What does Javelin Group do?

Javelin Group is a leading retail strategy consultancy firm. The strategy team specialises in omnichannel and digital planning, but we also support retailers with international expansion and carry out a considerable amount of commercial and operational due diligence. Alongside strategy, our other teams work across supply chain and fulfillment (operations), technology planning (echnology consulting), technology development (systems integration) and retail store formats and locations (locations & analytics). Javelin Group’s vertical model means we possess a range of skills and depth of expertise focused on ecommerce transformation that is second-to-none.

Why did you choose to apply for Javelin Group?

Having always had an interest in consumer-facing sectors, the specialism in retail and consumer goods encouraged me to apply to Javelin Group, particularly given the extent and speed of change in these industries over the past few years. The way that ecommerce and mobile have impacted the way that consumers shop and forged new consumer trends is fascinating. The opportunity to learn more about this impact and support companies with the significant challenges that they face in an ever-connected, omnichannel world really appealed to me. I was also keen to apply to a small consultancy firm, since it was evident that I would be given high levels of responsibility and exposure to clients from the outset, giving me further opportunity to develop my knowledge and skillset very quickly.

What was the interview process like?

Following an initial online maths test, my two first interviews were with the Cornell Partnership, Javelin Group’s recruitment firm. The first consisted of talking through my CV and my motivations for choosing both Javelin Group and a career in consulting. The second was case-study based, focusing on market sizing. After this, I was invited to an interview at Javelin Group. The first round included a CV-based and retail trend discussion and a case-study interview with managers from the strategy team. The final round involved a group case-study, producing key takeaways from the case study individually, and an interview with a director and the COO on the retail industry and my personal consumer profile.

Describe a typical day as a Consultant

Although the variety of projects was something that drew me to both Javelin Group and consultancy, the extent of this variety only really became apparent once I had started. Our work is project-based and, while we specialise in certain areas, the specific nature of each client’s business means that every project has its own nuances. Even within a project (typically 6-12 weeks), you could be doing different things on a weekly basis. Sometimes you’re at your desk researching foreign retail market trends, other times you’re producing consumer experience analysis or evaluating a company’s digital marketing capabilities. Some projects are Excel-based and involve financial modelling or business casing, others require more qualitative skills like report writing and preparing for workshops. This variety means that, despite long hours at times, work is never boring and you are constantly developing new skills and working in new ways.

What are the best aspects of your job?

The variety outlined above is definitely a large factor in the enjoyment of my job, as is making a real impact on firms that I have experience with as a consumer. The most enjoyable part of it, though, is the incredible team I have around me on a daily basis. While we are passionate about our work, collaborative and always ensure we complete client work to the highest possible standard, no one is too serious and everyone is keen to have a laugh. The team is young and we get along really well, with regular socials involving activities like treasure hunts, indoor golf, the Crystal Maze and an annual ski trip!

Do you have any advice for applicants?

A passion for retail and consumer-facing industries is key for this job. Applicants should be comfortable discussing emerging trends, retail news and who their favourite retailers are and why. Beyond this, case study practice is useful. Practicing market sizing exercises can really help shape the way you approach problems and make you more comfortable with numbers when it comes to the interview. Always be logical in your approach and talk the interviewer through your logic, even if it seems counterintuitive to do so. Remember, interviewers aren’t always looking for the right answer – they’re often just testing the way you think, whilst checking you make sensible assumptions and always take a logical approach to problem solving.