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McKinsey second attempt

Anonymous A asked on May 07, 2019


I was rejected after final round at Mck last year . The feedback I thought was little weird. They said that I could solve all cases but my process seemed a little mechanical (may be because i practiced a lot of cases before the final round). I currently work as a consultant in a boutique strategy firm. What should be my strategy for this second attempt at Mckinsey with my last year's feedback.?

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replied on May 08, 2019
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews
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I have heard the "too prepared" feedback, and do not believe it. You can never be "too prepared"; if you could, experts & other world-class performers would stop practicing. Guess what, they never stop practicing and learning, and this is how they remain at the top of their game.

What you can be however, is convinced you know the answer and forget to listen & think. Now, this actually happens quite often. I personally have lost job opportunities for doing exactly that. Was I over prepared? No. But was I over confident, canned, mechanical, cocky...? sure!

My recommendation: Prepare as much as you can, but always remember to listen closely to the question being asked; a single word may change the whole meaning and require a completely different approach. Your interviewer will also drop hints or traps, be on the lookout for them. Don't let yourself feel constrained by a memorized framework, always adapt it to the case at hand. If you prepare thoroughly, listen carefully and remain flexible, you will get in. Good luck!

replied on May 09, 2019
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You always want to make sure you're showing your innate curiosity, problem-solving, insight, etc. etc. You can't practice too much, but you can lose your ability to be creative and show interest.

I always advise people of the following "tricks" to make sure their cases don't seem robotic/flavorless

1) "Cover" framework titles. I.e. "Industry x Market" instead of Market, "Product X name" instead of "Product" or "Profitability" etc.etc.

2) Throw-in current facts: "I know x is currently happening in the world. So we may want to consider y". "I read something the other day about z, which applies in this way"

3) Show curiosity through responsiveness: "Oh, I had no idea the Korean cosmetics industry was so large." or "That's so interesting that x costs are so large. Makes sense now that I think about y"

Remember: A case is as much a behavioural as it is a case - always show that you're actually interested in the's going to be your 24/7 job after all!

Hope this helps.

Hi Ian, I have been following this thread and saw your comment above '1) "Cover" framework titles. I.e. "Industry x Market" instead of Market, "Product X name" instead of "Product" or "Profitability" etc.etc.' Could you please give examples of this? — Chris on May 09, 2019 (edited)

Anonymous updated his answer on Jun 03, 2019


indeed, if you are "too prepared" you might force frameworks on cases to which they don't fit and/or are intellectually not flexible enough to adjust frameworks to a given situation. Also, real interview cases can be very uncommon which is sometimes purposefully constructed to force the candidate to think instead of merely recalling a framework

I always teach my candidates that the objective of a case dictates the structure - and not the other way round, the importance of which cannot be underestimated!

Hence, do practice cases and put special focus on targeting this very case/the uniqueness of the case. Let me know if you need further explanation/help.

Also, this is an article that you might find helpful:

Best regards


Daniel replied on May 08, 2019
Imperial College PhD, Rolls-Royce Project Engineer, RWTH Aachen Mechanical Engineer and Business Administrator, Software Engineer


I also heard from people that they received similar feedback. I strongly recommend always asking for in-depth feedback, especially in case of a rejection when you have nothing to lose but to gain. Be kind when asking for detailed feedback which is something you deserve knowing.

Good luck,


Vlad replied on May 08, 2019
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Agree with the other experts here. If you were "mechanical" means you were trying to use one fits it all approach and not taking into the account the objective / context of the case. Thus I recommend having more preparation with a focus on listening to the interviewer and tailoring your structure to the case


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