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Did you have to make any sacrifices along the way? What lessons have you learned? Knowing what you do now, would you do it again?

PrepLounge: Personal Fit
New answer on Mar 21, 2023
9 Answers
2.9 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Oct 12, 2019

How would you answer this question in your Personal Fit interview? Receive feedback on your answer and browse through the Q&As to review the approaches of other applicants and experts.

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Content Creator
replied on Nov 04, 2019
McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews

This question tests your ability to do things 80/20.

What is 80/20? It’s a rule which basically states that 80% of the results come just from 20% of your efforts. So, in practice it means that you need to be able to prioritise and make trade-offs to complete more work in a given time vs striving for perfection in one specific task.

The 80/20 principle is very important in consulting industry, because in most cases you don’t have time to do things perfectly (there are literally not enough hours in a day).

So, when preparing for your personal fit interviews make sure you think about situations where you had to make sacrifices along the way (meaning applying 80/20) and make sure to bring those situations up during the interview.

A few generic examples of 80/20:

  • you wanted to do your internship but at the same time you were completing two degrees, so you persuaded the company to take you in for less hours than what they usually offer their interns;
  • you were working on the project with your team and wanted to complete everything on time but then encountered a major problem – instead of killing the team and making them work night shifts, you pivoted the project and achieved some results (maybe not the results you wanted, but some results);
  • you were training for a marathon, which was very important to you, but then your team member got sick and you needed to take over his workload – instead of killing yourself by overtraining and overworking, you chose to do a marathon in another city 3 months later, which was a mentally difficult decision but in the end the right one, because you managed to succeed in both;

So, once during your interview you get a question about challenges on the way, unexpected problems and issues, think about 80/20 :)

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Jakob replied on Mar 21, 2023

First of all: I would not do anything different. Not because everything was perfect but everything was worth it and led to something new.

Sacrifices have been always to have less leisure, to be outside the comfort zone and to have little time to rest on laurels. Thereby i have learned for myself, that i only do feel sustainable confident and happy, when i regularly accept to challenge myself. 

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ntombikaise replied on Sep 14, 2022

yes, i sacrificed my time with my children . your determination will get you the results that you require

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Manlio replied on Jul 19, 2022
Dentistry Student, Chemical Engineer, MBA grad, speaks 4 languages, Data Scientist (informal ed.)

Even in a Historical moment in which every company looks to be committed to diversity, coming from the south of Italy and belonging to a low income family means that you have to sacrifice almost everything to get on top and sometimes it is not enough, because not having a chance to “network” a.k.a. “to get a backing” means you have to work, get 2 “hard skills” Master degrees (MSc in Chemical Engineering and Doctor of Dental Surgery), learn 3 foreign languages etc. in order to have the money to get a top tier MBA that, even though interviews used to have very positive outcomes, cracking every single business case i came across, did not pay off at all. But I am still here, I am 37 y.o and “making” my own path in order to get where I want to avoiding those doors that are locked for those who have no “backing”.

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Anonymous E replied on May 26, 2022

Sacrificing close relationships with friends who were toxic for my physical, mental, and spiritual health and growth.

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Anonymous D replied on Mar 31, 2022

As I was applying to consulting clubs, there was one night where I missed three things – a movie with a group of friends, a chance to bake cookies with another friend, and a board game night with other friends. I had to skip out on all three so that I could finish my applications, due by the next day. It hurt a lot seeing all of their posts on Instagram, but I knew it was worth it because I love being in the consulting club I'm in now. I've learnt balance as I juggle all my activities - some weeks I get to spend more time with friends, and some weeks I don't, but because I love everything I do, it all works out.

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Anonymous C updated the answer on Feb 09, 2022

Opportunity cost is a sacrifice that needs to be constantly evaluated at every major decision. I first made a career sacrifice to pursue my ambitions as an entrepreneur and business owner,  and later again while pursuing my MBA as a first step towards my long term professional objective. Given the chance I would redo the timeline rather than the actual process. 


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Content Creator
replied on Jul 06, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


On top of the insights already shared in the post, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

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Anonymous B replied on Nov 24, 2019


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Daniel gave the best answer


Content Creator
McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews
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