FIT Part / What's your weakness?

FIT
New answer on Sep 05, 2020
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 09, 2019

How can we answer the question "what's your weakness?" without giving obviously prepared answers like "i'm a perfectionist..." etc? Real weaknesses should be deal breaker for MBB so what do you think?

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Anonymous replied on Aug 09, 2019

Hi!

The first thing to recognise is why interviewers ask this question. Ultimately, they want to know how aware you are of your development areas, how you feel about you "weaknesses", and whether those "weaknesses" are red flags :)

I advise my clients to:

  1. Answer honestly & directly... but not too honestly (this is not a confessional :)). Interviewers can tell if you're being ingenuine and know when you're trying to cover up your weaknesses. For example, "I work too hard" is not a weakness so don't say that. And don't say something that will obviously be a complete deal-breaker.
  2. Pick a "weakness" that is important for consultants to have. i.e. it should be relevant to the role. Saying you want to be a better investor is not relevant to the role. However, saying you could be better at managing your time is something that is relevant to being a consultant
  3. Show that you have already worked on this "weakness" and have a plan to improve it even more. Interviewers want just want to see that you have "weaknesses" (they already know you do because we ALL have weaknesses). They want to see that you're the sort of person who is doing something about it to improve yourself because as a consultant, you have to be open to feedback and take steps to address that feedback.

Here's an example of what this might sound like (remember, this is just an example that demonstrates an example that is direct, honest, relevant, and improvement-focused. You will need to cater this to yourself:

  • "A weakness of mine is my ability to present confidently in situations where I'm less familiar with the topic. This stems from a complete fear of presenting just a few years ago, which I worked on through the support of my colleagues and by putting myself in situations where I had no choice but to present, get feedback, and then refine and try again. So I feel like I've already come a long way. The work I'd done preparing myself for these interviews have helped me gain additional communication skills to improve how I feel presenting less familiar topics, but it is still an ongoing effort, which I continue to work on."

Hope this helps! Get in touch directly to get some specific practice in.

Best!

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Serhat
Expert
replied on Aug 09, 2019
BCG | Kellogg MBA |82% Success rate| 450+ case interview| 5+ year consulting | 30+ projects in ~10 countries

Hi there,

First of all, it is a very good point to discuss. Thank you for bringing it to attention.

It is important to understand why interviewers are asking this question. Basically, they want to make sure that you are

  • aware of your weaknesses
  • brave and honest to tell your weaknesses
  • working on those weaknesses to improve

Considering those factors, the weakness you want to tell should be a real weakness which you can explain based on a true story. Having said that, it is also important to make sure that weakness you want to mention is not something very serious.

Cheers

Serhat

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Astrid
Admin
replied on Aug 09, 2019
PrepLounge Head of Product & Marketing

Hi there,

Welcome to PrepLounge and thanks for asking your question on our Consulting Q&A.

Have you already checked out our new feature Self Study Mode?

You can find a number of personal fit questions such as "What do you consider to be your weaknesses?" including best practice answers by our experts.

Maybe this helps you for your further practice.

We wish you a great case prep!

Best,

Astrid

PrepLounge Community Management

PrepLounge Consulting Q&A Forum

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Anonymous replied on Sep 05, 2020

Hi A,

That is quite a nice question and you can simultaneously demonstrate your strong points by answering it. Be honest about your weaknesses but do not tell too much. The best option would be starting telling about your weaknesses and then going to the point that you are aware of them and work hard on getting rid of them or improving.

Best,

Andre

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Clara
Expert
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

Hello!

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