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Get the skills consulting recruiters want

The skills consulting recruiters are looking for in 2019

Leading consulting employers speak about the competencies and skills they are looking for in graduates applying now for consulting jobs starting in 2019, and offer tips on how to demonstrate these during an interview or in an application.
A strategy consultant’s advice to clients needs to be creative but grounded in evidence.


Here’s the honest truth: not everything you do will work right away. This is why you need grit: the strength of character to keep going when others’ belief is wavering, the mental agility to evolve your solution as circumstances shift around it, and an unfaltering focus on the long-term benefits of the change you’re introducing. Our selection days are purposefully tough. We look for candidates who rise to this challenge. Great candidates tell us about experiences where they used a setback as a way to improve.

Sarah Anderson, graduate recruitment manager, Newton Europe


A strategy consultant’s advice to clients needs to be creative but grounded in evidence, sometimes provocative and always practical. An innate curiosity about how the world works is essential, as is being able to remove yourself from the parameters of a question and tackle the problem from a unique perspective. We look for consultants who are intrigued by new ideas and who can flexibly apply them to our clients’ toughest challenges. Creativity and innovation are highly valued at OC&C, particularly as your career progresses.

Melissa Edmondson, recruitment officer, OC&C Strategy Consultants

Critical thinking

NERA’s clients value our ability to apply and communicate state-of-the-art approaches clearly and convincingly, our commitment to deliver unbiased findings, and our reputation for quality and independence. We need critical and independent thinkers who can effectively analyse the data and draw conclusions based on the evidence before them, even if the results are unexpected. You can demonstrate this at interview by breaking down the information based on the data available and drawing logical conclusions based on the facts.

Emma Cairns, recruitment manager, NERA Economic Consulting

Entrepreneurial spirit

An entrepreneurial spirit, paired with an analytical mind, acts to truly differentiate applicants. Our interview process is designed to allow applicants to demonstrate a broad range of the skills required to be an exceptional consultant and, as a result, highlights those who are inherently entrepreneurial, those who are able to find a creative yet feasible solution, based on client and market insight, to a given problem. It is the presence of such abilities throughout our firm that enables us to add real value to our clients.

Connell Stewart, associate consultant, Teneo Consulting

Problem-solving ability

Although a job at Alfa entails technology and finance, experience in these areas is not a prerequisite in candidates. Alongside initiative and an ability to work in teams, it is vital that our graduate consultants have a logical approach to problem solving so that they can help our clients to run their businesses more efficiently and more effectively. You can demonstrate this during the recruitment process by citing examples where you combined analytical skills, creativity and logical thinking to identify a problem, come up with a solution and implement it.

Katie O’Reilly, HR generalist, Alfa


The ability to work as part of a team is key to your success as a consultant. You need to be able to share facts and insights, and interact effectively, with different personalities. You’ll have support from every member of your team, and you’ll return that support. At interview, demonstrate your collaborative abilities to recruiters by talking about a time when you worked with other people, to achieve a common goal. Were you able to inspire and motivate members of the team to reach success?

Isobel Newson, recruiting manager, L.E.K. Consulting