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Raj

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12

What other questions do you have?

I am now preparing for one hour fit interview. At the end of every behavioral/fit interview or any interview, interviewers always ask interviewees for any other questions at the end of every interview. As an experienced hire, I'd like to ask how the firm supports consultants' travels (i.e separate credit card for expenses, block on scheduling outgoing flights like on Sunday evenings, flexible choice of rental car or agency and easily allowing any accessories like GPS holder, etc). Traveling is a big part of consulting, and I think it's realistic to hear from the consultants how the firm supports consultants' travels. Is this a reasonable question to bring up from an experienced hire? I am not worried about traveling as I have been already traveling, but I do think this is a realistic question to ask and is not to be seen as a sign of seeding a demand. Just want to check.

I work with the thumb rules that I don't ask questions to which I could have easily found the answers elsewhere by reading the firm's website or that are too personal to the interviewer.

What other good questions do others recommend?

I am now preparing for one hour fit interview. At the end of every behavioral/fit interview or any interview, interviewers always ask interviewees for any other questions at the end of every interview. As an experienced hire, I'd like to ask how the firm supports consultants' travels (i.e separate credit card for expenses, block on scheduling outgoing flights like on Sunday evenings, flexible choice of rental car or agency and easily allowing any accessories like GPS holder, etc). Traveling is a big part of consulting, and I think it's realistic to hear from the consultants how the firm supports consultants' travels. Is this a reasonable question to bring up from an experienced hire? I am not worried about traveling as I have been already traveling, but I do think this is a realistic question to ask and is not to be seen as a sign of seeding a demand. Just want to check.

I work with the thumb rules that I don't ask questions to which I could have easily found the answers elsewhere by reading the firm's website or that are too personal to the interviewer.

What other good questions do others recommend?

(edited)

12 answers

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Book a coaching with Raj

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I answered this question earlier here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/do-you-have-any-questions-for-us-4838

This is one of the most important parts of the interview.

It's a chance to demonstrate what you know about the firm, truly understand the office/culture/fit (remember this interview is two-ways!), and also build some rapport with the interviewer leaving on a high.

Good interviewers use this to test candidates EQ (I certainly did, and poor candidates either asked irrelevant questions or didn't have any in the first place)

Certainly do not waste the opportunity by asking silly administrative questions or HR-type questions.

Ask insightful questions related to topics:

  • Interviewer - why he/she joined that firm, how their experience has been, what they are working on, what would they change about the firm if they could (consultants love talking about themselves so endow them with the opportunity!)
  • Industry - how they have seen the industry change, what the state of affairs is for consulting work, what are the big opportunities in the near future
  • Firm - how staffing works, what sectors are known for what kind of work (some sectors do more ops vs. strategy work for example), who the firm competes with, what differentiates it from others
  • Role - what to expect in first 6 months, what to expect on first engagement, any advice

I answered this question earlier here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/do-you-have-any-questions-for-us-4838

This is one of the most important parts of the interview.

It's a chance to demonstrate what you know about the firm, truly understand the office/culture/fit (remember this interview is two-ways!), and also build some rapport with the interviewer leaving on a high.

Good interviewers use this to test candidates EQ (I certainly did, and poor candidates either asked irrelevant questions or didn't have any in the first place)

Certainly do not waste the opportunity by asking silly administrative questions or HR-type questions.

Ask insightful questions related to topics:

  • Interviewer - why he/she joined that firm, how their experience has been, what they are working on, what would they change about the firm if they could (consultants love talking about themselves so endow them with the opportunity!)
  • Industry - how they have seen the industry change, what the state of affairs is for consulting work, what are the big opportunities in the near future
  • Firm - how staffing works, what sectors are known for what kind of work (some sectors do more ops vs. strategy work for example), who the firm competes with, what differentiates it from others
  • Role - what to expect in first 6 months, what to expect on first engagement, any advice
Book a coaching with Sidi

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Hi!

There is a whole lot of great questions you can ask. My best advice is to really think through what interests you most about the job, the firm, or the industry! If you have a particular interest (industry sector, nonprofit area, social engagement, etc.) you can ask if there are touch points/adjacent areas in the firm you could explore. Also, make sure to relate your interests and questions to your background and/or career/life objectives.

That being said, here are a couple of example questions – but by no means exhaustive:

  1. "Can you tell me about your background, and in particular how you ended up as a [company name] consultant?" (if the interviewer has a rather exotic professional/educational background)
  2. "What do you think are the biggest misperceptions that applicants have about consulting?"
  3. "I’m really interested in [particular interest, such as public sector consulting or renewable energy]. I’d be interested to hear what you know about that area at [company name]"
  4. "I’ve heard from various people who say your firm is [something good about the company] but also that [something bad about the company]. To what extent is this impression accurate?"
  5. "If the interviewer has enough tenure: From your position, how do you think the economic cycles have affected the consulting business over the years?"
  6. "What was your perspective on [company name] before you came in, and how was that changed in your time there?"
  7. "If you could recommend 2 books that all prospective management consultants should read, what would those be?"
  8. "When you think back to your university days, what would be the 2 or 3 things that you wish you’d learned that would have better prepared you for the job today?"
  9. "When you think back to the time after you joined the firm - was there something that really surprised you regarding the job or the firm?"

Cheers, Sidi

Hi!

There is a whole lot of great questions you can ask. My best advice is to really think through what interests you most about the job, the firm, or the industry! If you have a particular interest (industry sector, nonprofit area, social engagement, etc.) you can ask if there are touch points/adjacent areas in the firm you could explore. Also, make sure to relate your interests and questions to your background and/or career/life objectives.

That being said, here are a couple of example questions – but by no means exhaustive:

  1. "Can you tell me about your background, and in particular how you ended up as a [company name] consultant?" (if the interviewer has a rather exotic professional/educational background)
  2. "What do you think are the biggest misperceptions that applicants have about consulting?"
  3. "I’m really interested in [particular interest, such as public sector consulting or renewable energy]. I’d be interested to hear what you know about that area at [company name]"
  4. "I’ve heard from various people who say your firm is [something good about the company] but also that [something bad about the company]. To what extent is this impression accurate?"
  5. "If the interviewer has enough tenure: From your position, how do you think the economic cycles have affected the consulting business over the years?"
  6. "What was your perspective on [company name] before you came in, and how was that changed in your time there?"
  7. "If you could recommend 2 books that all prospective management consultants should read, what would those be?"
  8. "When you think back to your university days, what would be the 2 or 3 things that you wish you’d learned that would have better prepared you for the job today?"
  9. "When you think back to the time after you joined the firm - was there something that really surprised you regarding the job or the firm?"

Cheers, Sidi

Book a coaching with Emily

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Hi there,

Frankly speaking, questions listed above (e.g. travel expenses, flight schedules) are way too petty to ask in a formal interview. You'd run the risk of being seen as someone who would be nitpicking while missing the big picture. Using 80/20 rule as analogy, you are asking about a small subset in the 20's bucket. Try to find out from informal channels.

And these are indeed very small things compared to other demands a consulting life entails. Consultants encounter various challenges way bigger than these. If you are not comfortable about being flexible on these small things, you might want to reconsider whether consulting is the right job for you.

Better questions to ask could be (1) understand more about the culture of the firm, (2) ask the interviewer's experience and perspective (3) firm's direction in the specific region/country...etc.

Best,

Emily

Hi there,

Frankly speaking, questions listed above (e.g. travel expenses, flight schedules) are way too petty to ask in a formal interview. You'd run the risk of being seen as someone who would be nitpicking while missing the big picture. Using 80/20 rule as analogy, you are asking about a small subset in the 20's bucket. Try to find out from informal channels.

And these are indeed very small things compared to other demands a consulting life entails. Consultants encounter various challenges way bigger than these. If you are not comfortable about being flexible on these small things, you might want to reconsider whether consulting is the right job for you.

Better questions to ask could be (1) understand more about the culture of the firm, (2) ask the interviewer's experience and perspective (3) firm's direction in the specific region/country...etc.

Best,

Emily

(edited)

Book a coaching with Clara

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Hello!

For me those questions are an absolute NO.

This is a time to learn more about the company in a personal level, it´s culture, how people feel about it, etc.

The questions you are posing are too operational and could be answered by HR.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

For me those questions are an absolute NO.

This is a time to learn more about the company in a personal level, it´s culture, how people feel about it, etc.

The questions you are posing are too operational and could be answered by HR.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Book a coaching with Francesco

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Hi there,

honestly I would avoid such questions. Good questions at the end should include the following:

  1. Should not be related to something you could easily find online.
  2. Should not be related to the firm per se (eg how is XYZ in Bain), but to the experience of the consultant (How did you find XYZ in your experience as a consultant? Which challenges did it bring to you?). Ideally, you want the interviewer to feel important and/or share a positive experience. This is the easiest way to leave a final positive impression.
  3. Should help you to understand the core values of the company; this will help to understand if that company is a good fit for you and evaluate your options in case you have multiple offers (if you don't have fit with the company, your growth there will be a lot more difficult).

Questions about traveling on the topic you mentioned respect neither 2 nor 3, thus I would avoid them.

In the first reply in the following thread, you can find some more information and some examples of questions:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/open-house-at-bcg-311

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

honestly I would avoid such questions. Good questions at the end should include the following:

  1. Should not be related to something you could easily find online.
  2. Should not be related to the firm per se (eg how is XYZ in Bain), but to the experience of the consultant (How did you find XYZ in your experience as a consultant? Which challenges did it bring to you?). Ideally, you want the interviewer to feel important and/or share a positive experience. This is the easiest way to leave a final positive impression.
  3. Should help you to understand the core values of the company; this will help to understand if that company is a good fit for you and evaluate your options in case you have multiple offers (if you don't have fit with the company, your growth there will be a lot more difficult).

Questions about traveling on the topic you mentioned respect neither 2 nor 3, thus I would avoid them.

In the first reply in the following thread, you can find some more information and some examples of questions:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/open-house-at-bcg-311

Best,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Alessandro

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Hi,

You are totally right saying you should ask things that are not available online, yet I would suggest you not to ask travel policy questions to your interviewer for two main reason:

- It is not given the interviewer will know the answer (in case of Partners it is quite luckily they have no idea; EA are usually taking care of all of this)

- Asking if you have question is part of the interview: the interviewer want to see which are your interests within the company.

The best person to address travel policy question is the Head of HR or the member of the HR team you are in contact with.

I would suggest you to focus your questions on one of the these topics:

- Personal experience of the interviewer within the firm (best engagement, what he likes of the job etc..). This kind of question will also help you to familiarize with your interviewer moving away from a cold interviewer-candidate interaction

- Practice and Sectors, even though this information are mostly available online you can always ask for a deep dive in a specific sector of your interest (e.g. is the practice active at the moment, what are the main kind of engagement in a certain sector, etc..)

Don't hesitate to get in touch with me in case you need any further tip,

Best

Ale

Hi,

You are totally right saying you should ask things that are not available online, yet I would suggest you not to ask travel policy questions to your interviewer for two main reason:

- It is not given the interviewer will know the answer (in case of Partners it is quite luckily they have no idea; EA are usually taking care of all of this)

- Asking if you have question is part of the interview: the interviewer want to see which are your interests within the company.

The best person to address travel policy question is the Head of HR or the member of the HR team you are in contact with.

I would suggest you to focus your questions on one of the these topics:

- Personal experience of the interviewer within the firm (best engagement, what he likes of the job etc..). This kind of question will also help you to familiarize with your interviewer moving away from a cold interviewer-candidate interaction

- Practice and Sectors, even though this information are mostly available online you can always ask for a deep dive in a specific sector of your interest (e.g. is the practice active at the moment, what are the main kind of engagement in a certain sector, etc..)

Don't hesitate to get in touch with me in case you need any further tip,

Best

Ale

Book a coaching with Vlad

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Hi,

Pls don't ask this question. I can answer you here that your travel is covered really well. Don't be the person to ask boring questions that you can easily learn from your friends. Is travel expenses really the most important thing you would like to know? Will GPS holder impact your decision of working in consulting? Are you serious about that? 1 hour of the consultant costs thousands of dollars. Are you going to discuss separate credit cards for expenses with them?

Ask questions that can lead to an interesting conversation. The main objective is to have a good conversation and highlight your intellectual capacity and curiosity. Thus:

It is ok to ask:

  • Questions that cause positive emotions and highlight consulting pros (e.g. Mck people)
  • Questions on the topics you are excited about (e.g. data science)
  • Non-business questions (e.g. team retreats)

It's not ok to ask:

  • Questions that can cause negative emotions (e.g. work hours)
  • Information you should learn before the interview (e.g. typical career path)
  • Questions that may show that you are unfamiliar with consulting work (Like are you specialized in strategy or operations?)

Be prepared and good luck!

Hi,

Pls don't ask this question. I can answer you here that your travel is covered really well. Don't be the person to ask boring questions that you can easily learn from your friends. Is travel expenses really the most important thing you would like to know? Will GPS holder impact your decision of working in consulting? Are you serious about that? 1 hour of the consultant costs thousands of dollars. Are you going to discuss separate credit cards for expenses with them?

Ask questions that can lead to an interesting conversation. The main objective is to have a good conversation and highlight your intellectual capacity and curiosity. Thus:

It is ok to ask:

  • Questions that cause positive emotions and highlight consulting pros (e.g. Mck people)
  • Questions on the topics you are excited about (e.g. data science)
  • Non-business questions (e.g. team retreats)

It's not ok to ask:

  • Questions that can cause negative emotions (e.g. work hours)
  • Information you should learn before the interview (e.g. typical career path)
  • Questions that may show that you are unfamiliar with consulting work (Like are you specialized in strategy or operations?)

Be prepared and good luck!

(edited)

Book a coaching with Luca

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Hello,

I would suggest not to ask anything about salaries, travel policy or benefits. First of all, that is something that you could discuss with HR (or even better, with people of your own network working there). Secondly, if the most important thing that you ask is the travel policy, the interviewer could start doubting your real motivations and think that you are applying just to get a fancy life-style, that is compeltely against the company values (also considering that travels and meals are often paid by the clients in the final bill).

Try to ask something about the company or the personal experience of your interviewer, like "What you dont like of your work?" "How do you think that consulting will evolve in the following 10 years?" "How is in your opinion the biggest difference between your company and competitors?"
This means to exploit the opportunity to talk to a person that spent several years in the company and to show your motivation for consulting.

Hope it helps,
Luca

Hello,

I would suggest not to ask anything about salaries, travel policy or benefits. First of all, that is something that you could discuss with HR (or even better, with people of your own network working there). Secondly, if the most important thing that you ask is the travel policy, the interviewer could start doubting your real motivations and think that you are applying just to get a fancy life-style, that is compeltely against the company values (also considering that travels and meals are often paid by the clients in the final bill).

Try to ask something about the company or the personal experience of your interviewer, like "What you dont like of your work?" "How do you think that consulting will evolve in the following 10 years?" "How is in your opinion the biggest difference between your company and competitors?"
This means to exploit the opportunity to talk to a person that spent several years in the company and to show your motivation for consulting.

Hope it helps,
Luca

Book a coaching with Daniel

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Hi! It's always good to ask something about interviewer's personal experience at the company – it gives you an opportunity to better connect to the person in my opinion.

Best,
Daniel

Hi! It's always good to ask something about interviewer's personal experience at the company – it gives you an opportunity to better connect to the person in my opinion.

Best,
Daniel

Book a coaching with Marcello

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Hi!

My suggestion would be:

NOT asking questions about money, conditions, perks/schemes to the partner/manager/associate that is interviewing you. Those kind of things you can discuss them later on with HR and you can also even find some answers on forums or speaking to collegues that you may know or that may know someone at the firm in a more informal way.

You SHOULD take profit of the interviews with consulting members of the firm to get to know more about them, their work and to show them that you could be a good soldier next to them on a engagement. Thus ask things realeted to: Projects they do, their experience growing at the firm, What they have gained joining the firm (if they came from another firm)... and so on.

Hope it helps!

M

Hi!

My suggestion would be:

NOT asking questions about money, conditions, perks/schemes to the partner/manager/associate that is interviewing you. Those kind of things you can discuss them later on with HR and you can also even find some answers on forums or speaking to collegues that you may know or that may know someone at the firm in a more informal way.

You SHOULD take profit of the interviews with consulting members of the firm to get to know more about them, their work and to show them that you could be a good soldier next to them on a engagement. Thus ask things realeted to: Projects they do, their experience growing at the firm, What they have gained joining the firm (if they came from another firm)... and so on.

Hope it helps!

M

Book a coaching with Iman

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I would not recommend to ask these questions. Personally I like it when a candidate asked questions that are more personal and cannot be learned from research alone. E.g. What makes you stay in the firm? How is it different from the other firms you worked in? How would you recommend me to manage my career in the firm?

I would not recommend to ask these questions. Personally I like it when a candidate asked questions that are more personal and cannot be learned from research alone. E.g. What makes you stay in the firm? How is it different from the other firms you worked in? How would you recommend me to manage my career in the firm?

(edited)

Book a coaching with Antonello

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Hi, in addition to all the great contribution of other coaches I recommend personal questions: if you can find the name of the interviewers (even the day of the interview by HR or other candidates) quickly look on LinkedIn and be curious about their paths (e.g. a particular industry, the MBA, ...)

Best,
Antonello

Hi, in addition to all the great contribution of other coaches I recommend personal questions: if you can find the name of the interviewers (even the day of the interview by HR or other candidates) quickly look on LinkedIn and be curious about their paths (e.g. a particular industry, the MBA, ...)

Best,
Antonello