Before the Interview

Crushing the

Consultant Interview

I have been a consultant in the IT field since 2011, with a only a brief time as a full time employee circa 2012. Here I have gathered some tips based on my experience. I have been interviewed for many roles, and I have interviewed lots of people. 

Most of these tips are of course also applicable if you are applying for a full time role as much as a consultant role. Also 

As always, if you wanna discuss something (like interview prepping), just send me an email

Why prepare?

Why do you want to prepare for an interview anyway? Can't I just show up at the designated time, and answer which ever questions they want answered? Would it not be perceived as "cheating" that I have done all this preparation?

You can of course just show up to an interview without having prepared, but you would leave soooo much potential on the table. You don't want to attend an interview. You want to win it. Also you'll be so much more relaxed and eventually actually start to like the process.

Even though you feel you won't actually accept the offer if there was one, you should always aim at winning the interview. 

Also as someone who has interviewed a lot of people, I absolutely loved when people had done their research, it made my job so much easier and we could quickly move into a much frendlier demeener, which is where you want to be during the entire interview if possible.​

the stages

The way I see it, an interview have four parts. 

  1. Before the interview

  2. The interview it self

  3. After the interview

  4. Your first day at the assignment / job (more on this later).

Before the interview

As in many events in life, a consultatnt interview can be broken down into

  1. Where

  2. Why

  3. Who

Where?

This is where I start. Where am I applying? What's the story behind the company? Who founded it and when? How many employees? What department am I applying for? What's the culture at the company? 

Try to find and read up on both general information on these topics, as well as find recent articles.

Have the company recently released a new product they might be proud of? Or are have they perhaps recently received a lot of negative press? You will learn lots when doing this research, and it can help you shape your message.

Let's say the company you are applying for have received bad reviews on the user interface of a new product. Even though you might not be a user interface designer, this is something you might sneak into your conversation during the interview.

Resources I use a lot are Wikipedia, Glassdoor (for employee reviews), Breakit, DI etc.

Why?

What role are they applying for? Read the assignment description carefully. Highlight any areas where you have experience to back it up that you can mention, and also highlight areas where you feel you are less strong. This is important.

In many assignment descriptions there is a bunch of boiler plate text in the beginning and end, that you can usually skip if it aligns to what you learned about the company in the Where part.

Try to understand the need. Why do they need a consultant right at this moment? Is it a lack of womenpower/manpower or is it a lack of expertise? Maybe a bit of both?

Who?

Oh this step is so underrated and overlooked. Try (your very best) to find out who you are meeting for the interview. Look them up on Linkedin. Do you have any common aquaintancees? What have they written about themselfs? What roles have they previously worked and in which roles? Where did they go to school? Etc.

In all this you want to try to get to know the person as much as possible, and if possible find points you can relate to. I have this belief that you can connect to anyone in the entire world on a deep level if you knew a little more about them.