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Pankaj

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9

final round interview with 2 partners

interviewing a tier 2 consulting firm, made to final round, the final round will be 1h interview with 2 partners at same time, recruiter said wont be a case since I asked whether need to bring pen and paper.

what shall I expect and prepare for this interview? i prepared about 7 questions to ask, is it enough?

interviewing a tier 2 consulting firm, made to final round, the final round will be 1h interview with 2 partners at same time, recruiter said wont be a case since I asked whether need to bring pen and paper.

what shall I expect and prepare for this interview? i prepared about 7 questions to ask, is it enough?

9 answers

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Typically, such rounds will have 2 aspects -

  1. Behavioral / FIt questions
  2. You asking them questions about the firm

You need to be prepared for both. I think you have #2 above covered, but i would suggest you cover #1 as well. I am sharing below a list of most common fit questions i have observed across multiple interviews candidates i have coached have had at tier 2 consulting firms. This is not comprehensive, but is a minimum list of must prepare questions. You should leverage the STAR framework (publicly available) to prepare relevant stories for these questions.

  • Tell me about yourself/ Walk me through your resume
  • Why tier-2 consulting firm over MBBs
  • Tell me about a time you led a team (without authority)
  • Tell me about a time you led a team through adversity
  • Tell me about a time you handled conflict at work
  • Tell me about a time when there was a difficult personality on a team you led
  • Tell me about a time you had to convince someone senior in the organization.
  • Share your previous experience of working in an unstructured environment and how did you manage to work?
  • What achievement are you most proud of
  • What would your friends and colleagues say about your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Tell me about a time you failed

Was this helpful?

Typically, such rounds will have 2 aspects -

  1. Behavioral / FIt questions
  2. You asking them questions about the firm

You need to be prepared for both. I think you have #2 above covered, but i would suggest you cover #1 as well. I am sharing below a list of most common fit questions i have observed across multiple interviews candidates i have coached have had at tier 2 consulting firms. This is not comprehensive, but is a minimum list of must prepare questions. You should leverage the STAR framework (publicly available) to prepare relevant stories for these questions.

  • Tell me about yourself/ Walk me through your resume
  • Why tier-2 consulting firm over MBBs
  • Tell me about a time you led a team (without authority)
  • Tell me about a time you led a team through adversity
  • Tell me about a time you handled conflict at work
  • Tell me about a time when there was a difficult personality on a team you led
  • Tell me about a time you had to convince someone senior in the organization.
  • Share your previous experience of working in an unstructured environment and how did you manage to work?
  • What achievement are you most proud of
  • What would your friends and colleagues say about your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Tell me about a time you failed

Was this helpful?

thank you so much! very helpful — Anonymous A on Nov 19, 2020

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Interesting concept! I would assume you should be prepared for an in-depth FIT interview, as well as your ability to just hold a good and engaging conversation on random topics. In addition to your regular interview preparation, make sure you're on top of recent developments by reading the WSJ, FT, Economist, etc.

Interesting concept! I would assume you should be prepared for an in-depth FIT interview, as well as your ability to just hold a good and engaging conversation on random topics. In addition to your regular interview preparation, make sure you're on top of recent developments by reading the WSJ, FT, Economist, etc.

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Hello!

It´s purely FIT, my friend. Classic 2nd round.

Precisely on this topic, 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 2 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!

Hello!

It´s purely FIT, my friend. Classic 2nd round.

Precisely on this topic, 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 2 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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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

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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Hi there,

First: Don't assume anything. Still be prepared for a case.

Also, why would you ever not bring pen and paper? If in "normal" interviews you absolutely 100% need to take a few notes to show you're listening actively, care, etc.

Second: You should be more prepared for a pretty in-depth fit interview. While I'm going to include tips below on why consulting, why the firm, resume walkthrough, and fit stories, I highly recommend you expect "loose" or "random" questions and practice this scenario with a coach. I would venture to guess they won't just ask you 20 "tell me about a time" questions. They may have a bit more of a chat, ask you to brainstorm, ask things like "How would you setup x type of project", etc. etc. You need to prepare to be flexible here!

Preparing for Personal Stories

Personal Stories

Step 1 - Categorize the main stories

There are 5-10 "themes" you need to prepare for. i.e. Leadership, teamwork, challenge, etc. Figure out this list and make sure your stories cover this range (PM me and I can provide you with a template for this list)

Step 2 - Create FLEXIBLE stories that cover a range of categories

You need to create 4-6 stories that each cover a range of topics. They need to be powerful stories that can be adjusted and adapted based on the question asked.

One of my "core" or "killer" stories was usable for Initiative, Achievement, Leadership, Challenge, Change of direction, AND Persuasion.

Write down these stories along STAR or similar format...use bullet points

Interview questions notes

Step 3 - Organize these stories so you know which ones can be used for what and PRACTICE

Make sure you cover the whole gambit. Then, practice getting asked a question and thinking of which stories apply. I can assure you, no-one is coming up with full stories in a few seconds. Rather, they have practiced how to adapt an existing story to the question asked.

Hi there,

First: Don't assume anything. Still be prepared for a case.

Also, why would you ever not bring pen and paper? If in "normal" interviews you absolutely 100% need to take a few notes to show you're listening actively, care, etc.

Second: You should be more prepared for a pretty in-depth fit interview. While I'm going to include tips below on why consulting, why the firm, resume walkthrough, and fit stories, I highly recommend you expect "loose" or "random" questions and practice this scenario with a coach. I would venture to guess they won't just ask you 20 "tell me about a time" questions. They may have a bit more of a chat, ask you to brainstorm, ask things like "How would you setup x type of project", etc. etc. You need to prepare to be flexible here!

Preparing for Personal Stories

Personal Stories

Step 1 - Categorize the main stories

There are 5-10 "themes" you need to prepare for. i.e. Leadership, teamwork, challenge, etc. Figure out this list and make sure your stories cover this range (PM me and I can provide you with a template for this list)

Step 2 - Create FLEXIBLE stories that cover a range of categories

You need to create 4-6 stories that each cover a range of topics. They need to be powerful stories that can be adjusted and adapted based on the question asked.

One of my "core" or "killer" stories was usable for Initiative, Achievement, Leadership, Challenge, Change of direction, AND Persuasion.

Write down these stories along STAR or similar format...use bullet points

Interview questions notes

Step 3 - Organize these stories so you know which ones can be used for what and PRACTICE

Make sure you cover the whole gambit. Then, practice getting asked a question and thinking of which stories apply. I can assure you, no-one is coming up with full stories in a few seconds. Rather, they have practiced how to adapt an existing story to the question asked.

(edited)

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Hi there,

I would not exclude you will get a case. I had students who were told by HR there would have not been cases with partners and they got them. It is also quite unusual to have zero cases in a final round.

In terms of what to expect as fit questions, the most common ones are the following or variations of them:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why consulting
  • Why McKinsey and why operations
  • Give me an example when you led a team
  • Tell me about a time when you had to convince someone not agreeing with you
  • What has been your major achievement so far
  • Why should we hire you

To prepare the stories, I would recommend the following checklist:

  1. Understand the difference between, leadership, impact and drive areas. You can find a link with their differences here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/mckinsey-pei-difference-drive-and-personal-impact-918#a1780
  2. Identify good stories for each area. Ideally you want to have at least two stories for each area.
  3. Use a structure for your story. I would suggest to use the STARR model (Situation, Task, Action, Rational for Action, Results)
  4. Identify for each story one sentence clarifying what the story is about and start with it. Think of it as the title of a journal article.
  5. Practice live, collect feedback from people listening to you, reiterate until when you get fluent and persuasive

In terms of the questions for the interviewers, 7 questions for 2 interviews are definitely enough.

Hope this helps.

Francesco

Hi there,

I would not exclude you will get a case. I had students who were told by HR there would have not been cases with partners and they got them. It is also quite unusual to have zero cases in a final round.

In terms of what to expect as fit questions, the most common ones are the following or variations of them:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why consulting
  • Why McKinsey and why operations
  • Give me an example when you led a team
  • Tell me about a time when you had to convince someone not agreeing with you
  • What has been your major achievement so far
  • Why should we hire you

To prepare the stories, I would recommend the following checklist:

  1. Understand the difference between, leadership, impact and drive areas. You can find a link with their differences here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/mckinsey-pei-difference-drive-and-personal-impact-918#a1780
  2. Identify good stories for each area. Ideally you want to have at least two stories for each area.
  3. Use a structure for your story. I would suggest to use the STARR model (Situation, Task, Action, Rational for Action, Results)
  4. Identify for each story one sentence clarifying what the story is about and start with it. Think of it as the title of a journal article.
  5. Practice live, collect feedback from people listening to you, reiterate until when you get fluent and persuasive

In terms of the questions for the interviewers, 7 questions for 2 interviews are definitely enough.

Hope this helps.

Francesco

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Hi,

It would help if you provide the name of the Firm here. You should expect a personal fit interview so prepare:

  • Story about yourself
  • Why consulting
  • Why company
  • Stories with examples from your past experience (leadership, persuasion, problem solving and data analysis, achievement, etc)
  • Your questions to the inteviewer

Best

Hi,

It would help if you provide the name of the Firm here. You should expect a personal fit interview so prepare:

  • Story about yourself
  • Why consulting
  • Why company
  • Stories with examples from your past experience (leadership, persuasion, problem solving and data analysis, achievement, etc)
  • Your questions to the inteviewer

Best

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Hi, I confirm the structure will be the same as the first round. If you know the name of the partners it is great to prepare some customized questions based on their background (look at their linkedin profiles)

Best

Antonello

Hi, I confirm the structure will be the same as the first round. If you know the name of the partners it is great to prepare some customized questions based on their background (look at their linkedin profiles)

Best

Antonello

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