Employer Insights, an event held every semester, invites speakers and representatives from different employers to connect with graduate students and offer job and career prep advice on their industry fields. In a recent session, Slalom’s Talent Acquisition Manager Eric Hoffman and Senior Principal (Data and Analysis) Mohnish Swaroop shared insights and tips with graduate students interested in applying for jobs in consulting.
1. Top skills a great consultant possesses
A successful consultant is usually a critical thinker, problem solver, strong communicator, and a good team player. Broadly skilled, a consultant can think critically and help clients solve their problems, as Mohnish shared. He also pointed out that being good in communication does not only mean communicating with clients verbally or in a written form but also be able to listen to them and understand what they are experiencing before figuring out a solution. In addition, a consultant should also be proactive, enthusiastic, and able to adapt to new technology. Overall, a strong candidate, he believed, would bring creative and analytical thinking to their projects and is always ready to interact with clients and executive leaders.
2. Preparing for the interview
Here is a checklist of questions Eric suggested candidates could ask themselves during their preparation for the interview.
- Have you researched the company?
- Who will be on the interview panel?
- Will it be an individual or group interview?
- Is there anything from the job description that you are less familiar with and want to learn more about?
- Which type of interview is it, behavioral, case study, or technical?
- What are the must-have skills for this position?
- What are the nice to have skills for this position?
- What questions do you have for your interviewers related to the role or company?
3. During the interview
Eric offered a few tips for candidates to navigate the interview process.
- If there is a tough question, feel free to take some time and plan your response by asking for a moment or two to think about it. In your response, try to redirect to an area or relate it to a similar skill that you are familiar with.
- Feel free to take notes that will help keep you on topic after asking for permission to do so.
- Engage in the interview conversations with a positive attitude, enthusiasm, and confidence.
- It’s okay to ask questions throughout the interview as long as they are relevant to the topics being discussed.
For more information about the consulting field, check out Vault’s guides to consulting and another blog about UConn alumni sharing tips on careers in consulting.