Tell me about a difficult situation you had to face and how you managed to overcome it!

PrepLounge: Personal Fit
New answer on Aug 31, 2021
43 Answers
6.5 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Sep 17, 2019

How would you answer this question in your Personal Fit interview? Receive feedback on your answer and browse through the Q&As to review the approaches of other applicants and experts.

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 12, 2020
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

This is one of the most classic questions: Make sure you have this answer prepared!

During your answer make sure you:

1) Start with a quick summary of the context/challenge and what ended up happening

2) Highlight not just the challenge, but what the anticipacted consequence would have been

3) Make sure you took action AND articulate why you did it (i.e. the logic)

4) Finish with a positive end, with tangible results (i.e. we delivered on-time and with glowing reviews)

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Apr 29, 2020

Hi A,

this is one of the uncommon question which you might face at the 2nd or final round of your interview. I would strongly recommend you to use a common approach that consists of 5 parts:

1. Situation

2. Problem

3. Solution

4. Results

5. Your learnings.

Using this universal approach/ framework will help you to structure every uncommon, even somtimes difficult questions in a very good manner

be authentic and good luck,

André

Was this answer helpful?
8
Anonymous B replied on Sep 19, 2019

in my last consulting project, i was on a team of 4. three of us were very much self-directed and self-starters that took initiative to break down, assign, and complete tasks required for the project. one team member, however, was admitedly in need of constant direction. when our team broke down into partners, i was paired with the non-self-starter. i took this opportunity to be candid and open with him about what he needed from me to be successful, and worked with him to break down tasks, which i then assigned a portion of to him. while it felt a little strange stepping into the "boss" role with a peer of equal footing, we both realized that this is what he needed, and what the team needed, to be successful. In the end, our portion of the project was extremely well-received by the client, and my partner and i's (and entire team's) relationship remained positive throughout and after the project.

Was this answer helpful?
6
Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 21, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

This is another way to ask for personal impact or leadership.

In most cases, you can leverage the stories you had for those other two "values" for this prompt.

Hints to identify those: cases involving supply chain and logistics, cases with operational bottlenecks, etc.

For those, totally agree with you that it´s key to identfy and even draw in a piece of people asap in the case the whole value chain, not only including product flow but also influencing agents (e.g., for the go-to-market of an specific drug, don´t only include the flow factory > distributors > pharmacy > patients but also dotted lines with insurance companies and doctors.

For this, make questions such as "do you have information about the different agents in the value chain?", etc.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Was this answer helpful?
Henning
Expert
replied on Sep 22, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Give a quick, 60-90 second summary, covering

  • The situation
  • The complication including what could have happened, if
  • Your approach how to solve it
  • The outcome of your actions

Then be prepared to answer detailed questions on the story, including things like

  • How did person A react? Why do you think that is?
  • Why did you do this and what were you thinking in the moment
  • How did you come to that conclusion? Did you get coaching, did you develop the plan yourself?
  • etc.
Was this answer helpful?
Urban replied on Aug 06, 2020

coming alone to an unknown place and learning to make my network of friends there

Was this answer helpful?
1
maharshi replied on Feb 25, 2020

As a leader of the special events at a college festival, I had to decide the best activities that would best represent the university and also be prudent. I had to let go of a lot of good ideas which were not backed by a detailed execution plan or not enough student showing interest to participate in them

Was this answer helpful?
1
Harshit replied on Feb 21, 2020

I remember when I was the Vice President of E-Cell in my 2nd year of graduation, we were hosting and E-Summit and we did not have enough innovative events that could impress the audience and motivate them to take the event more seriously.

I had just come from a startup conclave where we had a Lean Startup Workshop and also attended a mentorship session there itself. Taking inspiration from those two events, I developed two events, Pivot and Sell your Product and those two events had the greatest interaction and were talk of the summit. People got to learn a lot from those events and could showcase a lot of their skills.

So using my past experiences, I tweaked a few processes and increased the zeal of innovation among the students.

Was this answer helpful?
1
Anonymous D updated the answer on Sep 27, 2019

As an analyst, one of my first jobs was to port a bespoke software to the mobile and tablet platforms, enabling the app to be lighter, faster and easy to use. The product was based on a software used by a Drilling company and my client spoke very accentuated and very limited english. We were expected to get the project onboard in a very short timespan and didnt really have the luxury of time to understand the domain in-depth. I went about approaching a third party expert to better understand the product and data at hand and to priorotize information that was crucial for reports and the information that could be done-away with. My solution met the customer expectations for the product and was a huge success

(edited)

Was this answer helpful?
1
Marco-Alexander
CoachingPlus Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 31, 2021
Former BCG | Case author for efellows book | Experience in 6 consultancies (Stern Stewart, Capgemini, KPMG, VW Con., Hor

Hey Anonymous, feel free to contact me about this topic.
Best regards.

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous Y replied on Jul 26, 2021

I am still thinking the best answer for this.

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous X replied on May 24, 2021

Very stressful emotional situation. In my first year, of the master, there was a misscommunication on the date.

Was this answer helpful?
0
Nesrine replied on May 24, 2021

when i was working in retail i was asigned to lead the operations and i had a team that some of them did not want to cooperate with me. i tried to understand the situation but i was rejected. i decided to face the issue casually and i invited this member of staff for lunch and i did go through his past history with the company and why he is reacting in that way. the person told me that the comapny ever valued his effort and he felt he was oushed away. i explained to him that this has happened to me too but instead of reacting i your way i reacted other way and worked even harder and i did porve my point at the end. on the way back i offered myself to help him in his task, part because i wanted to understand what he is doing and part i wanted to show him a team work spirit. after sometimes i did sucessed in my task and he became one of the best member in the team and never missed the deadline

Was this answer helpful?
0
Antonio replied on May 06, 2021

durch neue Methone in der Scrum habe ich es geschft das PM zu erlernen

Was this answer helpful?
0
Gregory replied on Apr 25, 2021

Having a difficult client. I had to approach the situation with humility and try understand the route case for thier resistance

Was this answer helpful?
0
Valentine replied on Apr 05, 2021

Right out of college, I joined a company doing system and networking administration. Right out of the gate, I was working way more overtime than I expected but I was learning so much I was extremely grateful. As time went on though, I was taking on more and more responsibilities and expected to work more and more hours. This would have been okay, but whenever I asked about reclassifying my job or even getting overtime pay for the overtime hours, my HR department would refuse to engage. This went on for a few months and I wrote several letters and spoke to a number of people higher in the company. It became clear after a time that I was not going to be fairly paid for my work, so I left the company. I really appreciated the experience I gained there, but I was ready to place a higher value on myself and my work. The transition was difficult and scary, but it allowed me to prioritize myself, as well as regroup regarding my goals for the coming years, my strengths and weaknesses in my field as I dusted off my resume and my time management in and outside of work.

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous W replied on Mar 10, 2021

my boss left the company without any transition phase and I had to clean up the mess

Was this answer helpful?
0
Alexander replied on Feb 25, 2021

Took on PM role as a parachuter on extremely short notice for a two week analysis on a client site for 6 countries. It was Friday noon, materials were not ready, the client was deeply annoyed, the team remote, no handover, and workshops had been scheduled to start on Monday after.

I called the client sponsor, arranged a number of high prio calls with him on Friday afternoon and extended those into the weekened to prepare jointly with him the Monday start. In between I called the team togther, had each give me a very short 3min summary on tasks, issues, risks, support needs, pulled them together and had them start running properly.

In the end I lot two weekends and we had to pull a few all nighters but we managed to deliver the analysis and even set up a new best-practice in terms of output quality at the end of the two weeks. Still, a parachute I am not eager to repeat.

Was this answer helpful?
0
Karim replied on Jan 08, 2021
Chemical Engineer seeking entry into Management Consulting

When I was the president of my Chemical Engineering Society at university, I had over 20 students come to me complaining and demanding a refund for an event that didnt go as expected. Safe to say, I was able to satisfy their demands without compromising my team's budget and principles.

Was this answer helpful?
0
Elie replied on Dec 28, 2020

In preparing for this interview, I reached out to consultants from your company and all of them told me that you have to prepare like 3 months before the interview and I have only weekdays to make it. The most important factor was to keep motivating myself to work. This pushed me to work at the beginning day and night to have a clear view of what a consulting interview looks like and when everything was clear and I didn't have much time. I put a tight schedule with daily goals and forced myself not to sleep without finishing and before 2 days of the interview I was sufficiently confident that I could go through it.

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous V replied on Dec 05, 2020

I was doing rafting and we decided to take the waterfall swimming rather than on the boat. I ended up being trapped in the whirpool. I panicked and I could see no way out, but in the very worst moment, I calmed down and I remembered what the guide told me to do in that situation. I assumed an "egg-like" position and eventually the whirpool spitted me out

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous U replied on Oct 21, 2020

achieve efficient process

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous T replied on Oct 07, 2020

K,J

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous S replied on Oct 05, 2020

dfsasfs

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous R replied on Sep 21, 2020

I was working on a social entrepreneurship project once wherein we had to receive government permissions to go ahead and pilot our project. With government projects I think the only thing that helped me sail through and also piloted the project successfully was patience and humbe nature.

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous Q replied on Sep 11, 2020

Managed resources during limited resources by shuffling around resources

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous P replied on May 19, 2020

I was a part of a project which got stuck in middle on strategy development because of the lack of a potential solution for the next step. We were brainstorming with the internal team and external consultants but were unable to remove this roadblock. Later, I realized that we need to think with a fresh perspective as we all thinking the conventional way the industry thinks. Later this brainstorming led to finding a solution and thereby successful completion of the project

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous O replied on Apr 25, 2020

I was a newly elected president of a student association in decline, and I turned it around.

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous N replied on Apr 02, 2020

In sales, there are times when our numbers are behind target. In one such situation, one of our biggest clients also sarted to pull back spend due to their own business problems. Not able to influence the client to increase spend, I had to go back to the drawing board and look for altternative ways to increase revenue to hit my targets. So I mapped out which client were ahead in runrates and phoned them to find out what was working for them that we could double down on even more to increase the revenue and performance. The good lead to more good. With that making up for a good amount of the gap, I then started contacting my strugglers and going into deep analyses as to what we could do to ensure they improved in performance and we both won in the end. With this broken down approach, the little contributed by many enabled me tto hit my targets.

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous M updated the answer on Feb 22, 2020

We had to address a significant quality issue in the face of huge demand and limited time. Additionally we had to deal with cost pressures of running our operation. I prioritized quality and bringing incremental operational capacity back online as quickly as possile to maximize output and minimize overtime labor expenses

(edited)

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous L updated the answer on Feb 16, 2020

One difficulty I had to overcome was working in a intercultural and interdisciplinary team, where team members would frequently have disputes or different points of view.

We overcame these issues by assigning every group member to his or her favoured working task and by doing weekly presentations within our group to discuss the current status quo of each task.

Moreover, I took the role of a group leader mediating between the group members and breaking down working tasks for my fellow team members.

(edited)

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous K replied on Feb 11, 2020

Uni

Was this answer helpful?
0
Celine replied on Feb 06, 2020

in JEToP we had to chage the project at the very last moment

Was this answer helpful?
0
Frederik on Feb 16, 2020

So how did you overcome the challenge you proposed?

Anonymous J replied on Jan 17, 2020

Having to prepare a lesson within 30 mins. -> Skimming the solutions and calling a colleague who already gave the lesson

Was this answer helpful?
0
ANDREW replied on Jan 15, 2020

I took on a new role which came with very demanding targets and discovered that half of my team were not up to the task. I had to replace them within 6 months and was able to still achieve the set targets

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous I replied on Nov 24, 2019

dd

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous H replied on Nov 24, 2019

teamwork

Was this answer helpful?
0
EZGI replied on Nov 07, 2019

k

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous G replied on Nov 05, 2019

This was at the begining of my studies, I was at a startup lab, incubating my startup idea and had to pitch it infront of an investor. The investor got extremely mad with my idea because he believed that even though he liked the idea, the industry would never engage for such a service nor rely on a startup. This is why I had to calmly deal with him, stay professional and tell him that I will have a deeper look into his arguments. The next day I was already in a meeting with my IT teacher to ask him if my idea (software) would make sense. One week later I had pivoted to another industry and was offering a whole new startup that ended up winning the third out of over fourty projects while attracting business angels.

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous F replied on Oct 30, 2019

In the framework of one of the startups I have developed with a colleague of mine, we faced big hurdles in field-testing the technology in developing countries. Due to inability of either of us to travel and work on-site, we contacted local non-profits and other international organizations to find a third party that we could train to work in the target country instead of us.

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous E replied on Oct 06, 2019

Need answer to this

Was this answer helpful?
0
Raquel replied on Oct 01, 2019

On my 4th year in college I had several people in my family get sick and had to deal with a lot of anxiety both in class and outside it, so I ended up failing the most important course of the year. I was devastated, but sought a therapist and learned to manage my anxiety in a healthy way, and ended up passing the next year with no effect on the lenght of my degree. This showed me I can accomplish even complicated achievements, as I took both the course I failed and the next year's equivalent.

Was this answer helpful?
0
Anonymous C replied on Sep 22, 2019

Managing multiple programs with least insight

Was this answer helpful?
0
Ian gave the best answer

Ian

Content Creator
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep
424
Meetings
37,354
Q&A Upvotes
83
Awards
68 Reviews