McKinsey Japan - Case Interview Language?

Case Interview Japan McKinsey
Neue Antwort am 28. Sept. 2022
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Anonym A fragte am 25. Sept. 2022

Does anyone happen to have experience/information related to interviewing with McKinsey Japan office (or any other office in non-English speaking countries?)

Their website only hinted that the interview will be in "English or Japanese", but it's unclear whether that's going to be assigned or if the candidate has a chance to choose. (Personally I can manage business-level Japanese conversations, but I'd feel way more comfortable doing the case interview in English …)

I originally assumed that interview in Japanese will be imposed. Yet when I attended the office's information webinar, one of the panelist mentioned something along the line of --while working in the Office, it's possible to either leverage strong English skills and develop more Japanese skills, or the other way around”,--which made me wonder whether there can be any chance of flexibility in language during the interview stage. 

I've been quite torn between focusing limited prep time on boosting Japanese language skills or working on actual cases/PEI--so I'd really appreciate it if you have any thoughts or suggestions! 

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Francesco
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antwortete am 26. Sept. 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: Does anyone happen to have experience/information related to interviewing with McKinsey Japan office (or any other office in non-English speaking countries?)

All candidates I helped for McKinsey Japan were native or fluent in Japanese, so we didn’t discuss the issue in details.

In other offices, you normally have at least part of the interview in the local language (the Middle East and the Nordics are exceptions as you don’t normally need to know the local language there). They may test your English level as well (possibly in the fit part only).

In short: I believe you should be able to deliver both PEI and case in Japanese if required. If that’s currently not the case and time allows, I would work on your language skills to be able to do so.

For other questions please feel free to PM me.

Good luck!

Francesco 

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Cristian
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antwortete am 26. Sept. 2022
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there, 

The usual pattern in most non-English speaking offices is to have the case in English and the PEI in the local language. 

That might differ though from office to office, so I would strongly recommend you reach out to the Japan office HR to clarify this. 

Best,

Cristian

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Florian
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antwortete am 26. Sept. 2022
Highest-rated McKinsey coach (ratings, offers, sessions) | 500+ offers | Author of The 1% & Consulting Career Secrets

Hi there,

I recently coached two candidates for the Tokyo office.

  • One had all their interviews in English, conducted by non-Japanese interviewers from offices outside of Japan
  • One had some interviews (case and PEI) in English and some in Japanese.

To prepare, have a look at the articles I wrote, which also apply to Japan:

McKinsey Case Interview

McKinsey PEI Interview

Cheers,

Florian

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Ian
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antwortete am 26. Sept. 2022
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

The Japanese candidates I coached did their interviews in Japanese. However, no matter what we say here you need to double-check with HR!

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Sofia
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bearbeitete eine Antwort am 26. Sept. 2022
Top-Ranked Coach on PrepLounge for 3 years| McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 6+ years of coaching

Hello,

Definitely double-check this with HR at the office which you are applying to. There may be different rules around this by office/position.

(editiert)

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Pedro
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antwortete am 28. Sept. 2022
#1 EY-Parthenon Coach | Bain | Roland Berger | RB Former Head Recruiter | Market Sizing Expert

This is question you need to confirm with HR (also so that the interviewers are able to prepare their interview). 

As a general rule, in this kind of situations, you will have part of the interview in english and another part in the local language.

I usually advise candidates to be ready to do all of the introduction and Fit part in the local language, and the case in English. The reason is that you know more or less what you are going to be asked in the Fit part, so you can prepare your answers beforehand, look out for relevant vocabulary, etc.

Whereas during the case you don't want to spend “brainpower” looking for the right terminology or simply struggling with the case + the language (or the interviewer simply not being able to completely follow your thoughts)…

By the way, I've been in your shoes before (not for Japan, but for a country were my command of local language was not 100% business ready), and this is how it went (fit in local language, case in english), in part because I directed it (and prepared for it) that way.

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Francesco

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