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Tell me about yourself

Anonymous A

Hi everyone, given how we need to be structured in consulting interviews including the fit portion - is there a particular format you would suggest we answer the usual "tell me about yourself" question? should it be chronologically based on CV or walked through differently?

Also have heard that an interviewee should subtly sell himself / herself here - how would you go about this / can anyone provide an example please?

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Vlad replied on 05/08/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

“Tell me about yourself” or “walk me through your resume”- this is how Consultants usually begin the interview. It's an opportunity for them to learn about you and to pick some interesting facts. "Tell me about yourself question" is similar to "Walk me through your resume"

  1. This is not the story, so you don't need to have the story structure
  2. This is not about the challenge, its about your career path
  3. Depending on your experiences either start from the first or from the last role (the later you are in your career the more sense it is to start with last one)
  4. You can mention your unique selling point and structure your lifepath around it
  5. Add 1 memorable projects or experience with high impact / cool companies and brands involved that will stay in the memory of the interviewer
  6. In the end, say why consulting is a logical continuation of your career path

Best

Francesco replied on 05/11/2018
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for coaching sessions (1300+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

this question mainly aims to understand if you have experiences that show the skills needed to be a good consultant.

A good answer would emphasize:

  • Three parts of your CV that you consider most relevant. This may involve working experience, education and extracurricular activities, or more focus on one of these areas, according to your profile. The order is up to you, but ideally you should use recent experiences (eg not something you did 10 years ago).
  • The specific description of what you have done
  • How such experiences helped you to develop skills that are useful in consulting. This is the selling part you mentioned. Ending the story which such takeaway will let the interviewer perceive you have indeed the characteristics of a good consultant.

You may then conclude saying that such path naturally brought you to be interested in consulting.

In terms of skills to emphasize, potential useful ones include:

  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Sales skills
  • Ability to interact with C-Levels
  • Teamwork skills
  • Ability to achieve results under strict deadlines and constraints

The key in all the examples is to be extremely specific. One of the most common mistakes candidates do is to think that they can give a general idea to the interviewer of what they did and that this would be enough. This is rarely the case. To really understand you, the interviewer needs to understand and visualize the experiences you had and he/she cannot do this without specific examples.

Best,

Francesco

Andrea
Expert
replied on 05/08/2018
Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years at BCG. First session $249, following $219

In your answer you need to make sure you walk through your resume by highlighting:

  • How each key action you took brought you to choose consulting and to be in front of the person interviewing you for a consulting postion (e.g. my learning curve is flattening and I want to continue to learn, I want to work on problems that are the core of each industry, want a more fast paced environment, etc). Even better would be if you explain why you are excited about the specific company
  • How your profile (skillset and personal characteristics) is a great fit for consulting jobs and that firm in particular

Hope it helps,

Andrea

An
Expert
replied on 05/13/2018
Uber Strategy Manager | BCG Consultant, Interviewer

Hi there

This is the framework I like to use - past, present, future. And definitely only focus on highlights that you think will be relevant to the interviewer. The "present" part is most relevant if you switching jobs. If this an entry role, you can consolidate past and present.

Anonymous B replied on 05/09/2018

Hi anonymous,

This question comes up in every single consulting interview I've been to.

I feel it's one that people often overlook as one tends be confident about what is written in your cv. However, I feel it is important to practice it and to encounter the right balance. With balance I mean, not spending too much time on irrelevant things and picking up the "interesting" points about your personal story.

My advice would be to pratice it with friends. If they get bored, try and get it short and crispy. If the interviewer wants more detail about one particular area of experience, he/she will ask for it.

Hope this helps!

Good luck

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