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Behavioral questions: Personal Impact – FIT interview preparation

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Behavioral questions: Personal Impact – FIT interview preparation Behavioral questions: Personal Impact – FIT interview preparation
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Problem Definition

During this exercise, we will deep-dive in in one of the 3 dimensions tested in Behavioral Questions: PERSONAL IMPACT. Common questions that address this topic are:

  1. Describe a time when you had to persuade an uncooperative stakeholder

  2. As a consultant in our team, how would you deal with an uncooperative client in order to get the data you need?

  3. What is your way of dealing with conflict? Illustrate it with an example

  4. Describe a recent crisis you handled

  5. Describe a situation in which you influenced or persuaded a key stakeholder or group

  6. Tell me about a professional situation in which you impacted your peers

  7. Tell me about a situation that demonstrates you work well in a team environment

  8. Tell me about a time you had a professional disagreement with your manager. Who convinced who, and why?

  9. Tell me about a time in which you needed to convince a key stakeholder of your point of view

  10. Tell me about a time you needed to drive change/an initiative that stakeholders did not like/approve

  11. Tell me about a time when you helped one of your team members develop their career/professional capabilities

  12. Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a client/similar

  13. Give me an example of a tough piece of feedback you received

  14. Tell me about a time in which you committed to a group decision even though you disagreed

*See Graph 1a Note: "Behavioral Questions" are one of the 4 types of questions you can find in FIT interviews.

*See Graph 1b Note: Most of the candidates stories relate to more than one of the dimensions tested

➥ Graphs from the Integrated FIT Guide for MBB

Comments

I –​ INTRODUCTION TO BEHAVIORAL QUESTIONS

Description:

  • Open questions to describe past experiences and how you handled them

  • They are structured around 3 key topics:

    • Leadership: “we seek people who strive to lead themselves, their teams, and their communities, and who can foster effective teamwork to drive results”

    • Entrepreneurial drive: “we look for people with an entrepreneurial spirit: innovative by nature, always creating new approaches, products, services, and technologies”

    • Personal impact: “developing and implementing sound recommendations requires the involvement and support of many individuals. Skills interacting with people, sometimes in tough situations, are critical to driving distinctive client impact”

What is tested with these questions?

  • Ability to tell the story in an adequate & structured way

  • Ability to identify & quantify success and its drivers

  • Interpersonal and intrapersonal skills

  • FIT with the organization and its values

Which communications techniques can be leveraged?

STAR or PARADE methodologies are “different” approaches/techniques that can be leveraged to communicate stories in an effective and structured way.

*See Graph 2: STAR and PARADE methodologies.

➥ Graphs from the Integrated FIT Guide for MBB

Solution

Paragraphs highlighted in green indicate diagrams or tables that shall be shared in the “Case exhibits” section.

Paragraphs highlighted in blue shall be verbally communicated to the interviewee.

Paragraphs highlighted in orange indicate hints for you on how to guide the interviewee through the case.

See below, for a question addressing Personal Impact, hints for the candidate to tailor a good answer.

Tell me about a time you needed to convince a relevant stakeholder (manager, client, etc.) about a different approach

Kindly ask the candidate before starting to provide you with his/her CV. Get familiar with it for a minute, since it can be useful (1) to follow the story better -most of the times it will be reflected in the CV- and (2) to be able to ask clarifying and follow-up questions.

HINTS:

  • Be structured, following STAR/PARADE methodology.
  • Enrich the story with multiple data points, there are never too many!
    • Numerical KPIs: to quantify impacts and better understand the data needed to follow the example.
    • Non-numerical: equally important to understand the story and impacts achieved.

EXAMPLE:

Problem and situation:

I was a Business Analyst in McKinsey, in a team of 5 serving a top Real Estate Developer in France.

The client´s business model was based on standardization: they had very limited “prototypes of houses” and they built them in an standardized way, achieving synergies through consolidation and repetition.

Due to their business mode, the Design-to-Value workstream was one of the key ones in McKinsey´s engagement, centered in helping them identify which were the key features that clients valued most (e.g., what is more valuable for clients: to install a better floor made of natural wood, or to have a common swimming pool in the community patio?)

Role:

As the leader of the Design-to-Value workstream, it was my responsibility to (1) conduct the market research needed and (2) conduct the analysis for quantifying and interpreting solutions.

Furthermore, it was fundamental for my workstream to be successful to have the clients on board, particularly two key stakeholders: the Director of Product –in charge of product definition-and the Director of Operations –in charge of costs-. They didn´t get along with each other and had a department war

Action:

Although the CEO was on board with the initial methodology proposed (a “conventional” survey to gather data on preferences about house features and finishing), when the engagement started we realized that the Product team had already conducted those types of analysis, which led to the initial prototype houses that our engagement was challenging, since they were not well aligned with clients preferences and they were expensive –hence, Product and Operations team were confronted-.

I Realized that, by going with the classical survey approach, we would have very similar results than the ones the client already had, and furthermore would not solve the conflict between the client departments –that we clearly couldn´t convince on the value proposition of our approach, as it was-.

I conducted thorough research (leveraging firm´s resources and expert calls) about other marketing techniques, more refined than simple surveys, by contacting marketing experts specialized in industries where higher level of expertise and sophistication were needed (e.g., CPG or automotive industry).

My conclusion was the suggestion on a new technique: conjoint -much more complex and expensive than a simple survey-. Thanks to a special questionnaire format based on trade-offs, it would reveal the utility of each housing feature (utility is a theorical metric that reveals how much you care for something). Furthermore, if we went one step further and included the utility of money for our clients, we could compare both regressions and obtain the willingness to pay, a quantifiable and highly valuable metric for the Operations team

The team and I –as main presenter- organized a workshop with senior management (C level) and directors of Product and Operations –the difficult stakeholders- to explain the new value proposition, and how it bridged both departments by combining product specifications and costs calculations

Result & impact

At client level, the engagement was a great success:

  • Obtained insights at a much more granular level –aspect in which client had been skeptical-.
  • Calculated for each element the willingness to pay, which made the exercise highly numerical and objective
  • Built a model for decision making comparing willingness to pay vs. cost, achieving a totally data driven approach for features election

Personally, it was a great stakeholder management experience, not only facing a technically challenging methodology but also using it to bring together the two opposing departments. My key learning was how you can convince others of you point of view by leveraging data or expert´s calls, particularly when you are in front of “skeptical audiences”.

*See Graph 3-4 : Suggestion on question delivery and timings for each part of the STAR/PARADE framework

➥ Graphs from the Integrated FIT Guide for MBB

LOOKING FOR MORE TIPS?

Exhibits

Graph 1a : "Behavioral Questions" are one of the 4 types of questions you can find in FIT interviews.

Graph 1b : Most of the candidates stories relate to more than one of the dimensions tested

Graph 2: STAR and PARADE methodologies

Graph 3: Suggestions on timings for stories rehealsal

Graph 4: Example (1/2)

Graph 5: Example (2/2)

Do you have questions on this case? Ask our community!
200+
Times solved
Advanced
Difficulty
Do you have questions on this case? Ask our community!

Exhibits

Graph 1a : "Behavioral Questions" are one of the 4 types of questions you can find in FIT interviews.

Graph 1b : Most of the candidates stories relate to more than one of the dimensions tested

Graph 2: STAR and PARADE methodologies

Graph 3: Suggestions on timings for stories rehealsal

Graph 4: Example (1/2)

Graph 5: Example (2/2)