16 November 2018

Acing a Consultancy Interview

How to ace a consultancy interview?

Becoming a consultant can feel like a daunting challenge. At what point is it right to become a consultant? Will the market value my expertise? Do I have sufficient experience to get through the door at leading companies?

These are all questions that Ariad helps to answer when working closely with candidates. However, arguably the most important part of proving you have what it takes to become a highly successful consultant is having the right attitude. The shifting nature and rapid pace of consultancy means that it is a role that requires selling both yourself and your ideas to prospective clients.

You can have the best possible CV and portfolio on paper but if you’re unable to effectively convey your ideas and personality during a pitch then this can severely limit how well you are able to perform.

Here at Ariad, we look for three main characteristics from prospective consultants. Ticking those three boxes in the interview will be sure to impress.


Empathy is crucial in the making of any good consultant. It is the ability to understand the decision making process that has led a company to where they are today that allows you to help them tackle their issues moving forward.

The ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes should be a key skill for all professionals but it is often overlooked.

Stakeholder management and negotiation

We want our consultants to intuitively tune into the thought process of the companies that they are placed at. It is failure to understand the mistakes of the past that often condemns us to repeat them again. A good consultant should be able to tailor their solutions and expertise to the historic experiences and current reality of a client.

Having a vision for how a client can change and improve is one thing, turning it into a reality is another. One of the principle issues that is faced in any company embarking on a digital transformation project is an inherent resistance to change that flows through many organisations.

This is especially true in the case of industry leaders who in many ways are reluctant to change what they view as strategies that were the foundations of their success.

Our consultants should be able to clearly convey their vision whilst highlighting the potential problem areas that could prevent it from coming to fruition. An ability to identify and include the correct stakeholders is essential to effective consultancy.

If you are able to show experience in this area or develop strategic plans that correctly takes these aspects into account then you are sure to shine during your interview.

Maintaining a critical eye

The downfall of many modern companies has been the prominence of groupthink at both an executive and departmental level. Consultants are brought in to try to prevent this from happening by providing an outside perspective on the things that are going on within a company.

The hardest part of effective consultancy is the ability to combine empathy whilst balancing that with a critical analysis.

A consultant should be able to challenge teams on their processes and decision making to ensure that every aspect is of a project is well-thought-out. Not having a fear to challenge the status quo at an organisation is where consultants earn their paycheck.

Being able to cite examples of this in an interview will help you to stand out from the completion, meaning that you stick in the mind of our hiring manager.

Do you embody these characteristics? If so, you could be the perfect person to join our growing consultancy division!

Get in touch with a specialized recruiter today!