How to prep for a specific consulting role (McKinsey)

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Edited on Sep 24, 2021
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 23, 2021

Hello all, 

I am currently an experienced hire working in the oil and gas industry. 

Recently, after passing the digital assessment, I've been invited to the first round of interview with McKinsey. The role that I am interviewing for is specific for oil and gas (McKinsey Downstream). 

Can you please guide me on how to prep for the case studies for an industry specific consulting role? Should I only focus on practicing oil and gas specific case studies? Or the opposite (approach other industries as well). 

Besides that, any other tips? 

Thank you very much! 

(edited)

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Udayan
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replied on Sep 23, 2021
Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

You do not need to prepare industry specific questions for casing. They will ask you questions from across industries because casing is to assess your ability to solve complex problems and not just your ability to solve problems in Oil & Gas.

 

In terms of how to prepare

There are ample resources that will help you to prepare for the case interview. Start with Case in Point by Marc Cosentino. While I recommend the entire book, my favorite chapters are three, four, and five. Chapter four, which focuses on the Ivy System and different case types, is particularly important. Next, read Case Interview Secrets by Viktor Cheng. Note that this is just to get started but on its own is not sufficient to be good at casing.

​​

Start practicing cases with other people. Find experienced partners or coaches who can provide good feedback. Alternatively, seek other students also looking to get into consulting. Practicing with others is very beneficial. 

​​​

​Set aside some time for market sizing questions, which you can practice on your own.

 

Udayan

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Francesco
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replied on Sep 24, 2021
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi there,

I agree with the other coaches, I helped experience hires applying specifically for energy roles at McKinsey and they got both energy and non-energy related cases.

In terms of preparation, I would recommend the following:

  1. Define a calendar for your preparation. Identify how many hours you have before the interview and allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the points below. Many people need 100+ hours to be ready before the interview so you can keep that as a benchmark.
  2. Read Case In Point or Case Interview Secrets for a general understanding of what a consulting interview is. Don’t focus on the structures proposed in the books, as they are not good enough nowadays.
  3. Start reading good MBA Consulting Handbooks – you can find several for free online (Insead is a good one to start). Read the cases and try to apply your structure to solve them. Whenever you see there is something missing, upgrade your structure with the new insides. Try to read at least a new case per day – in this way you will absorb better the information with constant learning.
  4. After the first 5-10 cases in books/handbooks and basic theory, start to practice live. PrepLounge can be helpful to connect with other candidates for that. There is a relevant part of the interview score that is based on your communication, which you cannot practice at all if you read cases only. Keep track of your mistakes and see if you repeat them. If so, try to identify the source of the mistake (feedback of experienced partners would be particularly useful for this). Be sure to focus on both the PEI and the case part. The latter should also cover math and graph analysis.
  5. Before the interviews, be sure to prepare your questions for the interviewer – great way to show you prepared in advance and to connect with the interviewer for a good final impression.

If you want to spend few hours only instead of 100+ and cover everything mentioned above, I developed a program precisely for that. 

Plus, I can share with you real questions asked at McKinsey in your target office (I have a db with 700+ MBB questions you won't find anywhere else - you can check on my profile if I cover your particular office).

You can click on the following link to learn more:

https://u.preplounge.com/63phuq

If you have any questions please feel free to PM me.

Best,

Francesco

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Antonello
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replied on Sep 23, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi!

The interview process is usually the same as also the typology of cases. I would however invest some time in solving some specific cases in your reference industry.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Anto 

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Agrim
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Sep 23, 2021
#1 CoachingPlus Expert | 100% no-nonsense | BCG Dubai PL | 2021 Real MBB+ Cases | Case/PEI/Fit/CV | 6+ years Consulting

You should expect non-O&G cases as well. Out of 4-5 interviews - you can expect max 2 interviews with O&G case (this is the expectation - reality can be 0 or all as well).

In terms of preparation - your path will depend on where you stand in terms of case-interview experience. If you are a beginner then I would suggest to go for the PrepLounge bootcamp, Case in Point, etc. to dip your toes into casing. Then you can move into a coaching + peer-practice mode here on PrepLounge.

Do approach coaches with more details around your preparation level and time available. This will help coaches chart out your next steps better.

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Ian
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updated an answer on Sep 24, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Unfortunately you need to prepare for any and all case types and industries.

You need to train your adaptability/flexibility and be able to approach any problem that comes your way.

Of course, there will be more of a focus on Oil & Gas (especially if you're recruiting at a more Senior level e.g. Project Lead/Principal), however you need to be ready for non O&G as well.

Happy to help (At BCG I worked extensively in the Energy + O&G space and have helped a number of experienced Enery hired get offers!)

Here's a good case to get you started (based on an O&G project from my time at BCG): https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/interviewer-led-mckinsey-style/advanced/mckinsey-digital-bcg-platinion-oil-gas-upstream-technology-196

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Udayan gave the best answer

Udayan

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Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases
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