McKinsey Final Round: what to watch out for?

Decision Round Final Round FIT McKinsey McKinsey Decision Round McKinsey Final Round McKinsey Partners Partners PEI Structure
Edited on Jul 14, 2020
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 17, 2017

Dear Community,

I'm going for the final round with McKinsey in about a week, and I wondered if any experts or well-informed community members could share what to watch out for. How do these interviews with the partners differ from the first round interviews?

1) Are the cases delivered with the same style of precision and structure as the first round?

2) Is the Fit format consistent with the PEI, or do the partners take these conversations in different directions?

3) Generally, what portion of the hour-long session is dedicated to the case study?

3) What personality traits are most important to demonstrate with the partners?

Many thanks in advance! :-)

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Tyrion Lannister
Skilled
replied on Dec 16, 2017
High-borns only! Targaryens preferred. Absolutely NO Lannisters! :-)

To everyone who responded: many thanks! It was me who asked this question.

To everyone who may read this now or later: I confirm that all the above responses are essentially correct. They largely mirrored my experiences in my final round, and helped me direct my final preparation efforts.

I received an offer very shortly after posting this question, and reiterate my thanks to all who made that posible. :-)

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Nov 03, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

As an ex-Mckinsey consultant and part of recruiting team, here is my perspective:

How do these interviews with the partners differ from the first round interviews?

Every partner discussion is different and the direction the conversation takes depends on role that you are interviewing for, feedback that the partner has got from earlier rounds and of course the Partner’s personality.

However, generally it is advisable to keep the following things in mind.

1) Are the cases delivered with the same style of precision and structure as the first round?

- A lot of times, the Partner round case discussions are less structured. Partners tend to give real life case from their experience or sometimes they can also pick a situation from the candidate’s CV, make a few changes and turn it into a case.

2) Is the Fit format consistent with the PEI, or do the partners take these conversations in different directions?

- Generally, Partners will hit fewer topics but will go much deeper. So they will ask you about something and then you should expect a lot of follow on questions. They really want to understand the full story

3) Generally, what portion of the hour-long session is dedicated to the case study?

- approx. 30-40 minutes

3) What personality traits are most important to demonstrate with the partners?

See the answer below.

Keep the following things in mind while preparing for the Partner interview:

Better synthesis – Your analytical mindset has already been tested in earlier rounds. Partners would like to test your client readiness. Partners pay more attention to how you draw your conclusions, communicate your conclusions, how you synthesis etc.

Comfort with less structured case discussion – Partners love to test your creativity, out of the box thinking. Multiple times in the discussion they can ask you your opinion on the data point/clarification that you had asked, to check your business acumen e.g. you asked, what is the growth rate of our client; partner responds what number would you want to assume? or open ended questions e.g. tell me more, is there anything else?

Consistent stories and deep dives – Partners would want to know your story. They want to see whether your decision to join McKinsey is consistent with your career story. Whether the achievements you have mentioned on the CV are consistent with your project stories. Partners will drill down into your experiences and achievements to the extreme. They want to understand how you react to challenges and how you think and communicate about your past work.

Feel free to get in touch with me in case of further clarification/advise on this topic.

All the best!

(edited)

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Carlos
Expert
replied on May 18, 2017
Former McK Associate Partner / Interviewed 200+ candidates at McK / Specialist McK interviews

Hi!

My view as a McK.

In McK we measure 2 parts of the interview: the personal story and the case. However always remember that before the PEI you spend 5 minutes introducing yourself (therefore creating a first impression). Then having said this:

Officially:

- The structure of the interview should be exactly the same and you should expect exactly the same

In reality:

- Partners give more imporance to the personal side. ie. the PEI (of course) but also the FIT, so the including the initial 5 minutes!

- The case can be a bit less structured as they can asked more opened questions (typical market entry tht you can have in first round, so may get a 'how big is the lipstick market for men?'. Of course I am giving the extreme example, but this is a real case...

So in summary - REMEMBER TO PREPARE THE PEI and BE YOURSELF

Cheers

Tomas

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Matthew
Expert
replied on Oct 08, 2017
Only ex-Partner (McKinsey and Oliver Wyman) on PrepLounge

Final round interviews with Partners often differ dramatically than the first round interviews with Associates and Managers. This is especially true if the Partner has been with the firm 15+ years. Some of the key differences between the rounds are:

  • Longer PEI time: The fit / PEI portion of the interview tends to be a bit longer (closer to 12-15 minutes) with more questions and a higher bar
  • Less case structure: Partners tend to use cases from their real life consulting experience instead of standard cases developed by the Recruiting Group
  • Partners love memorable: While first round interviewers are enamored by candidates who nail their case according to the case “stock” answer, Partners love candidates who stand out with memorable stories and anecdotes
  • Staffability: Partners look for candidates that they can see staffing at their clients right away

My best advice is to loosen up more, be more conversational and try to stand out. Be memorable!

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Anonymous A replied on May 19, 2017

Thank you VERY much, Carlos!

[Original Poster of the questions]

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Carlos on May 21, 2017
Just send me a private if you need anything else or an hour of final tips and refinements!
Anonymous updated the answer on Jul 14, 2020

Dear A,

the structure of the final is the same (fit + case+ your questions); however there is more emphasis on communication and fit to the company.

Specifically, the main difference you will find in a final round with partners is that at that stage they spend more time on fit questions and your alignment with the company.

So prepare more carefully you fit stories on the questions: About yourself, Leadership story, Why consulting? Why this company? Questions to the interviewer.

Best,

André

(edited)

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 15, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

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Best,

Clara

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