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I recently went through a series of interviews with a consulting firm. I was informed the the job mainly consists of working on a client project for 3 months on average and then moving on to the next project. The interview process consisted of an initial phone screen with the HR recruiter, a coding test with a couple of developers of the consulting firm, and then finally a coding test with their new client. I did great until the final interview.

My question is: is it normal to interview with a client company when interviewing for a position at a consulting firm? It seems to me that when a company hires a consulting firm, they expect to receive some development resources (developers/engineers) that have already been vetted. In addition, I surely wouldn't have to re-interview with new clients that the consulting firm acquires every 3 months, so why would the consulting firm have me interview with the client company in the first place? Is this a normal process?

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    It is quite common to be proposed as a consultant to a new client with an interview / meeting. Just walking into the client company without an introduction doesn't really make sense for important positions right? Fact that they do this in your normal "getting hired" procedure may indicate that they want to be sure that they can place you immediately. Basically risk-management, they hire you but get instant revenues. – Luc Franken Oct 21 '16 at 6:03
  • 80% of IT jobs in France are like that, those days. It seems to exist also in other countries, though not in such proportions. And yes, 3 months later, the new client interviews you anyways. – gazzz0x2z Oct 21 '16 at 12:28
  • Interview? Unusual. Having your CV forwarded to clients before you work on their project? Yes - very normal – Michael Shaw Oct 23 '16 at 19:59
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It depends on the contract between the client and the contracting firm.

Some clients insist on a veto over new additions to the team because they've been burned by the "B-Team Shuffle" in the past (that's when an outsourcing contract is won with a good people who are then systematically removed over the first few months of the deal and replaced with cheaper folks, usually less experienced and therefore less able).

I've seen this syndrome a lot. It's a significant and often overlooked risk of big outsourcing contracts and a great way for the less ethical operators to maximize profit.

So, I'd guess your client is being wary which bodes well for them being decent to work for. It may or may not be a warning sign about your potential employer because they might not be guilty of trying the shuffle but are being penalized for the bad actions of previous vendors.

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    I think the veto is key. Many clients want to make sure there is a good cultural fit. – user8365 Oct 21 '16 at 19:09

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