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How to cope with 4h break between interviews?

Chris asked on Mar 01, 2018 - 6 answers


I have McK final round coming up with 2 interviews in the morning (until about 12-1pm), and then the 3rd one at 4pm in the afternoon. I'm afraid that I'll be emotionally spent by 4pm and was wondering if you have any advice on how to keep sharp and energized in between?


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Vlad replied on Mar 01, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School


Several things:

  1. Take a lunch with long-lasting carbs (Oats, quinoa, etc)
  2. Meditate (Headspace app can help you)
  3. Listen to the music
  4. Remember - no cases
  5. If sleeping - only a power nap (Pillow app)



Francesco replied on Mar 02, 2018
#1 Expert for coaching sessions (2.100+) | Ex BCG | 1.000+ reviews with 100% recommendation rate

Hi Chris,

I have been in such situation myself several times. My suggestion is to relax with what suggested in the other replies in the first part of the break and go back to concentrate on the interview towards the end of the break. To me the following worked well:

First 2h30m

  • Change environment. This alone will bring a major change internally. As suggested going for a walk, rest in a nearby restaurant or bar are all great options.
  • Eat right amount of calories. Don’t eat too little or by 5pm you will be totally out of energy. As a back up, keep some chocolates in case you feel low energy when back to the company office.
  • Read something unrelated to the interview. Motivational books, news, fiction. Whatever you can use to relax. If you feel too tired to read, you can go for a video/movie.

Last 30m

  • Listen to music that recharges you. Soundtracks should work well for that.


Sidi replied on Mar 01, 2018
McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 60+ candidates secure MBB offers

If you are interviewing in Germany, you will spend some time over lunch after the first round of two interviews. Afterwards you can take some time for a coffee, going for a walk, trying to mentally relax. By the time of the break, there is nothing you can (and should) do anymore - you will either advance to final round (in that case just continue what you were doing), or you will get some feedback on why it did not work out.

Someone replied on Mar 01, 2018

Hi Chris,

First off, I agree with everything Vlad has mentioned above. I recently had a similar situation with my final round interviews too. Having a big break can seem tough but use this opportunity to rest and relax somewhat – case interviews are tiring!

Additional tips that I found useful during my interview:

  1. Consider getting some fresh air and going for walk - it can be a good way to clear your mind before you start again
  2. Make sure you eat – but not too close to when the interviews start again as you might feel tired post-eating
  3. Stay hydrated
  4. Most importantly, if you’ve had a tough case in the morning make sure to put it behind you. Go into your last one with good energy, a smile and a positive mindset!

Best of luck with the upcoming interview.


Chris replied on Mar 01, 2018

Thank you all, very much appreciate the reactiveness of this community!

replied on Mar 01, 2018
Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years

I would strongly second the suggestions for a walk and meditation. Also, would suggest a movie/tv series to binge watch, or even a book! These usually help distracting from current worries pretty well.

Lunch...would keep it light and wouldn't go adventurous (in terms of food you choose to eat) to avoid surprises later in the afternoon. Would keep hydrated as suggested and go light on caffeine due to its diuretic effects.