Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 451,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

McKinsey round 2 interview

McKinsey & Company
New answer on Nov 13, 2023
5 Answers
2.4 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jan 30, 2019


During my round 2 case interview with an associate partner at McKinsey, I was asked to calculate breakeven quantity for a go/no-go kind of business case. I explained all the steps before calculating, wrote things down and shared what I found at the end with some additional information. Then, a strange thing happened: the interviewer took the paper that I did all my calculations on and checked my answer and went through her papers in silence for around a minute and a half. Once she finished checking, she gave it back and carried on the interview as usual. The answer that I found seemed reasonable and made sense. I was wondering if this is common in round 2 interviews and what it really means. I will appreciate any kind of help/advice to prepare for my next interview to avoid such a situation as it affected the pace and the rhythm of the interview.


Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Content Creator
replied on Nov 13, 2023
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Precisely for the high amount of questions (1) asked by my coachees and students and (2) present in this Q&A, I created the “Math & Formulas - Economic and Financial concepts for MBB interviews”, recently published in PrepLounge’s shop (

After +5 years of candidate coaching and university teaching, and after having seen hundreds of cases, I realized that the economic-related knowledge needed to master case interviews is not much, and not complex. However, you need to know where to focus! Hence, I created the guide that I wish I could have had, summarizing the most important economic and financial concepts needed to solve consulting cases, combining key concepts theorical reviews and a hands-on methodology with examples and ad-hoc practice cases.

It focuses on 4 core topics, divided in chapters (each of them ranked in scale of importance, to help you maximize your time in short preparations):

  • Economic concepts: Profitability equation, Break even, Valuation methods (economic, market and asset), Payback period, NPV and IRR, + 3 practice cases to put it all together in a practical way. 
  • Financial concepts: Balance sheet, Income statement/P&L and Performance ratios (based on sales and based on investment), +1 practice case
  • Market structure & pricing: Market types, Perfect competition markets (demand and supply), Willingness to pay, Pricing approaches, Market segmentation and Price elasticity of demand, +1 practice case
  • Marketing and Customer Acquisition: Sales funnel, Key marketing metrics (CAC and CLV) and Churn, +1 practice case

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes for the guide, and I hope it helps you rock your interviews! 



Was this answer helpful?
replied on Jan 30, 2019
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi Anonymous,

to me it sounds like you came up with the correct result, but chose a calculation approach that was a bit different from what the interviewer had prepared. So it seems that (s)he just wanted to make sure that your approach/calculus was robust, in order to exlude that you reached the correct answer by coincidence (this sometimes happens). I wouldn't worry about this - the way you describe the situation all should be fine.

Cheers, Sidi

Was this answer helpful?
replied on Jan 30, 2019
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

Agree with Sidi. I'd usually expect the interviewer to ask questions about the methodology (sometimes on the fly - this is what I do in case prep for example) rather than take 90 seconds to review everything visually. The fact she didn't point out a mistake also makes me think all is good. If so, and assuming your path wasn't significantly more complex, I'd even give you extra points for being creative in how you approached the problem.

Hope you hear back soon, let us know the outcome.

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Sep 21, 2020

Hi A,

My first thought after reading your message was similar to Sidi's. It seems you did calculations correctly but in a different way than the interviewer expected. Besides, you did not get any negative feedback that you made mistakes.

Anyway, do not overthink it and better get prepared for the next interview.



Was this answer helpful?
replied on Jan 30, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


Pls wait for the results and don't reflect too much on these details. Its really hard to guess.


Was this answer helpful?
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely