Tell me about yourself

Bain BCG Case Interview MBB McKinsey McKinsey & Company McKinsey PEI story-telling
New answer on May 31, 2020
9 Answers
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Anonymous B asked on May 08, 2018

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?

(edited)

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Francesco
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replied on May 11, 2018
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

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

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Vlad
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replied on May 08, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / 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

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Andrea
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replied on May 08, 2018
Former BCG Principal and decision round interviewer

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

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Originally answered question:

Tell me about yourself question last part

B
Expert
replied on Mar 26, 2018
NOT AVAILABLE

Hey anonymous,

Without knowing more about the context (assuming that's for a generic fit question in any consulting firm), that ending seems good!

On a side note, I'm quite puzzled with the McKinsey reference on it, as the likelihood of getting such question in a McK interview is rather so low... and if you get it in the PEI part, then the way to approach it would be completely different from such ending.

Best

Bruno

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Anonymous replied on Apr 30, 2020

Dear A,

The beauty of this question is that it helps you to pitch yourself to an interviewer, break the ice and help direct the interview right from the start. It is most likely that you may be asked this question, so structuring it well will help you guide the interview to your comfort zone.

Also, I would recommend you to fit your answer in this common framework:

1. Situation

2. Problem

3. Solving

4 Result

5. Your learnings.


Good luck!

Best,
André

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An
Expert
replied on May 13, 2018
Google Product Manager | Ex- BCG Consultant | References Available

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.

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Clara
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replied on May 31, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

On top of the insights already shared in the post, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

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.

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes, since we still have some left from the launch!

Hope you find it useful!

Best,

Clara

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Anonymous C replied on May 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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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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