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Francesco

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McKinsey Final Round

Hi all,

I am going for the final round at McKinsey about a week. I am wondering how should I spend my remaining time, what is the best way to prepare for the last round, which part should I focus on? Also, how is it going to be different from the first round interviews? After the first round, my interviewer gave me the feedback that my PEI, math and structuring was good. However I need to synthesize more and take a step back and look at the picture time to time while solving the cases. I do no think I understand what he has really meant by synthesizing. How can I achive to do that in a better way.

Thanks in advance.

Hi all,

I am going for the final round at McKinsey about a week. I am wondering how should I spend my remaining time, what is the best way to prepare for the last round, which part should I focus on? Also, how is it going to be different from the first round interviews? After the first round, my interviewer gave me the feedback that my PEI, math and structuring was good. However I need to synthesize more and take a step back and look at the picture time to time while solving the cases. I do no think I understand what he has really meant by synthesizing. How can I achive to do that in a better way.

Thanks in advance.

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Hi Anonymous,

the structure of the final round is the same as the first one (fit + case+ your questions); however, there is far more emphasis on communication and fit.

Specifically, the main difference you will find in a final round with partners is that at that stage they:

  1. spend usually more time on fit questions and your alignment with the company
  2. check more closely your communication (eg how you react to challenging questions)
  3. may not have a “proper” structured case to present – during my final at BCG I had one interview which was made by two market sizing questions and a brainteaser, without any proper business case. That's because at the final partners know you can structure and crack a case (you passed 1 or 2 rounds already) and are more interested in your logic, personality and fit with the company

So in order to prepare I would concentrate on:

  • Review in details your fit stories – they will matter more than in the first round. In some finals I had almost exclusively behavioral questions.
  • Work on your communication (reaction under pressure, how to gain time when you do not have a structure ready, connect with the interviewer, etc). This is something you can test almost exclusively in p2p mocks with peers/experts. You should also work on stepping back during the case, referring to how you are proceeding related to your initial structure/ big picture, since you got specific feedback on that.
  • Prepare on cases as you did for the first round. More market sizing practice could be useful to think outside the box if you get unusual questions.

Best,

Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

the structure of the final round is the same as the first one (fit + case+ your questions); however, there is far more emphasis on communication and fit.

Specifically, the main difference you will find in a final round with partners is that at that stage they:

  1. spend usually more time on fit questions and your alignment with the company
  2. check more closely your communication (eg how you react to challenging questions)
  3. may not have a “proper” structured case to present – during my final at BCG I had one interview which was made by two market sizing questions and a brainteaser, without any proper business case. That's because at the final partners know you can structure and crack a case (you passed 1 or 2 rounds already) and are more interested in your logic, personality and fit with the company

So in order to prepare I would concentrate on:

  • Review in details your fit stories – they will matter more than in the first round. In some finals I had almost exclusively behavioral questions.
  • Work on your communication (reaction under pressure, how to gain time when you do not have a structure ready, connect with the interviewer, etc). This is something you can test almost exclusively in p2p mocks with peers/experts. You should also work on stepping back during the case, referring to how you are proceeding related to your initial structure/ big picture, since you got specific feedback on that.
  • Prepare on cases as you did for the first round. More market sizing practice could be useful to think outside the box if you get unusual questions.

Best,

Francesco

(edited)

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Dear A,

Interview with partners depends on how you performed in the 1st round. Different scenarios are possible:

  1. In case you performed well in the 1st round and didn’t get any advices on particular skills improvement (e.g structure, calculations etc.) Interview will be less structured: discuss variety of different topics, during which partner will assess your social skills, creativity, approach to different things to understand how you behave in front of a client and what your values are. What is more, short case is a part of such interview as well: market sizing or brainstorming.
  2. If a candidate lacked a particular skill, or there was a fit issue in the 1st round, then the second interview round might test specifically for that issue. Cases partners use might be similar to the first round with a push towards specific skill you lack (structuring/calculations). Partners will ask more analytical questions and the business cases will be more detailed: for example more deep-dives in a structure. Furthermore, partners might use cases from their personal experience, as they are owners.

Hope this was helpful.

All the best,

Egor

Dear A,

Interview with partners depends on how you performed in the 1st round. Different scenarios are possible:

  1. In case you performed well in the 1st round and didn’t get any advices on particular skills improvement (e.g structure, calculations etc.) Interview will be less structured: discuss variety of different topics, during which partner will assess your social skills, creativity, approach to different things to understand how you behave in front of a client and what your values are. What is more, short case is a part of such interview as well: market sizing or brainstorming.
  2. If a candidate lacked a particular skill, or there was a fit issue in the 1st round, then the second interview round might test specifically for that issue. Cases partners use might be similar to the first round with a push towards specific skill you lack (structuring/calculations). Partners will ask more analytical questions and the business cases will be more detailed: for example more deep-dives in a structure. Furthermore, partners might use cases from their personal experience, as they are owners.

Hope this was helpful.

All the best,

Egor

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Hi,

In the final round, I would expect a bit more structured and demanding approach to the fit part. The partners in the last round are more experienced and they will challenge every single detail of your story. So make sure that you have a couple of backup stories. Thus:

1) Make sure that you've prepared everything: A story about yourself, motivational questions and the main FIT stories. Also, don't forget about your questions to the interviewer - you'd rather have an interesting conversation and score some point instead of a simple Q&A session

2) Then go through each story and think of the additional questions the interviewer may ask. It’s important since additional questions will take up to 50% of the interview. Try to remember the main details and facts and make sure that you know how to explain the key concepts quickly. Test your stories with your friends, ideally consultants, and ask for their feedback. There can be multiple groups of additional questions:

  • The interviewer may be interested in details about the context
  • He may want to check whether this was your effort or more sort of a team effort.
  • “Have you faced any difficulties while implementing your solution?”- Typically an interviewer would like you to tell him how you’ve overcome those difficulties.
  • Your interviewer will check how real your story is. You should be ready to provide even more granular actions, key milestones and a breakdown of potential effects.

3) Now work on 3-6 backup stories. During your interviews, you can then use these stories or adapt these stories to the additional questions your interviewer asks you.

You may be interested, why you need to prepare several stories for each question? At the end of the day, it's not that easy to come up with all of these stories. I've answered here: Repeating Fit Interview Stories

As for the cases - Partners and Directors have their own favorite cases and may even want you to lead the case. The key difference:

  1. You ask clarifying questions in the beginning and make a structure
  2. You lead the case through the structure you've prepared a) asking questions and trying to identify the root-cause of the problem in the branch of your structure b) making a transition to the next branch c) proactively calculating the data and making data-driven conclusion from the data they give you d) Making a conclusion when they ask you to finish a case

It may seem to you that these 2 types of cases are different, however, the interviewer-led type is just a simplified version of the interviewee-led case. My advice is to always prepare in the interviewee-led format so that you could solve both easily.

Best

Hi,

In the final round, I would expect a bit more structured and demanding approach to the fit part. The partners in the last round are more experienced and they will challenge every single detail of your story. So make sure that you have a couple of backup stories. Thus:

1) Make sure that you've prepared everything: A story about yourself, motivational questions and the main FIT stories. Also, don't forget about your questions to the interviewer - you'd rather have an interesting conversation and score some point instead of a simple Q&A session

2) Then go through each story and think of the additional questions the interviewer may ask. It’s important since additional questions will take up to 50% of the interview. Try to remember the main details and facts and make sure that you know how to explain the key concepts quickly. Test your stories with your friends, ideally consultants, and ask for their feedback. There can be multiple groups of additional questions:

  • The interviewer may be interested in details about the context
  • He may want to check whether this was your effort or more sort of a team effort.
  • “Have you faced any difficulties while implementing your solution?”- Typically an interviewer would like you to tell him how you’ve overcome those difficulties.
  • Your interviewer will check how real your story is. You should be ready to provide even more granular actions, key milestones and a breakdown of potential effects.

3) Now work on 3-6 backup stories. During your interviews, you can then use these stories or adapt these stories to the additional questions your interviewer asks you.

You may be interested, why you need to prepare several stories for each question? At the end of the day, it's not that easy to come up with all of these stories. I've answered here: Repeating Fit Interview Stories

As for the cases - Partners and Directors have their own favorite cases and may even want you to lead the case. The key difference:

  1. You ask clarifying questions in the beginning and make a structure
  2. You lead the case through the structure you've prepared a) asking questions and trying to identify the root-cause of the problem in the branch of your structure b) making a transition to the next branch c) proactively calculating the data and making data-driven conclusion from the data they give you d) Making a conclusion when they ask you to finish a case

It may seem to you that these 2 types of cases are different, however, the interviewer-led type is just a simplified version of the interviewee-led case. My advice is to always prepare in the interviewee-led format so that you could solve both easily.

Best

First of all, congratulations for making it to the second round :)


In my experience, the second round interviews tend to be a bit more holisitc than the first round interviews. You are not only required to focus on market sizing, etc. but should also be able to create an overarching narrative of the case. Moreover, cases in the second round tend to be somewhat more ambivalent.

You should definitely focus on the feedback that you have received: Throughout the case, take a couple of seconds on multiple occsions to summarize your findings, reaffirm (or amend) your initial structure and communicate your next steps.

First of all, congratulations for making it to the second round :)


In my experience, the second round interviews tend to be a bit more holisitc than the first round interviews. You are not only required to focus on market sizing, etc. but should also be able to create an overarching narrative of the case. Moreover, cases in the second round tend to be somewhat more ambivalent.

You should definitely focus on the feedback that you have received: Throughout the case, take a couple of seconds on multiple occsions to summarize your findings, reaffirm (or amend) your initial structure and communicate your next steps.

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Hello!

Congrats for moving to final round!

As it has been outlined, its very similar, but :

  • Cases you can expect are more "free riding" - less organized than the ones your found in the 1st round or most prep pages
  • Stronger emphasis in the FIT part, as outlined before by other coaches.

If you are interested in deepening your knowledge and preparation on the FIT part, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Furthermore, you can find 3 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

- Intro and CV questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/introduction-and-cv-questions-fit-interview-preparation-200

- Motivational questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/motivational-questions-fit-interview-preparation-201

- Behavioural questions (ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVE) >https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/behavioral-questions-entrepreneurial-drive-fit-interview-preparation-211

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes for the Integrated FIT Guide, since we still have some left from the launch!

Hello!

Congrats for moving to final round!

As it has been outlined, its very similar, but :

  • Cases you can expect are more "free riding" - less organized than the ones your found in the 1st round or most prep pages
  • Stronger emphasis in the FIT part, as outlined before by other coaches.

If you are interested in deepening your knowledge and preparation on the FIT part, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Furthermore, you can find 3 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

- Intro and CV questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/introduction-and-cv-questions-fit-interview-preparation-200

- Motivational questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/motivational-questions-fit-interview-preparation-201

- Behavioural questions (ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVE) >https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/behavioral-questions-entrepreneurial-drive-fit-interview-preparation-211

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes for the Integrated FIT Guide, since we still have some left from the launch!

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