Is the following story a good one for convincing someone, who did not share the same opinion?

McKinsey Questions
New answer on Jul 16, 2020
3 Answers
2.1 k Views
Juliette asked on Nov 27, 2019

Hi,

I am wondering whether the following story is a good one for convincing someone, who did not share the same opinion:

I was teaching assistant in Macroeconomics iat the University of Neuchâtel for 2nd-year Bachelor students. I was working with a new Assistant Professor with whom we designed a new lecture.

In the third year of Bachelor, students have to choose an orientation. Historically, very few students choose Economics as a major and even less pursue a Master in Economics in Neuchâtel.

At the beginning of the year, I asked who would like to chose Economics as a major and maximum 2 people rose their hand. Recently, I received a mail from the Assistant Professor, thanking me for my work and informing me he is happy about the high number of students who chose to do their Master in Economics in Neuchâtel. He added this is because of some Neuchâtelois, who continued after their bachelor and very likely of our Macroeconomics course, for which we received great feedbacks, especially for the exercise sessions I was giving.

I have not convinced someone directly, but it seemed like we had an impact.

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Nathaniel
Expert
updated an answer on Nov 27, 2019
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hi Juliette,

First of all, great job on being able to convince more students on taking the Master degree on Macroeconomics. That is certainly a commendable achievement!

With regards to your question as to whether this is a good anecdotes on convincing people, the story indeed is a bit different than the typical ones expected by the consulting firms. I would try to use other examples which involves direct confrontations and actions from yourself in managing the conflict as well as convincing the other party if you have any.

Even if you decide to use this story, there are several things to be mindful and made clearer beforehand. Note that the the story you mentioned carried 2 risks that might not make it suitable for the traits the interviewer looked after on the convincing experience question:

  1. Direct conflict and active actions taken by you to convince the opposing sides
  2. Confusing correlation and causation in the case of indirect results as the example you provided

On the first point, you need to describe in details how your formulated the courses, perhaps taking into account the elements that would likely convince students to become attracted to the field, and what aspects of the courses were designed to produce such results. In this case, the result is not happened arbitrarily, they were meticulously planned.

On the second point, following the lack of clarity on the first point in your earlier description, you might run a risk that the interviewer sees that you are unable to differentiate if you are the primary element that drives buy-ins from the students, or other factors might play into the equation, such as recent surge in jobs requiring macroeconomics background. A consultant's role is exactly to affect an outcome by modifying its key drivers, differentiating causation form unrelated correlation is a crucial pre-requisite.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,

Nathan

(edited)

Was this answer helpful?
Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 16, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

On top of the insights already shared in the post, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Furthermore, you can find 2 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes for the Integrated FIT Guide, since we still have some left from the launch!

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 01, 2019
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Juliette,

I would not recommend the story in the way you presented for a couple of reasons:

  1. Impact stories where you have to convince someone are more suitable when there is a single person you have to convince rather than a group
  2. It is not clear how you influence the group to convince them – the story is missing details on that
  3. In a good impact story the person pushed back and not agree with you immediately – otherwise could sound “too easy” as an accomplishment

You may add some of the previous points to the story, but I believe it would just be easier if you would choose a new one where you convinced one specific person.

Best,

Francesco

Was this answer helpful?
Nathaniel gave the best answer

Nathaniel

McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge
3
Meetings
449
Q&A Upvotes
4
Awards
0 Reviews