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Share an example of when you had to plan for how the consequences of a decision would affect your team.

behavioral interviews
New answer on Dec 06, 2023
9 Answers
261 Views
nancy asked on Nov 29, 2023

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Nov 30, 2023
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

I understand why you ask this question here. It is an odd question to ask in an interview, unless you have a bit of seniority.

It would be quite long to provide a personal answer for this (and not sure I would feel comfortable to do it as I would have to share details of projects I was involved in). But I would say that when a consultant is working in a team in a client, a lot of decisions will impact that client's team. I've done carve outs, created new business lines, optimized product portfolio, introduced new technology that changed business models… all of that had impact on the organizational structure (or team structure), team size, training, how things were done, etc. 

And those are never easy moments, as this will impact their day to day, and there are winners, losers, people who love the change, and people who hate it.

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I've asked chatGPT to provide an answer (and revised myself). While not a perfect answer, I believe it can add a bit of flavor to what I just mentioned in the previous paragraphs (although it should cover more deeply the team implications). And also help on how to structure an answer:

Context: "In my previous role as a marketing manager at ABC Corporation, we were tasked with launching a new product line to expand our market share in a highly competitive industry."

Decision Point: "A critical decision I had to make was whether to launch the new product line simultaneously in multiple regions or to adopt a phased approach. The decision was crucial as it would impact the marketing strategy, sales teams, and overall brand perception."

Consequence Analysis: "To make an informed decision, I conducted a thorough analysis of market dynamics in each region, considered the varying consumer behaviors, and assessed the readiness of our sales teams. I also evaluated potential supply chain challenges and the impact on our existing product lines."

Mitigation Strategies: "To mitigate potential challenges, I developed customized marketing campaigns tailored to each region's unique characteristics. I organized targeted training sessions for the sales teams, equipping them with region-specific selling points. Additionally, we established clear communication channels to address any concerns from internal teams and customers."

Outcome: "As a result of this careful planning, the phased launch proved to be successful. Each region received tailored marketing support, and the sales teams were well-prepared, leading to a smoother product introduction. Customer satisfaction was high, and the phased approach allowed us to make timely adjustments to our strategy based on real-time feedback. Ultimately, the decision positively impacted our market penetration and overall business performance."

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Hagen
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Content Creator
updated an answer on Nov 30, 2023
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi Nancy,

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your situation:

  • First of all, it would be great to first hear your proposal on how to answer this behavioral question and then provide feedback to it. This approach ensures that you reflect on your experiences and articulate them in a way that highlights your decision-making and leadership qualities.
  • Moreover, generally speaking, you might think about the different dimensions of impact a decision can have on the team - whether it is intensity, professional development, the ways of working with the client, etc. Each decision carries its own set of consequences and considering these dimensions can help you craft a comprehensive response.
  • Lastly, I would highly advise you to properly structure your answer as it helps in organizing your thoughts and presenting them in a clear, concise manner.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

(edited)

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Benjamin
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Content Creator
replied on Nov 29, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hi,

I guess you are trying to understand the best way to answer a behavioural question like this.

It would probably be more effective for you to share your story and then receive comments on it. 

Nevertheless, some general comments that will be helpful for you as you are preparing for your behavioural stories:

  1. Use a consistent structure for your stories e.g. STAR
  2. The most compelling stories are ones that are authentic
  3. Be prepared to get asked probing questions on your stories (e.g. what was the rationale behind this [action]?"

 

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 30, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi Nancy!

This sounds like a PEI-type question. 

I would recommend that you dig deep into your past experiences, ideally from the last 2-3 years, and look for examples. 

Try to pick the examples that show you in very difficult situations, at your absolute best. 

Feel free to provide a draft of the story here and I can provide some high-level feedback. 

Good luck!
Cristian

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Practicing for interviews? Check out my latest case based on a first-round MBB interview >>> CodeWave  

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 29, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi Nancy,

I'd love to hear yours!

Remember that you need to:

  1. Provide a short/succinct context
  2. Emphasize what you did and why
  3. Move through it non-robotically
  4. Stick to answering the actual question
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ALEXANDRE
Expert
replied on Nov 30, 2023
FREE INTRO I exMcKinsey EM I exKearney consultant I High Success Rate I Official Coach for HEC (160 coachees in 2022/23)

Hi,

I think you can use the SCAR framework, what's important is to show your ability to understand others point of view.

Cheers, 

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Dennis
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 29, 2023
Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe

Hi,

you need to think of a story of such an example. The story has to be yours of course so it's not possible to give you a cookie-cutter answer to use here. 
Ideally you use examples that are somewhat recent (e.g. university or previous job) and not something from as far back as your childhood.

  1. Lay out the situation and your role in the context 
  2. Talk about the complication you were facing
  3. Describe what You did to overcome that complication - not what the team or everyone else did
  4. Summarize what the outcome/result was and what sort of lesson or takeaway you got from the experience

You can use this sort of structure for all sorts of questions that ask you for examples.

Good luck

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Alberto
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 30, 2023
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Hi there,

On top of other responses, I suggest you work with storytelling following a situation - complication - resolution storylining. This makes stories more personal and impactful.

Best,

Alberto

Check out my latest case based on a real MBB interview: Sierra Springs

 

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Frederic
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 06, 2023
ex Jr. Partner McKinsey |Senior Interviewer| Real Feedback & Free Homework between sessions|Harvard Coach|10+ Experience

Hi there, to master a PEI like question like you provided you need to think about the likely evaluation dimensions behind such a question. I strongly urge to craft the story around these dimensions instead of using generic frameworks like STAR. The story you mention clearly probes for your emotional intelligence, to understand the implications of your actions on others. Yet, it also probes for your ability to work in team environments and how you lead. Feel free to check out my PEI guide that looks behind the scenes and gives you real successful sample stories. Warm regards, Freddy 

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Pedro gave the best answer

Pedro

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