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Get the skills consulting recruiters want

The skills consulting recruiters are looking for in 2018

We spoke with leading consulting employers about the competencies and skills they are looking for in graduates applying now for consulting jobs starting in 2018. We also asked them to describe how to demonstrate these competencies during an interview or in an application.
As a consultant, your credibility depends on clear communication.


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


As strategy consultants, we constantly face new challenges on unfamiliar topics, often with limited, conflicting, or unreliable information. Creative thinking allows us to articulate and then navigate these challenges and develop an effective and innovative solution for our clients. We expect candidates to demonstrate creativity through their own real-world examples and by approaching our interviews – in particular the case study – in an engaging and thoughtful manner that goes beyond generic frameworks; success here helps us distinguish good candidates from great ones.

Ed Matthews, partner, Credo Business Consulting

Intellectual curiosity

Intellectual curiosity is required in economic consulting as you will need to think beyond the obvious parameters of a case and apply economic theories and insights that can make sense of a complex issue. Candidates can demonstrate intellectual curiosity by showing that if they’re interested, they read further around a topic and ask questions, to delve deeper in order to understand the subject. If they find that one line of investigation doesn’t work, they will look for another.

Emma Cairns, recruitment manager, NERA Economic Consulting


We are looking for outstanding, enthusiastic candidates. Their academic records should demonstrate significant analytical or quantitative experience, typically from a numerate discipline (eg mathematics, science, economics, finance, business or engineering). We are seeking credible, charismatic candidates with strong presentation skills and a professional demeanour, enabling them to succeed in the fast-paced business world of today. Candidates will be asked to demonstrate these skills by solving a case study during the interview and delivering a presentation on a specific topic.

Ben Enejo, management consultant, Arthur D. Little

Clear communication

As a consultant, your credibility depends on clear communication, whether you are discussing insights with your team, presenting to a client or drafting a formal report. It is not enough just to have the technical expertise to solve complex problems – it is also vital that you are able to translate your work into clear, simple insights that can quickly be understood by non-specialists. Written and oral communication skills are tested throughout the recruitment process here, through interviews, group exercises and case studies.

Jenny Vine, recruiting manager, FTI Consulting

Economic knowledge

It’s vital that our consultants are passionate about applying the latest ideas in economics, as we offer rigorous answers to some of the most challenging questions in consulting. As a consultant here, you will communicate your ideas to demanding policy and commercial decision makers. You will be supported by your colleagues to enhance your skills so that you can produce powerful analyses and progress on your own merit. For our analyst programme, we look for an undergraduate degree (min 2.1) with an economics focus, and typically a Masters in economics.

Caroline Dean, recruitment team lead, Frontier Economics