Can you answer these real-life management consulting interview questions?

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Management consulting interviews are known to be rather brutal. They mix in case studies that require specific frameworks with difficult brainteasers and even traditional behavioral questions. And at the top firms – like a Bain or a McKinsey – only a select few survive the process and earn an offer.

Below are a new collection of actual interview questions asked by major consulting firms. We weren’t made aware of which questions were asked by which firms, but the list comes from a top 10 business school, so it’s likely safe to assume these came from top management consultants.

They are indeed a mixed bag of inquiries that would keep anyone on their toes.

1. You are consulting for company that is the number 1 orange soda distributor in the world. They currently have 90% market share for orange soda and they want to understand how they can make more money. You have a presentation with their executives and you have a choice of two ideas to present:

a) You have an idea that would push them to 100% market share for orange cola and would help to convert some other cola drinkers to orange.

b) You have an idea that would extend the product line to other complimentary products or flavors.

Which would you present and how would you sell the idea to executives?

2. Here is data for three companies. You know nothing about the companies. The data given is Net Income after Taxes Assets Liabilities Equity and Revenue. What would you do with these numbers?

3. Tell me a situation when you work hard for your clients, but the result turned out to be bad.

4. Tell me about a time you tried to persuade someone but were unsuccessful in doing so. What do you do and how did you feel afterward?

5. If I synthesized a hypothetical manager together from all of your past managers and called him what would he say are your three biggest strengths? What would he say are your three biggest weaknesses?

6. What are the last three books you have read?

7. Your client is a retail company that primarily operates in the U.S. but also has some small existing global presence. It is looking to expand more internationally which will require enhancements to its internal technical infrastructure. Specifically its applications will need to operate across different timezones in different currencies and so on. How would you structure the project to accomplish this task for the client?

8. Why strategy consulting versus technology consulting?

9. Based on your experience on your resume, what is the biggest achievement?

10. What are the 3 qualities needed to succeed as a consultant? Which one of those qualities do you need most to improve upon? Which one does your resume speak best to?

11. Now can you tell me about a time when you really failed?

12. Should you get an offer from multiple consulting firms how will you decide which firm?


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