McKinsey Implementation case interviews

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New answer on Feb 28, 2021
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 25, 2021

//Edit: I did the 1st round McK interview, no difference to standard cases. Both happened to be cost cutting/efficiency cases. I was lacking the routine and a bit too slow with the maths in the first case and didnt pass to the 2nd round, instead used it as a great learning experience and got an offer at BCG. Good luck to anyone interviewing! Oh and defs don't stress about the Imbellus game, it's easy and fun game.//

I'd like to hear from someone who has gone through McKinsey Implementation interview process, were your cases solely about Ops (and which types of cases)? HR initially told me that most of the interviewers will be from Operations and Implementation practices, so the cases will be around those themes. I was contacted by McK HR and have been discussing with them about a role in their Implementation function as an experienced hire. I'm currently an engagement manager in B4, not in Ops but have industry experience from before and MI fits my profile well. Will definitely need to practice as I haven't done any case interviews like this in the past but I'm trying to optimize the time used and concentrate on the right case types. Any other tips for MI interview process also appreciated!

(edited)

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Clara
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replied on Feb 26, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Congrats on the interview.

Agree with Allen here: most cases will be the "usual" ones. Some advise on those:

1. Practice cases with partners asap, as many as you can do.Find experienced partners who can provide a good feedback

2. Practice your math skills, both in your cases and with ad hoc exercisess, such as:

1. ​Multiplying double digit numbers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ndkkPZYJHo

2. Leveraging math tools (Mimir math for iOS), Math tool on Viktor Cheng website to practice

Furthermore, you should practice as much as you can, and ensure that you cover:

  • 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

Furthermore, ensure you don´t forget FIT prep! 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.

You can see plenty of reviews from candidates who purchased it already.

Furthermore, you can find 2 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes, since we still have some left from the launch! :)

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Florian
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replied on Feb 26, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

In the McKinsey interview you will have to answer three different questions types - broadly speaking:

  • Structuring
  • Exhibit Interpretation
  • Math

Now for Structure and Exhibit Interpretation, there is no right or wrong answer. Some answers are better than others because they are

  • deep
  • broad
  • insightful
  • hypothesis-driven
  • follow a strong communication (MECE, top-down, signposted)

That being said, there is no 100% that you can reach or the one-and-only solution/ answer. It is important that your answers display the characteristics specified above and supported well with arguments.

As for Math questions, usually, there are answers which are correct (not always 100% the same since some candidates simplify or round differently - which is ok), and others that are wrong, either due to the

  • calculation approach
  • calculation itself

Now, for the interviewer, the overall picture counts. Mistakes in one area need to be balanced by a strong performance in other areas. McKinsey wants to see spikes in performance in certain areas and a good enough performance in other areas.

The most common example I see almost every day: You can be strong in structure and exhibit, yet make a small mistake in the math section - overall as you might consider 80% - and still pass on to the next round.

On the matter of industry-specific cases:

It will be a mix of cases in a domain-relevant context as well as cases set in a completely different context.

Be aware that frameworks were applicable in the 2000 years, the era of Victor Cheng and Case in Point. McK has long caught up on this and the cases you will get during the interviews are tailored in a way to test your creativity and ability to generate insights, not remember specific frameworks.

In fact, it will hurt you when you try to use a framework on a case that calls for a completely different approach. Also, it gives a false sense of security that will translate to stress once you figure out how your approach won't work during the real interview - I have seen this so many times...

Your goal should be to learn how to build issue trees, interpret charts, and perform math no matter the context, industry, or function of the case. I have a system for that, especially for McKinsey cases, that teaches you exactly this approach + a ton of exercises I give my coachees to progress their ability to come up with deep, broad, and insightful answers for each case individually.

Cheers,

Florian

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Allen
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replied on Feb 26, 2021
Ex-McK Experienced Hire and EM - I show you how to perform at your best

Hi there,

I was an EM in McKinsey Implementation and interviewed many MI candidates. With the caveat that things might have changed in the last couple of years a little, here are the answers to your questions:

  • Interviewers choose their own cases from the internal list. Since MI deals mostly with Ops, most interviewers are from MI, and interviewers are much more likely to choose something they're very knowledgeable in, you should expect to see Ops cases.
  • The cases not very different from other McKinsey cases in terms of the skills necessary. So definitely valuable to practice "generalist" cases, too, like market entry, corporate strategy, M&A, etc., especially since you may receive these anyway.
  • Spend some time reading ops cases even without practicing them so that you can refresh your memory as to some of the common issues encountered in these types of client problems. Don't memorize, just familiarize.

Happy to help more, please drop me an email and I'll get back to you over the weekend.

Best,

Allen

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Antonello
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Content Creator
replied on Feb 27, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, I can confirm the business cases will be similar to the generalist path with a bigger chance to cover ops topics

Best,
Antonello

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Gaurav
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replied on Feb 28, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

Your preparation should base on the standard cases + make sure to take a closer look at the operations/implementation practice and cases.

GB

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Ken
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replied on Feb 27, 2021
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

I would prepare both ops and non-ops cases as per your recruiters guidance. The details of what is being teseted during the case are the same, namely structuring, conceputal thinking and quants. There is always a chance you will get a non-Ops/MI interviewer, especially since interviewers can change last minute due to availability.

Good luck!

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Ian
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replied on Feb 26, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

i agree with the other coaches here (and sorry for the delayed response!).

To prepare for this, your approach is really mostly the same (i.e. prepare for standard and unique cases as well as for fit/behavioral). In addition to standard prep, also make sure you've practiced operations/implementation-based cases AND fully understand the practice area (i.e. read Mck Insights, BCG insight etc., specifically under the ops/implementation topics)

Good luck!

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Luca
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replied on Feb 26, 2021
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

Case interviews for McKinsey implementation are not very different from the standard ones. They are usually about Operations cases but the truth is that HR do not know the case used by the itnerviewer, that could be also a standard market sizing not related to ops.
I would suggest to prepare for general case interviews with a special focus on ops cases. Applying as experienced hire they will expect you to know terminology and standard strategy of this practice but I wouldn't worry about that since they will not deep dive too much.

Feel free to text me if you want talk about a preparation plan for your interviews.

Luca

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Clara gave the best answer

Clara

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McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
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