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Fit Questions - How long should an answer be?

New answer on Oct 29, 2020
5 Answers
5.0 k Views
asked on May 29, 2017

Hi everyone,

I was wondering how long an answer to a standard fit question should be on average. (Referring to non-PEI interview questions)

For example: Describe a time you made a substantial impact on the outcome of a team project you were on.



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Content Creator
updated an answer on May 01, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Maxim,

many non-PEI questions take 1.5 - 2 minutes per answer; there are exceptions to the rule (for example, in case of several points required in an answer, such as “Which are your three top strengths and weaknesses”, or if the interviewer asks you follow-up questions), but usually, that should be sufficient time.

For PEI questions, the story usually takes longer - say between 2 and 4 minutes. The interviewer usually asks followup questions so that may take some additional time.

Hope this helps,


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Anonymous replied on Apr 30, 2020

Hi Maxim,

Your answer shouldn't be soo long. I would recommend for that following structure:

1. Start with a 1 sentence summary of your background

2. Bring out some problem

3. Talk about 3-4 of your roles (may be professional, education,
extracurricular), 3 sentences each.

4. Shortly explain how did you resolve that

5. Your learnings


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Anonymous updated the answer on Jun 08, 2020


I agree with what has been communicated before but I would like to add a comment on the major pitfalls I've seen so far during fit interviews.

Please find below a slide I've done on this topic.



Fit interview pitfalls


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Content Creator
replied on Oct 29, 2020
#1 MBB Coach(Placed 750+ in MBBs & 1250+ in Tier2)| The Only 360 coach(Ex-McKinsey + Certified Coach + Active recruiter)

Hi Maxim,

How much time exactly is not just depended on you, but it also depends on the interviewer. Because a lot of interviewers like to ask follow-up questions on your stories, and sometimes for the single stories the interviewer can spend the entire FIT part (it's around 20 minutes).

However, what I can surely tell you that, when you are answering, every answer you should try to restrict within the 3 minutes. Because psychologically, more the 3 minutes of a monologue is not good communication, because the opposite person loses his concentration.

So, how does that pen out?

For example, if the interviewer asks, "Can you tell me a story where you demonstrated entrepreneurship spirit?", so make your answer usingSTAR model. That answer shouldn't be longer than 3 minutes. It should be exhaustive to cover the story, but it shouldn't be too long. However, be prepared to answer the follow-up question, if an interviewer specifically says: "Ok, so why don't you tell me, what exactly you did in this particular part of the story?".

Again, your time will start, and make sure that this answer is in line with the structure and don't talk longer than 2-3 minutes.

This series of conversations sometimes gets to the entire FIT part, or sometimes interviewers ask different questions.

Does it make sense to you?


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Content Creator
replied on May 27, 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, next week will be pusblished in PrepLounge´s Shop material related.

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Hope you find it useful!



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Anonymous A on May 13, 2024

I can tell you one thing for sure, though: try to keep your answers to no more than three minutes each. Since the other person's attention gets distracted after three minutes of a monologue, it is not effective communication from a psychological standpoint. space bar clicker


Francesco gave the best answer


Content Creator
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching
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