Answering from a McKinsey perspective:
Admin and logistics
Currently, the sessions are structured as follows:
- Brief ice-breaker and get-to-know you
- 15-20min PEI
- 25min Case
- 5min for your questions to the interviewers
Some candidates have an initial screening call beforehand that takes 75 minutes with a longer case and the PEI dimension leadership for 15 - 20 minutes. The rest is the same. Additionally, you will have to play the Imbellus Game.
All interviews in the German office are still conducted virtually!
Now for the operations aspect:
In general, operations cases often focus on concepts such as
- Increase / decrease capacity or move capacity from a less profitable product to a more profitable product
- Analysis of bottlenecks
Classic profitability issues
- Profit = Revenue - Cost :-)
- Optimize utilization of production machines
- Optimize product mix to max out profitability
- Calculation of safety stock
- Optimization of stock
Value chain issues
- Break down the value chain in its constituent profits and figure out where the issue is
Regarding the latter, you should be able to map out a process in an operations case, especially when you are not familiar with a certain task or system of interactions. When laying out what constitutes a certain issue, you will be able to understand it by breaking it down into its constituent parts.
This helps you to think deeper about the issue. It can also help you to get 'unstuck' if you don’t understand the situation. In sum, problem or process mapping forces you to deconstruct the interactions and increases your odds to find the segment or area in which the issue is buried in.
For instance, you might want to investigate chronological sequences. Process mapping can be used to make a chain of interactions visible and see all parts involved that produce a certain outcome. You can use it when you look into temporal events or when you want to find out which part of the process is most crucial, etc.
Lastly, don't only expect operations cases but also generalist consulting cases as well!