What type of cases does McK & BCG ask in interviews?

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New answer on Jun 24, 2022
7 Answers
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Alice asked on Jun 23, 2022

What type of cases does McKinsey and BCG ask in both round 1 and round 2 interviews? (e.g. M&A, PE acquisition, government, biotech/med/pharma, etc). I have an interview coming up for both for full-time positions.

Currently, I'm an intern at Strategy&, which was more straightforward to study for because they mainly do PE due diligence deals so I reviewed a lot of PE acquisitions and profitability cases. McK and BCG are both generalist firms so I'm not sure where to focus my efforts on in terms of the type of cases. Thank you in advance!

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 24, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Anything and everything.

Please don't try to predict what will happen! You will never perfectly learn every single industry and case type!

There are a hundred different types of M&A questions, growth questions, etc.

Rather, train yourself in the ability to solve any problem in any context - that way you actually reduce the total time spent studying and have a much higher shot of succeeding!

Feel free to reach out for help in this mindset shift.

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Stanislav
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replied on Jun 23, 2022
Ex-McKinsey AP | Interviewed 50+ candidates, gave 10+ offers | Own MBB-inspired cases | Oxford and Cambridge graduate

Hi Alice 

McKinsey and BCG can give you a whole range of cases, because they work in pretty much every industry and every “function”. That said, the cases will at least somewhat depend on the concrete office you are applying to and will mirror its specialisation. For example, in Zurich you are more likely to get a case on Banking or Pharma, while in New Jersey – on FMCG and Telco. 

I recommend to you to create a matrix with Industries x Types of case and make sure you are systematically covering that matrix, with an extra focus on the likely specialty cases of your target office as per above. Below is an example from a candidate I coached.

Good luck to you!

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Francesco
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replied on Jun 24, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (3.900+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi Alice,

It really depends on the office. It may be all those you mentioned.

I have a DB of 1500+ real MBB questions for 60+ offices, you can check if I include yours in the description on my profile.

For any other questions please feel free to PM me. 

Best, 

Francesco 

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Udayan
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replied on Jun 23, 2022
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

All of the above. Typically there is no focus on a particular industry or case type, with minor exceptions (e.g., if you specifically apply to the PE practice)

The point is not for you to know how to solve a particular case type but more for you to have a broad based approach to solve any problem you might come across during your time at the firm.

 

Udayan

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Ashwin
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Jun 24, 2022
Ex Manager Bain and company | INSEAD | Got all Big 3 offers | More than 250 real MBB cases

Hey Alice,

As has already been noted by other coaches the case type and industry could vary a lot , I would suggest you to focus more on building core problem solving, structuring, and answer-first/hypothesis based communication skills which can be applied to solve any consulting case  

 

Thanks

Ashwin 

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Moritz
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replied on Jun 24, 2022
McKinsey | 100+ coachings & interviews @ McKinsey | ESADE MBA | Top rated for experienced hires & career transitioners

Hi there,

Your focus should be on the how and not the what - simple as that.

You could face any case from any function (M&A, ops, strategy, etc.), region (Germany, US, India, Tonga,…), and industry (chemistry, automobile, energy, FMCG, etc.). However, even if you had 10 cases that were exactly from the same function, region, and industry, etc. → you could still have 10 completely different problems to solve for. The devil is in the detail and you need to learn how to engage with the problem at hand, whatever the problem actually is.

Bottom line, don't waste your time in futile exercises of predicting anything!

If you’d like to learn more, feel free to reach out.

Best of luck!

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Clara
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 24, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello Alice, 

You have a lot gained, since you already know how to play this game from your previous and successful interviews. 

One important advice is trying not to predict the case that you will get, since it can be literally anything, particularly in 2nd round interviews (experience talking here). However, if you wanted a guide of the classics, here they come:

 

1. Profitability cases- basic profitability framework.

2. Idea generation cases: for any specif issue

3. Growth cases: market penetration, new product launch, product mix change, etc.

4. Pricing cases

5. M&A cases

6. Valuation cases

7. Value chain cases

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Alice on Jun 25, 2022

Thank you all so incredibly much for your efforts and fast answers! I had no idea turnaround for responses would be so quick. Again, I really appreciate it.

Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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