McKinsey Second Round Case Interview

McKinsey
New answer on May 24, 2022
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 20, 2022

Hi, 

Has someone recently done their 2nd round interview at McKinsey? If anyone had any tips or how to ensure you pass 

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Francesco
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replied on May 21, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (3.900+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Well done on passing the 1st round!

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The final round has the same structure as the first (fit + case+ your questions); however in a final round, partners may:

  1. Spend more time on fit/PEI and your alignment with the company.
  2. Pay more attention to your communication (eg how you react to challenging questions).
  3. Not use a "standard" case. In some countries for example you may have market sizing questions, which are uncommon at McKinsey. Having said that, in most offices cases remain standard in finals as well.

To prepare, you can work on the following:

  1. Review in detail your PEI stories. Be sure to check them with experienced candidates or consultants and to have at least one backup for each dimension.
  2. Get feedback on your communication (reaction under pressure, how to gain time when you do not have a structure ready, connect with the interviewer, etc). This is something you can do almost exclusively during mocks.
  3. Prepare cases as you did for the first round. If you got feedback on a specific area, focus more on that part.

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Extra reading:

▶ PEI Dimensions

▶ Case Prep Tips

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Bonus point: partners often give cases related to the industries they cover. If you know their sectors, it is a good idea to review those industries / read their research papers on that / do cases related to that sector.

Best,

Francesco

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Stanislav
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updated an answer on May 21, 2022
Ex-McKinsey AP | Interviewed 50+ candidates, gave 10+ offers | Own MBB-inspired cases | Oxford and Cambridge graduate

Hi there, congratulations on making it to round two! No, seriously, you should know that you have passed the biggest hurdles by far. Round two interviews are successful for 25%+ candidates, as opposed to 1% chance when you are first sending through your resume.

I did indeed do many round two interviews at McKinsey recently. As a round two interviewer, not a candidate ;). Here are some tips from an interviewer perspective:

1. Listen carefully and internalise the developmental feedback they give you after round one. It can be a deal-breaker. If they pointed it out to you after round one, they will bear it in mind for round two. If you fail to address it, you are likely to fail. 

2. Pay attention to your own recollection of the interviews. What went well, what went less well? The odds are, where you felt you struggled is also where the evaluators felt you stuggled. Make sure next time will be better.

3. Depending on when is the second round, ask your recruiter if you can get a coaching session from a current McKinsey consultant. The recruiter will likely say yes: they want to help you, especially since you are so close to success!

4. Don't over-train! At some point you will only hurt your chances. A smooth and systematic pace with a case coach or a partner will help you way more than goblling up every case you can find.

If you want more tips from someone who conducted dozens of second round interviews for McKinsey and extended many offers, don't hesitate to reach out to me! Good luck to you.

Best

Stan

(edited)

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Mario
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replied on May 22, 2022
Ex-Mckinsey (analyst->associate->manager) and now in tech (Bytedance) + Part time interview coach and mentor

Hey there, 

 

Congrats ! You're almost there.

Few tips to keep in mind:

1- Whatever you're doing, continue doing

If you have been structured in the way you solve cases, polished in your comms etc., continue doing that. Don't experiment new drastic things in your 2nd round and maintain the consistency that got you so far

 

2- Focus on clear comms, confident attitude

The more advanced the round, the more senior your interviewers. This is when soft skills become more and more important. Obviously problem solving and case cracking remain important but senior interviewers also care about your character and whether they can eventually put you in front of senior clients. Maintain eye contact, be confident in your answers, speak clearly and you'll be fine

 

Mario 

 

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Florian
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Content Creator
replied on May 24, 2022
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

There is no McKinsey 2nd round case, same as there is no McKinsey 1st round case. In theory, they are all created based on the same guidelines to assure a certain level of objectivity. On top, interviews should be held based on the same standard:

Two things pop up all the time:

1. Creative second round case

One of my second round cases from a couple of years ago was along the lines of ‘’Our client manufactures and operates check-in machines at airports in the USA. The machines break down at different rates in different locations. What could be the reasons for this?'' 

This was a typical McKinsey-style creative case, where frameworks will not get you very far. The same types of cases also have to be expected during the first round.

2. My general thoughts on 2nd round interviews

95% of McKinsey partner rounds are just as standardized as the first round, yet be prepared to expect everything. Sometimes they are more conversational and friendly, only with light-touch evaluation, other times they are more challenging. Usually, they are the same. 

The reason why you read about freestyle partner experiences is that they deviate from what people expect, hence they post about it more frequently online, hence giving others the impression it is much more common.

Additionally, partner rounds are often perceived as more challenging, just because it's a partner sitting across the table rather than a more junior colleague. It is purely based on the impression and not on the content. :-)

If there are any deviations from the standard interviewer guidelines, expect them to be in the following realm:

  • Focus on one or two areas where you were perceived as not as strong in round one, which can be specific case questions or fit questions (or PEI for McKinsey)
  • Only doing a case, only doing fit instead of both
  • Doing two shorter cases in quick succession
  • Challenging your answers more
  • Not providing any time for you to think about the answer, making it more conversational

In any case, the most important thing is not to be startled by this and just keep working on the case and fit in a calm manner. 

Have a look at the following two articles that I wrote or reach out for McKinsey-specific coaching:

Case: https://www.preplounge.com/en/mckinsey-interview

PEI: https://www.preplounge.com/en/mckinsey-pei

All the best for your second round!

Cheers,
Florian

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Lucie
Expert
replied on May 22, 2022
10+yrs recruiting & top BCG trainer and coach & BCG Project leader & experienced hire & ICF coach

Hi there, 

congrats on passing the 1st round, you are in the 20% that makes it to the 2nd round! I would recommend to get detail feedback from your 1st round to focus on what you can improve. Other than that keep doing what has worked until now, dont overthink it!

Good luck,

Lucie

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on May 21, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Congrats on passing the first round!

If you truly want to ensure you pass, then hire a coach.

There's nothing “specific” that you need to focus on that's different from the first round. You should continue to prepare for everything and be ready to be adaptable to whatever happens.

Of course, focus on any weak areas/feedback from the first round and do try to understand your interviewers' backgrounds, but, apart from that, nothing changes (in that you need to expect everything)!

Here's some case reading: https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/how-to-shift-your-mindset-to-ace-the-case

And some fit reading: https://www.preplounge.com/en/tell-me-about-yourself-interview-question

 

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Cristian
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Content Creator
replied on May 21, 2022
Highest recommendation rate / Top McKinsey coach / 100% success rate at >4 sessions / Honest feedback: no sugar-coating

Hi there, 

Congrats on reaching the second round!

That's a big question. I have about 300 tips on how to pass. Want to chat? :)

Joke aside, you might get more out of the Q&A if you have a specific area you'd like to work on (e.g., improving speed of numericals, structuring unusual cases…) and shape that into a specific question.

Best,

Cristian

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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