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Final Round Interview

2ndround Case Interview Final Round Interview management consulting MBB McKinsey Final Round Preparing for final round at McK second round
New answer on Apr 29, 2024
11 Answers
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joe
Skilled
asked on Jul 24, 2018

Hey everyone,

So I have a final round interview this Friday and I need any tip you guys can give me. The round will consist of two interviews with 2 partners. What should I say at the end? what should I expect and any other tip would be most welcome.

Thank you

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Best answer
Dennis
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 29, 2024
Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe

Hi there,

final partner interviews vary depending on company, region, office and the individual partner of course. However, it is not uncommon that partners won't go through a case exercise with the candidate again but rather test their suitability in terms of business competence, team fit and perceived presentability to clients. 

At the partner stage, candidates will have gone through a series of successful case interviews already. Partners still need to “validate” this pre-selection. While some might like to do brain teasers or small cases, they also tend to favor talking about the industry/functional area they are active in. They try to see how the candidate is able to engage with those topics and often even try to sell the candidate on the firm during the final round.

When preparing for such interviews, it makes sense to research the interview partners up front (if their names are provided) and check what recent publications and/or conference contributions they might have. It is also good to know about the main trends and drivers in their respective industry/functional areas. Other than that, everything you did to prepare for the previous rounds still holds true.

Hope that provides additional perspective.

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 30, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Sure - happy to share a few tips for the final round. 

Here they are:

  1. Work on the feedback provided in the previous rounds. Most firms communicate the feedback from the previous rounds to the final interviewer. It's important then to show the final interviewer that you have a growth mindset and are reactive to feedback. This matters immensely. Make sure you are clear on your development areas and that you get the right support to polish them before the final interview.
  2. Expect less structure. Senior interviewers already have the confidence that you are a decent candidate, your skills having been already vetted by their younger colleagues. They are rather more interested in your as a person and your way of thinking. So they might present you with an unusual case, or one that is created on the spot or no case altogether. Expect anything.
  3. Focus on excellent communication. Senior interviewers care a lot about how clearly you communicate and how you manage to forge a connection with the interviewer. It's important to be top-down and concise as much as possible with your answers, while allowing the conversation to flow in a natural way.
  4. Put yourself in their shoes. The one question senior interviewers are asking themselves throughout the interview is what will happen when they'll put you in front of a client they've groomed for years? Make sure that even based on this first impression you seem somebody who can be trusted and who can work with any client regardless of how difficult they might be.

Best,
Cristian

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Originally answered question:

How to get ready for a final round?

Mohammad replied on Dec 11, 2016
Looking for solid partners. Currently preparing for McK interview

Hi Alex,

First of all, let me take this chance to wish you good luck with your final round!

Secondly, for a final round interview, the most important points to pay particular attention to is the following:

  1. Structure
  2. Selling for the future: Since you will be having case discussions with a Partner or a Managing Director, their primary focus is on selling future services to their clients, to keep the pipeline running. If you can show this skill by advising for further analysis at the end of your recommendation, they would love you already!

Best wishes,

Gammal

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6
Anonymous C replied on Jul 25, 2018

'Final Round Tips' from someone who just received an offer!

  • Be able to talk about what your partner does and is interested in. EG if you interview with a guy who works in Energy....know whats going on in the industry, have some interesting perspectives as this will most likely come up. By no means do they expect you to be an expert, but its great to bond with them over some mutual ground.
  • In one of my finals, the case was made up as we went, in the other, it was a normal case prepared by HR that the partner said he had given for 10 years straight.
  • In one final round, the PEI was very similar to Rd1, in the other, he picked areas of the CV to discuss and we mainly spoke about life at McK.
  • You need to demonstrate you are client ready- you are confident, have great body language, are smart and switched on and that you pass the 'airport test'. My tip here, don't be a robot, have something interesting to tell them...i spoke to one partner about skydiving for example. This is important as one of my partners was rejected for being 'too robotic'. Be yourself and confident.
  • Regarding questions....think of it like this - you are getting the opportunity to sit down with a partner from your dream job. You have 10 mins to pick their brains....use your time wisely- demonstrate you are switched on and smart, demonstrate you understand the job, but also ask things you want to know...things that will help you be a great employee if you get an offer!
  • Send a thank you email within 4 hours of the interview to the partner. Prepare it upfront before you interview and tailor it after. Make sure it is triple checked and has not 1 spelling mistake or error!!!
  • Finally, expect a lot more 'what do you think style questions'. Think of the 'so what' everytime you give an answer, brainstorm out loud, show them how you think.

You have passed Round 1 - they believe you have the skills or they wouldn't be wasting 2 partners time who are worth thousands of dollars. Take your same skills, confidence and abilities into the final round like you already have the job. Picture this interview as your 1st engagement, don't think of it as a final round so nerves don't overcome you....you basically already have the job, so now shine and just push it over the line.

Either DO or DONT...it's up to you!!

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joe on Jul 25, 2018

I'm not sure about the email part. I fell like it might give a desperate candidate vibe. What do you think?

Anonymous D on Nov 07, 2020

I disagree. It's all about how you phrase it. If you were chill in the interview and you have genuine things to thank them for then it will come organically.

Vlad
Expert
replied on Jul 24, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

In the final round, I would expect a bit more structured and demanding approach to the fit part. The partners in the last round are more experienced and they will challenge every single detail of your story. So make sure that you have a couple of backup stories. Thus:

1) Make sure that you've prepared everything: A story about yourself, motivational questions and the main FIT stories. Also, don't forget about your questions to the interviewer - you'd rather have an interesting conversation and score some point instead of a simple Q&A session

2) Then go through each story and think of the additional questions the interviewer may ask. It’s important since additional questions will take up to 50% of the interview. Try to remember the main details and facts and make sure that you know how to explain the key concepts quickly. Test your stories with your friends, ideally consultants, and ask for their feedback. There can be multiple groups of additional questions:

  • The interviewer may be interested in details about the context
  • He may want to check whether this was your effort or more sort of a team effort.
  • “Have you faced any difficulties while implementing your solution?”- Typically an interviewer would like you to tell him how you’ve overcome those difficulties.
  • Your interviewer will check how real your story is. You should be ready to provide even more granular actions, key milestones and a breakdown of potential effects.

3) work on 3-6 backup stories. During your interviews, you can then use these stories or adapt these stories to the additional questions your interviewer asks you.

You may be interested, why you need to prepare several stories for each question? At the end of the day, it's not that easy to come up with all of these stories. I've answered here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/repating-fit-interview-stories-927#a1813

4) Next step is talking to consultants. I recommend doing a couple of mock interviews, both case+fit. You can connect with consultants via friends, company events or even LinkedIn. Consultants are entirely opened to share their experiences, but the biggest problem will be the lack of time. Sometimes you’ll need to send a kind reminder to your request, but it pays off.

As for the cases - Partners and Directors have their own favorite cases and may even want you to lead the case. The key difference:

  1. You ask clarifying questions in the beginning and make a structure
  2. You lead the case through the structure you've prepared a) asking questions and trying to identify the root-cause of the problem in the branch of your structure b) making a transition to the next branch c) proactively calculating the data and making data-driven conclusion from the data they give you d) Making a conclusion when they ask you to finish a case

It may seem to you that these 2 types of cases are different, however, the interviewer-led type is just a simplified version of the interviewee-led case. My advice is to always prepare in the interviewee-led format so that you could solve both easily.

Best

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Originally answered question:

Partner Round

Guennael
Expert
replied on Jun 17, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

1. Can I put this candidate in front of the client? Will the candidate say something stupid?

2. Can this candidate develop a rapport with others (analyst level customer, senior client, my own team)?

3. (optional) Am I comfortable this candidate can crack a case and get to the insights - particularly if the 1st round performance was just okay

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Anonymous replied on Jul 26, 2017

If you've cleared R1, MBB (and others) know that:

1. You can do the job at that level just fine.

2. You are smart, confident, analytical.

What they DON'T know yet (and will focus on in R2):

1. Will you be able to work effectively with a partner / sr. member. Also, cultural fit.

2. Are you consistent - was R1 success a fluke/good day?

3. Did the mistakes you make in R1 just a fluke/bad day?

So, R2 is just like R1 with some targeted focus areas based on how your R1 went. If they felt you were far too comfortable in R1, they might make R2 a bit more stuffy. In R1, everyone is rooting for you to succeed, but in R2 things do tend to get a bit more serious sometimes as you start meeting more Sr folks.

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 16, 2020
#1 MBB Coach(Placed 750+ in MBBs & 1250+ in Tier2)| The Only 360 coach(Ex-McKinsey + Certified Coach + Active recruiter)

Hi Joe,

As an ex-Mckinsey consultant and part of recruiting team, here is my perspective:

How do these interviews with the partners differ from the first round interviews?

Every partner discussion is different and the direction the conversation takes depends on role that you are interviewing for, feedback that the partner has got from earlier rounds and of course the Partner’s personality.

However, generally it is advisable to keep the following things in mind.

1) Are the cases delivered with the same style of precision and structure as the first round?

- A lot of times, the Partner round case discussions are less structured. Partners tend to give real life case from their experience or sometimes they can also pick a situation from the candidate’s CV, make a few changes and turn it into a case.

2) Is the Fit format consistent with the PEI, or do the partners take these conversations in different directions?

- Generally, Partners will hit fewer topics but will go much deeper. So they will ask you about something and then you should expect a lot of follow on questions. They really want to understand the full story

3) Generally, what portion of the hour-long session is dedicated to the case study?

- approx. 30-40 minutes

3) What personality traits are most important to demonstrate with the partners?

See the answer below.

Keep the following things in mind while preparing for the Partner interview:

Better synthesis – Your analytical mindset has already been tested in earlier rounds. Partners would like to test your client readiness. Partners pay more attention to how you draw your conclusions, communicate your conclusions, how you synthesis etc.

Comfort with less structured case discussion – Partners love to test your creativity, out of the box thinking. Multiple times in the discussion they can ask you your opinion on the data point/clarification that you had asked, to check your business acumen e.g. you asked, what is the growth rate of our client; partner responds what number would you want to assume? or open ended questions e.g. tell me more, is there anything else?

Consistent stories and deep dives – Partners would want to know your story. They want to see whether your decision to join McKinsey is consistent with your career story. Whether the achievements you have mentioned on the CV are consistent with your project stories. Partners will drill down into your experiences and achievements to the extreme. They want to understand how you react to challenges and how you think and communicate about your past work.

Feel free to get in touch with me in case of further clarification/advise on this topic.

All the best!

GB

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 31, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Congrats for moving to final round!

As it has been outlined, its very similar, but :

  • Cases you can expect are more "free riding" - less organized than the ones your found in the 1st round or most prep pages
  • Stronger emphasis in the FIT part, as outlined before by other coaches.

If you are interested in deepening your knowledge and preparation on the FIT part, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Furthermore, you can find 3 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

- Intro and CV questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/introduction-and-cv-questions-fit-interview-preparation-200

- Motivational questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/motivational-questions-fit-interview-preparation-201

- Behavioural questions (ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVE) >https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/behavioral-questions-entrepreneurial-drive-fit-interview-preparation-211

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes for the Integrated FIT Guide, since we still have some left from the launch!

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Anonymous replied on Sep 09, 2020

Dear A,

Basically, the structure of the final is the same (fit + case+ your questions); however there is more emphasis on communication and fit to the company.

Specifically, the main difference you will find in a final round with partners is that at that stage they spend more time on fit questions and your alignment with the company.

So prepare more carefully you fit stories on the questions: About yourself, Leadership story, Why consulting? Why this company? Questions to the interviewer.

Best,

André

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Dennis gave the best answer

Dennis

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Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe
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