27 consulting behavioral interview questions (+ answers to look for)

27 Consulting behavioral interview questions plus answers to look for featured image
ShareShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Interviews are a unique opportunity to learn about your consultancy applicants’ skills and experience. However, if you don’t prepare an appropriate list of questions in advance, you risk mis-hiring candidates who are unqualified or incompatible with your firm’s values.

In a well-rounded interview, behavioral questions are critical. They focus on applicants’ past experience and indicate how they’d behave in your role. You’ll find out how they approach skills like adaptability, leadership, and communication while learning more about their personalities.

In this guide, we’ll explain why consulting behavioral interview questions are so important, and give you a list of 27 questions, plus how to spot great responses.

What are behavioral interview questions?

Behavioral interview questions explore candidates’ past experiences as a way to understand present attitudes and also predict future conduct. 

These types of interview questions often start with, “Tell me about a time when,” asking interviewees to describe their thinking and work process in specific circumstances. 

Strong answers contain examples relevant to the position, as well as provide sufficient detail and showcase candidates’ abilities and values.

In consultancy interviews, behavioral questions examine essential qualities such as leadership, teamwork, prioritization, and conflict management. 

Why ask behavioral questions during an interview?

Behavioral interview questions help you identify candidates with a well-rounded mix of attributes.

First, these questions check whether interviewees have successfully tackled situations that occur in your business. For example, answers to questions like, “Tell us about a time when you took leadership over a project,” indicate if candidates’ past leadership experience matches the requirements of your open position.

Second, the way in which applicants deliver their answers illustrates if they’re coherent and persuasive communicators. Their structure, tone, and listening abilities can tell you if they’ll be able to effectively communicate with your clients and senior staff.

All in all, behavioral interview questions help you build stronger teams and deliver better customer outcomes while avoiding mis-hires

27 behavioral interview questions for consultants and answers to look for

Preparing a diverse mix of behavioral interview questions in advance helps you assess candidates on multiple key traits. Select behavioral questions that best reflect your team environment.

You may wish to adapt your questions to interviewees’ personality types. For example, if a candidate is a Type Eight (“the Master”) in the Enneagram test, preferring control and independence, you could ask them about a time they worked well in a team. 

Below, we’ve broken down the top behavioral questions you can ask consultancy applicants, and what strong answers look like.

Behavioral interview questions for consultants graphic

Teamwork behavior questions for consultants 

Teamwork is essential for consultants especially when working on complex projects under time pressure. During interviews, top candidates should demonstrate that they can:

  • Distribute and delegate tasks effectively to team members 

  • Balance collaboration with independent work

  • Communicate plans and deadlines clearly

  • Give and receive constructive feedback

  • Adapt to changes in team structure 

You can use the following interview questions to assess teamwork skills.

  1. Tell us about a time you worked effectively with other team members.

  2. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to teamwork?

  3. Have you ever supported a team member who was struggling with their share of the work? Walk me through your actions.

Leadership behavior questions for consultants 

Consultancy applicants must have exceptional leadership qualities to solve complex business problems for their clients. 

In their answers, pay attention to examples of using logic, and big-picture thinking to make decisions. You also want them to show they’ve taken charge of difficult situations and remained assertive while learning from their mistakes. 

Finally, assess their ability to lead teams, including whether they can identify and make use of their colleagues’ strengths. 

To test leadership behavior, you can ask candidates:

  1. What do you think makes a good leader and why?

  2. Tell us about a time when you took leadership over a project.

  3. Have you ever thought that a past team leader should have made different decisions? What would you have done and why?

Adaptability behavior questions for consultants 

Adaptability is key in consulting because project circumstances can easily change. For instance, clients ask unexpected questions and team responsibilities may shift.

Thus, you’ll want to identify candidates who can quickly adapt to new scenarios. This includes creating action plans and learning large amounts of new information swiftly and effectively. 

They should also proactively use available resources to get up to speed, such as information from people, data, and processes.

You can ask candidates:

  1. Describe a past situation when you had to quickly learn about an unfamiliar topic. How did you get up to speed?

  2. Tell us about a time when you had to suddenly change course in a past role. How did you handle it?

  3. Think about a time when you made a decision without having all the information. Explain how you made that decision.

On top of these behavioral interview questions, you can further test candidates’ adaptability by asking them to solve a case study on the spot.

Open-mindedness behavior questions for consultants 

Open-minded consultants come up with bold ideas easily, bringing innovation to their clients' organizations. In interviews, look out for candidates who:

  • Use their imagination and creativity to solve problems

  • Are not afraid to challenge traditional ways of thinking

  • Defend bold ideas using persuasive logical arguments 

To test open-mindedness, you can ask interviewees:

  1. What is the most impractical idea you ever came up with? Explain why it did or did not work.

  2. Tell us about a situation when you developed a bold solution. How did you defend it?

Time efficiency behavior questions for consultants 

Working well under pressure is a must in consulting. Projects have ambitious goals, tight deadlines, and limited resources. 

So, be sure to test your candidates’ time efficiency skills. They should provide examples of using planning methods like prioritizing, breaking down tasks, and estimating time requirements.

Top applicants additionally use strategies to mentally and physically cope with time pressure, such as taking breaks, practicing sleep hygiene, and using their social support system. 

Here are some examples of interview questions for time efficiency.

  1. Tell us about a time when you worked well under pressure. How did you approach it?

  2. Have you ever had to hit a deadline earlier than originally planned? What did you do to ensure you delivered on time without sacrificing quality?

  3. How do you plan your upcoming workload when you start a new project? Walk me through the steps.

Communication behavior questions for consultants 

Effective communication is vital to delivering information to colleagues, clients, and other stakeholders. Prioritize candidates who:

  • Communicate clearly and coherently, both orally and in writing

  • Structure their message logically

  • Can summarize key points concisely

  • Adapt their communication to different personality types

  • Can build rapport effectively with stakeholders

  • Understand others’ points of view to resolve miscommunication

  • Anticipate objections and prepare counter-arguments 

You can assess consultancy candidates’ communication abilities by asking:

  1. Has a manager or client ever criticized the conclusions of a piece of work you delivered? How did you manage the situation?

  2. Tell us about a time when there was a miscommunication between you and a colleague. How did you resolve it?

  3. Describe a past interaction when you persuaded someone to abandon their argument and agree with yours. How did you approach this?

Motivation and values behavior questions for consultants 

Consultants often use their internal motivations and values in daily challenges.

In their answers, interviewees should demonstrate they’re guided by honesty, fairness, and a commitment to quality, particularly in client engagements.

In addition, look for convincing personal motivating factors. Excellent examples include a desire to solve difficult problems and to have a large-scale impact on specific industries.

Top candidates’ answers will reflect compatibility with the consulting environment, which is fast-paced, pressurized, and demands continuous learning.

You can ask an interviewee:

  1. What attracts you to a consulting career?

  2. What are the main drivers in your work life?

  3. Tell us about a time when you showed integrity and ethical practices in a team environment. 

Conflict management behavior questions for consultants 

In consulting, professional disagreements are common. But, when managed effectively, they can help create better outcomes for your firm and for clients.

When evaluating candidates’ conflict management abilities, check that they: 

  • Understand that disagreements can help generate new ideas 

  • Are able to learn from different viewpoints

  • Use logic and emotional intelligence to reach a compromise

  • Seek mediation and common ground while remaining assertive

In interviews, you can ask questions such as:

  1. Tell us about a time when you had a disagreement with a colleague. How did you manage it?

  2. Describe a time when you challenged someone with more authority than you.

Growth mindset behavior questions for consultants 

Consultancy applicants should show they’re not only willing but excited to continuously learn and improve. Watch out for convincing examples where they pushed themselves, tried new activities, and persevered despite difficulties.

Great answers show that candidates approach growth systematically, such as building an action plan, setting deadlines, and quantifying their progress. They’ll also mention the strategies they used to overcome obstacles, like adjusting goals and delegating tasks.

Examples of growth mindset behavior questions include:

  1. Tell us about a recent situation when you learned a new skill. Describe the learning process and how you persevered.

  2. Think about a past example when you were close to accomplishing a goal and hit an obstacle. Explain how you overcame that obstacle.

You can always ask follow-up questions during candidates’ answers for further insights.

Prioritization behavior questions for consultants 

Consultants regularly face prioritization challenges, such as working toward multiple deadlines and exhibiting meaningful insights in client presentations.

You’ll want to shortlist interviewees that:

  • Compare competing priorities using logical factors such as urgency, cost, and benefit

  • Estimate the impact of different priorities quickly and effectively

  • Can revise priority levels based on new information

You can ask the following questions to assess prioritization behaviors:

  1. What do you do when you have two important deadlines in the same week? Explain how you prioritize your tasks.

  2. Have you ever researched a topic using a large pool of information? How did you prioritize what to focus on?

  3. Describe a time when you had to reprioritize a list of tasks based on new information.

How to roll out behavioral interviews

A comprehensive assessment process in the pre-interview stage enables you to understand the different facets of a candidate’s experience, without bias. By using objective data to guide your decisions, you’ll only invite top-skilled candidates that are compatible with your organization.

TestGorilla’s 300-plus test library includes a selection of ready-made tests specifically for consulting assessments. You can test a diverse range of skills and abilities including communication, culture add, problem-solving, market analysis, numerical reasoning, and more. 

In addition, we recommend discovering candidates’ unique personality traits using research-backed tests such as:

On top of that, you can create your own custom questions based on your role requirements and add custom tests for a more tailored assessment.

Assessment results not only give you candidates’ percentile ranking but also provide insights, such as Enneagram types, that help you create your interview shortlist. You’ll also be able to tailor your behavioral interview based on their unique answers to test prompts.

Why not use TestGorilla’s one-way interview platform for your first round of interviews? You can add your own behavioral questions or use premade recommendations from our extensive library.

Conclusion

Preparing a set of behavioral questions before consultancy interviews is crucial to evaluating candidates effectively and avoiding mis-hires. 

In this article, we’ve laid out examples of leadership, communication, open-mindedness, and other types of behavioral questions. Pick the ones that best reflect your job requirements, while tailoring interviews to individuals’ unique characteristics.

Furthermore, roll out your behavioral interviews by prescreening your applicant pool on the skills and traits needed for consulting. All-rounded online assessments provide a data-driven, bias-free way to identify your interview shortlist.

Want more preparation for your behavioral interview questions?

Read our quick guide to behavioral assessments and explore 50 general behavioral questions for interviews.

To start building your first TestGorilla assessment and find your top consultancy candidates, schedule a free 30-minute live demo with our knowledgeable team.

To explore our platform now, you can also watch this pre-recorded demo on our product page.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare

Hire the best candidates with TestGorilla.

Create pre-employment assessments in minutes to screen candidates, save time, and hire the best talent.

The best advice in pre-employment testing, in your inbox.

No spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

TestGorilla Logo

Hire the best. No bias. No stress.

Our screening tests identify the best candidates and make your hiring decisions faster, easier, and bias-free.

Free resources

Anti-cheating checklist

This checklist covers key features you should look for when choosing a skills testing platform

Checklist

Onboarding checklist

This resource will help you develop an onboarding checklist for new hires.

Checklist

How to find candidates with strong attention to detail

How to assess your candidates' attention to detail.

Ebook

How to get HR certified

Learn how to get human resources certified through HRCI or SHRM.

Ebook

Improve quality of hire

Learn how you can improve the level of talent at your company.

Ebook

Case study: How CapitalT reduces hiring bias

Learn how CapitalT reduced hiring bias with online skills assessments.

Case study

Resume screening guide

Learn how to make the resume process more efficient and more effective.

Ebook

Important recruitment metrics

Improve your hiring strategy with these 7 critical recruitment metrics.

Ebook

Case study: How Sukhi reduces shortlisting time

Learn how Sukhi decreased time spent reviewing resumes by 83%!

Case study

12 pre-employment testing hacks

Hire more efficiently with these hacks that 99% of recruiters aren't using.

Ebook

The benefits of diversity

Make a business case for diversity and inclusion initiatives with this data.

Ebook