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Advice about McKinsey Last round in France

Anonymous A

Hi everyone,

I was recently passed onto the final round of interviews for McKinsey, and I was hoping that you would have some advice specifically for preparing for the final round.

How is the final round different from the previous one (both seem to have a similar format), and with this difference in mind, what can I work on to prepare?

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Francesco replied on 04/09/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (1000+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

The main differences you will find in a final round with partners is that at that stage they:

  1. spend more time on fit questions and
  2. may not have a “proper” structured case to present – some cases may be based on a pure market sizing, for example. That's because at the final 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.

Besides reviewing fit and market sizing, a good extra preparation would be related to the questions at the end for the interviewer. It would be great if you could get the names of the partners, and study their profile for more customized questions. As for the questions themselves, you can find a structure for the ideal ones to ask at the following link:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/open-house-at-bcg-311

Best,

Francesco

(edited)

Astrid replied on 04/10/2017

Hi Anonymous A,

thank you for asking your question on our Consulting Q&A!

I found some other Q&As that might be interesting for you on the differences between first and second/final round:

Chern (received offers from McK and BCG):

The key differences between the 1st and 2nd interview rounds, besides the interviewers being principals or partners as you mentioned, are in structure, focus and selectivity. [...]

The structure in the 2nd round will most likely not follow the standard fit + case interview format. Partners may prefer to launch into a conversation about the latest developments in a particular business, industry or geography and talk about your motivations and life experiences later. Note they'll still expect you to layout your thoughts and communicate "top down" by leading with headline "insight" statements. This is the difference between being structured yet adaptable and being formulaic.

The focus in the 2nd round will likely be influenced by your performance in the previous round. The 2nd round interviewers will test on any areas where they perceived you needed to work on (e.g., more quantitative problem solving if you struggled with math in the 1st round, more creative brainstorming if you had difficulty coming up with tailored approaches and ideas to problems in the 1st round, etc.).

The selectivity in the 2nd round is much lower, as this is the round where hiring decisions are made. It may seem obvious but the stakes are higher and it requires all 3 partners to agree that you've met the bar, which explains the low acceptance rate (~1-3%) at the top 3 firms.

In short, the 2nd (final) round is more creative, yet structured, more focused on your development, yet still supportive (interviewers are there to help you succeed, not fail) and more selective, yet fair.

My recommendation is to practice unorthodox cases with a focus on your 1st round feedback and on preserving structure & communication no matter the subject or interview style, so that the interviews may catch you unawares but never unprepared.

Matteo (Mckinsey consultant focused on Digital & Technology applied to Business):

from my experience I believe there are 2 key differences between a first round and a second round, at least regarding Mck, Bain and BCG.

1) during the first round the interviewers will be senior managers and/or junior partners, whether in the second round you will generally meet senior partners or directors

2) Therefore since the two profiles mentioned above have a different seniority during the first round it is more likely that you will be asked more analytical questions and the business cases will be more detaild (e.g. estimate the market share at the endo of the third year knowing that.. ecc.), on the other side in the second round the you might have to tackle more broad and strategical questions (e.g. what would you outsource in a marketing department)

For the full Q&As and further info, please check the following links:

I hope this helps! If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask on our Q&A.

Best of luck and success for your last round interview,

Astrid

Anonymous B replied on 04/09/2017

Hi,

I am about to have the full day of interviews soon with McKinsey in Paris.

I heard the first round consists of 3 interviews and the second round of 2 different interviews, pretty similar to the first round but with more senior : i) general fit about you (10'), ii) one story (key achievement) (15') and iii) business case (often partner cases).

Good luck !

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