Expert with best answer


100% Recommendation Rate

53 Meetings

470 Q&A Upvotes

USD 319 / Coaching

Easy ways to distinguish yourself during interviews

Anonymous A asked on Jul 19, 2018 - 2 answers


What do you think are some of the easier ways to distinguish yourself from the rest of interviewees?

Let's say we have a 2x2 matrix: rare skills and abundant skills VS easy to acquire and hard to acquire. I'm looking for rare skills that are easy to acquire. It doesn't have to be too easy, but I'm trying to contrast these skills to such skills as strong communication, which takes many years to develop.

Thank you!

2 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Benjamin replied on Jul 20, 2018
ex-Manager - Natural and challenging teacher - Taylor case solving, no framework
Book a coaching with Benjamin

100% Recommendation Rate

53 Meetings

470 Q&A Upvotes

USD 319 / Coaching


Here are the skills that I value particularly as interviewer. Most candidates have some of them, but the difficulty here is to combine them :

  • Hard solving skills
  1. Structuring : ​building a clear, simple and easy to understand approach that cover the key dimensions of the main issue, in 2 minutes is really challenging and in my experience few candidates got it perfectly
  2. insights generation : while performing maths, you should focus on the "so what" not on computing the numbers correctly. Most candidate do it right but then forget about deriving an insight. If you do it immediately on your own it's excellent
  3. Judgement : When formulating a final reco. it sometimes requires to step back and try to see the big picture to make a strong recommandation, instead of jumping into what seems immediately obvious
  • Soft Skills
  1. ​​behaviour : project confidence without being arrogant
  2. Leadership (BCG style) : take the lead on the case resolution, acting like you are consultant and the interviewer is client
  3. active listening : take into account what have been said, and if necessary adapt you reasonning on the fly

This is obviously not exhaustive, and I am sure other coach will add more dimensions important to them.


replied on Jul 20, 2018
Consultant at A.T. Kearney | Part of campus recruitment & coaching core team| Coached 75+ candidates converting McK, BCG, ATK
Book a coaching with Ankit

2 Meetings

22 Q&A Upvotes

USD 129 / Coaching


I will try to answer your specific question to the best of my abilities. As correctly pointed out by my fellow experts, there is a whole gamut of skills that we look for while interviewing. The skills that would typically lie in your quadrant would be:

  1. Idea generation: This is one of the rarest skills among interviewees. Most of the coaching that the candidates get is centred around case structuring and navigating through the scenario. This results in a candidate who is excellent at getting to the root cause of the issue. However, only a few candidates are able to "wow" the interviewer with their recommendations. While it may seem trivial, it's quite a high impact and often underplayed area of an interview. After solving the issue for around 30 minutes, you get 5-7 minutes to share ideas on how to solve the particular issue. Most candidates just run through a list of 2-3 obvious recommendations without really thinking through or trying to be innovative. Hence, if you are able to practice idea-generation to such an extent that it becomes second nature just like the first part of the interview, it will generate a great return on your efforts. Just consider this: you could create the same impact with a 5-7 minutes conversation as you did with a 30-minute one (assumption is that you are able to crack the issue). This one sits right in the sweet spot in your skill-effort 2x2. It will definitely differentiate you from others.​
  2. Opening and synthesizing of the case: I am sure you must have already heard about the importance of synthesizing a case well. Think of it as a project summary that you have to provide to your Partner, who cannot be bored with all the details. Similarly, opening a case and clarifying objectives/ assumptions at the beginning is crucial and goes a long way in creating the right impression. Like everything related to case studies, these need practice - but just a conscious effort in each case you practice can help you differentiate from others.​
  3. Confidence and poise: The interviewers want to know if you can handle yourself in front of the Client. Hence, confidence (not arrogance) is another highly valued "skill" that we look for. I call it a skill because it can be mastered within a month of practice. Here, the key is to practice on your voice modulation and the way you communicate, including non-verbal communication.

Please feel free to contact me if you need help with any of the skills. Wish you all the best!

Related BootCamp article(s)

Personal Fit

Besides being great at case cracking you also need to convince the interviewer that your personality fits into a case team or in the company as a whole

Getting Up to Speed

In order to repeatedly demonstrate prerequisite skills under the pressure of a real case interview, you need to learn the basics and practice cases.

Related case(s)

McKinsey Questions

Solved 33.1k times
4.5 5 835
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you a ... Open whole case

BCG Questions

Solved 22.8k times
4.5 5 199
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation where y ... Open whole case

Bain Questions

Solved 22.0k times
4.6 5 278
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me about a difficult situation you had to cope with. Tell me of a task which you didn’t like doing and explain why you performed it nevertheless. Why do you do things? What do you like doing most / What is your favorite hobby? Walk me through a situation where you showed leadership skills. Open whole case

The Top 5 Questions

Solved 11.7k times
4.5 5 190
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Questions Tell me something about your background. Why should we hire you? Describe a difficult situation and how you handled it? What did your boss or colleagues criticize about you? Do you rather work in a team or independently? Open whole case

Unusual Questions

Solved 11.0k times
4.6 5 153
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Advanced | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

What books/films have you enjoyed recently and why? What is the worst thing that you have ever gotten away with? How do you define and evaluate successful work? Do you fear anything? How would you rate me as your interviewer? Open whole case