Difference between these 2 Questions

FIT Mckinsey interview phone screen
New answer on Feb 18, 2021
6 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Feb 17, 2021

Hey guys, I have a McKinsey phone screening interview soon, and while preparing for the usual "walk me through your resume" & "tell me about yourself", I found a lot of similarities between their suggested answers. are they the same question, thus have the same structure for the answer?

If I'm correct, the suggested answer would be:

1- Very brief intro about me, my studies, and work

2- Explain & talk about 3 experiences I see that would be the fittest for a McKinsey interview. Explain them in details, and try to connect how them to what McKinsey wants to see in a candidate

3- Explain why McKinsey over other firms.

Is that correct? and should be the answer for both of these 2 questions?

Thank you

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Content Creator
replied on Feb 18, 2021
Highest-rated McKinsey coach (ratings, offers, sessions) | 450+ offers | Author of The 1% & Consulting Career Secrets

Hey there,

Whenever you do a walkthrough, just do the following.

1. State that you applied at McKinsey for 2-4 reasons (nice signposting)

2. List the 2-4 highlights from your resume that led you towards your application with the firm (top-down communication)

3. Discuss briefly each of these and how it encouraged you on your journey to work in consulting and for McKinsey (storytelling)

The highlights should focus on more recent and the most relevant experiences and tell a story of how your resume led you to consulting.

An example (from an actual candidate of mine):

1. Even though I studied a non-business degree at <uni 1>, I got interested in management issues during <experience 1> and <experience 2>

2. First, after my studies I started to work in the healthcare industry, took over the project lead of <project 1>, and made first arrays into leadership and problem-solving.... Second, ...

3. Throughout my resume I have had many diverse experiences and this is something that I want to continue as a consultant. <Achievement / learning 1> guided me further to ...



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Content Creator
replied on Feb 18, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

You can answer these questions in a very similar way (unless you have something extremely relevant which is not in your CV – but why should that be the case?).

You may just want to have a different initial sentence.

  • For “Walk me through your resume” you can highlight first the main experiences you are going to present later – that is, what you did (eg “Sure, I would like to tell you more about my education at XYZ, work experiences and interests in ABC”). Then you can describe the experiences
  • For “Tell me about yourself” you can highlight the characteristics these experiences show – that is, who you are (eg “I would define myself as analytical, entrepreneurial and someone naturally enjoying working with people”). Then you can describe the experiences showing those characteristics

Your point 1 and 2 are fine – be sure to emphasize:

  • Details of the experience
  • Connection with the skill the experience shows

A good answer would emphasize:

  • Three parts of your CV that you consider most relevant. This may involve working experience, education and/or extracurricular activities, or more focus on one of these areas, according to your profile.
  • The description of the stories
  • How the mentioned experiences helped you to develop skills that are useful in consulting. In this part make clear you have the characteristics of a good consultant.

You may then conclude by saying that such a path naturally brought you to be interested in consulting.

You don’t need to answer Why McKinsey as part of the answer. I agree with Ken that “Why us” is rare at McKinsey; when asked, it is normally a separate question.



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Content Creator
replied on Feb 17, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

These are both "Resume Walkthrough" questions and should indeed be answered in pretty much the same way. That said, if "tell me about yourself" comes after "resume walkthrough", you'll have to have a 1-3 setence summary of who you are (strengths, interests, driving forces, etc.)

For your resume walkthrough, I recommend the following:

  • Needs to be chronological
  • Only keep important details that make you look good (i.e. I worked across 7 industries and rose up the ranks twice in the course of that role)
  • Keep a theme of "why consulting"
    • I.e. at each step you need to show that you both got exposure to aspects of consulting AND thrived + enjoyed them
  • Finish with: And that's why I'm here today looking for consulting with your company
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replied on Feb 17, 2021
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

The two questions can be asked synomously. If asked separately or in an actual consultant interview, I would be a lot more personal with your answer. These questions don't strictly constitute the fit proportoin of the McKinsey interview and its more intended to be a ice breaker as well as an opportunity for your interviewer to get to know you personally.

Your outline makes sense but I wouldn't be too worried about trying to strictly answer "what McK is looking for". Introducing your background and highlighting 1-2 experiences is usually enough where your interviewer will also want to have an opportunity to ask questions and probe. In my experience, the "why McK" answer isn't that important. I personally never asked in the 200+ interviews I conducted as a McK interviewer and was also never asked as a candidate.

Good luck!

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Content Creator
replied on Feb 17, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Ken is spot on, couldnt agree more.

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Content Creator
replied on Feb 18, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies


Yes, these questions are supposed to be answered in a similar way, if not the same. It is very unlikely the interviewer will ask you one and then another, as they kinda imply each other.

Both answers require a chronological answer. If the interviewers want you to walk them through your CV, they also want to make sure you know how to present yourself and that you talk freely about your path.

Hope it helps!



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Florian gave the best answer


Content Creator
Highest-rated McKinsey coach (ratings, offers, sessions) | 450+ offers | Author of The 1% & Consulting Career Secrets
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