It was for a consulting position for a consulting company. At one point, I was asked about my long term goals and how I plan to grow in the company and what my contribution would be for the company's growth. The answer to this question seemed to be extreamly important for the interviewer, for, he was very persistant on getting a very detailed (with examples) and honest answers for this question. We even scheduled followup meetings on this one. This is a very important question which I ought to have given more thought before the interview. The basic question was, how I plan to be in a sales position for the organization? ie., being a consultant, especially in long term, what are my plans of building an enterprise around myself. I told him that I plan on being technically inclined all my carrer and trying to convince him that, even being that way, I can grow within the organization and build business for the organization. Like, doing a good job for for the customer, so that he can hire me (and my company) again.., getting to know more about my clients (current and future) requirements and letting him know how my (and my company's) services are best for him.., following up with my past clients and reminding them how well did their past jobs and asking them if they have any current/future requirements for my services..etc. My question is, to grow (say to the level of an MD), do I need to be a functional (industry) expert? If so, how is it possible, no one can be an industry expert in every thing? I can be a financial expert or a production expert.. Can I be a technical expert and still grow in a consulting company to that level? If so, can anyone give me some examples? (Is there anyone like this in consulting industry?) And how can I build business for the firm by being a technical expert? I know this is a loaded question. But this is very important for me and hopefully will help others out here too. I welcome and appriciate your comments and input (from technical, functional and Project Manager's point of view). Thank you very much. Bala.
Most consulting firms put you on either a technical or business track. I hated that. At higher levels, you don't need to be as technical, especially if you're in the business track. Check out Sapient (if they're hiring again), they seemed to be a more technically oriented consulting company--5 years ago, anyway. --Mark
Since nobody else is answering I'll give it my 2c. I think they are looking for a future Project Manager rather than Tech Architech or pre/post sales guy. At my 2nd from last company ( a software house) all the project managers were ex techies. The only guy there who became a sales guy was kind of an on-site applications trainer/implementor .
That said it is possible skirt around the question. At the interview for where I am, he asked something like, "Where do you wanna be 3 years from now". I answered something like, "Well I guess the obvious moves are into either Project Management or Technical Architecture, I think my path will be dictated more by how much responsibilty I'm allowed to take on and circumstance, rather than by design". Looking back it's not the greatest of answers, but I did manage to avoid the "We already have an Architect so you've applied for the wrong job" response.