I got an interview for manager role from a lower tier consulting firm but they end up offer me consultant role.What's wrong?

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

I got an interview for a manager role from a lower-tier consulting firm but they end up offering me a consultant role. What's wrong?

I realize that I might not have enough experience to be a manager.

So basically the interview was about my previous project experience and I describe the project and my role.

Is there any possibility that a better answer to those questions would land me a manager role? If so, what should I say?

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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 situation which is probably relevant for quite a lot of users (especially young professionals), so I'm happy to give you my perspective on that:

Without knowing more details about your situation (e.g. at what company do you currently work and in what role? did you apply yourself or were you approached by an HR consulting company?), it is quite hard to diagnose how you ended up in this specific situation.

Still, given your brief description, my hypothesis would be that you didn't highlight enough the skills required to be perceived as a manager on the following dimensions:

  • Problem solving: As a manager, you are ultimately operationally responsible for the whole project (i.e., e.g., structuring the whole project plan, providing procedural and content input across all work streams, achieving the results you defined with the client).
  • Client interaction: Your client maps are significantly more senior (e.g. client project manager) and the type of interaction is more transformational than transactional.
  • Team interaction: Your role as manager is to be the central go-to person for all team members, motivating and empowering them. Moreover, you are accustomed to having regular 1:1 interactions with senior leadership.

Besides this, I just answered to a similar thread with the title “How to answer a consulting project I have done?” (https://www.preplounge.com/de/consulting-forum/how-to-answer-a-consulting-project-i-have-done-11528). Please feel free to check my answer for the general approach on how to answer project-related questions.

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

I hope this helps,


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

Based on your explanation, 2 likely possibilities for why you were offered a lower level position in my view:

1. The way you explained your roles/ responsibilities did not demonstrate the maturity/ experience required for a manager role (i.e., your presentation/ communication skills did not convince the interviewer you're ready for a manager role)

2. The actual content in your explanation (i.e., the actual roles and responsibilities) did not meet the minimum requirements to be a manager at that particular firm

This is assuming the reason is solely based on your interview about your past project experience… There could be other factors (e.g., your CV, other interviews you did)

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updated an answer on Sep 15, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

They like you but very likely you didn't demonstrate “manager level” ability during the interview process i.e. through the case, FIT and other interviews. 

Its not uncommon for consulting companies to bring someone at a slightly lower level to give them the time & space to fill the skills gap. So, just do an honest evaluation of yourself - are you genuinely ready for manager level- maturity, functional & industry skills, people management, client relationships, commercial acumen?!



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

Hi there,

As you note “I realize that I might not have enough experience to be a manager.”

Calvin is exactly right in that either your content or delivery was off.

Ultimately, you did not demonstrate that you would be a strong manager. You don't have enough experience or the way you presented yourself did not come off as manager-level.

Ultimately, if this is their assessment, they're probably right! 

Don't sweat it - the likely reality is that if you did start at a manager level, you would crash and burn. Ultimately, this is best for you - starting as a manager at these firms is extremely hard. Embrace the fact that you get time to learn the ropes of the company/role before you have to go and manage a full team and have 7 bosses (principal, 2 partners, 3 client execs, etc.)!

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replied on Sep 16, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews


It's hard to tell from this context.

What do you think? Do you have enough experience / skills to be working as a manager?



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Hagen gave the best answer


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