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Failing McKinsey first round interview

HI everyone,

Recently had a really bad first-round interview (both PEI & Case). This is my first time to do the real interview and it turns out a disaster.

My understanding is there will be two 1-hour first-round interviews and therefore my first question is as I really screwed up the first one, do I still have any chances? If so, do you have any advice for me to prepare for the upcoming one, which will be in a few days?

Secondly, how do MBB assess the two interviews? What's the weigh allocation of them individually?

Thank you!

HI everyone,

Recently had a really bad first-round interview (both PEI & Case). This is my first time to do the real interview and it turns out a disaster.

My understanding is there will be two 1-hour first-round interviews and therefore my first question is as I really screwed up the first one, do I still have any chances? If so, do you have any advice for me to prepare for the upcoming one, which will be in a few days?

Secondly, how do MBB assess the two interviews? What's the weigh allocation of them individually?

Thank you!

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Book a coaching with Clara

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Hello!

First of all, it´s quite unusual that the 2 first interviews from 1st round are spread in two days, but can happen in a particularly peak session in the office.

Secondly, don´t give up! Even if outperforming in the second interview was not enaugh -which you still don´t know-, it´s still a great learning opportunity for you to learn in a real-life interview. Hence, don´t even think of cancel it ;)

Regarding how to improve your performance: (1) practice, practice, practice!! and (2) be aware that you won´t have the negative effect of the 1st time again, you are experienced!

Good luck!

Best,

Clara

Hello!

First of all, it´s quite unusual that the 2 first interviews from 1st round are spread in two days, but can happen in a particularly peak session in the office.

Secondly, don´t give up! Even if outperforming in the second interview was not enaugh -which you still don´t know-, it´s still a great learning opportunity for you to learn in a real-life interview. Hence, don´t even think of cancel it ;)

Regarding how to improve your performance: (1) practice, practice, practice!! and (2) be aware that you won´t have the negative effect of the 1st time again, you are experienced!

Good luck!

Best,

Clara

Thank you, Clara! — Anonymous A on Dec 17, 2019

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Hi,
for the next interview - if you have only a few days - I recommend to work on what went wrong in the first one and practice a lot on fit part (which is faster to prepare and achieve a quick-win). Regarding the case resolution you should set up a workplan of at least 20 days, hopefully for the second round :)

I confirm the weight of each interview in the same round is the same.

Hope it helps,
Antonello

Hi,
for the next interview - if you have only a few days - I recommend to work on what went wrong in the first one and practice a lot on fit part (which is faster to prepare and achieve a quick-win). Regarding the case resolution you should set up a workplan of at least 20 days, hopefully for the second round :)

I confirm the weight of each interview in the same round is the same.

Hope it helps,
Antonello

Hi Antonello, thank you for the advice! I just feel like even if I outperform in the second interview, my chance is still low given the first one. :( I'll keep practicing for sure — Anonymous A on Dec 16, 2019

good luck with it! Regarding the case prep workplan feel free to text me if helpful — Antonello on Dec 16, 2019

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Hello,

You should not be too upset about it, it can happen. Real interviews have always something special and different from cases done with your friends, and it's not easy.
That's why I personally recommend to practice with an expert that you don't know personally and to start applying from tier-2 companies: in this way you will get used to the the real interviews.

Usually the weigh of each interview of the first round is the same, that's why you could still have some chances if you will perform as a top performer. Keep practising and try to do it with real cases!

Hope it helps,
Luca

Hello,

You should not be too upset about it, it can happen. Real interviews have always something special and different from cases done with your friends, and it's not easy.
That's why I personally recommend to practice with an expert that you don't know personally and to start applying from tier-2 companies: in this way you will get used to the the real interviews.

Usually the weigh of each interview of the first round is the same, that's why you could still have some chances if you will perform as a top performer. Keep practising and try to do it with real cases!

Hope it helps,
Luca

Thank you Luca. I'll practice on my weakness for sure! — Anonymous A on Dec 16, 2019

Yes, don't give up! ;) feel free to write me if you need material or you want a boost to your preparation — Luca on Dec 17, 2019

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Hi,

If I understand correctly, you only had one hour interview so far. You may still stand a chance, however, you need to step up your game significantly for the next interview (I have seen candidates with one subpar interview performance invited for the next round).

A decent preparation for the interviews would require 3-4 weeks, but in your case, I would advise that you do at least one case per topic, such as:

  • Market entry
  • Product launch
  • M&A/investment
  • Profitability
  • Pricing (optional)
  • Public sector (optional)

Best,

Deniz

Hi,

If I understand correctly, you only had one hour interview so far. You may still stand a chance, however, you need to step up your game significantly for the next interview (I have seen candidates with one subpar interview performance invited for the next round).

A decent preparation for the interviews would require 3-4 weeks, but in your case, I would advise that you do at least one case per topic, such as:

  • Market entry
  • Product launch
  • M&A/investment
  • Profitability
  • Pricing (optional)
  • Public sector (optional)

Best,

Deniz

Hi Denis, thank you for the prompt reply and advise! Yes, I only had one interview so far. I will definitely keep practicing. — Anonymous A on Dec 16, 2019

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Hi,

Usually, it's multiple interviews within one day. The fact that your first-round interviews are spread out seems unusual. In that case, they can even get back and cancel the second interview if your performance was really weak

Your second question depends on how much prep you have done with cases so far. The fit interview is really easy to fix in a couple of days - feel free to reach out. Cases require months of preparation, so it really depends on where you are in case prep process now.

Best

Hi,

Usually, it's multiple interviews within one day. The fact that your first-round interviews are spread out seems unusual. In that case, they can even get back and cancel the second interview if your performance was really weak

Your second question depends on how much prep you have done with cases so far. The fit interview is really easy to fix in a couple of days - feel free to reach out. Cases require months of preparation, so it really depends on where you are in case prep process now.

Best

Hi Vlad, thank you for the reply. I guess this is because holiday season so they are in different dates. This was indeed my worst interview performance so far, and I do feel like my second interview is going to be canceled. :( — Anonymous A on Dec 16, 2019

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Hi Anonymous,

I replied to your questions below:

My understanding is there will be two 1-hour first-round interviews and therefore my first question is as I really screwed up the first one, do I still have any chances? If so, do you have any advice for me to prepare for the upcoming one, which will be in a few days?

It is difficult to predict, but McKinsey sometimes invites candidates who are borderline to a third first-round interview. Thus if you have an excellent performance in your next round, you may hope to end in that situation. It is unlikely they will move you directly to the final if you really performed badly in one of the interviews.

Given the limited time, the best way to improve quickly would be to have a mock interview with a former consultant, someone you know who already landed an offer or a coach to assess your weaknesses and understand how to fix them.

Secondly, how do MBB assess the two interviews? What's the weigh allocation of them individually?

The interviews have the same weight, but both the interviewers should agree on your performance to move to the next round. If they are uncertain, as mentioned at McKinsey they sometimes schedule a third interview as part of the first round.

Best,

Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

I replied to your questions below:

My understanding is there will be two 1-hour first-round interviews and therefore my first question is as I really screwed up the first one, do I still have any chances? If so, do you have any advice for me to prepare for the upcoming one, which will be in a few days?

It is difficult to predict, but McKinsey sometimes invites candidates who are borderline to a third first-round interview. Thus if you have an excellent performance in your next round, you may hope to end in that situation. It is unlikely they will move you directly to the final if you really performed badly in one of the interviews.

Given the limited time, the best way to improve quickly would be to have a mock interview with a former consultant, someone you know who already landed an offer or a coach to assess your weaknesses and understand how to fix them.

Secondly, how do MBB assess the two interviews? What's the weigh allocation of them individually?

The interviews have the same weight, but both the interviewers should agree on your performance to move to the next round. If they are uncertain, as mentioned at McKinsey they sometimes schedule a third interview as part of the first round.

Best,

Francesco

Thank you for sharing the information ! :) — Anonymous A on Dec 17, 2019

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