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McKinsey Fit Questions

Anonymous A asked on Nov 11, 2018

Hi everone,

I have 2 questions for you:

1) I am doing Mck interviews and, as everybody knows, the first part are fit questions. Do you have some information about how they want you to structure the question (if they want it)? How direct yo should be every question?

2) During the case, in the first question, should you always do the structure? Even if they have asked you about some factors that are the cause of a phenomenon?

Thanks everybody!

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Francesco replied on Nov 11, 2018
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Hi Anonymous,

as for your first question, the PEI at McKinsey is structured around three key dimensions, leadership, impact and drive. I have provided a description for them below:

1) Leadership is about leading a whole team in a challenging situation and showing team management skills. Questions include:

  1. Give me three examples of a time that you lead a group. 

  2. What are some key lessons you have learned about motivating people? 


Here you want to emphasize how you overcome a difficult situation leading a team.

2) Personal Impact is mainly based on persuading someone about doing/not doing something. Questions include:

  1. Tell me about a time that you persuaded your boss to go along with an idea you had.
  2. Tell me about a difficult situation where you had to rely on your communication skills. 


Here you want to emphasize your influence on someone else, usually in disagreement with you.

3) Entrepreneurial Drive is about implementing something overcoming major difficulties. Examples include:

  1. What was a situation where you set a major goal and been able to achieve it?
  2. What has been your major accomplishment so far?

Here you want to emphasize the achievement you reached and the process that led you there.

The best way to structure your stories is to use the STARR approach (Situation, Task, Action, Rational for action and Results), which helps the interviewer to understand all the key areas of your story.

Besides the previous dimensions, common questions also include:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why consulting
  • Why McKinsey
  • Why should we hire you

As for your second question, yes, you should always start the case with a structure. Moreover, you should also structure your approach for questions asked during the case, before proceeding with brainstorming/creativity solutions.

Hope this helps,
Francesco

Vlad replied on Nov 12, 2018
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Hi,

Interviewer usually asks 3 sets of questions:

  1. “Tell me about yourself” or “walk me through your resume”- this is how Consultants usually begin the interview. It's an opportunity for them to learn about you and to pick some interesting facts. Don’t lose this opportunity since the 1st impression is usually the strongest.
  2. “Why consulting?”, “Why McKinsey” or “Why BCG” questions are used to assess your motivation to be a consultant in general and to work in that particular firm. They will check how you have done your homework and what you’ve learned about them. They also want to make sure that you have a clear intention to work in consulting. "Why consulting" is a question about you and your career path. "Why McKinsey" is more about a particular company and even particular local office.
  3. Next, the interviewer will also ask you to provide examples from your background to assess how good you are as a leader or a team player; how you can create impact and persuade people; or how you can achieve your goals. These are all parts of consulting mindset - DNA of consultants, and you should be ready to prove that you are one of them.
  4. At the end of the interview, you will also have an opportunity to ask your questions to the interviewer. Most of the candidates disregard this part in preparation, while it is a great chance to demonstrate the intellectual capacity and build some relationship with the interviewer.

The length is related to your story and additional questions your interviewer may ask.

I recommend using the STAR framework:

  • Start with a 1 sentence summary what is the story about
  • In Situation, you should briefly provide the context, usually in 1 or 2 sentences
  • Task usually includes 2 or 3 sentences describing the problem and your objective.
  • Then you provide a list of specific actions you took to achieve the goal. It should take 1 or 2 sentences per action (Usually 3-4 actions). Note that the interviewer can stop you any minute and ask for more details.
  • The results part should have 1 or 2 sentences describing the outcomes. This part is finalizing your story - make sure it can impress the interviewer and stay in the memory.

It is important that the Interviewers will drill down into your story to understand the dynamics, your reactions and decisions and most of all the rationale behind them. They will follow up with other questions as you tell your story to make sure they understand it in enough detail. I recommend to prepare for these additional questions in advance.

Best,

Vlad

Oleksandr (Alex)
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updated his answer on Nov 11, 2018
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Fit question is to check if you can become a part of the company from the day one. You either understand and belong to the firm or not. If you want to be perfect on the fit question - you need to get into the consulting mode right straight from the beginning. You have to be sharp and professional not less. Think about it & act accordingly. Starting from the morning when you wake up for your interview day, and up until the moment you exit the firm's building. If you need to get a role model - talk to the real consultants from McKinsey. And practice as much as you can. Since the moment they see you are one of them - you're there. Period.

(edited)