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

Initial call McKinsey phone screen Resume resume walkthrough
New answer on Sep 30, 2023
7 Answers
9.2 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Apr 30, 2018

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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Content Creator
replied on Sep 30, 2023
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Hi there,

They have already read your resume so use 1-2 min maximum to guide them through the main points. Depending on what role you are applying for, put extra attention on

If your are applying for a junior role (business analyst)

  • Where you studied 
  • Your grades
  • Any other relevant achievement (out of school initiatives, sports, volunteering, awards, etc.)

If you are applying to a more senior role (associate and above)

  • Where you studied (university and business school if you have an MBA)
  • Key companies where you worked
  • Your role and main achievements on your positions
  • Hobbies or passions

I hope this helps.



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replied on May 01, 2018
Former BCG interviewer

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,


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Anonymous C updated the 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! :)


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KP on May 01, 2018

Thanks a lot! Country = USA

Anonymous B replied on Apr 30, 2018

90 seconds. Short and sharp.

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Anonymous replied on May 02, 2018

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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Content Creator
replied on Oct 31, 2020
#1 MBB Coach(Placed 750+ in MBBs & 1250+ in Tier2)| The Only 360 coach(Ex-McKinsey + Certified Coach + Active recruiter)

Nothing could be easier than this questions, and nothing can be tougher. the easiest way to make it your answer unstructure is to go through your resume in a chronological way. Basically the question behind this question from the interviewer is to get an understanding how is your experience, skills and accomplishments make you an ideal candidate for that specific role.

So, to answer brilliant on this question take out from your resume the most relevant experience and structure your narration in a way that will reply to the following questions:

  1. How led you to that role

  2. What did you learn from that role

  3. How did that influence your next steps

Does it make sense to you?


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Content Creator
replied on May 15, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


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Alberto gave the best answer


Content Creator
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews
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