I'm especially interested in feedback from those who've had multiple final rounds at MBB and met both success and failure.
I have a final round coming up this week. I've worked my way through a prolonged and multi-stage interview process and as I've progressed, I've parlayed those into interviews at other top firms (Bain, BCG, etc.). I am an "experienced hire," having been out of school for two years.
My feedback thus far is that my case performance is strong, with some interviewers saying it could use slightly more structuring. My personal experience interview was part of what carried the day during my second round. I've actually had somewhat contradictory feedback from separate interviewers, which I attributed to the minor differences in behavioral perception - the flaws they identified were mostly just missing polish.
How To Pass A Final Round Interview
By the time you get to the final round of the interview process, you've been given valuable feedback from previous rounds (and interviews with other companies). This feedback is your best resource for getting past the final round. One of the most common items people struggle with is the structuring of case performances. Spending time practicing and mastering this will give your interview a boost. This is particularly important if you're weak in other areas. Having a strong structuring will strengthening your overall application.
A great way to do this is to go through scenarios as you go about your day.
Listen to the interview feedback you got and practice structuring. You can do this all day - when you are at a restaurant, ask yourself if I received a case asking how I could increase profit here, how would I structure it (perhaps do a market sizing estimation as well for practice with that). Then, when you pick up your dry cleaning, do a hypothetical market entry structure as if the dry cleaner wanted to enter into a new part of the city.
Case Interviews Are Essential To Success
While your personal experience interview is important, it is essential that you understand the expectations exactly for the case interview. It is imperative that you are completely focused and prepared for this section. More than anything, McKinsey wants you to demonstrate that you know your stuff. The case interviews are where you get to do this. To be completely sure of what the expectations are, contact the office where you'll be interviewing ahead of time for clear requirements. At more competitive offices, there will be very little room for error.
McKinsey provides examples of potential case interview scenarios on their website.
McKinsey is fair and functional, but it is not warm, nor is it intellectual. My interviewers were less interested in hypotheticals than bare-knuckled optimization, and my theoretical questions about the future of different industries or economic sectors were politely batted away with complete boredom.
Watch this video from McKinsey to learn about their case interview guidelines.
What To Do If You Don't Get Hired
Making it to the final round of interviews does not guarantee you a job. Far from it as this is where it is the most competitive and you're at the highest scrutiny. You are literally competing with the best of the best at this stage. Even if you have interviewed well, make sure you're applying to multiple firms at the same time. Anything can happen at this stage and it is important to have multiple potentials lined up.
If you don't get hired after your final round interview, here are a few things to try:
- Ask for feedback and follow the advice they give you.
- Re-apply at a later date. Lots of firms will be happy to give you another chance if you previously made it to the final round.
- Practice and improve the skills and areas where you were weak.
- Apply these improvements to your next interviews.
- When networking with other firms don't be afraid to mention you made it to the final round with other places. This can often demonstrate that you're a great candidate even if it didn't get you all the way.
Read More About McKinsey On WSO
- McKinsey Interview Process For Experienced Hires
- McKinsey Consulting vs. McKinsey Research
- Interview Question: Why BCG? Why McKinsey?
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