Consulting jobs are highly sought after but are also quite difficult to get. To get a consulting job, you must answer the question, “Why consulting.” Employers ask questions to almost every candidate who applies for a consulting job.
It’s a common interview question. You have to be sure to answer this question as uniquely as possible. While some aspects of your response will be slightly generalized, you must say something that makes you stand out from the other candidates.
As a consultant, you will be responsible for sharing your valuable opinion with the company’s clients. You can be a financial consultant, a cyber security consultant, a business, or a management consultant. Your area of expertise will determine whether the employer will hire you so that you can share your insights with others.
While answering the “Why consulting” question, you should be thoroughly prepared with your response. You need to know why you want to become a consultant in the first place so that you can answer the question convincingly. As it is a lucrative job, cracking the interview will set you on your path to success.
Why do Employers Ask The Question, “Why Consulting”?
Employers ask why you want to become a consultant for various reasons:
- Your employers want to know about your professional background.
- Your employers want to know about your previous work experience and ascertain whether you have adequate knowledge to share your expertise with others.
- They want to know whether you are updated and whether you know about the current challenges of the industries.
- They want to know if you have adequate problem-solving skills to help the clients with their problems.
- They want to know why you want to become a consultant and your long-term goals if you choose this career.
- Your employers will want to know what you enjoy the most about consulting and whether that will translate into real motivation to do the job well.
- The employers will test your communication skills as this is the most important skill you will need while dealing with clients and offering them solutions.
- They want to know if your consultation methods align with their company’s goals and how you will contribute in the long term.
How to Answer The Question, “Why Consulting” Efficiently?
While an interview for a consulting job is like other interviews, and you will get some common questions, answering these questions will often determine whether you will land the job. Here is how you can answer it efficiently:
1. Make a Direct Statement
You must respond to the question with a direct statement. Refrain from fumbling or beating around the bush with the response.
Respond directly by saying that you want to become a consultant because you have valuable insights to share because of the number of years you have spent in the industry. You want new entrepreneurs to succeed with that knowledge.
2. Give Specific Instances
It would be best if you refrained from making generalized statements. Once you have stated your reason, follow up by stating specific details.
For example, you can say that you want entrepreneurs to succeed in crucial areas like planning, marketing, and budgeting. Then explain some of the strategies you will use to achieve the objective.
3. Focus on Providing Value
While your personal goals are essential while responding to the question “why consulting,” focus more on providing value through your services. For example, you can say how helping budding entrepreneurs will help strengthen the economy.
Or, you can say how correct consultation can help the industry solve problems more efficiently, which is why you feel passionate and driven about your job. Then, even speaking about personal goals, you can say how it will help you enhance your leadership skills rather than just saying that it is a high-paying job.
4. Use Examples
Even if it is your first consulting job, you should give examples to show how you have always had a knack for providing solutions to problems. You can talk about your previous work experience and highlight areas where you helped your department overcome a difficulty.
Or you could say how you came up with a strategy for streamlining the operations that inspired you to go into consulting. Providing real-life examples will always help you demonstrate your skills better.
Examples to Answer The Question, “Why Consulting”
Here are some examples to help you answer “Why consulting” more efficiently. It would be best if you personalize the answer depending on the area of consulting you want to go into.
Example 1I have over fifteen years of experience in financial management, and I have gained enough knowledge and expertise to help others manage their finances better. It’s the key for any start-up to succeed. Many of them fail to take off because they need to figure out how to manage the inflow and outflow of cash in the initial days of setting up a business.
I have enough knowledge about money management now, and I will be able to help them in this area.
Example 2I want to get into consulting because I am a good teacher. I had worked as a teacher in my community in the initial days of my career before pursuing higher studies and entering IT. But I had immensely enjoyed teaching, and now, with almost twelve years of experience in IT, I want to go back to it.
I can share my valuable input with entrepreneurs who want to set up their IT firms. It will be a great blend of both, and I look forward to this new phase in my career.
Example 3I have always enjoyed problem-solving because that challenges me the most. In my ten-year stint as a cyber analyst, I enjoyed exploring new perspectives and developing solutions for possible threats. That helped me see that I could do so much more by helping businesses look at ways to eliminate threats or deal with them.
I could do that as a consultant instead of simply working at my desk, looking at my projects. Since the industry faces many cyber threats, it would be great if businesses knew how to minimize risks to their ventures.
Example 4I have worked at a construction company for twelve years and have seen the risks the industry faces today. Risk management is essential to any business dealing with heavy machinery or high-risk tasks. Moreover, I am also looking for a leadership role at this phase of my career.
A consulting job would be a perfect blend of both, as I could help other companies eliminate risks and add value to the industry while charting a way for my professional growth.
Example 5I have worked as a civil engineer for fifteen years and have enough expertise to help other firms overcome challenges. I used to work specifically on how geographical locations impact architectural designs, and there are a lot of challenges in this sector because of the constant changes we are facing in an environment.
As a consultant, I could help firms overcome the challenges of construction when faced with environmental issues because, as a civil engineer, I had to work extensively on the solidity and strength of the structures we built.
Mistakes to Avoid While Answering The Question, “Why Consulting”
Here are two mistakes you must carefully avoid while answering the question:
1. Not Doing Your Homework
You must have adequate industry knowledge to answer why you want to get into consulting. Or else you will end up giving generic answers which will not impress your recruiters.
You must know about the challenges your prospective clients face and show your employers what strategies you have to address those challenges. If you give the same answers as the other candidates, you will fail to impress them.
2. Not Highlighting Your Value
You must focus on adding value to the company and industry. Towards that end, you need to know about the goals and targets of the firm. Your desire to move into consulting is not enough. It would help if you convinced your employers that you can help them reach their business goals.
You must highlight your value and demonstrate how you intend to meet those goals. Show a strong interest in the firm and confidently communicate to show you can be a real asset.
3. Not Being up to Date
You must be in a particular career or industry for quite a few years to gather enough expertise to become a consultant. However, you have to remember that things are never stagnant just because you were a part of it for a long time. A lot of changes may happen in a decade, so something you did five years back may not be irrelevant now.
You must keep yourself up to date about what is going on in the industry at present to be able to help others with your knowledge. So be sure to read up on everything on the current changes and challenges of the industry before you go for the interview.
A consultant job is high-profile, and not just anyone can become a great consultant. You need to have years of expertise in a particular field to qualify.
If you’re about to appear for a Consulting job interview, you must prepare well. And one of the most commonly asked questions is, “Why Consulting?.” This detailed guide will help you correctly answer this question.