Buchanan Search Limited - Graduate Executive Search Consultant Interview Questions & Answers

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Difficulty rating 7 / 10

Interview experience

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  • Graduate Executive Search Consultant

    2.0/5 | Interview date: November 2017 | Job offer? Yes but declined |

    Was this helpful? Yes

    Sectors: Recruitment

    Difficulty rating 80.0 / 100

    Interview process

    Applied online by sending my CV, about three days later I received a call and had a telephone interview. I was asked questions such as why I applied for this particular position, and what I had been doing since I graduated in June. I was also asked to describe a time where I demonstrated a strong work ethic and resilience as these are key characteristics of someone suitable for this role. At the end of the telephone call I was told that Buchanan Sachs didn’t hold assessment centre days and that I was invited to attend a face-to-face interview which would be two days after.

    The face-to-face interview was very interesting and lasted about an hour and a half. I was surprised that I was not asked about my knowledge of the company at all, mainly about what other jobs I have applied to and whether I was competitive or not. I was also asked to describe what I would do in certain situations that I may find myself in, such as trying to get through to a director of a potential client on the phone. I was told from the onset that none of the other jobs I had applied to would be able to compete with the commission structure offered by this role. My interviewer was also trying to convince me that I would be more suited to a recruitment consultant role rather than an executive search consultant role – to which I disagreed as all my previous work experience was in fact in research (I wasn’t sure if they were only looking for recruitment consultants). The commissions structure of the company was also explained to me and I also discovered that the basic salary advertised was a lot higher than the one I would be offered.

    The meeting concluded with an offer of arranging interviews with 4/5 directors of companies that same week for a recruitment consultant role not for an executive search consultant role. I was told that I had two hours to decide whether to proceed or not. I was also advised that these directors would try to deter me from wanting to be a recruitment consultant which I thought was rather strange. I decided not to take up the offer as there were some inconsistencies in the interview and I didn’t want to lie about wanting to become a recruitment consultant as this was not the role I wanted or applied for.

    Most difficult question

    Why haven't you found a full time job yet as you graduated in June?

    Interview tips

    You have to be extremely money motived - basically you're sole reason for applying for such a role and talk about this throughout the entire interview.
    Also have to be prepared to have a low basic salary and rely on commission.

    Experiences at the assessment centre

    There was no assessment centre - was told that the company didn't run an assessment day as it becomes more of a "shouting match".

    Interview steps


    • Phone
    • 1:1
    • Group / Panel
    • Senior Management
    • Video


    • Numerical
    • Personality
    • Verbal reasoning
    • Psychometric


    • Assessment centre
    • Group excercise
    • Background check
    • Presentation
    • Competency based questions

    Rating the interview

    • How would you rate the pre-attendance information? 4/5
    • How well was the interview organised? 4/5
    • What was your overall impression of the organisation? 1/5
    • What was your overall impression of the selection process? 2/5
    • Did the interview reflect the overall values / culture of the organisation? 1/5
    • Would you recommend this company to a friend? 1/5
    • Did you want the role following your interview? 1/5

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