Slalom Consulting Interview: The Only Post You Need to Read

Slalom consulting interviews consist of case interviews and behavioral or fit interview questions. There are typically between three to five rounds of interviews that you will need to go through in order to receive a consulting job offer from Slalom.

 

Your exact Slalom interview structure may vary depending on your recruiting channel (e.g., undergraduate, MBA, experienced hire) and role (e.g., generalist consulting, technology consulting).
 

  • First round interview: You’ll typically be screened by a Slalom recruiter and asked general questions about your interest in the firm, your resume and experiences, and what type of role you are looking for. Expect this interview to last about 30 minutes.

 

  • Middle rounds of interviews: Your interviews will consist of case interviews and behavioral or fit interview questions. Your interviewers will be Slalom consultants or managers. You may also be asked to do a written case interview - more details on this later.

 

  • Final round interviews: Similar to your middle rounds of interview, expect to be given case interviews and asked behavioral or fit interview questions. Your interviewers will typically be more senior partners or directors.

 

If you have an upcoming interview with Slalom, we have you covered. In this article, we’ll cover exactly what you need to do to crush your interviews and land the Slalom job offer. In this article, we’ll cover in detail:
 

  • The 5 steps to solve any Slalom case interview

 

  • Slalom case interview examples

 

  • The 10 most common Slalom behavioral interview questions

 

  • Recommended case interview prep resources

 

The 5 Steps to Solve Any Slalom Case Interview

 

A case interview is a special type of interview that nearly every consulting firm uses. Slalom places a lighter emphasis on case interviews during their interview process compared to other consulting firms, but they are still important to master.

 

Slalom case interviews simulate the consulting job by placing you in a hypothetical business situation in which you are asked to solve a business problem. You’ll spend 30 to 40 minutes collaborating with the interviewer to reach an ultimate answer or recommendation.

 

Slalom case interviews are generally candidate-led. This means that you will be expected to lead the direction of the case. You’ll be responsible for asking the right questions, analyzing data, driving discussion, and proposing each next step.

 

Case interviews can cover any industry or any type of business problem. Although you cannot predict the exact case interview question that you’ll get, each case interview follows a similar flow and structure:
 

  • Understand the case

 

  • Structure the problem

 

  • Kick off the case

 

  • Solve quantitative problems and answer qualitative questions

 

  • Deliver a recommendation

 

1. Understand the case

 

Your 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.

 

Ideally, you want your framework to be as MECE as possible. MECE stands for mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. You want each element of your framework to have zero overlap with the other elements. Additionally, you want the sum of the elements of your framework to cover all of the important issues or areas of the case.

 

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 and answer qualitative questions

 

Your case interviews will most likely 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.

 

When doing the math, make sure to talk through your thinking and calculations out loud. The interviewer should be able to easily follow what you are doing in each step of your calculations. Once you have calculated the answer, explain how your answer impacts the recommendation that you are beginning to form.

 

Your case interviews will likely 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.

 

When you finish answering a qualitative question, connect your answer back to the case objective. How does your answer impact the recommendation that you are beginning to form?

 

5. Deliver a recommendation

 

In the last step of the 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.

 

Slalom Case Interview Examples

 

Below, we’ve compiled a list of case interview questions that you may see in a Slalom consulting interview. These case interview examples should give you a good sense of the types of industries and business situations that you could see in your upcoming interview.

 

Case Example #1: How would you help a community bank institution become a digital leader in the community banking space?

 

Case Example #2: How would you develop an artificial intelligence / machine learning strategy to help a home mortgage loan provider automate the loan application and approval process?

 

Case Example #3: What considerations do you need to consider in rolling out a COVID rapid antigen screening program throughout Canada?

 

Case Example #4: How can a non-profit food bank use data and technology to better deliver meals to the homeless?

 

Case Example #5: How can a customer relationship management (CRM) tool such as Salesforce be used to improve fundraising campaigns for a non-profit youth mentorship organization?

 

In addition to traditional case interviews, you may be asked to do a written case interview. This is a take-home exercise in which you’ll be provided with a packet of materials and asked to do analyses to develop a recommendation. You’ll then create slides to present to your interviewers in the following interview round.

 

Although this style of case interview is different from the in-person case interview you’ll typically be given, the strategies and approaches are quite similar. Follow these eight steps to nail your written case interview.

 

1. Understand the business problem and objective

 

The first step in completing a written case interview is to understand what the objective is. What is the primary business question you are trying to answer with the data and information provided?

 

2. Read the list of major questions

 

Some written case interviews will provide you with a list of 3 – 4 key questions that you will be expected to address or answer. Read through these questions first since these will be the questions that you will want to prioritize.

 

If the written case interview is more open-ended and does not provide you with a list of key questions, skip this step and move onto the next step.  

 

3. Skim the materials

 

Next, flip through the information packet that is provided to see what information is available. Identify what data you have and what data you do not have.

 

The goal in this step is not to read and analyze every slide. That would take too much time. Instead, by seeing what information exists, you will be able to better prioritize what you spend your time reading and analyzing.

 

4. Create a framework

 

Before you begin reading and analyzing the information in the slides in more detail, you should create a basic framework to help guide your analysis. If you are provided with a list of key questions or pre-filled slide templates, then this will likely be the foundation of your framework.

 

Otherwise, based on what information exists in the information packet, identify the three to four key questions you need to answer or investigate.

 

5. Read and analyze the material 

 

Afterwards, read and analyze the information that is relevant to each area of your framework. As you begin answering questions and drawing insights, make sure to write a one or two sentence summary. This will make it easier to decide on a recommendation later.

 

6. Decide on a recommendation

 

Review the list of key takeaways that you have summarized from answering all of the major questions in your framework. Decide on what recommendation these findings collectively support.

 

Remember that there is typically no right or wrong recommendation. As long as your recommendation is supported by data and evidence, you will be in great shape.

 

7. Create your slides

 

Once you have a recommendation, it is time to start filling in your slides. You should use the following structure when creating your slides:

  • Slide 1: Present your recommendation and the three reasons that support it

 

  • Slide 2: Present your first reason and the data that supports it

 

  • Slide 3: Present your second reason and the data that supports it

 

  • Slide 4: Present your third reason and the data that supports it

 

  • Slide 5: Summarize everything that you’ve covered so far

 

  • Slide 6: Propose potential next steps

 

8. Prepare for potential questions

 

If you have any time remaining, brainstorm potential questions the interviewer may ask you during your presentation. They may want to know how you performed your analysis or how you reached your conclusions.

 

Preparing for these potential questions will help your presentation go much more smoothly. You will also feel much more confident while presenting.

 

The 10 Most Common Slalom Behavioral Interview Questions

 

In addition to case interviews, you will also be asked behavioral or fit interview questions. These types of questions are much more predictable than case interviews, making them easier to prepare for.

 

Below are the ten behavioral or fit questions that Slalom most commonly asks candidates.

 

1. Why are you interested in working at Slalom consulting?

 

How to answer: Have at least three reasons why you’re interested in working at Slalom. You could speak to Slalom’s supportive professional culture, which does not have an up-or-out policy that many management consulting firms have. You can talk about their local staffing model and how it makes work/life balance more sustainable by avoiding exhausting long distance travel. Finally, you can mention the firm’s employee culture as it has won numerous employee recognition awards.

 

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 opportunities, the opportunity to develop versatile soft and hard skills, the opportunities to make large impacts on large organizations, or the highly collaborative nature of work.

 

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, unique, and memorable accomplishments. At the end of your answer, briefly tie your experiences to why you are interested in consulting and why you would be a great fit.

 

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. Highlight what aspects or qualities of your achievement made you feel proud.

 

5. What is something that you are proud of that is not on your resume?

 

How to answer: This is an 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 an interesting hobby that you have won awards or recognition for. Choose something that showcases your qualities outside of a traditional work setting.

 

6. Tell me about a time when you led a team.

 

How to answer: Ideally, choose a time or experience when you directly managed a person or a team. Explain the challenge that the team faced, how you handled leading the team, and then quantify the impact and results of your leadership. Highlight the leadership skills that you exhibited and how you worked effectively with others.

 

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. Then, explain the impact that these interpersonal skills made on 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 convincingly changed 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 see that you are a great communicator and have great people skills.

 

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. Make sure to choose an actual failure instead of an experience that was a success in disguise. Focus on emphasizing what you learned from the experience and how you used that experience to deliver 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 failures 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 and curiosity 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.

 

Recommended Case Interview Prep Resources

 

We hope that you found this article on Slalom consulting 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.