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What type of stories should I be giving for personal fit questions?

Khalid asked on Jun 01, 2019 - 3 answers

I have an interview coming up with one of the MBB's. I'm concerned about the type of examples I should give in relatiion to fit questions, specifically, should I only give stories that relate to work, or is it ok to provide an example from my personal life? For example, in answering the question "What is your proudest achievement"?, I could go with:

(i) Work related - making the deadline for an IPO submission under somewhat (for lack of a better word) hostile working conditions

(ii) Personal life -as head of a department in the student union, convincing the university administration to allow us to run a huge party to liven up the campus atmosphere

I feel that both stories are interesting and good examples to answer the question. My stories that related to my personal life tend to be more fun, but sufficient in answering the question. Or is it acceptable to jokingly give the interview a choice? I'm typically laidback and relaxed in interviews so was seriously contemplating doing this for all fit questions (though I have not been in any interviews as intense as a consulting interview).

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Francesco
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replied on Jun 02, 2019
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Hi Khalid,

it is totally fine to use both work and personal examples in the fit part, so far that they are correctly connected with the question.

As for your specific question, as mentioned by Vlad and Jorrit, both stories could be fine. I would choose the one which shows the biggest drive and differentiation with your peer group, while keeping the other as a backup story.

As mentioned by Vlad, be sure to use stories which are not too old, otherwise the interviewer may ask for a more recent example.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Vlad
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replied on Jun 02, 2019
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Hi,

I would have both for the following reasons:

  1. They may ask specifically for a career achievement
  2. They may ask for a different story - "This story does not fit, do you have another one?"

Pls make sure that your personal story is not outdated. If you have 3+ years of experience I would not use an example about the student's party.

Best

Anonymous replied on Jun 01, 2019

Hi Khalid,

Both answers could work. I would think about which one makes you more proud and also where you feel you were really making in a difference in that situation.

That being said, I think it is always good to balance professional and more personal examples in the fit part of the interview (but I would do more professional stories). However, I would actively steer that conversation as a candidate as opposed to giving the interviewer a choice every time.

Hope this helps

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