Hi, share your knowledge with the community!

Hey!

This question comes quite frequent and I am not sure whether I am handeling it properly.

I ma aware answer should come from my own experience but I am wondering about yours. Please share you input.

A bit to my background: technical background. Short corporate experience, working for a start-up, then founding a start-up. Now interested into going to consultancy.

In the interviews, I get asked about my project experience, how are my working habits and how do I do in organizing work/prioritize.

In my experinece project management was mainly done through Excel as a tool.

I did prioritize the tasks based on their impact on overall project.

Working habit, at the end of each day, I summed up how far I came in tasks and once a week I did my goals for the following week.

How do you guys with consultancu experience do at your firm? Please share you experience.

How far am I from reality?

Thanks!

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Odeh replied on 12/02/2017

The question is really looking to understand 2 points:-

  1. How do you work as part of a team
  2. What is the decision making process that you employ that determines the priority of your tasks

I would recommend breaking the question up into those 2 components then looking to providing an example that provides insight into who you are. Saying something like "most of my project management has been through Excel" suggests that you bury your head in a computer and are not a people person. Rather, try to think of an example where you had to pick up the phone and speak to someone because you couldn't achieve your goal by filling cells in Excel.

If this is not the nature of your work, then look to experience outside that provides robust example. You can say something along the lines of, "a lot of my project management was solo work on Excel, but other areas where I have been part of a team and was required to coordinate a task was XYZ..."

There is no right or wrong answer here, only one that shows you have insight. So I would recommend you go back and identify what the interviewer is hoping to gauge from their question, and provide an answer to that.

Francesco replied on 12/04/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (1000+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

I totally agree with Odeh, in your answer the “people” part is definitely not present. You should add elements that show your people interaction (ideally leadership), in particular given the fact that as a startup founder you probably had too coordinate people, have meeting, align their goals, etc.

An additional point missing is the concept of project. Consultants are used to think in terms of projects defined with a certain allocation of people, clear timeframe and defined deliverables at the end. Some further elements you should mention for your organizational skills to show alignment with the consulting world are thus the following:

  • Define goals, deadlines, kick-off, end of projects, deliverables from the beginning
  • Understand optimal allocation of people for the activities
  • Keep control points for both yourself and people you manage to check if results are met at regular intervals
  • Keep communication in place with key stakeholder (bossed, employees, subordinates, clients, investors etc)
  • Identify backups in advance in case of delays/unforeseen requirements needed
  • Understand reasons for missed deliverables and fix issues so that they do not reappear

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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

3 Comment(s)

Related case(s)

McKinsey Questions

Solved 15.8k times
4.5 5 431
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are ... Open whole case

Bain Questions

Solved 12.9k times
4.6 5 147
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me about a difficult situation you had to cope with. Tell me of a task which you didn’t like doing and explain why you performed it nevertheless. Why do you do things? What do you like doing most / What is your favorite hobby? Walk me through a situation where you showed leadership s ... Open whole case

BCG Questions

Solved 11.2k times
4.5 5 131
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation ... Open whole case

Unusual Questions

Solved 6.9k times
4.5 5 111
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Advanced | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

What books/films have you enjoyed recently and why? What is the worst thing that you have ever gotten away with? How do you define and evaluate successful work? Do you fear anything? How would you rate me as your interviewer? Open whole case

The Top 5 Questions

Solved 6.5k times
4.6 5 120
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Questions Tell me something about your background. Why should we hire you? Describe a difficult situation and how you handled it? What did your boss or colleagues criticize about you? Do you rather work in a team or independently? Open whole case