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Interviewer Style at McKinsey

BCG Bain McKinsey
New answer on Aug 14, 2020
5 Answers
1.5 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Aug 10, 2020


I have my interview coming up with Mckinsey and I've been told from a couple of friends who did the interviews is that sometimes they try to pressure you by acting like the good cop, bad cop situation, is that true? Because I felt that they just had bad interviewers. Thanks!

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Content Creator
replied on Aug 11, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate


First, there's no "tactics" here. The interviewer could have just been a moody/jarring person! Or, as Sidi pointed out, they were bad interviewers.

Second, McKinsey interviews are definitely tough. There may be plenty of a perceived "bad cop" in that they will truly test your position and drive you hard.

Finally, regardless, don't focus on these specific details. Rather, prepare yourself to be prepared for any situation. Rather than preparing for all outcomes/situations, learn to be adaptable/flexible no matter what "style" they pull out at you!

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replied on Aug 10, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers


McKinsey's internal interviewer training puts a very clear emphasis on not creating stressful situations for candidates. The Firm is very explicit in that it does not believe that this kind of behavior helps to gauge a candidates abilities. This is very clearly codified in the guidelines.

So yes - if this is what your friends have experienced, then it indeed seems that the interviewers were quite bad (or, alternatively, your friends might have a somwhat distorted perception).

Cheers, Sidi

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replied on Aug 14, 2020
Ex-McK Experienced Hire and EM - I show you how to perform at your best

Having worked for McKinsey for six years, including five years interviewing for multiple practices, I can assure you there is no way this occurs intentionally.

Recruiters work hard to shortlist candidates they are excited about. They invest time and effort into getting those candidates ready. I invest my time into interviewing. Do you think any of us want to turn you down? And furthermore, leave you with a bad feeling about McKinsey people? On the contrary, we want you to be successful, so we can hire the best people.

There is no reason for us to pressure you into making mistakes or not performing your best. We treat you on the interview like we treat you once you have the job. With support and encouragement so that you'll do your best.

Any potential employer that mistreats a candidate should be publicized. In fact, as an interviewer, I could expect an extremely severe reprimand if I would mistreat a candidate like that.

Hope that reassures you. Happy to answer more.

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Content Creator
replied on Aug 13, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Don't worry about that - your job is to behave professionally like in any other business meeting, and focus on that.

For sure interviewers might want to see how you react under pressure and it's very legitimate, but apart from that McKinsey does not play psychological games with candidates during the interview.

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!


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Anonymous replied on Aug 13, 2020

Dear A,

Yes, it's absolutely true, thefore McKinsey consulatance has and expectations and actually looking for a candidates who can really prove themselves and stay behind there opinions up to the very end even under pressure and in difficult situations. Therefor during the consulting interview they simulate these situations and try to put you under pressure by all means with pushing you to give you the best answers, pressurizing your in terms of time, also the can always interrupt you and not let you say, continuosly asking on "what else can you say on this?", @what's other possibilities? options? alternatives" unless you aplly all your creativity.

To sum up, McKinsey interviewers are playing arrogant the people during the nterviews, because they are facing these kind of clients in the real life, so please, don't take it personal, but you need to be vry well prepared for this kind of interviews.

I have already placed several mentees with McKinsey all around the world, if you need any further insights, drop me a line.



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Ian gave the best answer


Content Creator
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate
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