When asked who is your role model in an interview, whats the best way to answer if you have never thought of a role model? How does it look like to say that a family member is?

Anonymous A asked on Sep 08, 2017 - 3 answers
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Moji updated her answer on Sep 08, 2017
Actively preparing for my first round McKinsey interviews.

I haven't been interviewed yet but I feel that what an interviewer might be looking for in an answer would be an idea of what your values, beliefs and aspirations are as a person. Irrespective of who (family or not) a person is, the bottom line is how has their embodiment as a role model to YOU positioned you in terms of what the consulting firm is looking for.

I would say my dad for example, is one of my role models. He inspired me to never give up, made me believe I could do anything I set my mind to and always made me see that I could also be the best. He never believed in the words "it's impossible" or "I can't" and hated hearing "but" as the beginning of a sentence after he had challenged me to give something my best. As a result, I am more assertive, competitive and eager to learn and achieve as much as I can in life. I say "yes" to opportunities and always try to make an attempt at something rather that shying away and saying I cannot do it.

in summary, this is what I feel an interviewer MAY want to see/hear a candidate say. A role model is someone you want to be like. So the question I would have as an interviewer is what are my interviewees values and aspirations as a person and how will this make for a successful and independent thinking consultant in our firm?

Remember: I have not been interviewed. These are just my opinions :) Hope it helps!


Thank you very much, — Aisha on Sep 09, 2017

replied on Sep 09, 2017
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Hello Anonymous A,

I agree with Moji, in the "role model" question, the interviewer wants to have a sense of your personality which includes, as Moji mentioned, values, principles, characters, emotions, etc.

You can pick up a family member, a former boss, public figure, etc. What it is important to convey is how that person impacted your life and how it helped you to become a better person or professional.



Thank you very much,,, — Aisha on Sep 09, 2017

replied on Sep 10, 2017
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I believe really every answer can make sense. One thing is extremely important:

  • Always be sincere, be honest and say what you feel / think. No use in making up a nice story. They will have to take you as you are!
    • Spending >60hrs/week together will only work when you can be yourself

That being sad, no harm done by reflecting upfront on these kind of questions, just to make sure stress does not take over during the interview!

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