McKinsey Final Round

Actively preparing for interviews at McKinsey and BCG Actively preparing for interviews with McKinsey McKinsey
New answer on Apr 30, 2020
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Anonymous A asked on Mar 04, 2020

Hi everyone,

I just found out that I've been passed on to the final round for an internship at McK. In all honesty, I don't think I'm as prepared as I should be as I haven't done many live cases. I'm looking for efficient and relatively less time-consuming ways to prepare for the final round because I have a really busy week ahead of me.

I received detailed feedback from the last EM that interviewed me, here's what I got:

I am actually good but clearly don't feel like it and I should be more confident. They liked that I paid attention to small but critical details and I have strong analytical skills. Good ideas/Lists of ideas but I should present them in a more structured manner. Structuring isn't necessarily my strong suit and I should pay more attention to it. I could take better notes and use the paper as a PowerPoint slide.

So at this point, I'm looking for suggestions on how I could prepare for the final round as efficiently as I can! Apparently, I'm having trouble with structuring, so if anyone has had the same issue I'd love to hear about how you overcame it. Any tips or suggestions would also be appreciated.

Thanks a lot!

(edited)

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Francesco
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replied on Mar 04, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

from the feedback you received, you should work on both structuring and communication. I would recommend the following:

#1 - Optimize your structure

  1. Create some basic structures for the main types of cases. You probably already have some at this stage, so this should be already covered
  2. Start practicing cases (ideally, you should reach at least 30) in person, online, or reading MBA handbooks. Every time you find a new approach to solve a case that is not present in your structure, write it down and add it to your structure keeping a MECE approach.
  3. Eliminate or consolidate the sections in your structures that you don’t find useful to solve cases.
  4. Find commonalities between structures, so that you don’t have to remember 7-8 structures completely different, but just few differences between them.
  5. Once received the initial information from the interviewer, present the structure adapting it to the specific goals of the client, mentioning why you would like to explore a particular area and the connection of that area with the goals previously communicated by the interviewer.

#2 – Optimize you communication

If you do not communicate correctly your approach, even if it is “perfect” you will not score many points.

The best way to communicate correctly a structure is the following (you may take time if needed before doing so):

  1. Repeat the objective (“In order to help our client to reach [OBJECTIVE], I would like to consider the following”)
  2. Present level 1 of the structure, using numbers for the main elements (“First, we may work on [FIRST TOPIC], second on [SECOND TOPIC], finally on [THIRD TOPIC]”)
  3. Present level 2 of the structure, still keeping a structure based on numbers (“Let me go deeper in the first area. Here I believe we may consider the following steps. First, I would like to [DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE FIRST STEP], second…” etc.

If you are short of time, you may consider a coaching session specifically on structuring. I do a session on that as part of my program where we cover the most common types based on your priorities, please feel free to PM me for more info.

Best,

Francesco

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Anonymous replied on Apr 30, 2020

Just take a couple of sessions with experts - it will maximizes your chances given the timeframe

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Clara
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replied on Mar 05, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

I agree with the rest of the coaches, the most efficent way at this point would be:

  1. Work with a coach only on the point that worries you: estructuring. This would be the fastest way, since they will have ad-hoc sessions for people who are struggling with this in particular.
  2. Work with other candidates and, instead of going through the whole case, do 2-3 cases but only the structuring part. This would be more time consuming until you pick the right people and so on, but it would be for sure cheaper.

I would not work on formulas or recipies any more, if you made it to 2nd round in McK, you are past that point. Now, it´s a matter of practicing, and doing it efficently. Both way are good, now pick the one that works best for you in terms of time and money :)

Of course, PM me if you want to further discuss! I am offering a -10% disccount on the 1st interview to new coachees!

Good luck!

Cheers,

Clara

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Robert
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replied on Mar 05, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Unfortunately there is no short-cut to solid interview prep, especially for McKinsey - so I would use the remaining time with a professional coach to massively speed up the learning cure and do whatever is possible in the short period of time you have available.

In addition, any interactive case prep with peers will support. What will have quite a low chance of success is hiding behind books and trying to learn it theoretically - also if interactive prep is time-consuming, it's the only real way to prepare finally.

When it comes to McKinsey, 2 specific notes:

  • For sure, McKinsey is the most pickiest firm in respect to structure (they coined the term MECE, so what else can you expect?). And this relates to both factual structure, but also on how structured and top-down your communication really is.
  • Specifically for McKinsey, don't underestimate the McKinsey Personal Experience Interview (PEI). Bad news is that it's neither easy nor fast to prepare, but compared to case interviews it's much easier to stand out from other candidates who are not that much aware of it (but still contributes around 50% of overall interview evaluation). To avoid basic misunderstandings and mistakes, you might want to check also my blog on that topic (https://pei.consulting-case-interviews.com/blog/).

Of course please feel free to contact me for a coaching session on both case and/or McKinsey PEI.

Hope that helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the upvote button!

Robert

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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