Saturday, August 25, 2012

Recruitment Process Management Consulting Aspirants Need To Undergo

Each management consulting firm follows its own recruiting process, but all of them have a common denominator - they hire the best candidate from the crowd. To do this, they employ a variety of tools to point out who can add additional strength to the organization. The process usually starts with the identification of manpower need and ends with the signing of employment contract. In between these points are the steps explained below.
Once the need for additional experts has been recognized, recruiters post advertisements on their website, social media accounts, newspaper and online job boards for dissemination. However, prestigious firms carry out an all-year round recruitment of candidates by conducting information sessions, sponsoring club activities, participating in career fairs and joining networking events. They even utilize their internship program in observing students who can adapt well to consulting responsibilities and work environment. These are considered a wise way of publicizing their services and at the same time spotting potential employees. Fortunately, most firms receive hundreds of cover letters and resumes per month as this industry is quite popular among recent graduates and experienced professionals.
Job application screening follows the step above. Due to lack of time, recruiters reject applications that are poorly written and structured. For a written marketing tool to catch attention, there are three things applicants must bear in mind. First, the application must be specifically tailored for this industry. It is different from the application to other companies because details on education, experience and other qualifications must be stated in a way relevant to the target firm. Second, skills, knowledge and abilities must be emphasized. This will make the document stand out in the crowd. Lastly, it must be free from typo errors, grammar mistakes and design nuisances.
Then, some firms administer tests to further weed out applicants who are not qualified for the job. The results tell the recruiters about the capability, skills and personality of the taker, the reason why it's considered an effective tool. The test may be a combination of numerical, verbal, abstract or personality questions. Those who are selected for testing may call the firm's Human Resources Department to ask some information about the test materials. Awareness can definitely help them be equipped for the challenge.
Hiring decisions can't be made based on mere test results, though. For this reason, recruiters in this industry conduct two types of interview. The first one is called fit interview, and it may be done either in person or through a telephone call. This is the time when the recruiters get to know the applicants - their education, experience, interests, achievements and other relevant details. They also make use of behavioral questions to dig information on how applicants behaved in their previous job or at school. They also pose situational questions, a good strategy in knowing an applicant's commitment, sociability, industriousness and reaction to stressful instances.
The other one is called case interview, something classic to management consulting. It begins with a presentation of a vague business case, and the inteviewee is asked to analyze it from various perspectives and to generate recommendations within 20 to 30 minutes. Most applicants spend their recruitment preparation in this aspect since it's the most mind-boggling part. It calls for mastery of business cases, consulting frameworks, operational techniques and facing the interviewer confidently. Further, it is also the ultimate test of the interviewee's analytical thinking, problem solving ability and communication skills. Applicants shortlisted for case interviews usually have to undergo this challenge one to three times on different days.
After the final interview comes the grueling waiting period. Applicants can only stretch their patience at this time since the hiring decision is something they have no control of. To maximize the time for waiting, they are encouraged to look for and work on other opportunities constantly. Since it's a fact that people do not always get their dream jobs, it is a wise move to have back up plans.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Management Consulting Personality Tests

For management consulting recruiters to predict a candidate's possible performance at work, they assess their competencies, experience and education during resume screening, background check and interviews. Apart from these, they also consider their personality as this is the factor that explains how a person manages stress, deals with people and takes pressure in the workplace.
The explanation above is the reason why some firms administer personality questionnaires to applicants. Unlike verbal or numerical reasoning assessment, this type doesn't have right or wrong answers for there is no right or wrong personality. Everyone is unique; each one possesses a unique set of patterns and characteristics that recruiters respect. However, it is undeniable that there are certain preferences, and these are usually based on the main responsibilities of the position. A shy MBA graduate who has mastered all the consulting frameworks may not be offered the job due to lack of sociability, a non-technical requirement of the position. Because of her introversion, it may be difficult for her to gather data from people and get along well with clients.
Management consultants can be described based on how they think, how they feel and how they behave. They are usually the analytical, meticulous type of people. They evaluate all angles of a situation logically to come up with effective resolutions. Commitment and motivation to finish tasks on time despite any hurdles are other traits they must possess. They must also acquite good organizational skills so they can manage their time efficiently. Their hands will be quite full, so they must have the ability to balance things out. All the time, consultants must manifest professionalism in the way they express their ideas and deal with other people.
The personality tests will try to measure if you have the aforementioned traits, and this is the reason why answering each question seriously is crucial. With your answers, you are helping yourself and the firm decide if you are truly capable of carrying out the job. When you try to answer the tests, just be who you are. It basically loses its purpose if you project another person. Anyway, if this job really suits you, your answers will speak for yourself. So like how you deal with other tests, just give it your best shot.
However, there are a few ways of improving your test scores. One of which is answering personality surveys beforehand and evaluating the results. This guides you in bringing out your strengths in a variety of situations. You have to be consistent in doing this despite the conditions presented in the question. In some items, the same situation is just stated in different ways for a reliable basis of interpretation.
A personality test will ask you to answer a long list of true or false, multiple choice or sentence completion questions. The length might tire you, and as a consequence, you might just answer them mindlessly, hastily or with a pattern. Worse, you might not finish it at all. This is obviously a worthless idea because the results might be inconsistent with the information you indicated in your job application. The conflicting data will not necessarily put you down, but it might confuse the recruiters, resulting to longer fit interviews.
As you go through the questionnaire, answer the items based on how you usually behave in the workplace. You may like to slack off at home, but you handle things industriously in the office. When you're with friends, you may wear your heart on your sleeve but when with colleagues, you always ensure you are professional in dealing or communicating with clients. This doesn't necessarily imply putting your best foot forward to impress the recruiter. It only means you are letting them evaluate as a potential employee, and not as a buddy.
Also, make sure you are in a good mood when you are taking the test. When you are grumpy, irritated, in a hurry or impatient in getting to the last item, the results might reflect your pessimism and disappointment. Relieve yourself from any worries, put aside any previous disagreements and concentrate on who you are. After all, a personality test is all about the real you. If your management consulting application is rejected because of a personality test, it will certainly make you frustrated. But on the other side of the coin, it might not be your best option. Perhaps there's something else better in store for you.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

How To Ask For Business Referrals

It can be difficult to perfect a technique to use when you ask for referrals. Those with less social skills than average may find it doubly troublesome to take the initial steps needed to gain confidence in this vital business marketing effort.
It is important to build self-confidence before you ask for referrals. You will need to come off as respectable, reputable and professional. There are a few very basic tips to keep in mind that should help you build upon your confidence as you go.
Dress Sharp
Make sure you are comfortable and stylish in your appearance. If you lack a sense of style, get a friend to help you redo your wardrobe so that every piece you own makes you feel good to wear. The permanent shift in your wardrobe will also help to build longer term confidence.
Body Language
Make sure you keep a good posture, maintain eye contact, and nod or give other communication clues to let the speaking party know you are listening. Blindly smiling is not an option. If your prospective customer mentions serious issues, make sure your face reflects the seriousness as well.
Show Appreciation
Always show appreciation. Do not just launch 'Thank You's' at a person. Change up. "I really appreciate that", or "How kind of you to say." Let the consumer know you are in tune with their conversation and that you really do appreciate and consider their care and concerns.
Asking For Referrals
Once you have secured a bit of confidence for yourself you can begin to work your desire for referrals into the flow of the conversation. Some of the ways to ask for referrals can be:
1.) When at all possible, it is best to ask for referrals in face-to-face conversation. Not only is this more respectful, but it eliminates the chance for awkwardly feeling like the communication is under duress. Although some of us may feel uncomfortable asking for things, it doesn't mean that people are put off by the request. Seeing someone face-to-face can eliminate the anxiety of wondering.
2.) Do not ask for referrals when presenting a bill when at all possible. This is, in general, in bad taste as well as a bad time to ask for anything from your customers.
3.) Keep a script in mind for replies to general communications between you and your customers. When a customer lets you know they are happy with your product or service, take that time to share your scripted reply. "I am pleased you are delighted with our product, do you know of anyone else who may enjoy it as you have?" Of course the less scripted sounding the reply sounds is best. Once you have gotten used to the 'buzz' words that trigger your own replies, you will gain notable confidence to allow it to sound less like a script and more like genuine business relationship communications.
Once your self-confidence begins to combine with repetitive task that you will engage in when you ask for referrals, it will seem like second nature instead of forced conversation.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

5 Tips To Do It Correctly

The Toyota model of management has been proven to be so successful that manufacturing companies all over the world have adopted it with similar results. The Gemba walk is a management technique that has been found to be especially effective since it brings management in direct contact with the shop floor, thereby providing many opportunities for improvement.
The Gemba walk is unfortunately misunderstood very often. Most people think of it as just another name for 'Management By Walking Around'. Management does have to walk around a lot here, but in a structured manner that brings out the best results. Merely walking on the shop floor will not be effective for anything more than building rapport with employees. In fact, management might actually disrupt work flow by wandering around the shop floor.
If you are planning to use Gemba then you need to make sure that you also do the following:
1. Organize workers into groups or working teams, each of which has its own leader. This will ensure that there is a certain level of accountability for quality processes.
2. Go with a proper checklist so that you know what to look for. Look for the condition of equipment in use. Check whether workers are sticking to certain pre-set standards. Enquire whether the work status is as per schedule.
3. Look for areas where safety is compromised so that they can be rectified immediately. Ideally, the shop floor should be well maintained so that accidents are prevented.
4. Compare results of each Gemba walk with those of the previous ones. You should always look for continuous improvement. Any areas that do not show progress should be addressed immediately.
5. Encourage workers to understand the cause of a problem and to arrive at a solution based upon that. The main thing to be stressed here is that the right solution will be found only if the correct process is followed. It is not advisable for you to provide the solutions directly.
Your company will benefit greatly from this management technique as long as you do it exactly right and don't waste your employees' time with questions that are not relevant to the job. Productivity will increase and wastage will come down. There will also be a dramatic improvement in employee morale as a result of increased safety. If you are not sure about how to adopt this management technique then it's a good idea to get the necessary training.