Expert with best answer


98% Recommendation Rate

359 Meetings

5,124 Q&A Upvotes

USD 229 / Coaching

McKinsey preparation plan

Anonymous A asked on Jun 25, 2019 - 2 answers

Hi all! :)

I'm a 23 year old student from Central Eastern Europe and in few days I'll start preparing intensively for McKinsey interview and plan to apply for Business analyst intern role in approximately 3 months.

Right now, I'm working on crafting my plan and would like to get feedback/thoughts from people that have been through this. Here is the basic outline of my plan - note that I currently plenty of free time.

(a) Mon: Case interview + skill building (total number of hours: 3-4)

(b) Tue: Reviewing my case interview from yesterday + skill building (total number of hours: 3-4)

Wed(a), Thu (b), Fri(a), next Mon (b)...and so on.

In the course of 2 weeks (10 working days) I plan to go through 10 cases and improving skills in the same time. Total amount of solved cases in 3 months will be approximately 60-70.

First, I'll buy McKinsey Case Interview Training Programme from Igotanoffer (could anyone tell me if they would recommend them?) to get some basic knowledge. After I learn basics and go through couple of case interviews by myself, I plan to focus mostly on 1 on 1 interviews with other candidates here and listen to LOMS after every 10-15 interviews. I also plan to have a journal to keep track of my progress. Besides that, I'll spend rest of the time building skills such as effective communication, data analysis, mental math, etc.

The thing I am worried about most is business intuition / creativity. Any advice on developing it?

Thank you for reading my post. I am happy to hear whatever feedback anyone has on my plan.


2 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
replied on Jun 25, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
Book a coaching with Vlad

98% Recommendation Rate

359 Meetings

5,124 Q&A Upvotes

USD 229 / Coaching


Business Acumen is actually about building proper industry and functional knowledge.

Focus on the most common industries in the following priority (sorted by probability of geting a case): 1-retail and CPG; 2-airlines; 3-Telecom; 4-banking; 5-natural resources; 6-tech

There are several sources of information that will help you develop the business sense:

1) Cases - you simply solve 50-70 cases and get a broad knowledge of different industries, common pitfalls and questions. The key here - find good partners who already had case interviews with MBB companies

2) Company annual reports for investors, equity reports, IB roadshow docs - usually have a good overview of company and industries. I consider it as the best source of industry knowledge

3) HBS cases - quite useful, but not sure if lot's of them available publically. Probably worth buying

4) Industry Books - one good book about airlines with numbers and industry analysis can give you all needed industry knowledge

5) News, Industry blogs

For each industry, you should understand:

  • Revenue streams
  • Cost structure
  • Margins
  • Key performance indicators
  • Key revenue drivers
  • Industry trends

Then I will switch to getting functional knowledge:

  • Marketing (Brand and trade marketing tools, etc)
  • Supply chain (Ops metrics like cycle time and throughput time, distribution and delivery specifics, etc)
  • Operations (Process optimization basics)
  • Finance (Very basic Finance and Valuation)

Good Luck

Alexander updated his answer on Jun 25, 2019


This sounds like a great plan to prepare you for the case interview. However, please don't neglect the other factors: (1) Networking is incredibly relevant - imaging spending all this time preparing and then not getting an interview! (2) You will have to pass a written test, the PST, before even getting an in-person interview. Most estimates I've seen indicate that more than half of the applicants fail at this stage. (3) Personal fit - I've been told by someone working at McKinsey that this portion is as important as your case interview performance, and you should treat it accordingly.

Good luck!


Related BootCamp article(s)

Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases

Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly

Related case(s)

McKinsey Questions

Solved 32.3k times
4.5 5 829
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you a ... Open whole case