Give me an example of a time that you have led a group to achieve a difficult goal!

PrepLounge: Personal Fit
New answer on Aug 31, 2021
50 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 17, 2019

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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Anonymous replied on Sep 17, 2019

Hi!

To answer your question directly: Your interviewer expects that you provide very concrete and clear examples of leadership in a difficult situation to show. So here's what you need to do:

  1. Think of an example that truly demonstrates you taking leadership. An example where you ran a team successfully to a specific goal or through a difficult challenge. The interviewer does not want to hear that you've been in a leadership position, but instead that you have evidence of being an effective leader. So, saying you were responsible for a large team is not good enough because you may not have been very good at it :). But explaining that you led that large team to deliver a multi-month project through major challenges is impressive. And be sure to highlight what the challenges are. Which brings me to...
  2. Summarise at a high-level
    1. who you led
    2. what you led them to do
    3. what was difficult about it
    4. what you did to be successful
    5. Bonus: what about you specifically made it successful (e.g. your confidence, tenacity, etc.)
  3. And then be prepared to go into detail with your interviewer:
    1. Explain what you did, said, and thought. Remember, this is not about your team, it is about you so get comfortable using words like "I did...", "I said...", "I figured out that...", etc.
    2. Describe specific difficult moments and how you overcame it (again, it's all about what you did)
    3. Explain any planning you did beforehand and why
    4. Share and celebrate the outcome (which should be positive) and maybe any learnings or things you would do better.

All the best!

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Anonymous C replied on Sep 30, 2019

This past semester I was involved in a group task for one of my final year courses. We had to create a strategy to solve the sanitary dignity problem in South Africa. As a female, this issue is close to my heart but it was difficult to get input from my male colleagues. I took the position of team lead and was able to get the boys in my team to contribute in a way that they were comfortable with but that also allowed them to engage and appreciate the cause at hand. Our final project is something the team was very proud of.

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Anonymous H updated the answer on Feb 04, 2020

led a core team of 6 and trained a larger group of 30 directors to hold a conference that saw 300 attendees

(edited)

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Friederike updated an answer on Nov 06, 2019

I was the leader of a groupwork in market research class. we were a group of 6 which made it not easy to find time and work together. Being honest, open and confident helped me to get everyone together and work effieciently. The final exam was a successful presentation. I think especially my awareness of myself helped the group to success, because I knew when I had to interfere, when I had to lead and when I had to let everyone do their own work.

(edited)

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Anonymous D replied on Oct 10, 2019

I had this chance many times in mylife but the most i can remember was during our annual concert for the scout group it s a concert that we do every year on Xmas where we invite an orphonage and give them out of our time with the presence of people who paid tickets for us to be able to make this concert give money for the orphonage and get presents for those children it was an event of 700 people and a TV covarge and the scout group with 200 member it was challangig enough for me and i was able to make this year's event one of the best for years

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Anonymous K replied on Feb 11, 2020

In my opinion, difficult goal means 1) led a group without knowing the objective or 2) the tasks are too many but need to be complete in the short time.

For number 1, I have to clarify the objectives and priorities, after it clear then I will determine how much time that we need to complete, for number 2, if the time too short then I will ask which the most prioritize task.

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ingrid replied on Aug 31, 2021

I presented a new Solution to integrate the P2P process and invirted the stakeholders, asked them for pieces of the solution

 

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Andrei replied on Aug 28, 2021

I jouned the team in the middle of M&A deal and they had issues with audit. The auditor did not have an answer to the fundamental audit issues. I studied the subject and the team. did it fast since we were really pressed for time. realised that the question was incorrectly formulated and when the question changed I only needed to find the right person to get the right documents with city authorities. The guy was not in the team but I identified him and motivated to help us go through the audit predicament. 

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Anonymous B2 updated the answer on Jul 14, 2021

i was working with my team and they were stuck in solving the onboarding problem at my firm. I suggested that we meet for a brainstorming session and collaboratively we were able to put various stakeholders in a room and thus come up with innovative ways to solve the problem. 

When everyone left, there were clear action points and timelines on when to feedback to the team as well as the execs

(edited)

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Duncan updated an answer on Jul 09, 2021

Situatie: Non-financial kpi’s om talent journey van Randstad te meten

Taak: Samen tot een plan van aanpak komen, expert interviews afnemen en bevindingen met steerco van RvB-leden te delen

Actie: Door veel eigenaarschap bij teamleden te leggen, vragen te stellen & kwetsbaarheid tonen waardoor ik benaderbaarder wordt als leider. Hierdoor ook teamlid dat zich open durfde op te stellen, delen dat prestatie minder was door opa in het ziekenhuis met operatie, kans op overlijden.

Resultaat: Tevreden steerco en CFO voor deel 1 van het project

(edited)

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Christoffer replied on Jul 05, 2021

When we hosted a week of intro to fresh students and a students mother passed away. Keeping morale and ensuring everyone got the best out of the week, with me in charge is an example

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Merle replied on May 25, 2021

When Airbus switched from MS Office to G-Suite, there was a lot of uncertainty and anxiety. In order to be part of the transformation and take advantage of the opportunities and the dual students network, I founded a G-Suite team and organized training for teams and the upper management to support the transition.

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Anonymous A replied on May 24, 2021

I was in charge of organizing a tournament for my sports club.

1) I stressed, that we first agree on aims of how it will look

2) I made a roadmap based on these points how we will achieve them. I talked with people to make sure that we don't miss anything.

3) Assigned people to do work packages.

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Antonio replied on May 06, 2021

durch motivation und Anführen, Team auf den letzten Metern nochmal motiviert und zum erfolg gebracht

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Anonymous Z replied on Apr 15, 2021

As I was active in the student club named VSNE, I was responsible for creating and running a concept for the first startup idea competition organized by the organisation. As part of this, I was leading a team of 7 members. The challenge was not only because of it being the first competition ever organized, but also because we are all students who are not 100% available for the project and each of us has a different level of experience in working in project. However, thanks to spending time to know my team by talking to team member, I was able to assign tasks according to their experience and preference and was able to came up with an all-rounded program for the whole project including recruiting juries and drafting evaluation sheets for them, recruiting mentors for the startups and creating mentoring content for them and finally keep the juries and mentors in touch to provide a foundation for further events and projects of the student club.

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Valentine replied on Apr 05, 2021

w

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Lara replied on Mar 14, 2021

During a group presentation I was recently part of I made sure everyone felt appreciated, leading to a great presentation.

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Anonymous Y replied on Mar 10, 2021

I organized a conference in China

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Anonymous X replied on Mar 08, 2021
  • Situation:

    • I scaled X to 3 countries: Ghana, Brazil, and Uganda - had to manage all 3 simultaneously while working with partners on the ground.

  • Actions:

    • Invested heavily up front to build the capacity of our partners on the ground - robust training in our curriculum, toolkits, systems, and culture

    • Built relationships, getting to know them on a personal level - gaining their trust & respect

    • Set performance milestones & a dashboard

    • I held weekly check-in calls to encourage accountability, gauge progress, advise, and help solve problems

    • I conducted in-person visits that focused on key activities that would drive success & sustainability - observed them in action & gave feedback, trained them & helped prioritize & make plans

    • Often times, I would jump in to help them in times of urgent needs. For example, one time a partner submitted their work late to me and needed to deliver training the next day, so I stayed up all night to help them edit & finalize it to make the deadline. This demonstrates solidarity with my team & commitment.

    • I would offer emotional encouragement & remind them of the greater vision & the reason for their efforts.

  • Result

    • As a result of this work, X experienced successful market entries into three new geographies & exponential growth in revenue, impact and funding.

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Anonymous W replied on Mar 03, 2021

in the integrative seminar

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Emmanuel replied on Feb 21, 2021

When I was working as a project administrator, I kept communicating project objectives and motivating the team to achieve the goals

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Anonymous V replied on Feb 07, 2021

I have led multi-division project team to deliver sort of work that my company never did before, with coordination of 6+ departments on the client side

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Anonymous U replied on Jan 30, 2021

Guided the client through 16 high intensive strategy workshops

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Sebastian replied on Jan 26, 2021

Leading the debate society. Arranging tournaments etc.

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Johannes replied on Jan 11, 2021

Verantwortlich für eine interantionale Gruppe an Consultants für ein Proposal für die European Commission. Zeiten, Können und Verfügbarkeit wurden eingeschätzt und Verteilt, der Überblick behalten und hat so zu einem erfolgreichen Abschluss des Proposals geführt.

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Karim replied on Jan 08, 2021
Chemical Engineer seeking entry into Management Consulting

I was chairman of my final year design project in university, where I had the responsibility of leading a team of 7 members. We were one of the first groups to finish the project before the tight deadline that was set, and that was mainly due to our teamwork and efforts.

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Anonymous T updated the answer on Jan 07, 2021

I led a sucessfull grant application for EU project. My role was to act as a liason connecting all 20 institutions that were part of the project.

(edited)

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Anonymous S replied on Dec 28, 2020

I was elected by my fellow students as the team leader for a consulting case during my undergraduate. I was responsible for organising the different work streams. The client was very demanding and I had to keep the overview over all different teams. We were a team of 15 students.

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Mareen replied on Nov 19, 2020

structured approach, b

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Anonymous R replied on Nov 17, 2020

I led the Indian team through the SAP implementation phase and built the bridge between the German and Indian team

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Anonymous Q replied on Oct 23, 2020

Being a CPO I managed to cooridinate 5 SCRUM teams, who were located at different places to finish the first ever release train in their live.

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Anonymous P replied on Oct 07, 2020

see answer

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Domile And replied on Sep 12, 2020

complete database:

1) timing management

2) support

3) team work

acheived the goal

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Anonymous O replied on Aug 26, 2020

-

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Urban replied on Aug 06, 2020

CFA Challenge

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Anonymous N replied on Jun 29, 2020

I am thinking about my first university group project during my exchange program in Korea when I had to deal for the first time with classmates coming from different countries. They had arguably a complete different approach to the whole process of project anlysis and problem solving. Instead of get mad and push my ideas like the others (and like the impulsive "me" would have definitly did) I made a step back trying to include all the different perspectives from the very beginning of the analysis in order to start the project all together. We end up spending more time on the "framework" compared ot other groups but we achieved a very smooth process for the rest of the project ending up with a result that first of all was really outsanding and secondly was satisfactory for everyone.

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Yash replied on May 31, 2020

During one of our research projects, we had to get a scale up facility ready. There was a lot of inertia within team members as we required permissions from the HSE officer, Fire officer and this needed a lot of documentation. We also had to procure equipments and materials and were facing CapEx crunch.

I delegated one goal to each of the team member. I also set up a meeting with the HSE officer who agreed to get the paper work done with the Fire officer and help with documentation.

Myself and the member responsible for purchase of material and equipment discussed with the purchase team as what are the possible routes we can have to complete the necessary purchase. They suggested on going with online purchase within a stipulated amount for whatever we can and make the other purchases with already registered vendors.

Within a span of 2 weeks we had the facility to scale up to 200 litres of production.

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Anonymous M replied on May 25, 2020

I have led an international team, post M&Aintegrationg services between south america and central europe, meeting two weeks objectives for the transition, with 20 services for the transition, where team has no instructions and scope was not precise, any delays to the timeframe would tigger additional fees.

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 01, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

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Hope you find it useful!

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Sebastian updated an answer on Apr 24, 2020

For our Accounting & Financial Analysis, we had to work on a study project, which was about financial analysis of a chosen stock-listed company in form of a 50-slide PowerPoint presentation. From the start, I took the role as the organizer and set up a work schedule where we assigned tasks including deadlines to every group member. Throughout the project, I was the one keeping track of our work schedule to ensure that everyone delivers things on time. If somebody did not meet his/her deadline, I did not penalize him/her, but instead, we tried to find a solution together, like assigning a second person to that task. During the first two weeks out of four, I was not satisfied with our performance as a team and so I told the group that we have to increase our workload and should work in pairs on certain parts to improve the quality of work. In the end we did manage to work effectively and delivered well on time. The final result was 8.8 out of 10, which was among the top three in class.

Usually, I am a person that holds back when the team is homogenous and works effectively. But whenever I notice that my team is deviating from achieving a set goal, I jump in and take the reins by reorganizing the team and the work schedule so that we can achieve our goal.

(edited)

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Anonymous L replied on Apr 23, 2020

Where i supervised a group

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Dennis replied on Apr 15, 2020

Communication

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maharshi replied on Feb 25, 2020

I provided the team with number of alternate approaches to a problem which led the team to find a solution with reduced time complexity by a factor of 4 and cost by a factor of 10

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Jens replied on Feb 17, 2020

being in charge of study projet

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Anonymous J updated the answer on Feb 11, 2020

St. Gallen

(edited)

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Anonymous I replied on Feb 10, 2020

ju

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Anonymous G replied on Jan 29, 2020

We had a difficult project and many diferent meanings.

So I reset the goal and went backwards - from the goal the beginning - step by step.

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Anonymous F updated the answer on Jan 20, 2020

In my previous work I work as a project manager with 5 to 7 team members leading projects to achieve project goals whithin given given time frame.

(edited)

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Anonymous E replied on Nov 04, 2019

During my last job as a supervisor I had many situations where I had to encourage my team to reach a difficult goal like a deadline, supervise 3 teams at differnet sites. So I had to motivate the Teams and tell them about the importance of our job and of our teamwork. That the work of every person is important for the team and the common goal.

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Anonymous B replied on Sep 22, 2019

A project where I led an initiative to accomplish given set of asks from 6 department heads

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