Personal Fit: describing a leadership/teamwork situation from a competitor's event?

MBB Personal Fit
New answer on Dec 30, 2020
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Dec 02, 2020

Hi,

I have an interview for an internship coming up in December at one of the MBB firms. I'm a student and have not had yet many situations where I could demonstrate leadership abilities or handling difficult projects in a team. However, I was at a competitor's event where we had to solve a case study with a small team of students. I organized our ideas, designed our poster and presented it in the end toegether with another student. I think this makes a good example for the personal fit interview, but I'm not sure if I should mention it because it was the event of a competitor (and I applied there and got rejected)?

Thanks in advance :)

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Ken
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replied on Dec 03, 2020
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

Congrats but I agree with Vlad. The fit question is your opportunity to stand out from the crowd where a group exercise at a recruitment event doesn't really help you share a unique story and based on your description, the story lacks challenge. I would do a little more digging as I'm surprised to hear you feel you don't have any relevant experiences and at the same time, make sure you are finding ways to get more experience as it really does differentiate a strong and mediocre candidate, particularly for McKinsey where PEI is super important!

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Vlad
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updated an answer on Dec 02, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

That's not the best example:

  • You are mentioning the competitor
  • The example is weak and not impactful

Try to find something in your academic life / extracurricular activities / or ideally internships. Make sure you highlight how you found an opportunity and proactively initiated to lead something

Best

(edited)

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Ian
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replied on Dec 02, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there!

So, we do ideally want work experiences as examples, however, it's not at all bad to have a few academic experiences.

Overall, I think your story could be a good one. I've had a number of candidates successfully tell a group case competition story to demonstrate leadership/teamwork.

No need at all to mention the competitors name OR that you didn't get invited...just say "I was participating in a case competition".

Good luck :)

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Adi
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replied on Dec 02, 2020
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey,

Am sure when you dig a little deeper you can come up some examples and pick the most impactful one.

Leadership

Doesn't always mean you need to manage teams over a lengthy period of time. You can be an individual contributor but assume leadership role in a situation or event because perhaps you are the person with most knowledge in that situation, or you have previous experience or because no one is stepping up and you volunteer or you stepped up and helped someone with something that mattered a lot to them and showed them direction. I hope you get the point. Now think of such situations from school, uni, internships or project work.

Difficult Situation/Projects

A project/situation/event is difficult when things are not going as planned due to many factors- the biggest one being problems between humans :). Just as above think of such situations from school, uni, projects. How did you handle conflict/diasgreement with your colleague or what did you do when the computer systems failed and your event for 50 people was doomed. I hope you get the point.

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Gaurav
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replied on Dec 02, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there!

Your example is not that bad, provided that you don't mention the competitor and the fact that you got rejected (seem to be unnesessary details and don't tell about your leadership abilities).
However, my colleagues are right, you should better think of some other situations from the past projects, activities, events, where you did your best and was good at problem-solving as well.

Cheers,
GB

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Antonello
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replied on Dec 30, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, feel free to text me if curious about knowing how I generally support candidates in crafting impactful stories

Best

Antonello

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Clara
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replied on Dec 04, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

I disagree with the previous opinions.

If you are selected by one of the MBBs to one of the challenges they do, that they do have strict filters, this is already a good thing.

Furthermore, it´s true that is not a life-changing event, but you are a student and it´s a good example for sure for your tenure -provided indeed it was a stressfull situation, you tell it well, you guys achieved a good and quantifiable result, etc.)

If you want to dive deeper, 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:

Intro and CV questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/introduction-and-cv-questions-fit-interview-preparation-200

Motivational questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/motivational-questions-fit-interview-preparation-201

Behavioural questions (ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVE) >https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/behavioral-questions-entrepreneurial-drive-fit-interview-preparation-211

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

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Henning
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replied on Dec 03, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

I agree with Ken on this one: The story does not sound like a strong one given the setup (and typically very smooth environment at these events).

Your stories should follow the structure of Situation - Complication - Resolution. So unless your project team was really struggeling to get together in a productive way, so you had to really make a step up to lead the team to success, this does not sound very strong.

Do some further thinking on an achievement of yours that you achieved in a team and to which you had a significant impact - this doesn't necessarily mean that you where the dedicated team lead, it could also be a situation in which you "led from behind" by bringin people on track to achieving a joint objective.

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Francesco
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replied on Dec 03, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

I agree with Ken and Vlad, there are a couple of issues with your story:

  1. The story itself is not impressive
  2. There is no particular challenge
  3. It is not clear how you managed, motivated and led people in the challenge and evidence of the related interpersonal skills

Overall if possible I would look for a different example.

Best,
Francesco

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Ken gave the best answer

Ken

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Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer
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