How to Answer ‘Why Consulting?’ in Interviews: A Comprehensive Guide

Group of young professionals poised for consulting careers, looking forward with determination, representing those interested in 'why consulting'.

Table of Contents

Across all interviews, regardless of company, industry, stage, etc., you should be prepared with answers for what I call the “Three Whys”. These are: Why Me (Resume Walkthrough), Why the Role (Why Consulting), and Why the Company. In this article I will talk you through how to answer one of these in particular: Why are you interested in consulting, i.e. Why The Role

Now, remember that this is 1 part of our 3 part series. As a reminder, all of these questions can be asked in a range of ways, but, regardless of the way they’re asked, your prepared answer should be ready to meet their question.

Breakdown of the various ways in which a candidate can be asked "Why Consulting", "Why the Company", and "Why Me"

Why are you interested in consulting - Question Formats

Colorful post-it notes with question mark cutouts, symbolizing the diverse ways to approach the 'why are you interested in consulting' question.

In order to answer the “Why Consulting” question, you have to be able to identify it. Some forms of the question include:

  • What attracts you to the field of consulting?
  • Why are you interested in consulting?
  • Why have you chosen consulting as your career path?
  • What motivates you to pursue a career in consulting?
  • Could you explain your interest in consulting?
  • Why do you think consulting is a good fit for you?
  • What do you believe you will gain from a career in consulting?
  • What aspects of consulting are you most passionate about?
  • How do you see your career unfolding in consulting?
  • Can you tell us about your long-term goals within consulting?

Understand the Importance of the Question

Scales balancing two question marks, illustrating the weight of the 'how to answer why consulting' query.

A. Assessing Your Fit and Motivation

The primary reason interviewers ask ‘how to answer why consulting’ is to assess your fit and motivation for the consulting industry. They want to ensure that you have a genuine interest in the field and that you will be committed to delivering high-quality work for their clients. Your answer should demonstrate your understanding of the consulting industry, your passion for problem-solving, and your eagerness to contribute to the firm’s success.

B. Gauging Your Knowledge and Research

This question also helps interviewers gauge how much research you have done on the industry, the firm, and the role. A well-researched answer will reflect positively on your preparation and dedication to joining the consulting profession.

C. Evaluating Your Communication Skills

Finally, your response will also be evaluated based on your communication skills. Consulting involves a lot of communication, both written and verbal, and your ability to articulate your thoughts clearly and effectively is essential. Your answer to this question is a chance to showcase your communication skills in a concise and compelling manner.

How to Answer the Why Consulting Question - Key Steps

Hand placing the last wooden block with upward arrows, denoting progression and growth in understanding 'why are you interested in consulting'.


  • First, summarize the reasons as to why you are interested in consulting, highlighting what you did before (what is the same versus different).
  • Then, combine the reasons for consulting with what you are good at – i.e. I am interested in x aspect of consulting, which is something I loved about my time at company/role a and b where I x.
  • Finally, finish off with a  “mini” why x company, tying it back to the specific firm at which you are interviewing.
A breakdown of how to create your answer to the "Why Me" or resume walkthrough question

Why Are You Interested in Consulting - Sample Answer

I highly recommend you keep a shorthand version of your answer to the why are you interested in consulting question. This ensures you remember the essence and flow of your story.

Here are my exact notes from my Why Consulting answer:

An example of notes for the "Why Consulting" question

From there, you can give a strong “walk me through your resume” answer. Here is the answer I gave to successfully navigate all 8 of my consulting interviews:

PowerPoint slide presenting guidelines on effectively responding to the 'Why the role?' query, emphasizing 'Why McKinsey?', 'Why BCG?', and 'Why Bain?' insights.

How to Answer 'Why Consulting' For Yourself - Crafting Your Own Story

Typewriter with a letter stating 'everyone has a story', emphasizing the personal journey behind the 'why consulting' question.

A. Learn About Consulting as a Career

Before you can answer why you are interested in consulting, you need to have a thorough understanding of the industry and the profession. Research the various aspects of consulting, such as the types of projects, the skill sets required, and the typical career progression. Familiarize yourself with the different consulting firms and the unique aspects of each, such as their culture, clients, and areas of expertise.

B. Network with Current and Former Consultants

Speak with current and former consultants to gain insights into their experiences and perspectives on the industry. This will help you better understand the day-to-day life of a consultant, the challenges they face, and the rewards of the job. Use these conversations to identify the aspects of consulting that genuinely excite you and align with your career goals.

C. Identify Your Core Motivations

Before crafting your response, it’s essential to identify your core motivations for pursuing a career in consulting. Reflect on your experiences, interests, and goals, and consider how they align with the consulting profession. Some common motivations include intellectual challenges, exposure to a variety of industries, opportunities for personal and professional growth, and the chance to make a meaningful impact on businesses and organizations.

D. Discover Your Unique ‘Why Consulting’ Story – Why Are You Interested In Consulting

Your answer to “why consulting” should be personal and unique to you. Think about your experiences, both academic and professional, that have led you to develop a passion for problem-solving, analytical thinking, and teamwork. Identify any specific moments or accomplishments that demonstrate your enthusiasm for these aspects of consulting. This will help you create a compelling narrative that sets you apart from other candidates.

Remember to Tailor Your Answer to the Specific Firm

A. Research the Firm’s Culture, Values, and Expertise

To make your answer more compelling, tailor it to the specific consulting firm you are interviewing with. So instead of just ‘why are you interested in consulting’, think about why you’re interested in this firm. Research the firm’s culture, values, and areas of expertise, and incorporate this information into your response. This will show interviewers that you have a genuine interest in their firm and have taken the time to understand what sets them apart from their competitors.

B. Mention Conversations with Current and Former Employees

If you have had the opportunity to network with current or former employees of the firm, mention these conversations in your answer. This will demonstrate that you have taken the initiative to learn about the firm from an insider’s perspective, and it can help reinforce your interest in joining their team.

Practice and Refine Your Answer

A. Practice Delivering Your Response

Practice delivering your answer to “why consulting” multiple times before your interview. This will help you become more comfortable with your response and ensure that you can articulate your thoughts clearly and confidently during the interview.

B. Seek Feedback and Make Adjustments

As you practice your answer, seek feedback from friends, mentors, or former consultants. Use their input to refine your response and ensure that it effectively communicates your passion for consulting and your fit for the specific firm.

And, of course, don’t forget our Behavioral Key Principles!

Key principles for effectively answering questions during your fit interview

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