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

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.

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.

25 answers

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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.

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.

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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

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

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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)

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)

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

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

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

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)

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

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

A difficult situation I had during working on my master thesis. The master thesis in physics was expected to take 1 year and after 6 months I realized that the topic I was researhing on had no real world application for data reconstruction. Well, in theoretical physics this would be no problem, but as I wrote my master thesis at a department with experimental focus, I really needed to produce data. So, I had to make a decision if I would restart and do a new master thesis or if I would stickt to my topic. In the end I sticked to my topic, invested a lot of a time and found another approach how my theory could be applied to actual data and my finished the master thesis succesfully.

A difficult situation I had during working on my master thesis. The master thesis in physics was expected to take 1 year and after 6 months I realized that the topic I was researhing on had no real world application for data reconstruction. Well, in theoretical physics this would be no problem, but as I wrote my master thesis at a department with experimental focus, I really needed to produce data. So, I had to make a decision if I would restart and do a new master thesis or if I would stickt to my topic. In the end I sticked to my topic, invested a lot of a time and found another approach how my theory could be applied to actual data and my finished the master thesis succesfully.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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)

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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

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

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.

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.

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.

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)

Uni

Uni

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

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

So how did you overcome the challenge you proposed? — Frederik on Feb 16, 2020

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

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

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

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

dd

dd

teamwork

teamwork

k

k

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.

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.

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.

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.

Need answer to this

Need answer to this

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.

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.

Managing multiple programs with least insight

Managing multiple programs with least insight