Cookie and Privacy Settings

This website uses cookies to enable essential functions like the user login and sessions. We also use cookies and third-party tools to improve your surfing experience on preplounge.com. You can choose to activate only essential cookies or all cookies. You can always change your preference in the cookie and privacy settings. This link can also be found in the footer of the site. If you need more information, please visit our privacy policy.

Data processing in the USA: By clicking on "I accept", you also consent, in accordance with article 49 paragraph 1 sentence 1 lit. GDPR, to your data being processed in the USA (by Google LLC, Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Inc., Stripe, Paypal).

Manage settings individually I accept
expert
Expert with best answer

Ian

100% Recommendation Rate

193 Meetings

16,158 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

7

HR screening rejection

I got dinged during HR screening and feedback I received was "lack of structure and didn't seem convincing" in my answers. Can someone give me practical tips or advice to overcome this hurdle and not to get dinged in my upcoming interviews?

I got dinged during HR screening and feedback I received was "lack of structure and didn't seem convincing" in my answers. Can someone give me practical tips or advice to overcome this hurdle and not to get dinged in my upcoming interviews?

(edited)

Who was the interview with? Which company? And what kind of questions did they ask ? — Anonymous B on May 18, 2020

It was with Kearney and Strategy&. Questions were standard FIT questions"Tell me about a situation" — Anonymous A on May 18, 2020

7 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Ian

100% Recommendation Rate

193 Meetings

16,158 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

Hi there,

It really depends on what "lack of structure" you were exhibiting.

First, identify where you lack structure:

  • In your framework?
  • In the way you go through the case?
  • In your thinking (i.e. being hypothesis driven)
  • In your communication

Then, resolve these:

  • Framework - practice the mindset shift required in appropriately thinking about and talking about a framework (i.e. how are you going to approach the problem...how would you do it if you had a team of 4 and 4 weeks and were at the client site)
  • Going through the case - you need to learn how to organize your sheets of paper for each stage of the case, putting notes/findings/titles in set places. They should almost look like slides (feel free to message me for an example)
  • In your thinking - this is another mindset shift. You need to always remember the objective, your hypotheses, the framework, as you go through the case. Practice pausing and re-stating these
  • In your communication - signpost your thoughts, say exactly what is needed (no more, no less), be clear in your words, etc.

Honestly, a dedicated session with a coach is the best way to overcome this, and there isn't a blanket solution to this sort of foundational blocker!

Hi there,

It really depends on what "lack of structure" you were exhibiting.

First, identify where you lack structure:

  • In your framework?
  • In the way you go through the case?
  • In your thinking (i.e. being hypothesis driven)
  • In your communication

Then, resolve these:

  • Framework - practice the mindset shift required in appropriately thinking about and talking about a framework (i.e. how are you going to approach the problem...how would you do it if you had a team of 4 and 4 weeks and were at the client site)
  • Going through the case - you need to learn how to organize your sheets of paper for each stage of the case, putting notes/findings/titles in set places. They should almost look like slides (feel free to message me for an example)
  • In your thinking - this is another mindset shift. You need to always remember the objective, your hypotheses, the framework, as you go through the case. Practice pausing and re-stating these
  • In your communication - signpost your thoughts, say exactly what is needed (no more, no less), be clear in your words, etc.

Honestly, a dedicated session with a coach is the best way to overcome this, and there isn't a blanket solution to this sort of foundational blocker!

Book a coaching with Clara

100% Recommendation Rate

50 Meetings

12,368 Q&A Upvotes

USD 229 / Coaching

Hello!

Sorry to hear that!

What helps to gain structure is to embrace a good "framework" or guidance to communicate.

Precisely for this, most common in MBB are STAR or PARADE. They are quite similar, and here I leave you here one of the slides of the FIT Guide I´ve written for PrepLounge that summarizes it.

Full guide can be found here > https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34

PM me if you are interested in disccount codes for it!

MBB star and parade framework

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Sorry to hear that!

What helps to gain structure is to embrace a good "framework" or guidance to communicate.

Precisely for this, most common in MBB are STAR or PARADE. They are quite similar, and here I leave you here one of the slides of the FIT Guide I´ve written for PrepLounge that summarizes it.

Full guide can be found here > https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34

PM me if you are interested in disccount codes for it!

MBB star and parade framework

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

404 Meetings

11,348 Q&A Upvotes

USD 239 / Coaching

Hi,

"Tell me about yourself question" is similar to "Walk me through your resume"

  1. This is not the story, so you don't need to have the story STAR structure
  2. This is not about the challenge, it's about your career path
  3. Start with a short 1 sentence summary of who you are. You can mention your unique selling point and structure your lifepath around it
  4. Depending on your experiences continue either from the first or from the last role (the later you are in your career the more sense it is to start with last one)
  5. For each role in addition to the description add a memorable project or experience with high impact / cool companies and brands involved that will stay in the memory of the interviewer
  6. In the end, say why consulting is a logical continuation of your career path

When answering “Why consulting” questions, provide three reasons why you want to pursue a career in a consulting firm. A general rule is to find the reasons that are important for you and logically fit everything you have done before (e.g. you want to grow further in financial services and get exposure to these clients). You can always use some personal rationale like your experience of working with consultants on a client side.

"Why this company" is a more specific question and can include the following arguments:

  • The general marketing story the company is trying to sell (e.g. Bain is a small "Family" company)
  • Brand / positioning / market share in the region
  • More clients / projects / expertise in the industry you are interested in
  • More well-known stories of success in your city
  • Your friends working there
  • Your interactions with the other consultants before the interview
  • Your prior experience of working with the Firm on a client side
  • Office traditions
  • Work experience with firm alumni
  • etc

Best!

Hi,

"Tell me about yourself question" is similar to "Walk me through your resume"

  1. This is not the story, so you don't need to have the story STAR structure
  2. This is not about the challenge, it's about your career path
  3. Start with a short 1 sentence summary of who you are. You can mention your unique selling point and structure your lifepath around it
  4. Depending on your experiences continue either from the first or from the last role (the later you are in your career the more sense it is to start with last one)
  5. For each role in addition to the description add a memorable project or experience with high impact / cool companies and brands involved that will stay in the memory of the interviewer
  6. In the end, say why consulting is a logical continuation of your career path

When answering “Why consulting” questions, provide three reasons why you want to pursue a career in a consulting firm. A general rule is to find the reasons that are important for you and logically fit everything you have done before (e.g. you want to grow further in financial services and get exposure to these clients). You can always use some personal rationale like your experience of working with consultants on a client side.

"Why this company" is a more specific question and can include the following arguments:

  • The general marketing story the company is trying to sell (e.g. Bain is a small "Family" company)
  • Brand / positioning / market share in the region
  • More clients / projects / expertise in the industry you are interested in
  • More well-known stories of success in your city
  • Your friends working there
  • Your interactions with the other consultants before the interview
  • Your prior experience of working with the Firm on a client side
  • Office traditions
  • Work experience with firm alumni
  • etc

Best!

Dear A,

I would recommend you to use a specific structure, which consists of 5 components for your personal fit stories:

1. Situation (background)

2. Problem (Complication)

3. Your approach (how did you manage this problem)

4. Results (Outcomes of your approach)

5. Your learnings (what you take from this situation)

If you can apply this framework to every of your PEI stories and communicate in a top-down way, you would definitely leave great impression and sound more convincing nex time. For more details, feel free to approach me.

Good luck,

André

Dear A,

I would recommend you to use a specific structure, which consists of 5 components for your personal fit stories:

1. Situation (background)

2. Problem (Complication)

3. Your approach (how did you manage this problem)

4. Results (Outcomes of your approach)

5. Your learnings (what you take from this situation)

If you can apply this framework to every of your PEI stories and communicate in a top-down way, you would definitely leave great impression and sound more convincing nex time. For more details, feel free to approach me.

Good luck,

André

Book a coaching with Francesco

100% Recommendation Rate

3,275 Meetings

11,919 Q&A Upvotes

USD 429 / Coaching

Hi there,

I would recommend you post your current approach – it is very difficult to provide any suggestion without knowing which questions you are referring to and which is your current answer.

Some common issues related to structure and motivation on the fit part are the following:

  • Lack of numbers to structure the answer (First, Second, etc)
  • Lack of structure for stories (eg STARR approach)
  • Lack of connections with your own real experience to demonstrate a point
  • Lack of due diligence on the company
  • Excessive length of the answers covering elements not requested

Best,
Francesco

Hi there,

I would recommend you post your current approach – it is very difficult to provide any suggestion without knowing which questions you are referring to and which is your current answer.

Some common issues related to structure and motivation on the fit part are the following:

  • Lack of numbers to structure the answer (First, Second, etc)
  • Lack of structure for stories (eg STARR approach)
  • Lack of connections with your own real experience to demonstrate a point
  • Lack of due diligence on the company
  • Excessive length of the answers covering elements not requested

Best,
Francesco

Book a coaching with Gaurav

100% Recommendation Rate

194 Meetings

4,926 Q&A Upvotes

USD 209 / Coaching

Hi there!

Sorry to hear about that! However, rejection is also an experience. Use the time given to significantly upgrade your profile and to maximize your chances next year!

- Relevant work experience. Have you applied somewhere else? Tier 2 consulting firms could be a great start and give you the needed experience that would be of great advantage in the future and make you a better fit for the desired company.

- Preparation. Solve different types of cases, prepare for the fit part carefully, improve your feeling of confidence.

- Networking. I would strongly recommend finding some contacts within the targeted firm to understand how it is from the inside, have a better idea of your position here in the future.

Maybe even think of the guidance of an experienced coach.

Do you need any further help?

​Good luck!

​GB

Hi there!

Sorry to hear about that! However, rejection is also an experience. Use the time given to significantly upgrade your profile and to maximize your chances next year!

- Relevant work experience. Have you applied somewhere else? Tier 2 consulting firms could be a great start and give you the needed experience that would be of great advantage in the future and make you a better fit for the desired company.

- Preparation. Solve different types of cases, prepare for the fit part carefully, improve your feeling of confidence.

- Networking. I would strongly recommend finding some contacts within the targeted firm to understand how it is from the inside, have a better idea of your position here in the future.

Maybe even think of the guidance of an experienced coach.

Do you need any further help?

​Good luck!

​GB

Book a coaching with Emily

100% Recommendation Rate

48 Meetings

2,133 Q&A Upvotes

USD 189 / Coaching

Hi there,

It depends a lot on how you prepared your fit questions - did you follow the STAR (or similar) strucutre, did you articulate your messaging, did you give the right amount of details to make it convincing, etc.

It is a bit hard to go beyond generic answers without observing in reality how you answer those fit questions. Feel free to PM if you want to practice and get more in-depth feedback.

Best,

Emily

Hi there,

It depends a lot on how you prepared your fit questions - did you follow the STAR (or similar) strucutre, did you articulate your messaging, did you give the right amount of details to make it convincing, etc.

It is a bit hard to go beyond generic answers without observing in reality how you answer those fit questions. Feel free to PM if you want to practice and get more in-depth feedback.

Best,

Emily

Related case(s)

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 15.3k times
MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.6 5 527
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvant ... Open whole case

Chinese Chess - Airline Business During COVID-19

Solved 3.3k times
Chinese Chess - Airline Business During COVID-19 Sky China, a government-backed Chinese airline, has recently seen profits plummet due to COVID-19. Profits are down 80% in the months of February and March, but are showing early signs of a rebound in April.  They've brought you in to first investigate what can be done immediatedly to prevent hemorrhaging cash and surive in the short-term. They are also looking to see how the current situation can be viewed as an opportunity, and what can be done to prepare for the future. 
4.3 5 102
| Rating: (4.3 / 5.0)

Sky China, a government-backed Chinese airline, has recently seen profits plummet due to COVID-19. Profits are down 80% in the months of February and March, but are showing early signs of a rebound in April. They've brought you in to first investigate what can be done immediatedly to prevent hemor ... Open whole case

Coronavirus Times - COVID-19 Brainteaser

Solved 3.0k times
Coronavirus Times - COVID-19 Brainteaser You and your family are faced with a challenging set of decisions. Due to coronavirus, your partner has taken a 20% paycut and you are worried you may lose your job. In addition, while daycare is still open, you are worried that sending your two children there will increase the risk of them bringing the virus back to your house, where your elderly grandparents are also staying. How would you go about thinking about this problem, and what would you recommend?
4.6 5 36
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Beginner | Style: Brain Teaser | Topics: Brain teaser

You and your family are faced with a challenging set of decisions. Due to coronavirus, your partner has taken a 20% paycut and you are worried you may lose your job. In addition, while daycare is still open, you are worried that sending your two children there will increase the risk of them bringing ... Open whole case

Cutting Carbs - Divestiture in the Electrical Power Market

Solved 1.0k times
Cutting Carbs - Divestiture in the Electrical Power Market Our client is Energy England, one of northern England’s largest electric utility companies. They were created over the past decade through an aggressive series of mergers of existing utility companies each specializing in a single energy generation source. Recently, the CEO has embarked on an initiative to return to the core of the business. She is looking to increase free cash flow and cash reserves in order to prepare the business for evolving future trends.   The following can be verbally provided to interviewee if asked: Energy England is made up of assets across the energy-generation space. These include coal, gas, nuclear, and wind We are looking to divest from just one of our previous acquisitions (i.e one target is sufficient) There are no specific goals/metrics – the client trusts our judgement
4.2 5 20
| Rating: (4.2 / 5.0)

Our client is Energy England, one of northern England’s largest electric utility companies. They were created over the past decade through an aggressive series of mergers of existing utility companies each specializing in a single energy generation source. Recently, the CEO has embarked on an initi ... Open whole case

Bain 1st Round Case – BlissOttica

Solved 300+ times
Bain 1st Round Case – BlissOttica Our client is a BlissOttica, an Eyewear Manufacturer that is looking to reach a 10% increase in profits. How would you help our client?
4.3 5 15
| Rating: (4.3 / 5.0)

Our client is a BlissOttica, an Eyewear Manufacturer that is looking to reach a 10% increase in profits. How would you help our client? Open whole case