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Depressed - last time I struggled to find the method to solve the math on one case, this time I made calculation errors

New answer on Oct 18, 2020
6 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Oct 16, 2020

The last time I interviewed with MBB, I was not able to figure out a way to solve the math problem on a case in the final round - it took me too long to know how to solve it.

This time, I made 2 calculation errors in the final round on the same case altough I knew how to solve the case. One was glaringly off and it took me a while to fix it. I am not expecting anything but a ding.

Maybe I should give upn on MBB. Can I try again or it is simply not worth it?

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Best answer
replied on Oct 16, 2020
It's all about creativity ! I will give tools to become more creative on your case

Dear Friend,

I know many person who were dreaming about MBB and even if they failed once, twice, they finally got in. It took them 3-4 years but they made it. I believe that you will fail at the moment you decide to fail. The math is the easiest element to fix I believe, because our brain is like a muscle that can be trained. If you need any advice on it you can contact me privatly.


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Content Creator
replied on Oct 16, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

No way! Don't give up!

The biggest accomplishments come from temporary defeat...I promise!

Furthermore, you've made it to the final rounds not once, but twice!

Think about how many times Ussain Bolt or Michael Phelps finished 2nd place. That's not a testament to their failure but a signal of their future success.

So, third time's the charm...get back up, prepare (perhaps with a coach), and get it done!

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Content Creator
replied on Oct 16, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Don’t give up just because you failed if MBB is what you want to do. You should give up only if you have something better for your long term goals.

Hopefully your mistakes this time won’t lead to a rejection. But if they do, to maximize your chances for the next time I would recommend the following:

  1. Look for a job with a 2nd tier – they are an excellent gym
  2. Work on referrals to be sure you land interviews with all the 3 MBB. If you just land one or two is a lot more difficult to get one offer
  3. Train with a coach or a current consultant to maximize your chances

If you need something to motivate you, read Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins, that book is incredible.

Good luck!


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replied on Oct 16, 2020
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

Considering you've made it through to final rounds (twice!), you're clearly capable of doing the job and so I wouldn't necessarily give up! If you enjoy solving cases and feel consulting is an exciting role for you then you should perhaps consider beyond MBB for the immediate term (ironically, it might even take some pressure off and help you perform better in your MBB interviews). Its worth noting that there are many MBB consultants who started off at other consultancies and are even more successful than those who joined straight from school.

Based on your recent performance, I wouldn't completely rule out an offer based on a calculation in one of your 2-3 cases. If you were exceptionally strong in other parts of the case as well as PEI then I think you still have a chance.

Fingers crossed!

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Content Creator
replied on Oct 18, 2020
#1 MBB Coach(Placed 750+ in MBBs & 1250+ in Tier2)| The Only 360 coach(Ex-McKinsey + Certified Coach + Active recruiter)


Giving up now is the worst you can do.

As I’ve understood you really want to get into MBB. So what is the point if you are not ready to try as much and to do everything possible to get the job and life of your dream?

You’ve made it to the final round (wait a minute) twice! Yes, indeed, having made such little mistakes that can be worth an offer eventually is very unpleasant.

However, you still can do things to improve and to get a job offer later on if not now.

  1. Learn from your mistakes. Such little mistakes sometimes can be critical and affect the result. Try to work it through to avoid them in the future.

  2. If you are not accepted to the MBB, it would be a nice idea to get a job at a tier 2 firm to get valuable relevant experience and to improve your profile in general for the next time you will apply.

  3. Maybe you lack self-confidence and can’t give the best of yourself because of stress and pressure. You could ask for help and guidance from an experienced coach. This would also significantly increase your chances.

I see you really want to get into MBB. Remember that not everyone succeeds with the first try. You don’t want to regret it for the rest of your life just because you lost motivation for a while, do you? Don't despair!

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Anonymous B on Oct 18, 2020

Careful though, as you also dont want to regret focusing so much energy on a job with MBB - in the grand scheme of things is it going to be such a major part of your life?

Content Creator
replied on Oct 16, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

I understand that this can be a frustrating situation - but probably one of the aspects which can be easily improved and trained.

At the same time, it's probably also a result of bad preparation (not your mistake - probably nobody told you better or you had a bad coach) - math in case setting is something else than pure math.

So keep working on your goal and don't stop chasing them with temporary setbacks!

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!


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Oscar gave the best answer


It's all about creativity ! I will give tools to become more creative on your case
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