Mckinsey top level buckets

Structure
New answer on Nov 02, 2021
6 Answers
148 Views
Anonymous A asked on Nov 01, 2021

When structuring for mckinsey, do I need to explain 'why' I'd look at each bucket (eg competitors, customers)..or can I just say I'd look at 4 areas, and then dive into what I'd look at under each area? Is the “why” important in explaining why these buckets? Feels a little self explanatory on things like competitors, customers..?

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Pedro
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Nov 02, 2021
# 1 Rated Bain Coach | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Former Head Recruiter | Principal

START WITH WHY!

This is by far the most important thing. And the “why” should be always explicit, and never for the interviewer to figure it out. Otherwise they will assume you just don't know why...

Also beware of “buckets” or "areas". They are not self-explanatory at all, and if you don't clearly state what information you are looking for in those buckets and why, it will sound like you have no idea what you are looking for and that you are just “fishing” for useful information that you will later on figure out how to use. Cases don't work that way.

Let me put it this way: while it may be self evident that you have to look into customers, it is not self evident which information you will look for within customers and why. And this is a world of difference.

Was this answer helpful?
Allen
Expert
replied on Nov 01, 2021
Ex-McK Experienced Hire and EM - I show you how to perform at your best

Oh I love this question.

It's 100% a great practice to state a question.

The reason is not for the interviewer, it's actually for you.  It's so you know what are the level 2 and level 3 areas you want to include to answer the question.  

For example, if you say, “I want to look at the market” or “I want to look at the customers."  Well, there are a million things you could look at, a million ways to segment, etc.  What you might really mean, is “I want to see if our customers overlap with those of the potential acquisition” and therefore you'll much more easily identify the next levels.

Furthermore, it's much more hypothesis driven and much more interesting for the interviewer (or the client) to be told what the questions are we want to answer than what are the subjects we should discuss.

Happy to explain more.  In the meantime, hope this helps!

Allen

 

Was this answer helpful?
Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 02, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 530+ McK interviews in 2021

Hey there,

You always need to explain your logic for coming up with certain ideas, both for McKinsey and every other consulting firm.

Why? Because interviewers are also interested in understanding your thinking process and logic, they do not just care about your content. 

That is also why for McKinsey cases there is usually no correct single answer but rather the quality of your arguments that defines your outcome.

All the best!

Cheers,

Florian

Was this answer helpful?
Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Nov 01, 2021
Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

Always state the why! Otherwise it feels very dry and almost rote as to why you are looking at a bucket. Plus thinking about the why is a core skill to have when casing.

 

For example - I would like to look at the overall market trends to assess if it is the right fit for our growth ambitions sounds a lot better than I would like to look at market trends.

 

Udayan

(edited)

Was this answer helpful?
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 01, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

100% you need the why! I like to tell my candidates that, for every bucket, they need the why, what, and how.

You absolutely need to explain why you're looking at what you're looking at. As in, how is this going to help you answer the objective?

Do you actually think “competitors” and “customers” is self explanatory? You need to say “I'd like to look at what competitors are doing so that we can do the same” or “I'd like to understand which competitors are making changes” or “I'd like to compare our product to the competitors products in order to look for gaps”, etc. etc. This is not self-explanatory at all…every bucket/word in every case has a different meaning based on the objective!

Was this answer helpful?
Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 02, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi!

Yes, you should always explain why, i.e. the logic you are following. It is indeed one of the key areas tested by interviewers.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Anto

Was this answer helpful?
Pedro gave the best answer

Pedro

CoachingPlus Expert
# 1 Rated Bain Coach | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Former Head Recruiter | Principal
61
Meetings
4,664
Q&A Upvotes
13
Awards
15 Reviews