Common consulting/business lingo

business concepts MBB
New answer on Jun 27, 2022
6 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Jun 25, 2022

Hi PL community, I just had my first round MBB interview and I got feedback that for my next round I should demonstrate more business knowledge i.e. use more consulting lingo like Wallet size, Benchmarking, etc. 


What are some other concepts/consulting lingo that you suggest I should know?


Thank you in advance!

Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Content Creator
replied on Jun 27, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


I find that feedback really surprising (and very stupid!). 

Given that you are already in the middle of the process, the only thing you can do is do as many cases as possible and try to absorb all that lingo. 

Here I leave you the link of 4 cases that I have published here in the library. Another great thing is that, if you have any questions, you can reach out directly to the author!

Telco startup: 

COVID 19 planning: 

US market sizing:

Railway market entry:

Hope it helps!



Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Jun 26, 2022

Hey there,

Daily reading of FT, WSJ, Economist helps in building business acumen. However, business acumen takes time to build especially if you don't have formal training like an MBA program where you have been exposed to a lot of business case studies. 

If you want to speed up the process, only read the headline and analyze why this might be happening before reading the article.

For example, lets take the FT article below. 

"Kellogg’s to split into three separate food businesses"

You read the headline message and before reading the article identify 3 reasons what prompted Kellogg management to make this decision

# 1: Kellogg might want to more optimally focus capital and resources on profitable and growing product categories and hive of rest of the product segments into a separate non-core business 

#2: Kellogg's non-core businesses could become attractive to be acquired by a PE firm or a larger consumer goods company 

#3: Positive market perception for a portfolio that is profitable and growing which could have a uptick in the stock price 

Once you have listed the three reasons , go ahead and read the article and check if your initial hypothesis was accurate 




Was this answer helpful?
replied on Jun 26, 2022
Conducted over 100 interviews for grads, interns & experienced hires

Giving a list is dangerous (if you try to use a word without fully understanding it then it will show and be worse than if you didn't use the word).

Your best approach will be to focus on cases with a clear business angle (i.e. not brain teasers) and note the language used both in the question and the sample answers.

Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Jun 26, 2022
Experienced McKinsey coach who will mentor you to break into the #1 firm → epiphanies guaranteed for Case & PEI

Hi there,

In my opinion, the best way is to download MBA case books (quick google search gives you tons of results) and just go through the cases. This will help you two-fold:

  • Pick up standard business terminology in addition to some more functional terminology (e.g. finance, operations, digital, strategy) as well as different industries (automobile, chemistry, tech, pharma, O&G, etc.) → Make sure you take note of all the acronyms and understand what's behind it, which is especially important in Finance e.g. CAGR, EBIT, NPV, etc.
  • Get a hang of case flow and different kinds of problems you may encounter - very straight forward

Hope this helps a bit. Best of luck!

Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Jun 26, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

A few things you can do:

  1. Specifically research/learn key terminology (google, casebooks, etc.)
  2. Do daily reading
    1. The FT
    2. The Economist
    3. BCG insights
    4. Robinhood Snacks
    5. Etc.
Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Jun 25, 2022
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

I would not worry so much about this. If you are a new graduate they do not expect you to already know the business language. For example, every industry has its own language (in pharma you talk about Rx, HCPs, Big Pharma vs Biotechs etc.) and this is something you will quickly pick up on the job.

I think if you can understand the Economist or Wall Street Journal you will be more than fine at the interview.

Was this answer helpful?
Clara gave the best answer


Content Creator
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
Q&A Upvotes
57 Reviews
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely