Got an interview with a consulting firm that specializes in financial consulting? Or thinking about applying for a position with one? Either way, you'll probably want some idea of what you're likely to be asked in the interview. Good news: we've got you covered, with sample questions from people who have either recently been through the process with the top firms in the financial consulting field, or who conduct interviews for their firms. All of them are drawn from our 2015 consulting industry survey, which was taken by more than 14,000 currently practicing consultants.
Want to know a little more about the financial consulting industry? Be sure to check out our ranking of the top firms in the field.
Behavioral Interview Questions
1. "Tell me about a time you had to work in teams. What was your role? How did you contribute?"
2. "Tell me about a time you were faced with a difficult challenge or an issue with a client, and what were the steps that you took?"
3. "Describe for me a situation that put you in a difficult position with your client and how you responded."
4. "Describe an instance where you resolved a conflict in a team."
Case Interview Style Questions
5. "For the sake of simplicity, assume there are two large multistate lotteries. They have identical structures: same low odds of winning the jackpot (something like 1 in 150MM), same starting jackpot size, two drawings a week, same $1 per ticket price, same fixed % of ticket sales that are funneled into the jackpot (jackpots grow based on deposits from ticket revenue), and same process for rolling over un-won jackpots into the next drawing (i.e., the jackpots can grow quickly given the low odds of winning). The CEO of one of the lotteries approaches us and says: I think we could generate significantly more revenue by doubling our ticket price to $2. How would you help me estimate how much more money we could make? Additionally, what are some other levers we could pull (profitably) to help improve the attractiveness of buying our tickets vs. the competitors?"
6. "How would you help develop a US entry strategy for a Canadian bank?"
7. "Pretend DC Bikeshare is moving to Washington, DC for the first time. What is the number of potential riders they can hope to capture? Assume they will place 20 stations around the city. Where should these bike stations go?"
8. "Solstice, a local up-scale gym, is considering offering a new type of gym membership. They are noticing that their client base is largely regular gym-goers – those who are dedicated to going to the gym five to seven times per week. However, because of the high cost of membership, they are having trouble attracting the more casual gym-goers – those who go about two to three times per week. The President of Solstice thinks that they can attract more of these clients by offering a new type of gym membership that is suited to the casual gym-goer's needs, i.e. access to Solstice gym locations on a limited basis. Solstice has contacted [our firm] and asked for help in coming up with an approach to define/design the details of this new gym membership (e.g. participating locations, limitations of the membership). In addition, Solstice has asked for help in coming up with an approach to decide on the price of the membership and to estimate the effect of the new membership on profitability."
Want some help with tackling this style of question? Check out Vault's recently-updated guide to consulting case interviews.
Subject Matter Expertise
9. "Tell me about your work on Volcker or CCAR."
10. "What is your understanding or RENTD, FRY9C?"
11. "Can you share details about white papers submitted by you? Can you explain about the transformational idea identified and implemented by you and/or your team and the related value realized by your customers?"
12. "What do you know about the trends within your industry and where do you think the next focus of industry players should be and why?"
13. "What is your experience with Microsoft Access and other data management software/tools?"
14. "How many windows are there in New York City?"
15. "How much revenue would you estimate Bolt Bus makes from NYC to Boston?"
16. "How many dentists work in Canada?"
17. "How would you value Restaurant X?"
18. "How do you see yourself fitting in a smaller firm versus our larger competitors?"
19. "Walk me through a successful project from your last firm."
20. "Given a specific project (to be defined by the interviewer), what would you do in the first 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months?"
21. "Are you open to travel?"
22. "How do you rate us compared to the other companies you looked at?"
23. "Rate your top 5 criteria for working in the consulting field and explain their priority."
24. "Take 10 minutes and then describe for me in detail the career you see unfolding at [this firm] for yourself over the next 5 years."
25. "For senior hires: Please tell me how you would go to market, develop new business."
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