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Can anyone help me with tips and tricks for the ideal framing /structure for a Mc-Kinsey and Company, Bain or BCG interview?

Anonymous A

Hello,

I am a PhD graduate and applied for McKinsey and Company and has been accepted and invited for an interview. I have completed the interview and ended up first round. I did not get an invitation for a second McK round. I asked for feedback and the case interviewer told me that for the personal experience interview (PEI) I passed very well. For the case interview part, my framework of the case was too structured and my math was more accurate then it should.

I would appreciate help withtips and tricks for the ideal framing /structure for Mc-Kinsey and Company. I would also like to apply for other MBB, and would love to get some advice. What is the best way to proceed? Should I reapply to McK and what about the best structure for the frameworks applied in solving cases for Bain and BCG or other consulting companies? Do they expect a solid structure or less structured way for solving the cases?

Many thanks in advance.

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Francesco replied on 08/28/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (1000+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

it is very difficult (although it could happen) to turn “too structured” in a consulting interview. What most often happens is that the interviewer perceives you to be “too robotic”, that is, that you communication gives the impression you have learned by art the framework and you are not customizing it for the particular case you are dealing with. The best thing to understand if this is your case would be to do a case with an experienced candidate or an expert, in order to verify such point.

At the same time, it is definitely not possible to be penalized for “too accurate” math. In this case, it is likely you tried to perform unnecessary computations and transform the math in something excessively complicated. Here as well, would be great if you could test it in an ad-hoc math-based case with an experienced interviewer.

As for the best way to proceed with other MBB, that’s definitely trough referrals. At the following link (second post) you can find some suggestions on that:

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

Finally, you can definitely reapply to McKinsey, however that usually requires waiting one or two years (usually they clarify that in the feedback, if they did not mention anything, then it’s two years). Thus, I would suggest to concentrate on BCG and Bain at this stage.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

(edited)

Anne
Expert
replied on 09/06/2017
Ex-BCG in Paris office

Hello,

I agree with Francesco on the reasons why you may have sound too structured. It is better to create a framework that will be well adapted to the case, than "blindly" follow a standard framework.

Regarding the "too accurate maths", you should keep in mind that interview cases don't use real/precise numbers. You need to compute are orders of magnitude, not precise results. The result of you computation should have approximately the same level of accuracy than the figures given by you interviewer. For instance, if your interviewer tells you that the company's benefit is about 10.5 million€ and ask you how much the new initiative you've been discussing will increase the benefit. Your answer should be in million with a single digit (e.g. 1.7 million€). Don't answer 1 689 234 €. You will loose time computing such a precise answer and you know for sure that the "89 234" is not a relevant piece of information.

They want to know whether you can do "back of the envelop" thinking :

  • Can you figure out quickly what is the good way/good model to compute an insightful result ?
  • Are you at ease with numbers ?
  • Are you able to have a critical eye on your results ?

Indeed, while working at MBBs, you will do a lot of big Excel models with plenty of numbers. It is easy to make errors ( e.g. selecting the wrong cell with a fat finger...). MBBs expect you to realize, on your own, when something went wrong in your model. For instance, with a "back of the envelop" reasoning, you know that the result should be around 10. Your Excel model would tell you whether it is 9.51 or 10.8. But if you find 30 ou 200, you should see on your own that something went wrong.

Hope this help!

Good luck for the rest of your interviews!

Anonymous A replied on 08/29/2017

I had a case interview preparation with an experienced consultant and he told me that for McK case solving, my structure should be more framed. In that sense the feedback of McK was confusing. I guess my case was indeed perceived too structured and I will work on that. Thanks for your answering.

(edited)

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