Are You Aware Of Your Body Language?

Written by . Posted in Case Interview Prep, Fit Interview Prep

Body Language

Most people are not thinking about their body language in every day life, and most are also aware that it is probably a good idea to think about body language during a consulting interview. Read more to get some ideas…

This is true, except that this is not only a “good idea”, but this should be one of your KEY PRIORITIES during every interview. Bad body language can destroy your chances of landing the job, regardless of how well you solved your case or did your experience interview. The interviewer has to get a picture of a confident, passionate and energetic person. And you can only communicate this through great body language.

A case interview that goes bad can be saved if you communicate confidence, and that you can handle such situations without being nervous and by still being passionate about the job.

Read an interesting article about body language from Businessweek. Also have a look at our free guide on how to prepare for consulting interviews.

Practice Your Math Skills Everywhere

Written by . Posted in Case Interview Prep, Tests


Sitting in a coffee shop now and just had a discussion with a friend about how people best can utilize their time when preparing for interviews. It hit me just how much we all can actually use our everyday situations to our advantage. Especially a thing like practicing math skills, which is essential for consulting. Read more…

You might think that this is not necessary in a world of spreadsheets and calculators. I have two points about this: firstly, the interview process itself is very demanding about your math skills. Secondly, great math skills are very useful in the day-to-day management consulting job afterwards.

There are many situations where this is true. Even in the most simple meetings, numbers are thrown up in the air: “What would our margin be?”, “How much did the 10% discount cost the client last year?”, or the cliché “What is the quick and dirty estimate of the market?”. At client meetings you might also get questions where math skills will help you a lot.

Estimation Example

Use all situations in your everyday life to your advantage. Take my coffee shop location now. I could try to estimate the daily revenue of this coffee shop. Here are the steps that I would go through.

How many customers do come here during daytime?

There are 20 seats, and it is afternoon now – the busiest part of the day. About 15 seats are taken. I will assume that 10 seats are occupied at any time, and that the average length of visit is 1 hour. So there are 10 seated customers per hour. The coffee shop is open from 8 am to 10 pm – this is 14 hours. So, there are 140 seated customers per day.

Apart from the seated customers, there are also some people buying takeaway coffee as the coffee shop is located close to some office locations. My guess is that there are about twice as many takeaway customers – so 280 per day.

What is the average spend per customer?

The seated customers usually buy coffee (about EUR 3) and some snacks or a cake (about EUR 1). A total of EUR 4. The takeaway customers usually only buy coffee, so lets assume the average revenue for them is EUR 3 per customer.

What is the daily revenue?

  • For seated customers: EUR 4 * 140 customers = EUR 560
  • For take-away customers: EUR 3 * 280 customers = EUR 840
  • Total: EUR 1.400

Other Examples

Here are some other useful situations where you can practice your mental math skills:

  • in grocery stores, try to calculate the total price of all items you put in your basket (including possible discounts!)
  • estimate daily/monthly/annual revenue of different stores, bars, cabs, hairstylists, etc. where you are present
  • when you wait for your food at a restaurant, estimate the total costs of different ingredients

Estimating annual revenue for a cab driver might sound silly – but the process is the same as for estimation cases, and you will quickly get up to speed with your math skills if you push yourself. Ask yourself what you can do NOW to practice your math skills.

Have a look at our guide on How to Land a Job in Management Consulting which has more advice for consulting interview preparations.

Use Frameworks to Solve Consulting Case Studies

Written by . Posted in Case Interview Prep

Case Interview

Case interviews are the most challenging part in the recruiting process at any consulting firm. Many people are looking for advice on how to handle the interviews.

We have just release our new guide – guide to Case Interview Frameworks. Learn which frameworks to use and how to use them. Memorizing these frameworks will make it much easier for you to handle the interview. Read more about the Guide to Case Interview Frameworks.

The guide will help you save time so you can focus on practicing business cases. This is the only way you can become really good at solving these cases. The theoretical university/college frameworks are usually not sufficient in solving such cases. Consulting firms look for pragmatic solutions to common business problems, so your frameworks should be adjusted to that.

You Might Also Like...

How to Get Out of Your Case Interview Alive

Written by . Posted in Case Interview Prep

Case Interview

The format of many case interview questions is fairly simple: “How many [widgets] are [produced, sold, installed] in [time frame] in [arbitrary location].” You may also hear something like, “Why does [company] choose to do [unique business practice] even though it causes [known consequence]?”. Read how to get alive…

Breaking it down like that may make the questions seem simple, or even rote. But they are not, by any means. Contrast the first with, “How many electrical generators are likely to be sold this year in Nigeria?”

Clearly, the format is simple but provides a wealth of variety for interviewers looking to test their candidates’ understanding of business concepts and critical thinking in compressed time lines.

The first thing to keep in mind is that while the venue and type of business will change, your analysis should not. The skills you have acquired in analyzing potential problems won’t differ whether you’re covering motor yachts or apple picking.

Stick Figures and Flow Charts

You may ask your interviewer for a minute or two to collect your thoughts, and we highly recommend that. Before you get into your analysis, you may be having difficulty because of nerves or trying to concentrate.

If you enjoy putting a face on the problem, feel free to draw a stick figure representation. For the Nigerian example above, a person, next to a box connected to a light would work fine. If you think in diagrams, then a flowchart of the path from needing electricity to buying a generator might help.

Either way, you have taken the pressure of the interview down to a more manageable level. In creating a new diagram or picture, you’re creating a “client” who you’re helping, and not the interviewer.

Using What You Just Made

You will likely be making frequent calculations, so graph paper is a good idea since you can write ideas and build charts for your management consulting firm interview. Rephrase the question and make sure that you have it right before you begin.

Then chart what you want to address and how you will do so. This should be part of an ongoing conversation you have with the interviewer, who may be able to provide additional information and answer any questions that you have.

If you’re stuck in an area where you’re lacking information, feel free to glance back at your stick figure (which should now be the 2nd or 3rd page back) or flow chart and look for elements that the interviewer may be able to help you with.

Remember, You Know How to Do This

The thing about the case interviews is that you are applying the principles you already know to a new situation. But the approach itself isn’t drastically different, and the questions (as we noted before) are similar to the ones you worked out in business classes.

Make sure that you ask questions that are pertinent and quantitative in general, and that you always return to the question involved. And prepare to wow your interviewer.

You Might Also Like...

How to Show a Corporate Image in Consulting Interviews

Written by . Posted in Case Interview Prep, Fit Interview Prep

corporate image

You may already be itching to get started with your first interview. The resume and cover letter you prepared struck gold with the hiring personnel at a top management firm. Read more…

There’s just one thing: if you don’t look the part, it may not matter how good your answers are during a management consulting interview.

The Corporate Image

Recruiters say all the time that candidates should stand out based on their qualifications and not their wardrobe, but it’s doubly important in the management consulting sector. You will be dealing with executives from high-ranking companies, and the consultants you work with want to make sure that you put forth the company image in how you act and dress. Forgetting this for the interview may mean you could forget it in a client meeting.

Skirts, Dresses and Suits

Pastels, print patterns and other designs are great for the weekend when you’re with friends. Keep them out of your wardrobe choices for your first management consulting interview. In fact, the standard black or charcoal suit from a mid to upper level designer for men may seem like an uninspired choice, but you want to create a canvas that the firm sees as able to meet their goals. Pair it with a sedate white or gray shirt and a blue, yellow or red tie.

Women will likely benefit from pant or dress suits that are conservative in cut and allow them to work without adjustment. Shoes should not look like they came from Sex and the City, either.

Moreso than the clothes themselves is the attention to detail in preparing them. If you can afford it, have your clothes professionally cleaned and pressed prior to the interview. Make sure that all shoewear is polished and free from dirt. Above all, make sure that there are no rips or stains on any items you plan on wearing

Hygiene and Haircuts

Nail biting, long haircuts and poor skin quality are not necessarily the signs of traits that management consultants aspire to hold. Make sure that your hair doesn’t cover your ear if you’re male and doesn’t come close to touching your collar. Females may want a short haircut that doesn’t require much upkeep.

For grooming, focus on the things that interviewers will notice first, nails that are free from excessive nail polish for women and not bitten down to nubs for men. Males who need to shave infrequently should time it so there is neither stubble nor razor burn.


Family heirlooms and gifts from friends and relatives may have a personal meaning to you. So, too will class rings and other signs of membership. If they seem gaudy or ostentatious, though, you set off warning signals. Keep the jewelry to watches for men and perhaps a ring, and simple earrings for women in addition. Large gemstones can also be a bit overpowering in setting a first impression.

With all those aspects marked off your checklist, you can be sure that your responses to questions will be what the recruiter remembers most, not the striped shirt that belongs in a club or disco.

You Might Also Like...