Interview with McKinsey Engagement Manager

Actively preparing for interviews with McKinsey
New answer on Jan 09, 2021
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 05, 2021

I have an interview scheduled with an engagement manager who works for Mckinsey, what questions should I ask him and how should I ask him for a referral?

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Content Creator
replied on Jan 05, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

First, this doesn't sound like an interview but rather a coffee chat or informational call.

Second: Please don't directly ask for a referral.

How to ask indirectly for a referral

You essentially have 2 chances to "hint" at a referral.

So, near the end of the call, you can say "Thank you so much for your time. The company seems great and I will definitely be applying. Do you have any tips/advice for me?"

The 2nd "hint" comes a few days before you apply. Email them and say "Thanks again for meeting with me x weeks/months ago. I just wanted to let you know that I'm applying in a few days and appreciate all your time!"


Now, in terms of the actual chat, I have a few additional tips.

Ask For Yourself

While a coffee chat is a way for you to make a good impression, please remember that it's also about you making sure this job + path are right for you!

To prepare, think about things you'd like to learn about the company. Ask about your person's experience at the firm, where they've come from, if they have any advice for you etc. Be inquisitive and interested in what they have to say, and feel free to ask thoughtful follow-up questions.

Have Your Pitch Ready

In terms of what they'll ask you, make sure you have your 30 second pitch prepared! Who are you in a nutshell and why are you interested in Mckinsey and strategy consulting?

Ask About Them

People love to talk about themselves. Just ask them what they've worked on recently or what their journey at Mckinsey has been like. Importantly, do your research beforehand - find out what they've done and try and pick something from their past that looks interesting to you. Tailor your questions just like they tailor their FIT questions to your resume.

"So, how did you end up in the Industrial Goods sector?" "I saw you worked on a big digital transformation for a financial services company - I experienced one myself and it seemed so hard to move such a big organisation. What did you see as the major challenges and breakthrough moments?"

Here are some other great related Q&As

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Content Creator
replied on Jan 05, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

I just read your comment that you're a fresh grad.

For the interview you've mentioned, I agree with Vlad and suggest you to prepare like for the personal fit part of the interview. That usually includes topics like:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why consulting?
  • Why are you a good fit for the company?

Make sure to structure your answers in a nice way (storytelling is a way!) and that it makes sene and underlines your strong sides.

Since you asked about the case preparation, here are some tips:

Don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions!



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replied on Jan 05, 2021
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


If you are an experienced hire - ask for advice:

  • How will your experience fit into McK
  • What benefits will it give to your career
  • How to transition from the industry
  • Generalist vs specialist
  • Exit opportunities

If you a fresh grad, ask for the help with prep:

  • Going through your Fit stories
  • Solving a Case

As for the referral - ask about the referral mechanics. If he would like to give you one - he'll propose himself


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Anonymous A on Jan 05, 2021

Thank you for your advice. I have a few more questions I'm hoping you could answer for me. I'm a fresh grad, and I was wondering what you meant by "going through your fit stories"? Also Do you have any tips on how to prepare for a MBB interview? Do you have any suggestions on what material I should study?


Content Creator
replied on Jan 06, 2021
McKinsey | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching


Don't ask!

Talk to him and try to lead the discussion towards the referral. He knows that and will refer you if he feels appropriate.

Good luck!


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Anonymous B replied on Jan 05, 2021

Please can you refer me?

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Anonymous replied on Jan 09, 2021


When you talk with the person prepare the following:

  • Questions to explore about the profession and the firm / office
  • Your pitch - Your experience, why consulting, why now, why McKinsey
  • Referral should come naturally if you do a good job and present yourself as an potentila candidate. Nevertheless, you can ask for advise on best approach to apply to McKinsey

A thank you email and summary of the discussion could also help.


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Content Creator
replied on Jan 07, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


If it´s an interview already, there is no place for askng for a referral.

Regarding questions, usually asked at the end of an interview, think of making him talk about something professional:

  • why choosing that area of specialization
  • why choosing that school for MBA
  • why staying in consulting after X year
  • etc

Hope it helps!



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Content Creator
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep
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