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How much time should I spend on answering each behaviral question?

behavioral interviews
New answer on Aug 14, 2020
3 Answers
933 Views
Anonymous A asked on Aug 10, 2020

How much time should I spend on answering each behaviral question? (e.g. interviewer asks about "tell me a time when..."

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 11, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi,

Just like the question "How many cases should I practice?", the answer here is it depends. It depends on 1) The content of your story and 2) The body language of your interviewer.

45-60 seconds is a good indicator for what you should aim for.

However, much more important is: Did you tell your story with an appropriate level of detail to demonstrate your thinking and "wow factor" but also stick only to the relevant, need-to-know points?

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Allen
Expert
replied on Aug 14, 2020
Ex-McK Experienced Hire and EM - I show you how to perform at your best

This depends on the firm.

At McKinsey, this part of the interview typically takes around 25 minutes. So feel free to expand quite a bit. Just spend your time not on the situation and background, but rather on the point you are trying to make, what you are trying to reveal about yourself. Easy to lose the interviewer.

At other firms, your answers can be much more brief.

Always be structured. Use a framework like STAR. And don't spend too much time up front.

You'll be fine!

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Anonymous replied on Aug 12, 2020

Dear A,

Usually it's ok 1- 2 minute maximum. If your answer is longer, make sure before that it's structured enough and quite significant for takin g so much time in your interview.

Best,
André

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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