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by Vault Consulting Editors | April 21, 2010

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While it's largely off season for consulting interviews now, it's always a good idea to stay on top of your interview game, either in preparation for recruiting season next fall, or in anticipation of new opportunities that will inevitably arise over the coming months/year. In that vein, here are some prep tips that'll help you get your game face on. These tips were compiled by Kevin Gao, an ex-McKinsey consultant and founder of Management Consulted, an interview prep company.

You can scroll through the slides yourself, but here are the highlights that stood out to me:

  • Networking is key. Use your contacts to get a leg up and an introduction, or hook up with a recruiter who will keep you abreast of new opportunities.
  • "For big companies, it's all about the resume. For small companies, the cover letter matters more," says Gao.
  • Practice, practice, practice makes perfect for the case interview, where you'll need to show off your analytical, problem-solving, and logic skills.
  • While analysis skills are crucial, firms are increasingly looking for candidates with a great personality match—so be sure to let yours shine through in the interview. Specific traits they're looking for? Superior communication/people skills, intellectual curiosity and attention to detail.

There's nothing too revolutionary here, but it's always good to be reminded of the key points that will make you stand out from the crowd. As Gao puts it, "Each firm has a different 'formula', but it comes down to basically 2 things: are you able to think quickly and thoroughly about business-like problems, and are you able to communicate them convincingly and succinctly?"

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