Non-Verbal Communication During Management Consulting Interviews

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

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For many, passing the management consulting interviews of McKinsey, Bain, Booz and other firms means being able to clearly communicate your answers and thoughts. Though this statement is true, the words “clearly communicate” must be clarified. Read this article to get more advice…

Research says that 70% of what you express can be accounted to your nonverbal communication, the process of conveying and understanding messages beyond words. This short definition simply suggests that not all words that come out of your mouth mean as they are. When you say, “I can do the job” during a management consulting interview, the recruiter actually listens between the uttered words and comes up with his or her own interpretation.

Components of Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal messages are measured through body language, paralanguage and material possession. Body language refers to physical movements such as your gestures, posture, facial expression and eye contact. This aspect is what the management consulting recruiter sees when you are face to face with each other.

The paralanguage refers to your pitch, intonation and volume. This aspect goes with the words you speak. The “I can do the job” sentence above can be conceived as “I’m not really sure if it’s the job for me” if spoken feebly. The words need to be let out in a firm voice to imply conviction.

Material possession refers to your choice of clothes, accessories, and your hairstyle. These components add a sense of professionalism to your getup. You have to appear clean and presentable because your looks have an impact during the interview. Management consulting recruiters are generally not impressed with unkempt hair.

How to Behave During the Interview

Below are some reminders on how to move better when you are called for a management consulting interview.

Be interested

To show that you are interested in a person, you can adjust your posture and head movement. Sit up straight but in a relaxing position. Slouching suggests indifference and indolence. When the recruiter says something, nod your head to acknowledge that you understand the idea or to encourage the other to keep talking.

Be confident

The management consulting recruiter of outstanding firms such as Accenture and Monitor starts to observe your confidence from the second you walk to the room. Hence, you must dress smartly and appropriately and for women, put on light makeup. Don’t forget your pleasant smile. You will not only seem positive about your interview; you’ll also look grateful for the chance, easy to get along with and calm under pressure. Do the handshake when you introduce yourself. Do it firmly, not too loose, not too tight.

Be sincere

Eye contact has a lot to say about sincerity. Look at the recruiter when you are being asked or giving answers to convey that you are paying attention to your conversation. If you don’t, it will give an impression that you’re shy, you lack self-assurance or worse, you’re just making up answers. However, be reminded to look away from time to time. Gazing at the recruiter the entire interview causes fear and discomfort.

Be Calm

When you are nervous, you unconsciously manifest it through your body movements such as tapping your fingers on the table, jiggling your leg, fiddling your pen or other ways of fidgeting. Be sure you control these habits. Rest your hand on your lap when you’re not using them. Be aware of your anxiety tendencies and avoid them during the interview.

Non-verbal messages are often neglected by management consulting applicants without knowing that they make or break the performance. When you’re called for a consulting interview, make sure that you don’t commit the same mistakes again.