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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?

Anonymous A asked on Oct 12, 2019 - 1 answer

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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Daniel
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replied on Nov 04, 2019
ex-McKinsey Senior Associate / officially interviewed for McKinsey recruiting / I will coach you to rock those interviews
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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 :)