One of the wonderful side effects from a recovering employment market is that candidates find themselves once again with multiple interviews. With demand for high flyers returning to more healthy levels, we are certainly seeing more and more of our candidates facing a range of interview requests. With busy work and often heavy travel schedules to boot, finding the time to attend, and more importantly to adequately prepare for challenging interviews, is no easy task. Throw into the mix a variety of interview formats, from case studies and presentations to competency based questions and assessment centres, and it can all very quickly become daunting and confusing.
Many candidates find it very helpful to prepare for similar interviews (i.e. different consultancies) at the same time, and this makes good sense. When preparing for case studies, for example, practice does help. Beware, however of losing sight of why each opportunity is different, and more importantly what attracts you to certain firms over others. It is very easy to get lost in the technical preparations and fall down when it comes to convincing interviewers of why their company is the one you want to join. Thinking carefully about what differentiates one consultancy from another is critically important. Don’t forget that the culture of organisations and getting the right fit with new employees is incredibly important, and even more so in the boutique, and often more sought after firms. My advice, keep practising those case studies, but do put aside some time to really think about the “why”? Not only will it help to differentiate you from the competition but it will also go a long way in helping you to really uncover what it is that you are looking for in your next employer.
Katharine de Vaal is a consultant on the FreshMinds Talent Select team