What are your development areas ?

FIT Fit Interview Stories Fit questions PST
New answer on Dec 22, 2019
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Dec 18, 2019

Hello,

Here is a fit question that I have trouble answering, what are your development areas / weaknesses?

How would you answer this question with an answer that is neither too generic nor will raise any red flags ?
What are typical development areas for starting consultants that are OK to have ? What are the ones to avoid ?

Thanks !

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Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 22, 2019
BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score

You can choose a lot of weaknesses that are okay.
The important thing is to tell the interviewer how you worked on these areas,how you improved in the last period and how you can avoid that this weakness will affect your work. As always, if yoiu give some examples and you can be "fact-based" your answer will seem more realiable.

Best,
Luca

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Jessica
Expert
replied on Dec 18, 2019
Oliver Wyman | University of Oxford | MBA | Experienced Career Coach

Hello,

From my perspective, when asking these types of questions, the interviewer is assessing your self-awareness and desire to learn more than the actual weaknesses themselves. Being a consultant means constant feedback - and taking feedback on board is essential for progressing at the expected pace of a consultant. These questions are very much about attitude; everyone has weaknesses, but do you have the mindset to take feedback on board and improve on them?

It is important that your answer is specific to you; you need to spend some time looking honestly at your own skills and experience, assessing for gaps and areas for improvement. In the eyes of the interviewer, if you are unable to recognise your own weaknesses, you may not respond well to feedback.

Additionally, rather than viewing this question as a “negative” area, you can then reframe it to talk about everything you want to learn while working for them. By displaying this passion for learning and self-development, you will come across as someone who will thrive in the consulting environment, not losing your energy or confidence from feedback, challenges or mistakes.

Depending on the seniority of your starting level (grad or post-grad), there are certainly attributes that are expected from a consultant which are fairly easy to research online (feel free to message for more detail). While you want to be honest in your answers, possible “red flags” would be weaknesses that directly conflict with these attributes, and are not easy to overcome (e.g. a bad attitude or an unwillingness to learn!).

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Clara
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replied on Dec 19, 2019
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Indeed this is a particularly tricky question.

Hre, the consultant is assessing your self-awareness and capacity to receive and implement feedback, more than being interested in learning the actual weaknesses themselves.

These questions are mainly about attitude, since everyone has weaknesses, but not everyone is (1) aware of them and (2) willing to talk about them.

Hence, pick a real weakness (but one that you can talk about openly, hence, not a "huge thing") and be honest about it. It could be helpful to cite things that you are actively working to change, since like this you can finish up mentioning the example of things you are currently doing to fix this weakness. This would also show proactivity!

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Antonello
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replied on Dec 18, 2019
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,
I recommend avoiding no-go weaknesses and to present your weakness as a past negative feedback you are working on.

Best,
Antonello

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Anonymous A on Dec 19, 2019
What are no-go weaknesses ?
Francesco
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replied on Dec 19, 2019
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

I would recommend the following structure to answer this question:

  1. Say which is a "good" weakness, that is, a weakness which is not a red flag (you may also use terminology as “One of my points of improvement”, instead of “My first weakness is”);
  2. Say what you are doing to improve on it, giving a concrete example (eg, don’t simply say “I am working on it”, but rather “I am doing XYZ and ABC in order to get better in this”).

The main issue for many candidates is to identify the weakness to use in point 1 above. So, how can you find a proper weakness?

The best way to find a “good” weakness is to avoid standard answers such as “public speaking”. Instead, you can go through the following approach to identify real weaknesses:

  1. Write down a list of all your weaknesses.
  2. Eliminate those who are clear red flags in consulting (all those you may not be able to change quickly or ever – eg no fluency in a relevant language, no strong education background/ relevant experience – or clear problems in consulting – eg missing deadlines, poor communication with teammates, not being on time).
  3. Think about the improvements you can show for the ones remaining. Select the best three and apply the previous structure.

This should allow to have “good” weaknesses that would also show personal improvement.

Best,

Francesco

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Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 18, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Hi,

I recommend using one of these things:

  • Anything that can be improved specifically in consulting
  • Anything that can not impact your consulting job

Don't use as a weakness anything that can prevent you from doing your job since it's obviously a red flag

Best

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Luca gave the best answer

Luca

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BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score
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