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McKinsey Final Round Preparation

Anonym A fragte am 28. Jul 2018 - 2 Antworten

Hi folks,

I was cleared to final round for McKinsey interview, through practice with Prep folks, I came to the understanding that cases could be "drastically" different in final round, and even could be candidate-led case. Can you please probably share with me information on whether this understanding is accurate, and how can I be more targeted on my prep?

Thanks.

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Francesco
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antwortete am 28. Jul 2018
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Hi Anonymous,

the structure for final rounds is the same (fit + case+ your questions); however there is far more emphasis on communication and fit. You may also have interviewee-led cases, so be sure to know how to proactively move to the next steps in the case if required.

Specifically, the main difference you will find in a final round with partners is that they:

  1. Spend more time on fit questions and your alignment with the company
  2. Check more closely your communication (eg how you react to challenging questions, both verbally and in terms of body language. They know that if they make an offer you will soon represent the company in front of the client, so that’s critical)
  3. May not have a “proper” structured case to present – during one of my finals I had one interview which was made by two market sizing questions and one brainteaser, without any business case. That's because at the final round they know you can structure and crack a case (you passed 1 or 2 rounds already) and are more interested in your logic, personality and fit with the company

So in order to prepare I would concentrate on:

  1. Review in details your PEI stories – they will matter more than in the first round. In some finals I had almost exclusively behavioural questions.
  2. Work on your communication (reaction under pressure, how gain time when you do not have a structure ready, connect with the interviewer, body language, etc). This is something you can do almost exclusively in interviews with peers. Your communication will be far more important in the final compared to the first.
  3. Prepare on cases as you did for the first round. More market sizing practice could be useful to think out of the box in case you get unusual questions.
  4. Bonus point: Research the partners’ background. Ask to HR if it is possible to know who are the partners you will interview with, if not disclosed. Be sure to know very well your interviewers profile and prepare questions specifically for them (eg: sectors they worked, specific career path). This can be a big differentiator from other candidates and a big plus.

Best,

Francesco

Vlad
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antwortete am 29. Jul 2018
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Hi,

In the final round, I would expect a bit more structured and demanding approach to the fit part. The partners in the last round are more experienced and they will challenge every single detail of your story. So make sure that you have a couple of backup stories. Thus:

1) Make sure that you've prepared everything: A story about yourself, motivational questions and the main FIT stories. Also, don't forget about your questions to the interviewer - you'd rather have an interesting conversation and score some point instead of a simple Q&A session

2) Then go through each story and think of the additional questions the interviewer may ask. It’s important since additional questions will take up to 50% of the interview. Try to remember the main details and facts and make sure that you know how to explain the key concepts quickly. Test your stories with your friends, ideally consultants, and ask for their feedback. There can be multiple groups of additional questions:

  • The interviewer may be interested in details about the context
  • He may want to check whether this was your effort or more sort of a team effort.
  • “Have you faced any difficulties while implementing your solution?”- Typically an interviewer would like you to tell him how you’ve overcome those difficulties.
  • Your interviewer will check how real your story is. You should be ready to provide even more granular actions, key milestones and a breakdown of potential effects.

3) work on 3-6 backup stories. During your interviews, you can then use these stories or adapt these stories to the additional questions your interviewer asks you.

You may be interested, why you need to prepare several stories for each question? At the end of the day, it's not that easy to come up with all of these stories. I've answered here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/repating-fit-interview-stories-927#a1813

4) Next step is talking to consultants. I recommend doing a couple of mock interviews, both case+fit. You can connect with consultants via friends, company events or even LinkedIn. Consultants are entirely opened to share their experiences, but the biggest problem will be the lack of time. Sometimes you’ll need to send a kind reminder to your request, but it pays off.

As for the cases - Partners and Directors have their own favorite cases and may even want you to lead the case. The key difference:

  1. You ask clarifying questions in the beginning and make a structure
  2. You lead the case through the structure you've prepared a) asking questions and trying to identify the root-cause of the problem in the branch of your structure b) making a transition to the next branch c) proactively calculating the data and making data-driven conclusion from the data they give you d) Making a conclusion when they ask you to finish a case

It may seem to you that these 2 types of cases are different, however, the interviewer-led type is just a simplified version of the interviewee-led case. My advice is to always prepare in the interviewee-led format so that you could solve both easily.

Best

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