Job Hunting

Five Interview Advice Used by a Successful Candidate at a Top Consulting Firm [Job Hunting in Japan Series - Part 9]

Miso Dog
Thank you for all the information and advice you explained to me so far!
You're welcome MisoDog! Now, I have a surprise for you!
Miso Dog
What is it Sensei?
I have invited one of my students, who did a successful job hunting to join us today.
Miso Dog
Wow! For real?! I’m so happy to get to know about her experience!
Yes! Listening to her story and how she managed to succeed in job hunting, will further confirm the steps you need to take and the things you need to focus on!
Without further ado, let’s get started.


Thank you for checking out our blog!
Today's topic is "Five Interview Advice Used by a Successful Candidate at a Top Consulting Firm"
I will share with you a piece of an interview with Ms. MD who received an offer from a consulting company. If you wish to be a consultant, or if you are struggling with interviews, this is the article for you.

A Must-See Interview with Student Who Landed A Job Offer with A Top Consulting Firm

I heard that you received a job offer from a company you like. Can you tell me your tips on how to be successful in an interview?

(Ms. MD): Sure. I kept five things in mind as interview strategies.

The First Strategy: Preparing Three of My Values and Strengths

Before the interview, I conducted a self-analysis so that I could talk about my values and strengths in my own words. In interviews, I was often asked to list a few of them, so I decided to prepare three of them. I also sorted out my ideas and selected values and strengths that correspond with each other.

Examples of The Strategy:

My value of “Awareness of the issues in society and the organization” with my strength of “The ability to solve problems.”
My value of “Interest in the connection between the public and business” with my strength of “The ability to see things from multiple perspectives.”
My value of “Willingness to try cross-border teamwork” with my strength of “Coordination between different stakeholders.”

The Second Strategy: To Dig Deeper with Various Questions in Mind

To tell a convincing story about my values and strengths, I structured the story and delved deeper, imagining my answers to the basic questions that would be asked.
When being asked my values or strengths in the interview and Entry Sheet, I was able to give critical answers.

Examples of The Strategy:

When I was asked about the reason for applying and why I was interested in the company, I focused on my values and listed my strengths to supplement my values.
For the question on what I did well in school and how I overcame difficulties, this time I mainly discussed my strengths and gave my values as supplementary evidence.
When asked a question regarding my strengths and selling point, I mentioned only my strengths.

The Third Strategy: Think About How They Relate to Your Reasons For Applying For The Job

Next, I made sure that my values and strengths are related to the industry and company I wanted to work for. I dug into my values and strengths so that I could say the company and I match based on my values, and how useful my strengths can be to the company.

Example of The Strategy:

  1. Using your imagination, vaguely think if the following:  I would like to work as a consultant.
  2. Ask yourself why you think you are a good fit for a consulting firm.
    Find similarities between your values & strengths and the qualities needed for consulting.
  3. Make yourself ready to say "The reason why I applied for your company is that my __(blank)__ is suited perfectly to becoming a consultant.

The (blank) is your strength.

The Fourth Strategy: Be ready to provide solid backup for your statements and avoid being disproved by the interviewer

When I got to the interview, I made sure that what I was going to say would make the other person feel fully satisfied throughout the entire interview.
I narrowed down what I was going to say and focused on making the interviewer think that “This student is indeed __(blank)__”.

Examples of The Strategy:

Here is a good example:

-You say that you are interested in infrastructure, and you talk about your awareness of issues regarding the infrastructure of both Japan and your home country.

Here are some bad examples:

-You say that you can get along with anyone, but you are extremely nervous in interviews.

-You say that you are good at establishing trust with people, and yet you're late for the interview.

I also found it very useful to have a career advisor or a friend check my answers and evaluate from the interviewer's point of view.

The Fifth and Last Strategy:  Do Not Leave Yourself Any Options For "Other Occupations" When Your Values and Strengths Are Combined

When talking about the reasons for applying to a company, interviewers frequently ask "Why not in another industry or another company?"
I dug deeper into my values and strengths so that I could talk about why I did not choose them and why it must be this company.

Example of The Strategy:

It’s true that there are other professions that fit the three values I mentioned, such as a journalist, but I’m strongly attracted to a consulting job where I can challenge myself to work overseas at an early stage, preferably in my 20s.

I believe the information here is very useful information for anyone who is struggling with interviews.

In Conclusion

Here Are the Most Important Five Elements You Need To Work On In Able To Score A Job In Japan

  1. Choose 3 of your values and strengths each:  look back on your own past experiences and clearly articulate your values and strengths.
  2. Dig deeper into yourself by preparing for various questions to be asked: Anticipate basic questions such as 'what you put the most effort into' and 'experiences in which you overcame difficulties' and think about how to tell a story about your values and strengths.
  3. Think about how they relate to your reasons for applying for the job.
  4. Be sure to be ready to provide solid backup for your statements and avoid being disproved by the interviewer: visualize yourself in the interview making sure that you can prove your statements. Ask yourself if there are any possibilities that interviewers could disprove your statements.
  5. Tailor your values and strengths to the specific job you are interviewing for. If these values and strengths can be used for other occupations, state specifically why you did not choose these occupations. Be able to talk about "the reason you want to work for the company" based on your own values.

Keep these five points in mind as you prepare for the interview.

-Job Hunting

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