Consulting Fit Interviews: The Ultimate Fit Interview Prep Plan (Video 4 of 4)

Consulting Fit Interviews: The Ultimate Fit Interview Prep Plan (Video 4 of 4)


Hi I’m Jenny Rae, the Managing Director
of Management Consulted and I’m here today to lay out the key steps to
developing the ultimate fit prep plan. Hopefully what you’ve gotten from our
previous videos is that fit interviews are important – it’s essential to prepare,
there’s a lot to do, and there are some key ways that you can do it. So what I
want to do today is just highlight how you get from there to a place where
you’re actually prepared for the interview. First, I just want to
lay out a few reminders about some key things that you’re trying to convey in
the fit interview and specifics on how you convey them. The first is that it’s
really important to make sure that your fit interview responses – with the
exception of one key question, “Walk me through your resume,” which can be longer –
every other one will be 30 seconds to 1 minute.
So it’s important that you remember, when you’re responding, that you have 30
seconds to a minute to get your point across. When you’re preparing, you need to
prepare for this and you need to develop a sense of timing so that when you’re in
the interview you can answer appropriately. The second thing that’s
really important is that you need to use summaries and you need to use structure. In fit interviews, summaries are even better than upfront structure. Upfront
structure says: here’s what I’m going to talk about, but in fit interviews you
don’t want to sound too pre-prepared. You want to sound natural, like you’re having
a conversation. There are some questions that might lend itself to a
little bit of structure but for the most part you’re going to use summaries after
you’ve told a story or after you’ve laid out a list of examples. You’re going to
give the consultants a quick recap of what you just talked about, and that’s
going to convey both – here I’m making it easy for you – here are the key things that I
talked about – and also, I’m thinking like a consultant with structure, summaries, or
both. Then finally, the final and most important thing is just to make sure to be yourself. The fit interview is to assess your comfort and your fit with
the firm. If you’re nervous, they’re going to tell.
If you’re not able to be yourself, they’re going to tell. If you’re trying
to be someone else, they’re going to be able to tell – it’s going to sound like
you’re a robot, and they’re not looking for robots, they’re looking for people
that they would enjoy having a slice of pizza with when they’re stuck in a
snowstorm for six hours in an airport. So make sure that, as you’re going through
the process for your fit interview, you’re preparing stories that convey not
only how you did something proficiently but also how you kept people in mind and
you’re able to tell those stories in the most natural way. Here’s how you go
from where you are through the ultimate fit prep plan to make sure that you’re
ready for the fit interview. The first thing is that you want to make sure
you’re preparing your stories. So, when you’re preparing your stories there are
a couple of things to think about. You want to make sure that you’re ready with
them during the networking process because if you wait for just the fit
interview itself, a lot of times you’ve missed out on some opportunities to give
good and vivid illustrations. You also want to make sure when you’re
preparing the stories that you write them out like essays. I can’t tell you
how many times I’ve worked with people who go through bullet points when
they’re thinking about their stories. Do you know how long you can talk on one
bullet point? It could be longer than 30 seconds or a minute alone, so it doesn’t
help you pull the whole story together when you just convey the bullet points.
You need to actually write out your stories and your responses like essay
questions. The goal here is not to memorize them – the goal is to make
sure that you’re pulling together all the key pieces that you want to convey.
The next thing that’s really important is that you want to practice out loud.
You can do this by yourself, but in general, in my experience, it takes 10
times in responding to one question to begin to make it sound natural and if
you spend that time with somebody else, they’re going to get impatient before
you get to 10 times. So, record yourself, review how long it took you to say
something, and if you’re brave, watch yourself – take video of how you did so
you can tell if you’re being awkward or if you’re being uncertain in any way
when you’re going through the interview. Then, once you’re ready with a
recording process, and when you think you’re ready to test out your answers on live
people, then you can go and find practice partners. Now, it’s really important that
you find good practice partners, and some qualities of a great partner is somebody
who actually doesn’t know you very well. Family members aren’t great practice
partners. First of all, they generally are pretty nice to you, which isn’t helpful
in the fit preparation process, but they also know a lot of the context
behind your stories – so if you get somebody who doesn’t know you very well and
they don’t understand something, they’re going to be able to ask you about it. You
can make sure that you’re telling the key context as you go. You also want
somebody who’s very constructive – they’re able to tell you what you can do
better and also supportive, so they can tell you what you’re already doing well.
And finally, it’s great to have people who go through the process currently or
somebody like our team at Management Consulted who are available to talk to
you as you’re preparing for the fit interviews – to give you expert advice.
Finally, when you start for the fit interview preparation is something
that’s greatly contentious. The reason that it’s greatly contentious
is that most people begin to prepare for the fit interview perhaps the night
before the actual interview. Like I said, I think that the preparation process
should start when you’re networking, which is often many months before – but at
the very least, you need to make sure that you are no less than two weeks
prior to your fit interview when you begin to prepare because it takes quite
a lot of time to go through, write out your stories, practice them 10 times,
record yourself, and then get in front of somebody else. So, if you allow
anything less than two weeks you’re really probably going to be underprepared for
the fit interview. In my overall experience, the people who were good at
cases got into the second round and everybody in the second round was good
at cases. The ones that went from the second round to the offer were the ones
who got A pluses on their fit interviews because they were awesome and
comfortable and great storytellers. So hopefully you’ll use this ultimate fit
interview prep plan in order to do just that for yourself. If you want more
information, we’ve got a lot of content in one of our materials, the
Consulting Interview Bible, as well as at our website at managementconsulted.com.

2 thoughts on “Consulting Fit Interviews: The Ultimate Fit Interview Prep Plan (Video 4 of 4)

  • How many questions do interviewers go through in a single interview?  Most of my responses go for about 2 minutes – especially those 'let me tell you a story' answers.

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