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This question comes quite frequent and I am not sure whether I am handeling it properly.

I ma aware answer should come from my own experience but I am wondering about yours. Please share you input.

A bit to my background: technical background. Short corporate experience, working for a start-up, then founding a start-up. Now interested into going to consultancy.

In the interviews, I get asked about my project experience, how are my working habits and how do I do in organizing work/prioritize.

In my experinece project management was mainly done through Excel as a tool.

I did prioritize the tasks based on their impact on overall project.

Working habit, at the end of each day, I summed up how far I came in tasks and once a week I did my goals for the following week.

How do you guys with consultancu experience do at your firm? Please share you experience.

How far am I from reality?


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replied on Dec 04, 2017
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Hi Anonymous,

I totally agree with Odeh, in your answer the “people” part is definitely not present. You should add elements that show your people interaction (ideally leadership), in particular given the fact that as a startup founder you probably had too coordinate people, have meeting, align their goals, etc.

An additional point missing is the concept of project. Consultants are used to think in terms of projects defined with a certain allocation of people, clear timeframe and defined deliverables at the end. Some further elements you should mention for your organizational skills to show alignment with the consulting world are thus the following:

  • Define goals, deadlines, kick-off, end of projects, deliverables from the beginning
  • Understand optimal allocation of people for the activities
  • Keep control points for both yourself and people you manage to check if results are met at regular intervals
  • Keep communication in place with key stakeholder (bossed, employees, subordinates, clients, investors etc)
  • Identify backups in advance in case of delays/unforeseen requirements needed
  • Understand reasons for missed deliverables and fix issues so that they do not reappear

Hope this helps,


Odeh replied on Dec 02, 2017

The question is really looking to understand 2 points:-

  1. How do you work as part of a team
  2. What is the decision making process that you employ that determines the priority of your tasks

I would recommend breaking the question up into those 2 components then looking to providing an example that provides insight into who you are. Saying something like "most of my project management has been through Excel" suggests that you bury your head in a computer and are not a people person. Rather, try to think of an example where you had to pick up the phone and speak to someone because you couldn't achieve your goal by filling cells in Excel.

If this is not the nature of your work, then look to experience outside that provides robust example. You can say something along the lines of, "a lot of my project management was solo work on Excel, but other areas where I have been part of a team and was required to coordinate a task was XYZ..."

There is no right or wrong answer here, only one that shows you have insight. So I would recommend you go back and identify what the interviewer is hoping to gauge from their question, and provide an answer to that.

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