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Tell me about a time that you managed upwards

PrepLounge: Personal Fit
New answer on Apr 23, 2024
10 Answers
1.9 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.

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replied on Apr 23, 2024

Managing upward is an important component of getting you PhD. Professors are very very busy, each of them has a terribly demanding schedule a bunch of projects, other than yours on your mind. Since, generally you only have your project, it is important to be proactive about setting meetings. You should come to those meetings with an agenda of what needs to be addressed so that your project can be successful. Additionally, it is important to remind advisors and the other members on your dissertation committee of upcoming deadlines and meetings. Sometimes, professors do not respond to emails or multiple emails. This is probably the most obvious way of managing upward, but I had a committee member that I needed to ask to meet with in person in order to actually meet; this meant getting brave enough to just regularly knock on his door to ask to set a meeting or to chat. 

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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,


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Anonymous B replied on Sep 19, 2019

in my first non-technical consulting experience, i was originally hired to do unit testing of a software system. when i arrived, however, this task had been contracted out. by remaining flexible, i stepped into what amounted to the PM consultant's assistant. this PM, while very experienced, was relatively unfamiliar with PM software tools. by managing approvals and tasks more closely and detailed with software tools, i was able to provide more succint updates on work completed by project team members. before the biannual progress report to the CEO, i voiced my concerns based on my findings about our projected Time to completion for the project. in doing so, i was able to sit with the PM consultant and the plants VP of ops to discuss and evenutally update our timeline schedule (it was already a year behind). this led to a successful presentation to the CEO, and the project was eventually completed on-schedule (after i left)

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Anonymous D replied on Jul 13, 2023

I asked a new manager the frequency of updates she would like from me, as well as if there's any thing she wants to approve before adding to the pack

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Anonymous replied on Apr 29, 2022

Don't really get the question yet. 

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Nick replied on Mar 16, 2022

while working at AZ

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Andrei replied on Aug 28, 2021

M&A in UK. Had to avoid the deal. so I had to stand up to the CEO and persuade the Shareholder not to go blind and postpone the deal. the CEO insisted we would lose the opportunity doing DD. I insisted we would cut the price. we postponed the deal for 6 months. made the DD and reduced the price 30%.

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mojalefa replied on Aug 21, 2021

i managed leaners at grade 4 and 5 level and it has developed managerial and leadership  skills.

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Content Creator
replied on Jul 06, 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, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (

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Anonymous C replied on Apr 17, 2020


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