Self-confidence during management consulting interviews is a turn-on for recruiters of Bain, BCG, McKinsey and other top tier management consulting firms. It makes you look more professional, it fuels your eloquence, and it makes you feel you deserve to get the job. The good news is that developing it shouldn’t be a stretch for you.
The Roots of Confidence
Confidence starts with yourself; no one else can give that to you. This implies that for this characteristic to bud, you must go back to your being. Focus on the bright side. Ponder on your strengths that make other people grateful. Recall how active you were at school or in an organization. Remember how you impressed your boss and colleagues with your achievements at work. Call to mind those moments when you were able to give pride to your family. These little but positive tidbits of self-appreciation reminds you of your worth as a person.
The Nature of Management Consulting Interviews
Being informed of what you are getting into helps you prepare for the challenge. In management consulting, recruiters conduct interviews for a couple of reasons: to know you and to assess your skills. In behavioral interviews, they will pose questions about your education, experience, goals and other relevant areas. These are formulated based on the cover letter and resume you submitted to them. During case interviews, they present a business case. You are then expected to evaluate it and give some recommendations for its resolution. This requires you to master consulting frameworks. They provide a step-by-step structure on how to approach each case.
The Positive Effects of Practice
“Practice makes it perfect” is an adage that never gets old because of the truth it conveys. The mastery you get from rehearsals also adds up to your confidence level. When you practice for a management consulting interview, you go through possible situational questions. You also study different business cases, operational strategies, marketing strategies, financial reports and techniques for answering. Your familiarity in these areas increases the chances of encountering the same concepts during the interview, making you feel more convinced of your answers. If possible, try to practice with a friend who can give you feedback on your answers and body language.
Awareness of the Nontechnical Aspects
The nontechnical aspects of the interview also have an impact on your confidence. In one of your practice sessions, try to grab a mirror and observe your body movements. Do you have a poor posture? Do you fold your arms, cross your legs and do other defensive gestures? Do you fondle your hair, bite your nails, tap the table with your fingers and jiggle your leg? These forms of fidgeting indicate you are neither comfortable nor confident with your answers. Further, put on some professional clothes for the interview. Your getup also influences your manners. It stirs you to answer and behave like a real expert.
Aside from developing your confidence, prepare for the other factors that affect your performance in an interview.