# How to Ace the Math Portion of a Consulting Interview

Two Methods:Before the InterviewDuring the Interview

The math question of a consulting interview is usually worked into the case problem, although it can be its own portion entirely. It's important to keep in mind during this process that the right answer is valued, but that the correct thinking process is what's truly important.

## Steps

### Method 1 Before the Interview

- 1
**Get up to date on current events.**Familiarize yourself with relevant articles found in the Economy and The Wall Street Journal. Understand how interest rates are applied. Be aware of current controversial economic issues. It's important to show that you're knowledgeable about the current economic climate. - 2
**Learn basic math and economics terms.**Here is a list of basic math terms and specific numbers you should make sure you know before your interview:- GDP
- GDP Per Capita
- Current US Population
- Number of working adults
- Number of people drawing Social Security
- Current Prices of Gold, Silver, and Oil

### Method 2 During the Interview

- 1
**Take your time in solving the problem.**You may want to impress your interviewer by giving them quick answers, but often times this backfires. What the interviewer is really looking for here is not the correct answer, but your thought process. Think out loud, articulating your thought process precisely and clearly. - 2
**Avoid trying to impress your interviewer with mental math.**More often than not, you'll end up embarrassed with your foot in your mouth. Math questions are asked early on in the interview, and if you make a mistake it'll be hard to maintain your confidence for the rest of the interview. Instead, neatly write everything on paper and work it out visually. You'll make fewer mistakes and have an easier time explaining the ones that you do make. - 3
**Double check your math assumptions.**When you're averaging different components of a question, be very careful and make sure your estimation or rounding choice is practical. Walk the interviewer through your thought process and explain to them how you rationalized your numbers. This gives them a chance to redirect you if you're wrong as you're working through the problem. In addition, you'll save yourself time if you make a mistake, as you'll be able to just redo the mistake you made, not the whole problem. - 4
**Be receptive of constructive criticism.**If your interviewer sees you making an obvious mistake or veering off track, they'll try to point you in the right direction. If your answer is flat out wrong, they'll try to prompt you to rethink the answer you've given and the logic behind it.

## Article Info

Categories: Interview Skills