Booz Allen Hamilton consulting interviews consist primarily of behavioral or fit interview questions with the occasional case interview. The interview process is quite shorter compared to other consulting firms and typically consists of just two rounds of interviews.
- First round: One 30-minute interview with a recruiter. The interview will be mainly focused on resume questions and behavioral or fit interview questions.
- Second round: Three 30-minute interviews. One of these interviews will be focused on a case interview, or case study interview, while the remaining interviews will be focused on behavioral or fit interview questions.
Compared to other consulting firms, consulting interviews at Booz Allen Hamilton have less of an emphasis on case interviews. Some interview candidates don’t even get a single case interview throughout the entire interview process! Others may be given just one case interview.
If you have an upcoming consulting interview with Booz Allen Hamilton, we have you covered. In this article, we’ll cover in detail:
- The 10 most common behavioral or fit interview questions
- The 6 steps to solve any Booz Allen Hamilton case interview
- Booz Allen Hamilton case interview examples
- Booz Allen Hamilton interview tips
- Recommended case interview prep resources
The 10 Most Common Behavioral or Fit Interview Questions
Most of your interviews at Booz Allen Hamilton will be focused on behavioral or fit interview questions. There are ten questions that Booz Allen Hamilton most commonly asks. You should definitely prepare thoughtful answers to these questions.
1. Why are you interested in working at Booz Allen Hamilton?
How to answer: Have at least three reasons why you’re interested in working at Booz Allen Hamilton. You could speak to their expertise in public sector and government work. You can talk about the opportunities for plenty of direct client exposure, much more compared to other consulting firms. Finally, you can mention the great work culture and opportunity to work with intelligent and collaborative people.
2. Why do you want to work in consulting?
How to answer: Again, have three reasons why you’re interested in consulting. You could mention the fast career growth opportunity, the opportunity to develop soft and hard skills, or the level of impact that you can make by working with large companies on their most challenging issues.
3. Walk me through your resume
How to answer: Provide a concise summary of your work experience, starting with the most recent. Focus on emphasizing your most impressive and unique accomplishments. At the end, tie your experiences to why you are interested in consulting.
4. What is your proudest achievement?
How to answer: Choose your most impressive, unique, or memorable accomplishment. Structure your answer by providing information on the situation, the task, the actions you took, and the results of your work.
5. What is something that you are proud of that is not on your resume?
How to answer: This is a great opportunity to highlight an accomplishment that is not related to your professional work experience. Perhaps there is a non-profit that you volunteer at, a side project or business that you work on, or a hobby that you have won awards or recognition for. Choose something that is impressive and interesting.
6. Tell me about a time when you led a team.
How to answer: If possible, choose a time when you directly managed a person or a team. For this question and the following questions, make sure that you structure your answer. Structure your answer by providing information on the situation, the task, the actions you took, and the results of your work. This is known as the STAR method and is commonly used to answer behavioral or fit interview questions.
7. Give an example of a time when you faced conflict or a disagreement.
How to answer: When answering this question, focus on emphasizing the steps you took to resolve the conflict or disagreement. Speak to the interpersonal skills you had to use in order to mediate the situation. Interviewers want to know that you are a great mediator and that you can handle conflict in a constructive way.
8. Tell me about a time when you had to persuade someone.
How to answer: Choose a time when you were able to change someone’s mind. Focus on emphasizing the steps that you took to persuade that person and what impact and results this had. Interviewers want to know that you are a great communicator and a good people person.
9. Describe a time when you failed.
How to answer: Choose a time when you failed to meet a deadline or did not meet expectations. Focus on emphasizing what you learned from the experience and how you used that experience to deliver even better results in the next opportunity that you got. Interviewers want to see that you don’t get discouraged from failure and that you treat those experiences as learning opportunities.
10. What questions do you have for me?
How to answer: This is a great opportunity to get to know the interviewer on a more personal level. Ask them questions about their experience in consulting or their career. Express genuine interest in what they have to share and ask follow-up questions. The more you can get the interviewer talking about themself, the more likely they will have a positive impression of you.
The 6 Steps to Solve Any Booz Allen Hamilton Case Interview
Although case interviews, also known as case study interviews, are less frequently given for Booz Allen Hamilton, you should be prepared to tackle them if the occasion arises.
A case interview, also known as a case study interview, is a special type of interview that every single consulting firm uses. Booz Allen Hamilton’s case interviews simulate the consulting job by placing you in a hypothetical business situation in which you are asked to solve a business problem.
Booz Allen Hamilton’s case interviews are typically candidate-led. This means that you will be expected to lead the direction of the case. You’ll need to ask the right questions, conduct the right analyses, and propose each next step.
Booz Allen Hamilton’s case interviews will likely come from previous projects or engagements. Therefore, you should expect your cases to be related to public sector or government work. Although it’s impossible to predict the exact case interview question that you will get, each case interview follows the same flow and structure.
Any Booz Allen Hamilton case interview can be solved following these six steps.
1. Understand the case
Your Booz Allen Hamilton case interview will begin with the interviewer giving you the case background information. While the interviewer is speaking, make sure that you are taking meticulous notes on the most important pieces of information. Focus on understanding the context of the situation and the objective of the case.
Don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions if you do not understand something. You may want to summarize the case background information back to the interviewer to confirm your understanding of the case.
The most important part of this step is to verify the objective of the case. Not answering the right business question is the quickest way to fail a case interview.
2. Structure the problem
The next step is to develop a framework to help you solve the case. A framework is a tool that helps you structure and break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable components. Another way to think about frameworks is brainstorming different ideas and organizing them into different categories.
Before you start developing your framework, it is completely acceptable to ask the interviewer for a few minutes so that you can collect your thoughts and think about the problem.
Once you have identified the major issues or areas that you need to explore, walk the interviewer through your framework. They may ask a few questions or provide some feedback.
3. Kick off the case
Once you have finished presenting your framework, you’ll start diving into different areas of your framework to begin solving the case. How this process will start depends on whether the case interview is candidate-led or interviewer-led.
If the case interview is a candidate-led case, you’ll be expected to propose what area of your framework to start investigating. So, propose an area and provide a reason for why you want to start with that area. There is generally no right or wrong area of your framework to pick first.
If the case interview is interviewer-led, the interviewer will tell you what area of the framework to start in or directly give you a question to answer.
4. Solve quantitative problems
Booz Allen Hamilton case interviews may have some quantitative aspect to them. For example, you may be asked to calculate a certain profitability or financial metric. You could also be asked to estimate the size of a particular market or to estimate a particular figure.
The key to solving quantitative problems is to lay out a structure or approach upfront with the interviewer before doing any math calculations. If you lay out and present your structure to solve the quantitative problem and the interviewer approves of it, the rest of the problem is just simple execution of math.
5. Answer qualitative questions
Booz Allen Hamilton case interviews may also have qualitative aspects to them. You may be asked to brainstorm a list of potential ideas. You could also be asked to provide your opinion on a business issue or situation.
The key to answering qualitative questions is to structure your answer. When brainstorming a list of ideas, develop a structure to help you neatly categorize all of your ideas. When giving your opinion on a business issue or situation, provide a summary of your stance or position and then enumerate the reasons that support it.
6. Deliver a recommendation
In the last step of the Booz Allen Hamilton case interview, you’ll present your recommendation and provide the major reasons that support it. You do not need to recap everything that you have done in the case, so focus on only summarizing the facts that are most important.
It is also good practice to include potential next steps that you would take if you had more time or data. These can be areas of your framework that you did not have time to explore or lingering questions that you do not have great answers for.
Booz Allen Hamilton Case Interview Examples
Below, we’ve compiled examples of case interviews that Booz Allen Hamilton has given candidates in the past. These will give you a great idea of the types of industries and questions you could see in your upcoming interview.
Example #1: Customs brokerage expansion
Your client operates a network of customs brokers in the United States. They are a fully integrated customs brokerage and logistics provider specializing in U.S. customs clearance, international freight forwarding, small parcel handling, and international trade consulting.
The client wants to expand its business into the European Union (EU) countries using a similar business model. They want to eventually have one office in each EU country, but they are not sure how to choose staffing allocations for different offices or even where it needs to have offices initially.
How would you help the client work through this problem?
Example #2: Hurricane prevention
In August 2005, hurricane Katrina hit the southern coast of the United States, turning into one of the most economically damaging and deadliest hurricanes in history.
As part of an effort to prevent similar disasters in the future, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approached our consulting firm to develop a strategic plan to help prevent such impact the next time a natural phenomenon occurs. How would you approach this problem?
Example #3: New helicopter plant
Our client is a unit of the Boeing Company responsible for defense and aerospace products and services. They are one of the largest defense contractors in the world.
Recently, the Boeing Company is considering setting up a new plant to meet increasing demand in the attack helicopter space. They are considering three sites to set up operations: Brazil, France, and the United States. They need your help in deciding which site to choose.
Example #4: Health insurance profitability decline
A regional health insurance company provides managed care health plans for 5 million members. This year, they have experienced a loss of $50 million after recording a $20 million profit last year.
Booz Allen Hamilton has been hired to help determine the cause of this decline and develop possible solutions to address this.
Example #5: Privatization of national lottery
The Belgian Minister of State Owned Enterprises has asked you whether it would be a good idea to privatize the National Lottery in Belgium. This would mean opening the market to the competition.
What would your recommendation be? Is it a good or bad idea to privatize Belgium’s National Lottery?
Example #6: Competitor response
Your client is a global financial services and insurance company. The CEO has hired you because the company is facing two issues. One, new legislation will require all insurance companies to disclose their cost structure and management fees to the public. Two, smaller competitors have emerged that sell directly to the end users. These smaller companies are able to underprice your client.
How would you advise the CEO on how to respond to these two issues?
Booz Allen Hamilton Interview Tips
Booz Allen Hamilton provides some interview tips on their website. We have summarized these tips below for your convenience.
Tip #1: Get to know Booz Allen Hamilton’s culture, purpose, and values
Booz Allen Hamilton has five core values:
- Ferocious integrity: Do right, and hold yourself and each other accountable.
- Unflinching courage: Bring bold thinking and speak truth to power. Maintain conviction no matter the circumstances.
- Passionate service: Listen and act with empathy as you make meaningful connections. Build community through generosity, and above all, embrace the mission.
- Champion’s heart: Bring joy to the pursuit and learn from failure. Compete with passion and crave being the best.
- Collective ingenuity: Be resourceful and creative, seek to make the biggest difference in every problem you solve. Be devoted to the team and harness the power of diversity.
When answering behavioral or fit interview questions, try to demonstrate these core values in the stories that you share with your interviewers.
Tip #2: Know what traits Booz Allen Hamilton looks for
Booz Allen Hamilton states that the following qualities are what set them apart from other consulting firms.
- We are kindred: We focus on our people. We look out for one another, lending a helping hand.
- We are curious: We use our expertise and trusted voice to help clients successfully navigate a dynamic landscape.
- We are deliberate: We live to solve problems and together take joy in the pursuit.
- We are dedicated: We’re focused on missions that matter.
- Live your best life: It’s our people who steer us into the future, enabling us to accomplish the impossible and drive change. We depend on each other, so we take the time to support one another.
- Inspire change: When you’re here, your unique voice will be heard. Your talent for innovation will be praised. Your mission-driven passion will be shared.
- Serve the mission: When we’re not solving complex challenges, we’re helping others: collaborating on innovations, volunteering in our communities, serving our nation, and supporting our families.
Again, when answering behavioral or fit interview questions, look for opportunities to demonstrate these traits in the stories that you share.
Tip #3: Ask thoughtful questions to your interviewer
Demonstrate your interest in the firm by preparing thoughtful questions for your interviewer. You can ask them about Booz Allen Hamilton’s work culture, their learning and development programs, and other growth opportunities.
Recommended Case Interview Prep Resources
We hope that you found this article on Booz Allen Hamilton interviews helpful. If you are considering which resources to use in your case interview prep, we recommend the following:
- One Week Case Interview Course: A comprehensive case interview course that condenses all of the case interview strategies, techniques, and practice you need into a 15 – 25 hour course. Learn through 50+ concise video lessons and 20 full-length practice cases with detailed solutions.
- Hacking the Case Interview: In this book, learn exactly what to do and what to say in every step of the case interview. This is the perfect book for beginners that are looking to learn the basics of case interviews quickly.
- The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook: In this book, hone your case interview skills through 65+ problems tailored towards each type of question asked in case interviews and 15 full-length cases based on real case interviews. This book is great for intermediates looking to get quality practice.