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McK came back and asked for a 3rd first round interview before they can make a decision. Is this common and why does this happen?

Someone asked on Jul 27, 2018 - 4 answers
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Sidi replied on Jul 27, 2018
McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 60+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi Anonymous!

This is not common, but it happens from time to time. The most likely scenario is that there has been substantial disagreement between your interviewers regarding one or several points, so they feel an additional interview is needed to make a robust and informed decision.

My advice would be to ask candidly for feedback and possible question mark areas that they see!

Good luck & cheers, Sidi

Tyrion Lannister replied on Jul 27, 2018

Dear Anonymous A,

Sid is right on this.

More so, this disagreement likely stems from what might have been perceived as weak points, not areas where you performed well. In other words, they're likely not asking you to come back to demonstrate areas where they believe you're amazing; rather, to prove to them that in area in which you were variably perceived to be weak is not a fatal one that is likely to repeat.

So, what can you do? 3 things, I believe:

1. Conduct a brutal self-assessment from your first two interviews to try to deduce what this problem area might be: are your quantitative skills wobbly? Do you have trouble synthesising? Was your structure unsound? Are you unimaginative with brainstorming? Are your processes clear, logical, and replicable? Do you bring sound judgement to your decision-making? et. cetera

2. Develop an effective plan to overcome this problem area and work to weave it into any Case prep you do between now and then. Although, please don't go crazy on the Case prep: the fact that they've asked you to come back shows they have at least some confidence in your Case skills more generally.

3. Go back to your third interview with confidence and calm and with the reassurance that you have given your best in 1) and 2) above.

Good fortune!

Francesco replied on Jul 27, 2018
#1 Expert for coaching sessions (2.100+) | Ex BCG | 1.000+ reviews with 100% recommendation rate

Hi Anonymous,

as Sidi mentioned, such situation happens at McKinsey when interviewers disagree with each other.

Ideally you already know which part of the case you didn’t do well enough. If that’s not the case, you should ask feedback on the potential improvements in your performance. Once you have identified them, you should then focus specifically on those areas in your further preparation for your next round.

Best,

Francesco

Anonymous B replied on Jul 30, 2018

I am in the same boat, I've been asked to give a third interview for my first round at McKinsey. But I was expecting this, as my first interview went amazingly well and my second interview was terrible, mostly because I felt the interviewer was very hostile and made inappropriate comments about all my answers. I'm planning on giving feedback to McK about this particular experience after I am done with my third interview. But I do realise that I let the interviewer throw me off with his comments, which led to me not being structured and confident and I completely messed up the final synthesis.