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McKinsey Round 1 Feedback - Dig deeper

Anonymous A asked on Sep 19, 2019 - 4 answers

Hi, I just passed my first round at McKinsey and will soon have my final round. One feedback I got from my interview is that I should dig deeper, find nuances that aren't so obvious.

What'd be the best way to improve based on such feedback?

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Udayan
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replied on Sep 20, 2019
Ex McKinsey EM with 7 years of recruiting experience/ received all 3 MBB offers/Real MBB cases
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Congratulations!

Digging deeper can be done in the following ways

1. What is the so what? You have arrived at the answer and solved the problem - what is the implication of it? Does it impact any previous findings?

2. What can you consider that is not immediately obvious? Do the charts convey a pattern you could have missed? Especially look for continuity/connection across questions

3. Go one step further in your conclusions. For example if 2 players in a market have the same profit maybe this is a perfectly competitive market and not a good one to enter etc.

All the best for your final round!

Yewande
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replied on Sep 19, 2019
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Huge congratulations on successfully passing the first round of your McK interview - amazing! And great that you're trying to dig deeper into your feedback :) So... digging deeper, finding nuances and the non-obvious - what that sounds like is you did a good job, but they are looking to see 1. more diversity in your thinking; and 2. more persistence. So you likely caught the expected, but they weren't blown away by anything extra-ordinary. Here are some suggestions that may help:

  1. Show more curiosity by asking questions about the things that seem odd - Don't settle for just "figuring things out". When I'm prepping people, I find that they may notice something strange / odd / unusual / interesting about the case but don't say it for fear of being wrong / they are too focused on just one thing / think it may be irrelevant. Of course you don't want to say anything silly, but if you notice something, even if it just seems odd, say it out loud. Ask the question. Go down the slightly unusual route sometimes. If it is said clearly with confidence and said in addition to the other great, obvious stuff (and it's not an obvious no-no), it may just be the odd insight that differentiates you
  2. Throw in some creativity - Again, don't say anything that's not relevant, but after answering the main question, throw in some creativity, some innovation, some out of the box thinking. Maybe some peripheral observations that could be relevant. This shouldn't be the main thought (especially if it doesn't directly answer the analysis at hand) but as a supporting thought, it could be super cool
  3. When you finish answering a sub-question/doing an analysis, ask yourself "what am I missing" or "what could go wrong" or "how would Elon Musk think about this"? By asking yourself a slightly different question, you may see the problem in a different way, which will help you dig deeper into the problem and get a more interesting, nuanced solution.

Hope that helps. Reach out if you have further questions. And all the very best with your final round! :)

Best,

Yewande

Vlad
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replied on Sep 19, 2019
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Hi,

Several things here:

  1. You should always be looking for the root cause. The fact that the number of units sold has declined because the mix has changed is just numeric evidence. You should understand what exactly happened. Usually, you do that by structuring the problem further
  2. If you are analyzing the numbers / charts - look for the non-obvious things like outliers, correlations, etc

Best!

Robert
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replied on Sep 20, 2019
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Hi Anonymous,

I agree with the existing answers to your questions. Based on your short summary of the situation it sounds to me that you might have understood something on the level of the surface within the case ("the symptom"), but you did not manage to "dig deeper" and understand the underlying root cause about it.

Based no experience this is oftenly the transition from a quantitative understanding (the revenue of segment x was falling by y%) to the qualititatve understanding of WHY this has actually happened in reality (e.g. your client had a restructuring of production facilities and encountered issues in their supply chain, thus was not able to produce and deliver the quantity asked by the market.

Hope that helps as additional clarification!

Robert

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