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How long should the "Walk me through your resume" response be, for McKinsey phone screen/recruiter call?

Anonymous A asked on Apr 30, 2018 - 4 answers

Hi forum!

1. I have a phone screen interview coming up with McKinsey. I am an experienced hire and have quite a few things to talk about. I was wondering how long my response should ideally be for this very first question I may be answering on a phone screen call, which potentially could be some variation of "Walk me through your resume". My question is, how long should the initial response be (I'm sure they'll have more follow-ups after the initial response).

2. Is there anything else I should be preparing, given the McKinsey phone screen, other than general experience/resume related discussions? Do they ever have PEI type of questions in the initial phone screen?

Thanks in advance for your replies!!


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replied on May 01, 2018
Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years
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On 1st question: 90 seconds/2 minutes. Make sure that you are not "just" telling the story of your life but instead that while you are telling it you highlight how each key action you took brought you to be on the phone interviewing for consulting companies (e.g. my learning curve is flattening and I want to continue to learn, I want to work on problems that are the core of each industry, want a more fast paced environment, etc). Even better would be if you explain why you are excited by McK and how it perfectly fits your profile.

On 2nd question, other areas recruiter/HR explore during phone screen are:

  • motivation behind move into consulting/into a different firm
  • expectations about role and job (type of work, hours, travel, career progression)

Hope it helps,


Anonymous C updated her answer on Apr 30, 2018

Hi there,

I am not sure in which country you will have your phone screen but I share my experience:

I had a quick friendly hello, how are you and then I offered to walk the interviewer through my experiences and why I think consulting and McKinsey is the right next step for me. He said, that's also a great idea and we took it from there. Duration: Maybe 90sec indeed. A few sentences, to the point ending with re-affirming the main point.

We had a very pleasant conversation, open dialogue about potential placement and I knew what I am getting myself into.

Bottom-Line: I was not aware that maybe the interview would want to lead the interview but I made a suggestion and asked if this would be appropriate. It was less a Q&A than a proper pleasant dialogue.

I had a few conversations with other McKinsey employees before and it just feels right; - McK needs more data to back up consulting and the gut-feeling, but it's a good way to start.

I had no Brain-teaser question or anything like it. And I received a job-interview invite.

So, just be yourself and know why you want to do consulting, why McK.

Good luck! :)


Thanks a lot! Country = USA — KP on May 01, 2018

Anonymous B replied on Apr 30, 2018

90 seconds. Short and sharp.

replied on May 02, 2018
Current partner @ Andreessen Horowitz (VC firm). Ex-Mckinsey, ex- strategy guy at Google.
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1. 1.5-2mins max for overview depending on # of yrs of experience. Focus only on A+ stuff. Cut everything out ruthlessly.

2. Know your CV inside out, every deal, engagement, project.

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