To ace a management consulting case interview, you must be able to provide the right answers to the questions. Apart from this, you also need to convey the right nonverbal messages. Hiring decisions are usually made based on those two elements of communication.
Research says that a greater percentage of the conveyed ideas can be accounted to your nonvebal communication, the process of sending and receiving messages beyond words. This means that interviews are not convinced with your words right away. They still observe if your answers are consistent with your body language. If you claim you have the confidence to deal with different personalities, the interviewer checks the other visual cues first before he or she arrives at a conclusion.
According to Wikipedia, most studied nonverbal messages can be measured in three ways: body language, material possession and paralanguage. The first category refers to how you move your body. This includes your eye contact, posture, facial expressions and other noticeable gestures. This is the most obvious part; you are still able to convey something even without words. Yes, the way you walk to the interview room already creates an impact.
The next category focuses on your choice of clothes, hairstyle and accessories. Even if you’re not comfortable with the idea, these elements contribute to your sense of professionalism. Hence, you have to look clean during your interview to boost things up. The last category, paralanguage, is noticed every time you speak. It refers to the pitch, volume and intonation you use. To elaborate the example stated above, the interviewer will be convinced that you are confident only if you speak firmly and eloquently.
Your nonverbal messages have a bearing during consulting case interviews. If you’re not conscious of how you deliver messages, here are two tips for you. First, observe yourself in front of the mirror as you rehearse your answers. Do your eyes keep rolling from one side to another? Can’t your hands stay put on your lap? Does your face make negative facial expressions? Answering all these questions in the affirmative isn’t a good sign. You must correct these mannerisms. Also, take advantage of professional friend with whom you can have mock interviews with. He or she can provide impartial feedback on how you behave in front of another person.
During the consulting case interview, present yourself competently, like how consultants would act in front of a client. Here are some tips you will find useful:
After exchanging questions and answers with your interviewer, thank him or her for the time. Initiate a farewell handshake and hold it for a couple of seconds. Make it firm; it should be neither too tight nor too loose. If there are two or more interviewers in the room, shake hands with everyone.