McKinsey Interview Anyone?

Woody's picture
Rank: Chimp | 9

I have one coming up after the new year (scheduling problems) and I was wondering if anyone else has had one yet and if they could share experiences, tips ... etc.

Comments (20)

Dec 5, 2006
Woody:

I have one coming up after the new year (scheduling problems) and I was wondering if anyone else has had one yet and if they could share experiences, tips ... etc.

Yeah, I went through the process with McKinsey, Bain, and BCG. I'm presuming its a BA interview?

Dec 8, 2006

with MBB. Best tip is always have structure, but that's a given.

McKinsey - limited fit, primarily case work and shear intellect. Had a complicated numbers case. Final round is with partners and complicated math, if you don't nail it, I got the sense you were cooked.

Bain - connect everything with real world strategy and tips to grow the company. Diagnosing the problem is not enough, connect it with a solution that can drive real returns. Fit is also very important, work hard, play hard.

BCG - More fit, academic in nature. Serious work with charts and graphs. Easier then the other two.

Dec 11, 2006
2007Analyst:

with MBB. Best tip is always have structure, but that's a given.

McKinsey - limited fit, primarily case work and shear intellect. Had a complicated numbers case. Final round is with partners and complicated math, if you don't nail it, I got the sense you were cooked.

Bain - connect everything with real world strategy and tips to grow the company. Diagnosing the problem is not enough, connect it with a solution that can drive real returns. Fit is also very important, work hard, play hard.

BCG - More fit, academic in nature. Serious work with charts and graphs. Easier then the other two.

Agree: McKinsey cases are math intensive, especially in the early rounds. In my experience, the Bain cases were much more logical..much easier to get through.

The BCG cases were more difficult in terms of putting a structure around a problem and then drilling down into the issues.

There is a book called "Case in Point" which is great case prep

Mar 1, 2007

Although my partner interview wasn't that math intensive...everything depends on how you structure.
I found that they work with you and give feed back. They aren't trying to screw you, they just don't make it easy.

For example:

EM walks in, shakes my hand, we start talking... before I knew it I was deeply entrenched in the organic foods industry discussing how I would increase sales of ketchup from $25 mm to $400 mm in 5 years. They don't expect you to re-invent the wheel, but you need to know the right steps to at least build a wheel. Poor analogy, I know, but everything is structure, structure, structure, step by step. A= .... B= .... C=....

In following up, the guy told me flat out that I need to improve my structure and that I need to force myself to think within a framework. He said if I get a partner interview, that I should take more time and pause before thinking, brutally honest but helpful.

I got the offer...so hopefully I'll figure it out. Also, remember that they train the crap out of you, so don't try and be perfect. Be enthusiastic, genuine, communicate well, show intelligence, and ace the 70 minute test. I had no contacts and not the world's greatest resume either...

I think showing true desire to be there and not just get a couple years on the resume and a sincere interest in who they are and what they do is key. Just from my experience so take it with a grain of salt...

Mar 2, 2007
raider4ever:

pause before thinking, brutally honest but helpful.

how do you mean pause before thinking?

congrats btw!

Learn More

2,037 questions across 209 consulting firms. 11 Cases developed by a McKinsey Associate, 10+ hours of video. The WSO Consulting Interview Prep Course has everything you’ll ever need to ace your consulting case interviews. Learn more.

Feb 17, 2007
Feb 17, 2007
Feb 17, 2007
Feb 18, 2007

Are there any differences for a Junior associate position interview?

Feb 26, 2007

I was asked a question by a EM at McKinsey during my interview...

crapload of information about starting up an airline company and I was required to extract all the formulas and solve a series of 5 equations under a time limit. Luckily, I answered the problem correctly. Unfortunately, I didn't get the offer (other interview didnt go to well in the same round)

GOOD LUCK

Mar 2, 2007

I more or less did it wrong, whereas I just started going and picked up steam as I went along...but the EM told me afterward that it would be better to ask for a moment to think about it before just diving right in.

Take a moment (i dunno 15-30 seconds) and work within a framework in your mind. Come up with 3 points and then proceed:'

"There are three things to consider:

1)
2)
3)...."

He also mentioned, which I thought was somewhat funny, that after saying "Here are 3 things" that thinking in a framework may help you think of other things...so there could be a 4)... and 5)...

During your time of personal thought, be sure to quickly consider alternatives or rejections, because once you take your course of action, right or wrong they will push you and challenge your assumptions so that they stand firm.

Good luck!

Mar 2, 2007
raider4ever:

I more or less did it wrong, whereas I just started going and picked up steam as I went along...but the EM told me afterward that it would be better to ask for a moment to think about it before just diving right in.

Take a moment (i dunno 15-30 seconds) and work within a framework in your mind. Come up with 3 points and then proceed:'

"There are three things to consider:

1)
2)
3)...."

He also mentioned, which I thought was somewhat funny, that after saying "Here are 3 things" that thinking in a framework may help you think of other things...so there could be a 4)... and 5)...

During your time of personal thought, be sure to quickly consider alternatives or rejections, because once you take your course of action, right or wrong they will push you and challenge your assumptions so that they stand firm.

Good luck!

So you received an offer to be a partner at McK?

Mar 3, 2007

they hired me as a 22 year old partner....

in reality, i am low man on the totem pole.

Mar 3, 2007

I would highly recommend using vault.com or buying the vault guidebooks to prepare for your consulting interviews. Definitely make sure you can do math quickly and accurately including algebra for some of the more complex case studies

Mar 5, 2007

that's quite intimidating..

Mar 6, 2007

aanr4, do you think I'll need to take linear algebra then to prepare appropriately?

Mar 7, 2007
Mar 8, 2007

that's pretty good

Jul 12, 2007
Comment