Story/Not story in Personal Fit Interview

PEI Personal Fit
New answer on May 01, 2020
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 18, 2019

Hi everyone,

I'm wondering if in personal experience interview, interviewee has to answer each question with a personal story relative to his/her background. Because sometimes questions explicitly ask you to tell about a story (e.g. "Tell me about a recent positive team experience" , "Tell me when you failed in something", "describe a time you disagreed with your supervisor" and so on), on the other hand, sometimes, questions do not explicitly ask for a story and, according to me, you can answer "theoretically speaking" and so without an example of true life (e.g. "How competitive are you?", "What do you believe is your greatest strength", "How would you describe your learning ability")

Am I right? Or I would better off by adding a short story of my life for each question (even those where it is not explicitly required)?

Thank you a lot

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Content Creator
replied on Jan 20, 2019
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

as mentioned by Sidi, I would try to add a short story/example for each story, since this will help the interview to visualize the skill and remember you.

Everyone can say that their greatest strength is not giving up on challenges, but if you can relate that to your own experience where, for example, you did not quit on your startup/project although went almost bankrupt 4 times and had to rebuild your team from scratch when everybody left, and finally succeeded, you will be a lot more memorable for the interviewer.

Being too theoretical in answers is one of the most common mistakes people do in the behavioural part, and adding a short story is a simple but powerful way to avoid such a mistake.

Hope this helps,


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replied on Jan 18, 2019
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi Anonymous!

McKinsey is the only of the three MBB firms where stories are explicitly requested. BCG and Bain lean more towards "classical" fit questions ("What do you bielve are your development areas?"). However, also in these classical questions, it is usually very powerful to illustrate your answer (or part of your answer, if you have several points) with a short (!) example/story from your past experience. Always remember - the interview is meant to be a conversation! So try to illustrate your points as vividly nad engaging as possible.

Cheers, Sidi

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Content Creator
replied on Jan 18, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


Fully agree with Sidi. You should trust your gut and listen to the interviewer. If he has a conversational manner of asking a lot of questions - then yes, shorter answers appropriate (again, the story is always powerful). For some questions - like "your 3 strengths" it's hard to come up with a story at all, just the short examples.

But you should assume to tell at least one long story during your interview.


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Content Creator
replied on May 01, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


On top of the insights already shared in the post, next week will be pusblished in PrepLounge´s Shop material related.

In concrete, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB". 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.

Hope you find it useful!

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Francesco gave the best answer


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