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how long should i explain my framework at McK interview

Framework McKinsey
New answer on Jul 14, 2020
6 Answers
1.3 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jul 13, 2020

Hi all, I always spend around 5 min to explain my framework to the "interviewer" in McK-style interview. Is it too long?

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Sidi
Expert
replied on Jul 13, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi!

Essentially any case approach can be comfortably explained in 2-3 minutes. If you need longer, this indicates that you are doing something fundamentally wrong.

Your explanation should contain three elements:

1. The core question that you will answer

2. The logic according to which you will answer that question (This is the most important part - the heart and soul of your structure!)

3. The major qualitative elements you will need to scrutinize in order to perform the analysis according to your logic

Very often candidates only concentrate on the thrid point! So they just define a set of topics (e.g. "I would like to look at the customer preferences, then I would like to understand the product, then I will look at the market context,..." etc.). This is not a structre, but just a topic list, and it should not be the center of your explanations. There is nothing more dull than having a candidate recite endless lists of bullet points, laying out buckets and sub buckets for several minutes. Please do not do that!

Your explanation should clearly outline what question you want to answer, what needs to be true in order to answer the question in one way or another, and how will you test, wheter this criterion is actually true or not. Then adding a couple of qualitative elements as EXAMPLES to illustrate how you will quantify the elements of your decision criterion is totally fine, but these should be limited to 3-4 max. This is how you convey a case stracture in a crystal clear way, instead of just reciting endless and pointliss bullet point lists without any inherent logic and without a clear explanation, how these points will lead to a clear answer to the client's question.

As a consequence, you will be both more time efficient and much better content wise.

Cheers, Sidi

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 13, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

I agree with Sidi, 5 minutes is definitely too long to present an initial structure.

If you are spending so much time it could be that:

  • Your communication is not clear and/or
  • You have too many subpoints (eg third and fourth levels of the structure) which are not critical and you could present later if relevant

I would try to stick to 1.5 min / 2 min max for your initial presentation of the structure.

Best,

Francesco

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Axel
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 13, 2020
Bain Consultant | Interviewer for 3 years at Bain |Passionate about coaching |I will make you a case interview Rockstar

Hi Anonymous,

I would say that 5 minutes is potentially a bit on the long side if you have ~30 minutes for the case. However, what is more, important is the quality of your content and communication. If you are spending 5 minutes and you have great insights and great first and second level drivers that is not going to be a problem vs. somebody spending that time "boiling the ocean"!

-A

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 13, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Overall I agree it´s too long, it´s better to syntethise more to make it crispier

Cheers,

Clara

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Robert
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 13, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

5 minutes is definitely way too long. Let's assume that case goes for 25 minutes, then we already consumed 20% of total interview time listening to your monologue. Simply too much.

I fully agree that the case opening/framework is a critical component (even in McKinsey-style intervierwer-led cases), but if you need full 5 minutes to explain your framework I need to assume it's not that sharp and crisp, and more like boiling the ocean.

Obviously the time for explaining the structure depends on the complexity of the case situation, but in most interview cases 2-3 minutes should be enough.

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Anonymous replied on Jul 14, 2020

Dear A,

I agree with other experts that 5 min is too long. Try to short it up to 1,5 min.

Best,

André

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Sidi gave the best answer

Sidi

McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers
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