Cookie and Privacy Settings

This website uses cookies to enable essential functions like the user login and sessions. We also use cookies and third-party tools to improve your surfing experience on preplounge.com. You can choose to activate only essential cookies or all cookies. You can always change your preference in the cookie and privacy settings. This link can also be found in the footer of the site. If you need more information, please visit our privacy policy.

Data processing in the USA: By clicking on "I accept", you also consent, in accordance with article 49 paragraph 1 sentence 1 lit. GDPR, to your data being processed in the USA (by Google LLC, Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Inc., Stripe, Paypal).

Manage settings individually I accept
1

Feedback about "conceptual thinking"

Just got rejected after McK 1st round. They gave me feedback about:
- Conceptual thinking
- Out-side-the-box thinking

Could you please elaborate more about these two things? How can I improve it?

Thanks :D

Just got rejected after McK 1st round. They gave me feedback about:
- Conceptual thinking
- Out-side-the-box thinking

Could you please elaborate more about these two things? How can I improve it?

Thanks :D

(edited)

1 answer

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer

Hi Tung,

sorry to hear that McKinsey didn't work out. But keep your spirits up, something else will work out.

Regarding your question: The thing about conceptual and outside of the box thinking is, that it's very hard to "learn" in a sense of "if I just do 5 cases of this, and 10 cases of that, and memorize the key points of these 3 books, I'll be good at it". Quite the contrary, too much cookie-cutter work can actually hurt.

So the best advice that I can come up with: Try to broaden your scope. Read things about philosophy, social sciences, biology. Read biographies of interesting people - Abe Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Elon Musk, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Mao, Hitler, Leonardo Da Vinci, Hannah Arendt, Augustus, Queen Elizabeth I, Howard Hughes, Ben Franklin, ...

That's obviously quite a reading list. If you want to stay closer to business and economics, try some books that establish fundamental concepts, like

  • "Competitive Strategy" by Michael Porter
  • The Innovator's Dilamma by Clayton Kristensen
  • Zero to One by Peter Thiel
  • Against the Gods and Capital Ideas by Peter Bernstein
  • Principles, by Ray Dalio
  • Why Nations Fail, by D. Arcemoglu

Obviously, none of these will give you the answer. But hopefully, they will help you shape your thinking, help you spot patterns and openings, and just make you more creative.

Also, to help creativity and out of the box thinking you can actually try some mental experiments, like

  • If you thnk the solution to a problem is obvious, try to ask yourself what would happen if you (or the company) did the exact opposite
  • Regarding product development / customer service etc. ask yourself: "What would a 10-star experience look like?" (look up Brian Chesky on that one)
  • On Market Entry / Strategy cases, try to flesh out a number of competitive apporaches (price leadership, differentiation, focus...)
  • If you look at markets, try to ask yourself how these could be disrupted, or how the value chain could be reconfigured? Does vertical integration make sense? If so why? Where are economies of scale prevalent, where maybe not?

I'm not sure if all of this helps you, I guess the key message I want to convey is this: Challenge your thinking to look beyond the "obvious", "correct" or "learned" solution. Most of the time, you probably get stuck in the mud, but sometimes you strike gold.

Hi Tung,

sorry to hear that McKinsey didn't work out. But keep your spirits up, something else will work out.

Regarding your question: The thing about conceptual and outside of the box thinking is, that it's very hard to "learn" in a sense of "if I just do 5 cases of this, and 10 cases of that, and memorize the key points of these 3 books, I'll be good at it". Quite the contrary, too much cookie-cutter work can actually hurt.

So the best advice that I can come up with: Try to broaden your scope. Read things about philosophy, social sciences, biology. Read biographies of interesting people - Abe Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Elon Musk, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Mao, Hitler, Leonardo Da Vinci, Hannah Arendt, Augustus, Queen Elizabeth I, Howard Hughes, Ben Franklin, ...

That's obviously quite a reading list. If you want to stay closer to business and economics, try some books that establish fundamental concepts, like

  • "Competitive Strategy" by Michael Porter
  • The Innovator's Dilamma by Clayton Kristensen
  • Zero to One by Peter Thiel
  • Against the Gods and Capital Ideas by Peter Bernstein
  • Principles, by Ray Dalio
  • Why Nations Fail, by D. Arcemoglu

Obviously, none of these will give you the answer. But hopefully, they will help you shape your thinking, help you spot patterns and openings, and just make you more creative.

Also, to help creativity and out of the box thinking you can actually try some mental experiments, like

  • If you thnk the solution to a problem is obvious, try to ask yourself what would happen if you (or the company) did the exact opposite
  • Regarding product development / customer service etc. ask yourself: "What would a 10-star experience look like?" (look up Brian Chesky on that one)
  • On Market Entry / Strategy cases, try to flesh out a number of competitive apporaches (price leadership, differentiation, focus...)
  • If you look at markets, try to ask yourself how these could be disrupted, or how the value chain could be reconfigured? Does vertical integration make sense? If so why? Where are economies of scale prevalent, where maybe not?

I'm not sure if all of this helps you, I guess the key message I want to convey is this: Challenge your thinking to look beyond the "obvious", "correct" or "learned" solution. Most of the time, you probably get stuck in the mud, but sometimes you strike gold.

(edited)

Related case(s)

McKinsey Questions

Solved 40.0k times
McKinsey Questions Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you achieving it? What is your typical way of dealing with conflict?
4.5 5 865
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit Interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you ... Open whole case

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 18.7k times
MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.6 5 649
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvant ... Open whole case

Motivational questions – FIT interview preparation

Solved 4.5k times
Motivational questions – FIT interview preparation During this exercise, we will deep-dive in 4 of the most common Motivational questions asked in FIT interviews:   Why Consulting? Why this particular company? (McKinsey, Bain, BCG, others) Why this particular location? *Particularly relevant to people re-locating or choosing an office not in their region Why this particular specialized business function *Only relevant when not applying for a general role (e.g., McKinsey Advanced Analytics, BCG Gamma, etc.) *box-open green* *See Graph 1 – Note: "Motivational" are one of the 4 types of questions you can find in FIT interviews. *box-close* ➥ Graphs from the Integrated FIT Guide for MBB
4.5 5 62
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit Interview | Topics: Personal fit

During this exercise, we will deep-dive in 4 of the most common Motivational questions asked in FIT interviews: Why Consulting? Why this particular company? (McKinsey, Bain, BCG, others) Why this particular location? *Particularly relevant to people re-locating or choosing an office not ... Open whole case

Introduction and CV questions – FIT interview preparation

Solved 4.0k times
Introduction and CV questions – FIT interview preparation During this exercise, we will deep-dive in 3 of the most common Intro & CV questions asked in FIT interviews:  1. Walk me through your CV 2. Tell me about yourself 3. Tell me about the thing that makes you most proud on your CV   *box-open green* *See Graph 1 – Note: "Intro & CV questions" are one of the 4 types of questions you can find in FIT interviews. *box-close* ➥ Graphs from the Integrated FIT Guide for MBB    
4.6 5 60
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit Interview | Topics: Personal fit

During this exercise, we will deep-dive in 3 of the most common Intro & CV questions asked in FIT interviews: 1. Walk me through your CV 2. Tell me about yourself 3. Tell me about the thing that makes you most proud on your CV *See Graph 1 – Note: "Intro & CV questions" are one of the 4 ty ... Open whole case

Bain 1st Round Case – BlissOttica

Solved 2.7k times
Bain 1st Round Case – BlissOttica Our client is a BlissOttica, an Eyewear Manufacturer that is looking to reach a 10% increase in profits. How would you help our client?
4.3 5 130
| Rating: (4.3 / 5.0)

Our client is a BlissOttica, an Eyewear Manufacturer that is looking to reach a 10% increase in profits. How would you help our client? Open whole case