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McKinsey Non-Conventional Cases that have been asked in real interviews

Interview McKinsey MBB McKinsey
New answer on Aug 31, 2020
3 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 27, 2019

I'd love to get some questions people know that have been asked in real interview cases that are non-conventional (i.e. non-business cases) - ALSO the MECE approach to solving them on a very high-level would be very helpful.

E.g. What is the root cause of lower employee performance at a firm?

- Trying to practice MECE structuring in these types of cases

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Content Creator
replied on Nov 30, 2019
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

the last unconventional McK case I have heard about regards the decision of a famous zoo to buy the unique example of living dinosaur just discovered.


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replied on Nov 27, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


These types of cases are actually pretty traditional, especially for McKinsey. The reason why people think that they are rare is that the casebooks (that are in general not a good source of cases) almost don't have them

Feel free to reach me if you need a prep on them.

To provide a bit of structure, there are several types of non-profit cases:

  1. Factors influencing the price (What are the factors influencing the price of oil? Factors influencing the price of real estate?)
  2. Macroeconomic cases (How will you improve life expectancy in a particular city? How will you decrease the unemployment?)
  3. Public sector non-profits (Increasing the revenues of a museum; increasing the revenues from tourism in a city)
  4. Redesigning the processes (How will you develop a new anti-monopoly regulation?)
  5. Non-profit investments (A billionaire is building a new school. What are the factors to look at?)
  6. Ops and cost-cutting (How to reduce the traffic jams on a bridge? A garbage processing facility is out of capacity, what should they do?) - I personally consider them as a separate type of cases that is pretty traditional in the offices performing a lot of ops projects.


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Anonymous replied on Aug 31, 2020

Dear A,

MECE is used to structure non-conventional case , which means that you have very practical business judgement in order to uncover all the components.

I would recommend you to create a structure first as a draft, while you going through the case you still be able to pull-out your ideas in a very structured fashion.

I have some examples of non-conventional business cases, so reach out to me and I can show you some practical examples.



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Antonello gave the best answer


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McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching
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