So you want to ace your interview and get the job? Good, we like your initiative and we're here to help. There are quite a few resources regarding interview preparation from folks with far more experience in recruiting and interviewing than me. You should definitely start there. But if you want to learn more about the interview process for North Highland's Academy an dpick up a specialized checklist for your upcoming interview, this post is for you.
I've been in your shoes before. Right before my final round of interviews, I was shaking with nerves (the extra cup of coffee probably didn't help) and doing deep breathing exercises. Sure, I had done everything I could to prepare, but I didn't have this insider's interview guide.
Based on my own interview experiences, conversations with my colleagues on their experiences, and feedback from those who conducted my interviews, I've compiled a list of 3 major keys to acing your interview.
1. Make sure you can explain what North Highland consultants do to a friend or family member.
Familiarize yourself with North Highland--but don't just quote us as "the leading change and transformation consultancy." Though we are a consistently top-ranked and highly reputable firm, we want you to know more than that. What are our offerings? How would you connect what we offer to the potential needs of a client? How do your experiences and interests map to North Highland's capabilities?
As an Analyst or Consultant in the Academy, we don't expect you to know it all or be able to speak to every area of our business, but passion for what we do and cognizance of it is important. You should also be able to explain how your particular set of skills can add value to North Highland based on your understanding of how we operate our business.
Need a place to start? We suggest exploring North Highland's Insights section for a topic that interests you. I've linked a few topics below that I was interested in:
2. Show your work, not just the final answer.
The case study interview is a miniature problem-solving exercise and is just one piece of the hiring process. In order to excel, make sure you are walking your interviewer through your thought process. Give the context around why you suggest a certain approach.
We expect you to ask questions and take a moment to gather yourself. We understand you might be nervous or intimidated, but each interview is meant to mimic the consultant-client relationship and get to know you and how you approach things, so it's goingto be more conversational than calculated.
Use each interview--whether an office tour, a behavioral fit, or the case study--as a chance to show how you are qualified, both by giving good, sensible answers, and by explaining HOW you got to that answer and what informed and influenced our approach.
Here are a few resources we recommend to help you get started:
3. Bring your whole self to the interview.
There's a lot you can do to prepare for an interview--learn about North Highland and the services we offer, practice your elevator speech, articulate why you want (and deserve) the job, try some practice case studies--but most importantly, ensure that you are bringing your unique, authentic self to your interviews.
North Highland is a people-centric firm. We pride ourselves on having an inclusive, relationship-oriented culture. Because of this, we want to get to know you based on more than a prepared speech. We wan tto know what really matters to you, what drives you, what irks you, and what makes you your best.
As consultants, we spend a lot of our day talking to coworkers, clients, and vendors. We're not all extroverts, but we exceed at our job by truly getting to know people and responding to various personalities accordingly. So, in your interviews, let your conversations say something about who you are as well as what you bring to the table. If you do that, you are more likely to win over your interviewers and get the job.
If this list helped you or you have any other suggestions, be sure to mention it to your recruiter--they are always looking to improve the candidate experience!
Roma is a consultant with over two years of experience in the financial services, hospitality, and healthcare industries. Her areas of expertise include business storytelling, change management, data visualization, customer strategy, and market research.