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Getting a job in management consulting

Where to find jobs in management consultancy and how to succeed at interview.

Management consultancy firms usually have well-organised and well-advertised graduate recruitment programmes, so comprehensive internet research and visiting your careers service are the best ways to inform yourself of vacancies.

Where to find the jobs

The majority of jobs in this sector are located in large international cities such as London, Paris and New York (firms list their office locations on their websites, so always remember to check these). On occasion, consulting firms recruit locally, more informally than through a graduate scheme, so it’s worthwhile contacting them directly if you are based overseas.

Very large, multi-national consulting firms typically operate across all industry sectors, whereas other smaller, niche firms specialise in particular industry sectors or service offerings.

Successful applications

Competition for entry is always intense and therefore your application has to be of an extremely high standard. Consulting firms typically only consider the very best candidates and your initial application (be it an online form or your CV) has to be absolutely first-rate.

Successful applications are likely to include:

  • Consistently high academic grades: results really do count for a lot in these firms
  • Participation in a variety of extra-curricular activities (this could include organisational, fund raising or promotional activities)
  • Some work experience, the ideal being an internship in a consulting firm but any relevant office experience is beneficial
  • Other skills such as IT and language competence.

The selection process

The application process is rigorous and can include psychometric tests, assessment centres and a lot of interviews. Preparation is an absolute requirement. Competence-based interviewing is standard. This means you will be asked to give examples of times you have demonstrated various skills in the past. The competences could include attention to detail, project management or working under pressure.

Staying up to speed on current affairs is key as this is a common topic in interviews and assessment centres.