Here’s what you need to know about consulting interview evaluation criteria.
Evaluation criteria are designed to replicate real-life situations as much as possible. Therefore, in the case of interviews, you are assessed as if you are in an actual project and give recommendations to the client. You are expected to find a fact-based solution to make an effective recommendation with high impact potential, just as you would in an actual case.
What do interview evaluation criteria look like?
Given the expectations, the evaluation criteria mostly have three main blocks. You will want to focus on a few key areas in each block. We have described each below.
Communication & Presence
This skill will be demonstrated throughout the interview process, and the main evaluation criteria include presence, precision, active listening, and relationship management.
- Presence: Through your professional presence, you need to show that you are confident, credible, and can be trusted in front of a client.
- Precision: The interviewer will want to see that you are an effective communicator. They will evaluate precision through clear and concise speaking abilities.
- Active listening: In addition, you must show that you are an active listener. Demonstrate that you can maintain focus when someone else is speaking and that it is instinctual for you to ask the right questions to extract necessary insights.
- Relationship management: Finally, relationship management is critical. You must be able to gain the trust and respect of others in your firm and the clients’ organization to maintain strong relationships and be viewed as a credible consultant.
Problem Solving & Insight
This skill is assessed primarily during the case part of the interview. In this section, you are required to demonstrate structure, judgment, rigor, creativity, and synthesis.
- Structure: You will need to address problems holistically and develop an actionable solution to show you take a structured approach to your work.
- Judgment: Your judgment is assessed by your ability to weigh the importance of different aspects in the case and to allocate your efforts respectively.
- Rigor: Your ability to perform an accurate and dependable analysis shows rigor.
- Creativity: You display creativity when you willingly think outside the box and deliver more than the baseline requirements.
- Synthesis: Finally, you can effectively show your ability to synthesize information when you combine the information collected during the interview and build a consistent solution with all elements discussed with the interviewer.
Effectiveness & Impact
You show your effectiveness and impact potential mostly during the fit interview section. The interviewer would look for independence, team contribution, substance, learning, and achievement.
- Independence: Consulting firms want to rely on people who can act independently and deal with business problems effectively.
- Team contribution: However, it is also important that you can contribute effectively to a team. You will be asked to show how you contributed to your team in addition to the tasks you are already responsible for.
- Substance: In order to demonstrate substance, you need to show the firm that you can be objective and make decisions based on fact.
- Learning: From the very first day, until you retire, you will be acquiring new skills and expertise in your consulting career. Therefore, it’s important to show you are eager to learn at every chance and willing to go the extra mile for self-development.
- Achievement: Delivering a project as promised is the only success criterion for consulting firms. Likewise, they require their candidates to achieve challenging goals in their careers. Your commitment to achievement is important.
Interview Evaluation Criteria: How to Best Prepare
There are various ways to secure a top score from the interview evaluation. Here are our top recommendations.
Enroll in our Get the Offer course. This course includes both written and video material to explain to you more in detail the evaluation criteria and tips to perform well. Watch Prepmatter live case interview videos, which include feedback on the interviewee's performance during and after the interview. As you view the videos, make your own notes about how the interviewee could improve and compare them to the feedback. Use this information as you prepare yourself.
Check out the Prepmatter blog post here, to learn more about how firms assess their consultants. You can interview case partners and give them feedback across these criteria using the Prepmatter Interview Scorecard. This way, you will find the chance to empathize with the interviewer and see the critical mistakes that stick the most.
Finally, ask your Prepmatter coach to explain the case interview evaluation criteria in detail. Then, discuss each dimension after the interviews.
Evaluation criteria are designed to replicate real-life situations as much as possible, so the more you practice, the more comfortable you will feel both with an interviewer and in your future career as a consultant. Use our tips to prepare and continue to focus on the three main blocks of evaluation criteria to achieve a top score.