The Power Of Unconscious Signals In A Consulting Case Interview

It is not uncommon to come across stories about an applicant consultant that makes it to the final round of interviews only to be passed over for the position due to nervousness. Did you know that the signals you send out, whether they are unconscious or conscious, perform an enormous part in the impression the interviewer will form of you?

Within the first few minutes of your case interview, the interviewer has formed an opinion and this will represent a key role in how they will interpret your actions during your case interview. It is for this reason that showing just the appropriate amount of confidence is vital. A client that is unsure about whether they are committing to a sound business decision will be unhappy to be asked to give a fee to a consultancy firm for uncertain advice.

In addition to your case interview skills, the interviewer will be paying attention to other qualities like confidence, body language, the ability to make and hold eye contact, your handshake and even how you communicate.

Understanding The Importance Of Signals

A signal represents an action, whether conscious or unconscious that allows people to profile your personality and the actions you exhibit. The impression you convey will directly influence the thoughts and actions of the interviewer. Showing the proper amount of confidence is essential. You need to be friendly and engaging, but also natural. Showing too little confidence will appear anxious and uneasy while showing too much confidence can seem overconfident and arrogant.  

Just The Right Amount

The interviewer will form an opinion within the first few minutes after introduction. It is for this reason you establish the foundation of the consulting case interview by presenting the right signals, starting with the informal introduction and communication. The signals you present should provide the interview with an impression that says you are:

  • Organized
  • Analytical
  • Friendly and engaging
  • Be Approachable and confident

For example: During the introduction, acknowledge the interviewer, stand up and make eye contact. Keep the handshake firm but friendly. Engage in small talk and respond to any questions with interest and pay attention to the signals the interviewer is presenting. An ordinary action like having to spend time first collecting your bag, case, and umbrella from under the seat before standing up and acknowledging the interviewer does not signal structure and organizational skills.

The Right Signals

  • When you first engage the interviewer, establish the foundation of their impression in the first few minutes. It is essential that you come across as confident, organized and professional. It is vital you always project self-confidence, even when faced with a challenge. Always stay calm and collected and maintain a persuasive approach.

  • While it is significant to manage the signals you present, it is equally crucial that you do not hide your own personality. Diversity, soft skills and how you will fit into the current workforce are also just as important.

  • Take time to practice your communication skills. The foundation of your confidence will come from comprehending what is expected and taking the time to plan, prepare and practice. Take time to enhance your communication skills and stay informed of industry news and achievements.


Author: Editorial Team

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