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McK Interview - Should I bring my own paper?

Anonymous A

Should I bring my own paper or will they provide paper during the interview to take notes?

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replied on 11/30/2017
Ex Bain and A.T. Kearney (7 years in consulting) / 200+ real interviews / Landed all Big 3 offers


Even though any firm will provide you with paper and a pen, I always recommend candidates to bring a notepad and a pen to a consulting interview.
I suggest bringing graph paper which helps a lot when drawing graphs, writing bullets points and making calculations; in addition to that, it shows major foresight. As an extra tip, turn the notepad to landscape orientation, because consultants use that arrangement in their presentations.
Bringing all the mentioned accessories plus resumes (just in case) in a professional-looking bag is a nice touch.

Good luck,



Francesco replied on 11/30/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (1000+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

at McKinsey they will always provide paper, and normally also collect your notes.

As for how optimize notes, my recommendation would be to keep the paper horizontal and divide it in 4 areas as reported below; when talking notes, you can then put the information in the appropriate box. Sometimes you would have to do back and forth, as you may get information, objective 1, additional information, objective 2, etc.

The areas on the left and on the top should be smaller to leave more space for the structure:

  • top-left: who is the client
  • bottom left: initial information
  • top right: objectives
  • bottom right: structure

After the first page, you could still divide the page in four parts. Left and right could now be at the same distance. Top areas should be smaller to leave more space for the structures:

  • top-left: name of the first area analysed
  • bottom left: structure for the first area
  • top right: name of the second area analysed
  • bottom right: structure for the second area

Hope this helps,


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