Perfection Vs Timeliness

interview questions
New answer on May 02, 2020
4 Answers
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Babu asked on Jan 02, 2020

I would like advice "from a consulting industry perspective" the importance of Perfection and timeliness and how to trade-off between them under stress.

What could a good answer be?

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Clara
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replied on Jan 03, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Perfectionism and attention to details are for sure valuable skills as a consultant.

However, much more important than that is to be able to prioritize and 80-20.

In the interview, you only have 1-2 hours to show yourself, so these "skills" are key to be shown. Hence, prioritizing, being comfortable to move on without all the information and making educated guesses when needed are a plus, and many times they seem as "antagonist" of perfectionism. As always, equilibrium is best, but I would go for 80-20 more than for perfectionism.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Luca
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updated an answer on Jan 02, 2020
BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score

Hello Babu,

For sure showing you as a perfectionist person that has an high attention to details is good: they look for people like that. Anyway the most important rule for a consultant is to respect deadlines, so you have to be careful to trade-off that perfection attitude. As proposed by Antonello, you can mitigate that aspect stating that you always follow the consulting "80-20 approach": you can always reach the 80% of the result with 20% of effort.

Hope it helps,
Luca

(edited)

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Antonello
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replied on Jan 02, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi Babu,

it is an aspect highly stressed in consulting, since there are handled huge scopes in short deadlines and it is one of the most difficult abilities. The key principle is the 80-20 rule: indentify what are the main aspects that deliver the success for the clients (preferably with the minimum effort) and prioritize them.
It is a crucial skill that can only be practiced with the experience, but a good way to start to correctly approach it is to do every time, at the beginning of the project/task, a problem solving session to identify the main topic to address in order to achieve the goal.

Hope it helps,

Antonello

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Thomas
CoachingPlus Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 02, 2020
150+ interviews | 5+ years experience | Kearney & Accenture | Sold consulting startup| London Business School

Both are important skills. However, in consulting you are more often pressed for time than not. Therefore, you must show that you have attention to detail in stressful situations. In case of time shortage, it is important to still deliver (even if that is 95% instead of 100%)

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Clara gave the best answer

Clara

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McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
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