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Experience interview

Demonstrate skillset and mindset

Why the experience interview?

Also called "behavioral questions", the experience interview is a fundamental yet often neglected part of the interview preparation. The interviewer will ask you for some important experiences — accomplishments and challenges alike —to discover mindset and skills that will enable you to thrive in your new job.

These are some example of qualities that the interviewer will ask for. It is taken from McKinsey and it applies virtually to any company.

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.

Entrepreneurial Drive

We look for people with an entrepreneurial spirit: innovative by nature, always creating new approaches, products, services, and technologies.

Problem Solving Skills

Helping clients solve tough problems and implement solutions requires strong intellectual abilities and rigor as well as a practical sense of what works and what does not.

Leadership Abilities

We seek people who strive to lead themselves, their teams, and their communities, and who can foster effective teamwork to drive results.

What does the experience interview consist of?

Get prepared to discuss some important experiences in a detailed way, focusing on your specific role and describing the key actions that were critical to success. Don't underestimate the importance of this part of the consulting interview: this usually account for half of your final assessment, while the other half is your result at the case study.

These are 5 most common types of experience interview questions and are usually phrased as "tell me about a time...":

  1. Leading others, e.g. tell me about a time you led a team through a difficult challenge. 

  2. Managing a team situation, e.g. tell me about a time you had to handle a conflict between your employees.

  3. Managing a personal conflict, e.g. tell me about a time you had a disagreement with a colleague / your boss.

  4. Influencing others, e.g. tell me about a time you changed the mind of a group of people / an individual

  5. Overcoming challenges, e.g. tell me about a challenge you had to push yourself hard to overcome.

How to approach the experience interview?

The most common and easy to memorize framework to answer the question is STAR:

  • Situation: An event, project, or challenge faced

  • Task: Your responsibilities and assignments for the situation

  • Action: Steps or procedure taken to relieve or rectify situation

  • Result: Results of actions taken.

Some general tips to use the master the experience interview:

  1. Be authentic

  2. Be prepared

  3. Be brief

  4. Be specific

  5. Be quantitative

Experience Interview: Service
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