Project approach” section for the following causes:

  • Your activities on the project should already be listed in your CV and/ or your transcript. Thus, while it is important to show your activities, a trained consulting interviewer would not want you to simply repeat the information he/ she read before.
  • To my understanding, the truly decisive factor in management consulting is critical thinking. While you will most probably spend more time performing tasks than thinking about how to perform them, the latter aspect is why clients are willing to pay consulting companies.

In case you want a more detailed discussion on what is the best way to answer such behavioral/ fit questions, please feel free to to contact me directly.

I hope this helps,

Hagen

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 15, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Remember that for pretty much every question, what they're really asking is “why are you right for this job." They are trying to figure out whether they want to work with you, and whether you'll be good at what you do (problem solving, client management, communication, etc.).

So, when you think about it, this question is literally about what you have done! You should make sure to emphasize your roles, responsibilities, actions taken etc. Give a brief summary of the project for context, but then dive into the activities you understood that highlight your consultant toolkit!

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Calvin
Expert
replied on Sep 15, 2021
Experienced interviewer | Project Manager at Roland Berger | Cambridge University | Message for discount coupons

I think these are key elements to cover:

1. Objective of project

2. Summary of the work/ analysis done. Emphasize mostly on your value add/ your contribution!

3. Key project results/ impact created on client. Put numbers where appropriate/ possible

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Agrim
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Sep 15, 2021
ex-BCG Dubai PL | 100% Personalised Coaching | 2021 Real Cases only | 6+ years in Consulting

Can you please provide us with a summary of the project you are describing? This will help us, help you better.

Having said that - here is my answer:

You must have seen 1-slide case summaries in client proposals. We used to call them “vignettes” at BCG. A vignette is divided into 3 parts - and you can use this structure in your interview as well:

  1. Part 1 - Case context: Setup the situation of the client, the need of the consultant, the reason for your team being there. Present the “burning platform”.
  2. Part 2 - Actions performed: Describe all the activities that you and your team performed. Clearly articulate how you were instrumental in the successful execution of the project. Also talk about the challenges you faced in your module (and the project) and the various learnings you had in the project.
  3. Part 3 - Achievement: Explain how the client benefitted from the project. Tell the % impacts, the $ impacts etc. Explain the impact that your particular module had and how you were instrumental.
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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 16, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi!

I would try to structure the answer around 3-5 key points / lessons learnt that are relevant for the position you are applying for (e.g. client leadership, structured problem solving, etc.).

Hope this helps.

Best,

Anto

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Hagen gave the best answer

Hagen

Bain & Company Project Leader | 200+ interviews conducted | 5+ years of coaching and mentoring
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