Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 457,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

Final round interview

Case Interview Final Round
New answer on Jun 11, 2024
5 Answers
196 Views
Anonymous A asked on May 14, 2024

Hi everyone!

I'm getting ready for my final round interview at a Big Four firm. I read @Hagen's excellent article on what to expect and what's expected of me.

Even though the final round is supposed to be more unconventional, could you share some examples of final round cases?

Thanks!

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 15, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Congrats! You have already come so far.

Yes, a few things to keep in mind for the last round interview:

  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.

In terms of cases, check these out:

Best,
Cristian 

Was this answer helpful?
Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 15, 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 passing the first round!

95% of partner rounds are just as standardized as the first round, yet be prepared to expect everything. Sometimes they are more conversational and friendly, only with light-touch evaluation, other times they are more challenging. Usually, they are the same and cases are not more difficult or follow a different path.

The reason why you read about freestyle partner experiences is that they deviate from what people expect, hence they post about it more frequently online, hence giving others the impression it is much more common. Also, a lot of case interview prep websites group cases into first and final-round interview cases which is total BS (telltale sign that they have no clue).

Additionally, partner rounds are often perceived as more challenging, just because it's a partner sitting across the table rather than a more junior colleague. It is purely based on the impression and not on the content. :-)

If there are any deviations from the standard interviewer guidelines, expect them to be in the following realm:

  • Focus on one or two areas where you were perceived as not as strong in round one, which can be specific case questions or fit questions (or PEI for McKinsey)
  • Only doing a case, only doing fit instead of both
  • Doing two shorter cases in quick succession
  • Challenging your answers more
  • Not providing any time for you to think about the answer, making it more conversational

In any case, the most important thing is not to be startled by this and just keep working on the case and fit in a calm manner. 

All the best for your second round!

Cheers,

Was this answer helpful?
Dennis
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 16, 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.

Was this answer helpful?
Hagen
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 11, 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 the Big Four firm thus far!

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

  • First of all, thank you for the great feedback on my expert article about the final interview round.
  • Moreover, while I can't give any specific examples, you can assume that the partners might bring in current issues or topics that they are facing with their clients.

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

Best,

Hagen

Was this answer helpful?
Pedro
Expert
replied on May 19, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

In most cases, with Big 4, it is more a conversation to confirm motivation and fit with the firm than a technical interview.

Was this answer helpful?
Cristian gave the best answer

Cristian

Content Creator
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach
709
Meetings
32,091
Q&A Upvotes
135
Awards
5.0
221 Reviews
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely
You are a true consultant! Thank you for consulting us on how to make PrepLounge even better!
^