In the consulting industry, success is dependent on a wide range of skills, especially for those working at major firms like McKinsey, Bain and BCG. To be successful, consultants must be able to identify and focus on the 20% of actions that will help them solve their client's business problem. This requires them to have personal impact, business momentum, inclusive leadership, and problem-solving skills. They must also be able to quickly gather information and trust their own recommendations.
At the same time, consultants must be able to work in diverse teams that span multiple disciplines and functions. They must demonstrate intellectual curiosity, resilience, analytical rigour, and the ability to easily work as a team and cultivate relationships. It is also important for consultants to have clarity of focus in a very high-level MBB way and build a solid structure. Kristin Altenburg, associate director of hiring at McKinsey, states that the company is looking for people who want to address complex challenges, learn continuously, and collaborate with others.
Amber Grewal, who leads the hiring of consultants at BCG, adds that candidates must demonstrate intellectual curiosity, resilience, analytical rigour, and the ability to easily work as a team and cultivate relationships. For aspiring consultants or experienced consultants at McKinsey, Bain or BCG, there are three key skills they should focus on in order to better serve their clients: personal impact, business momentum, inclusive leadership and problem-solving skills; clarity of focus in a very high-level MBB way; and trust in their own recommendations. Ultimately, customers seek solid guidance from experienced professionals as they resolve their issues. If consultants offer dubious recommendations that could affect the lives of thousands of employees and customers, there is no point in paying them.
Therefore, it is essential for consultants to have the right analysis backed by the right data in order to gain trust from their clients.