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"Do you have any questions?" McKinsey interview

McKinsey
New answer on May 29, 2024
7 Answers
336 Views
Anonymous A asked on May 17, 2024

Hi, 

I have my McKinsey round two interview and i am confused what question should i have at the end for the interviewer. In my first interview i could relate with the interviewer and my question was about the common industry we have. But now i don't have anything in common with the interviewer. 

What do you recommend? 

Thanks a lot!

Overview of answers

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Best answer
Florian
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Content Creator
replied on May 17, 2024
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hey there,

Congrats on the 2nd round - almost there :-)

This part (questions at the end) is not evaluated and should rather be used to ask questions that you are actually interested in and you gain from knowing more about. 

Do not think about impressing the interviewer!

Ask about, for instance:

  • Work / travel situation pre vs post COVID
  • Growth trajectory of the firm
  • Favorite project
  • Journey within the firm
  • Training opportunities once hired

Regarding the rest (that actually counts):

The first thing that you should know is that you have what it takes and you can go confidently into the 2nd round. The 2nd round is just to confirm what has been noticed during the 1st, yet with a different set of eyes from more senior firm leaders.

Now to your questions:

McKinsey is trying really hard to create an objective and standardized interview experience for all candidates, across offices, practices, and interviewers. As a result, you should expect exactly the same interviewing format as in the first round

  • 25 minutes PEI
  • 25 minutes case
  • 5 minutes for your questions at the end of the interview

You will be evaluated on the same criteria, and metrics, with the same types of cases and questions.

Now, that's the theory. :-)

Quick reality check!

That being said, partners still often employ their own way of doing interviews based on their personal preferences, which means that sometimes the final round with them can be less predictable.

Some focus on the case, others focus solely on the fit part (and deviate from the traditional PEI to ask other personal fit questions), and some stick to the standard format. I had a candidate recently who had to go through two cases and one of them was made up on the spot, which made it very tricky.

In general, the more senior the partner, the more likely are they to deviate from the standard interview format because they a. can b. have their own way of doing things. :-)

So now you know the practice.

What does this mean for you and your preparation?

Nothing much.

Continue with your preparation, meaning

  • Rehearse and finetune your PEI answers with a coach or peers who know what they are talking about
  • Hone your case interview skills that are relevant for McKinsey (structuring, math, exhibit interpretation) with coaches and drills
  • Prepare for some traditional fit questions (Why consulting, why McKinsey, etc.)
  • Pay special attention to the areas where you received negative feedback in the first round. Second-round interviewers are aware and will dig deeper into these specific areas

During the interview

  • Stay cognitively flexible
  • Do not be surprised if the format deviates from what you expect
  • Stay calm and collected no matter what happens
  • Stay enthusiastic, and engaged, and portray the impression that you are happy to be here (partners love that...)

If you managed to pass the first round, you should have it in you to pass the second round as well.

Fingers crossed and let me know if you need some help with McKinsey! 

Feel free to read some of the articles I wrote here about the process:

Cheers,

Florian

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Anonymous A on May 17, 2024

Thanks a lot! That is very insightful! Appreciate it! :)

Florian on May 17, 2024

My pleasure! All the best and fingers crossed :-)

Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 17, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

It's great that you asked about the common experience you shared with your previous interviewer. 

If you don't share anything like that with the next one, then try to do this:

- Imagine they are somebody who is on the same track as you, only a few years ahead. Ask a question that enables them to positively reflect on their learnings and give you a tip that could accelerate your career journey. 

For instance - ‘what did you find to be the most important thing to focus on once you started in consulting? what would you recommend me?’

Best,
Cristian

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Anonymous A on May 17, 2024

Thanks Cristian! That's a very good suggestion. I will surely ask it in my interview. Thanks a lot!

Hagen
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 20, 2024
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

First of all, congratulations on the progress in the application process with McKinsey thus far!

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your question:

  • First of all, you could ask a question that shows your interest in the strategic direction and future initiatives of McKinsey. This could be something like, "Could you share more about McKinsey's current priorities in innovation and how new consultants can contribute to these initiatives?"
  • Moreover, you could ask about the team dynamics and the interviewer's personal experiences. A question like, "What do you find most rewarding about your work here, and what challenges are unique to McKinsey?" can provide deep insights and create a personal connection.

You can find more on this topic here: How to succeed in the final interview round.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare for your upcoming interviews, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on May 18, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: I am confused what question should I have at the end for the interviewer. What do you recommend? 

Generally speaking, I would recommend questions related to:

  1. Something you cannot easily find online that is interesting to you
  2. The experience of the person and not the company only (“How did you find XYZ in your experience” instead of “How is XYZ at Bain”)
  3. Positive experience putting them in a light of mentor/advisor (without being flattering) ("I saw you have done XYZ which is very interesting to me. I was wondering how do you see…")

In the first reply at the following link you can find some examples:

▶ Good Questions to Ask in an Interview

Good luck!

Francesco

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Yousef
Expert
replied on May 17, 2024
I make it easy for you to master case interviews! (ex-McKinsey |Stanford University | Imperial College London | ex-P&G)

Hi there,

In addition to the great suggestions my colleagues mentioned I would only add one comment:
 

  • Get curious about the interviewer's background and their own path at McKinsey, e.g., what do they love about the practice they are leading in the firm? Why did they choose it? What excites them about it?

This framing gets them to reflect a little and helps you learn a little more depth about the kind of work they do with clients and their level of impact. 

Goodluck! I really hope things go well for you!

Yousef

 

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Pedro
Expert
replied on May 17, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

Ask about:

  • their personal experience at the firm
  • pro's and con's
  • who is successful and who's not
  • their view on mckinsey vs. competitors - what are the spikes (e.g. industries, type of projects, …)
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Alberto
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 29, 2024
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Questions you ask to your interviewer doesn't affect your final rating.

Use the questions to build rapport with the interviewer. Ask them about their personal experience at McKinsey, the practice they belong, recommendations they would give to themselves when the started, etc.

Best,

Alberto

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Florian gave the best answer

Florian

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