Personal Fit Part

Anonymous A asked on Mar 16, 2017 - 2 answers

Hi everyone!

I recently started my case prep and getting more confident solving cases. Now I want to focus my prep on the personal fit part of the interview and I'm having trouble preparing for that. I tailored some answers to most common questions, but I don't know what to do if they ask me something unexpected. This is why I need your help: can you tell me either a way how to prepare for this or give some examples of questions you've encountered during your interviews? That would be great!

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Anonymous replied on Mar 16, 2017


Here are some tips that will be useful during the fit part of the interview.

Structuring your answer

  • Use the S-PARADE-L method (
    • Situation
    • Problem
    • Anticipated consequence
    • Role
    • Action
    • Decision-making rationale
    • End result
    • Learning point/key takeaways

Answering the question correctly

  • Be very, very specific with your stories, do not delve too much in describing details about the setting, focus instead on what you did and why you did it.
  • Focus on your achievement/skills, not on your team or group.

Interacting with the interviewer

  • Don't make your stories too long (1.5 minutes max)
  • Try to get the interviewer to participate. You can say things like "This story is about my time volunteering in India. Have you been there?" This will probably lead to a simple yes/no answer which won't interrupt your story and will create the "we are having a conversation" feeling more than the "interviewer VS interviewee feeling".

Dealing with unexpected questions

  • Do as you would in a case study question. Clarify the question to make sure that your answering what the interviewer wants and then structure your answer using S-PARADE-L.
  • The more you practice the better you will become at reacting like this naturally. It will also become harder for you to get an unexpected question.

Top 3 most common questions

  • Tell me about yourself.
    • Structure this one very well as it is very likely that you will get asked something like it.
    • You need to separate your life story into several stages (A, B, C etc) then:
    • 1A. Explain the situation ("I did an internship at an Engineering company")
    • 2A. Explain what you enjoyed and learned ("I had a great time analysing X and using MATLAB to improve my programming skills")
    • 3A. Explain what you missed that justifies your transition to the next stage of your story (B). ("However, I was missing interaction with clients and it seemed like I was not going to get it for a few months, so I decided to move to a role in Sales at Uber")
    • Repeat the structure (1B. 2B, 3B, etc.) until you get to why you are sitting in front of the interviewer right now.
  • Why consulting?
  • Why X company?
I hope this helps! Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
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Objective here is for interviewer to assess wether
1) You already possess the general or specific skill for the job
2) You would fit well in the team
So keep that in mind both elements when you prepare for it.

One thing that can help you out about Personal Fit part is - exactly like for the Case Part - that performance benefits from structure. Time is normally limited to 10-15mins (unless you have a dedicated HR interview) and this basically means that time horizon you should take for your answer is a couple of minutes max. This applies to the 'strange' questions as well. Now, there are different ways of building a complete structure for the fit (e.g. the most famous like STAR/STARR) but not all the companies are looking at these elements. Happy to discuss with you about it.

Start your preparation by mapping your CV against the advertised requirements of the company and build short ad-hoc answers to that.


Related BootCamp article(s)

Personal Fit

Besides being great at case cracking you also need to convince the interviewer that your personality fits into a case team or in the company as a whole

Getting Up to Speed

In order to repeatedly demonstrate prerequisite skills under the pressure of a real case interview, you need to learn the basics and practice cases.

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