Is preparing for McKinsey PEI questions and the case sufficient? Do I need to do any additional preparations on questions such as: "Why Consulting?", "Why McKinsey" etc?
Interview questions McKinsey
The interviewer usually asks 3 sets of questions:
- “Tell me about yourself” or “walk me through your resume”- this is how Consultants usually begin the interview. It's an opportunity for them to learn about you and to pick some interesting facts. Don’t lose this opportunity since the 1st impression is usually the strongest.
- “Why consulting?”, “Why McKinsey” or “Why BCG” questions are used to assess your motivation to be a consultant in general and to work in that particular firm. They will check how you have done your homework and what you’ve learned about them. They also want to make sure that you have a clear intention to work in consulting. "Why consulting" is a question about you and your career path. "Why McKinsey" is more about a particular company and even particular local office.
- Next, the interviewer will also ask you to provide examples from your background to assess how good you are as a leader or a team player; how you can create impact and persuade people; or how you can achieve your goals. These are all parts of consulting mindset - DNA of consultants, and you should be ready to prove that you are one of them.
- At the end of the interview, you will also have an opportunity to ask your questions to the interviewer. Most of the candidates disregard this part in preparation, while it is a great chance to demonstrate the intellectual capacity and build some relationship with the interviewer.
It is also different across MBB companies:
- Mckinsey is a bit more structured and demanding in its approach with the fit part, taking up to 30 minutes. They will ask all sets of questions including a story on 1 of 3 competencies: Leadership, Achievement / drive, Personal Impact
- BCG interviews are a bit shorter, a bit less structured and detailed. They will also test competences like leadership, Impact, Teamwork
- On the contrary, Bain consultants will be less concerned about your stories and will not have strict guidelines. They will mostly check your background and motivation
Questions like "Walk me through your CV", "Why Consulting" and "Why us?" are a big part of fit questions (it's super common that you'll get at least 2 of them), also of McK PEI.
Thus I would strongly encourage you to prepare stories for these questions as well.
you should definitely prepare as well questions on Why consulting and Why McKinsey, in particular if you are not coming from a consulting background. You can find more on the most common fit questions at the following link:
In addition, it is always helpful to provide context or examples of how you chose McKinsey, especially if you have been to events, been in touch with alumna, know someone who has worked there previously and recommended you etc.
Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases
Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly