When asked a fit question, how much time is it ok to wait & think? Or is it expected to reply immediately without a pause?
in general you are not supposed to ask for time before fit questions - the expectation of the interviewer is that you should have prepared them in advance. Having said that, if you receive a question you have no idea how to answer it is better to take 10-15 seconds than to answer in an unstructured or incomplete way.
If the question is a simple walk me through your CV, or why BCG etc. then you should reply right away. However, if it's a more complicated question such as tell me about a time when you showed your leadership skills, then you can always ask for a moment to gather your thoughts (e.g., 30 seconds).
Adding to the other answers, if you do absolutely need time, you can "buy" it. Say, "Oh, that's really interesting. I kind of think in that answer in two ways. There were two periods in my life where that happened, and I'm just trying to think which one applies best. There was x and y, but I actually think y is best because...."
Find a way to talk a little, aim to even drop in some skills or experiences, then jump into answering. As the others have said, this obviously doesn't apply to a "Why company/consulting" or resume walkthrough question.
- If it is the part of the mandatory fit questions (e.g. personal impact at McKinsey) you are not supposed to take time
- If it is a non-conventional questions - it's fine to take time, but better answer asap
Related BootCamp article(s)
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.
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
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
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
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
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