If recruiting will be online, how will Mckinsey know that no candidate used a calculator during PST or interviews?

MBB recruitment recruitment test
New answer on Aug 08, 2020
3 Answers
2.6 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Aug 04, 2020

Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
updated an answer on Aug 07, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers


I believe you don't understand very well what McKinsey is testing.

Nobody is interested in your ability to do lightning fast math! The truth is, you don't get bonus points for being very fast - quite at the contrary! The interviewer will assume that the way you behave in an interview is also how you behave vis a vis a client. And the single most important thing when discussing with a client is that you can be followed easily! If you are just doing all sorts of complicated math operations in your head (or secretly use a calculator) - guess what the result will be? Your counterpart will have difficulties following your steps. Hence, this will make your performance WORSE! So what is FAR more important than speed is the rigour and discipline to walk the interviewer through your calculation in a succinct, sharp and cystal clear way! I will always recommend to do calculations in written form and neatly copy the results into a seperate area on the sheet (or another sheet). This is 100x more effective than trying to become super fast in mental math (or "cheat" with a calculator)!

Please be aware: interviews at McKinsey are not an exam, where you have to get to a specific result and this will then determine your grade! It is just about two things: (1) Do you show the right way of thinking, and (2) Are you able to articulate this thinking in a crystal clear way? Using a calculator will have ZERO impact on this.

Cheers, Sidi


Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Aug 04, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Couldn't agree more with Sidi.

Math is such a table stakes piece of the interview. We practice fast math so that our brains can spend 100% of their time/energy on what matters - i.e. critical and structured thinking and communication.

It doesn't really matter if you use a calculator or not. You're evaluated on far more than just your math ability.

All that said I would highly recommend you practice fast math because using a calculator will actually become a nuisance. To switch over to the calculator, type everything in, etc. is actually more work 90% of the time than just quickly doing the math in your head and moving on with what matters.

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Aug 08, 2020

Dear A,

This is now becomes orrelevant since McKinsey has switch from PST to Imbellus and rolling out this in all offices.

So you need to make yourself ready for the new digital assessment of McKinsey.


Was this answer helpful?
Sidi gave the best answer


McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers
Q&A Upvotes
134 Reviews
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely