McKinsey First Round VS Second Round

goblue17's picture
Rank: Chimp | 3

Can anyone comment on the main differences between McKinsey's First Round and Second Round?

I just finished their 1st round and as expected the case was very structured, in the sense that the interviewer was driving the case by asking a set of 5-6 specific questions per case.

Are the 2nd rounds (office visits) similar or are they more driven by the interviewee? I've heard that 2nd/final rounds involve more probing for information and one broad initial question, rather than individual segments to the case. Anyone have any experience with this? Thanks in advance for your help.

Comments (10)

Nov 15, 2010

In my experience, the two rounds were pretty similar, with the interviewer asking a couple of directional questions (e.g. "What would you want to look at first?" "Okay, here's a graph, tell me ___." "You run into the SVP in the elevator and he asks you how it's going," etc.) If your first round didn't sound like that, you may very well get different stuff. The second round will probably also be with more senior people (AP or above), so be ready for that.

In your final round they might also give you what they call a leadership case; all I'll tell you about those (if you get one) is that they're looking for something specific in your response to each question, so think about what that is before you say something.

Nov 15, 2010

How hard was the written exam?

Nov 15, 2010

In the second round, there are actually right answers to questions. There is no "good try" medal. Read the cases very carefully.

Nov 16, 2010
ivoteforthatguy:

In the second round, there are actually right answers to questions. There is no "good try" medal. Read the cases very carefully.

This was not my experience.

I found that second round cases were still quite structured, but less rigid than first round cases. Because you are interviewing with partners and engagement managers, my understanding is that they have a bit more freedom to choose their own cases.

The main difference is that there will be a bit more emphasis on fit. Questions such as "tell me about a time when you demonstrated x" or "tell me a time when you had to do y." So know your resume down pat and have some anecdotes that will set you apart.

Hope that helps

Nov 15, 2010
Platform:
ivoteforthatguy:

In the second round, there are actually right answers to questions. There is no "good try" medal. Read the cases very carefully.

This was not my experience.

I found that second round cases were still quite structured, but less rigid than first round cases. Because you are interviewing with partners and engagement managers, my understanding is that they have a bit more freedom to choose their own cases.

The main difference is that there will be a bit more emphasis on fit. Questions such as "tell me about a time when you demonstrated x" or "tell me a time when you had to do y." So know your resume down pat and have some anecdotes that will set you apart.

Hope that helps

I suggest you be ready for both types. I had two industry cases and a financial case. The former two were slightly more open ended, but for the financial, there was absolutely a right answer that the partner was looking for -- I missed it the first time around and stumbled onto it at last after a lot of prompting. Needless to say it did NOT go well. Even in the industry cases, the data they give you is supposed to point in a direction that they want you to find.

Mind you, I didn't get the job, so maybe I'm totally off base here. But if I had to point to my major fuck up in that interview process, I'd point to that.

Good luck.

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Nov 16, 2010

Should've also noted that these are BA interviews (out of undergrad). The written exam was very similar to the practice one on their website, no surprises there.

Does the second round have written cases? And could you elaborate a bit more on a leadership case?

Nov 15, 2010

ivoteforthatguy, did you apply to the Corporate Finance practice? They do things a little differently from the generalist program. Platform's experience matches up with my own generalist interview experience.

And no, I can't go into more detail on the leadership case without giving it away. It's set up so that you can't really study or prepare, though one of their sample cases (the one designed by the Swedish office) is somewhat similar.

Nov 15, 2010

^ No, I was interviewing for a generalist position through their APD recruiting program. I sure as hell wished that it was more open ended. They were nice enough to give some leading pointers but I fucked up some basic arithmetic, etc., and that was the end of me.

I suppose a place like McK has the luxury of dinging you for stuff like that. What can I say.

Nov 15, 2010

I know nothing whatsoever about their APD interviews, but all of MBB ding people for arithmetic mistakes at the generalist level, too; I had one interviewer who i suspect dinged me for just being slow at the arithmetic (though it's possible that I just fucked up). Happens to the best of us.

Dec 3, 2010
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