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Candidate-led interviews

Candidate-led interviews
New answer on May 15, 2023
10 Answers
497 Views
Anonymous A asked on May 12, 2023

Are all the interviews candidate-led interviews except for McKinSey? 

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on May 12, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: Are all the interviews candidate-led interviews except for McKinsey? 

Not necessarily. I know cases where candidates had interviewer-led interviews at BCG, Bain and other companies. Having said that, candidate-led interviews tend to be more common if the company is not McKinsey.

In general, if you are prepared for a candidate-led interview you should not have issues to adapt to an interviewer-led one. The opposite is not necessarily true. If you only know how to navigate interviewer-led cases, you may have issues driving a case in a candidate-led case. So if you are interviewing with BCG and Bain you have to learn how to lead the case.

Best,

Francesco

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Ian
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Content Creator
updated an answer on May 13, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Please please please don't go in “expecting things”.

I have had candidates at Bain and Kearney and EY recently have interviewer-led cases.

One candidate at Bain had SEVEN brainstorming questions (fed to him).

In general, McK is interviewer-led and the rest are candidate-led, but it's not a hard and fast rule.

Here's some reading to help: https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/how-to-shift-your-mindset-to-ace-the-case

 

(edited)

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Dennis
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replied on May 12, 2023
Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe

Hi,

Roland Berger uses a mix. It varies by region and interview round. Definitely prepare for candidate-led cases - in case the interviewer ends up leading, you can still roll with the punches.

Best

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Anonymous replied on May 12, 2023

Mostly, yes.

However, some Bain offices are reportedly making a shift towards interviewer-led Cases. Additionally, I have seen occasions where interviews with partners take on a ‘command and control’ format which is an approximation of the interviewer-led Case.

Still, I always counsel folks to base their Case Prep in the candidate-led format before seeking excellence in other formats. This is because the candidate-led format is more holistic, presents a steeper-learning curve, will be representative of most interviews, and, in those instances that one finds oneself interviewing with McKinsey, the skillset is a much easier cross-over than is the reverse direction.

Of course, if one is only interviewing with McKinsey, then they are better served over-indexing on the interviewer-led format.

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Cristian
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Content Creator
replied on May 13, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Pretty much, but some firms are switching. For instance, I’ve had several candidates interviewing with Roland Berger across different geographies in the last few months and the majority of them received interviewer- led cases. 

I would recommend you reach out to the recruiter and ask. This is not meant to be a secret and it will make a huge difference in your preparation.

Best of luck! 

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Sophia
Expert
replied on May 12, 2023
Top-Ranked Coach on PrepLounge for 3 years| 6+ years of coaching

Hello,

In my experience, McK interviews are very explicitly interviewer led (i.e., the interviewer has a predetermined set of questions to ask you). Other firms will lean more candidate-led but the interviewer may help guide you down particular branches of the issue tree. 

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Diana
Expert
replied on May 15, 2023
Ex McKinsey Consultant| Coached/interviewed 20+ students| France & USA

Hi,

Q: Are all the interviews candidate-led interviews except for McKinsey? 

I would recommend being prepared for candidate and interviewer-lead interviews anyway, it depends on the company you're interviewing for and your interviewer. Be flexible on how your interviewer react.

Even at McKinsey, where the interviews are considered interviewer-led, they expect the answers to be ‘candidate-led’ = you to be very proactive during your interviews. Ask questions to clarify the case, and ask questions to make sure your interviewer guides you to find the right answers. When you run out of answers, and you see that your interviewer is still expecting you to give more details, they want to see you being more creative and finding new solutions. So don't think you should expect everything to come from the interviewer.

 

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Pedro
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replied on May 12, 2023
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

No, not really. Probably 30-40% of the cases in other firms are interviewer-led, although frequently they don't “feel” that way, i.e., they'll make you feel you are in control, but in reality you are not.

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Andreas
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replied on May 12, 2023
McKinsey EM | Top MBB Coach | >70% Success Rate | Free Introductory Calls

Generally, that is right. However, there might be exceptions by firm. It is best to prep for candidate led case interviews, which gets you ready for interviewer led as well.

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Clara
Expert
replied on May 12, 2023
BCG Consultant (4y)| Received offer from McKinsey | Very familiar with MBB interviews

Hey,

In my experience, yes. 

The McK interview process is really different from the rest, and requires a special preparation to get acquainted with its specificities (including the fit).

Also, preparing for this type of interview will make sure you're solid if some other firm interviewer decides to do things differently. 

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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