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Mistakes in McKinsey Interview

Case Interview McKinsey
New answer on Jun 26, 2024
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 23, 2024

Hi everyone!

I've heard that mistakes in answering the Case or PEI during a McKinsey interview won't necessarily lead to an automatic rejection. 

1. Can anyone share what kinds of mistakes are considered tolerable and which ones are not? 

2. How much room for error is there in McKinsey's case interviews compared to other consulting firms? 

3. Are there any success stories where candidates made errors during their McKinsey interview but still received an offer? What were those errors and how did they manage it?

Thanks for your insights!

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Best answer
Hagen
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 24, 2024
#1 recommended coach | >95% success rate | most experience in consulting, interviewing, and coaching

Hi there,

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your questions:

  • First of all, please keep in mind that McKinsey is a strategy consulting firm like any other, so there is no difference in terms of mistake tolerance.
  • Moreover, it is important to understand that not every mistake is a dealbreaker. Minor mistakes are usually tolerable as long as they don't become a pattern across interviews.
  • Lastly, everyone makes mistakes, whether they realize it or not. So please relax.

You can find more on this topic here: How to succeed in the final interview round.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare for your upcoming McKinsey interviews, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Cristian
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replied on Jun 24, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

That's absolutely right. 

It's important to remember that this interview is a conversation. They are not just ticking some boxes on a piece of paper. It's a lot less ‘mathematical’ than people assume. 

And in any conversation or co-creation process, there are likely to appear mistakes. 

What matters more is how you recover from these mistakes. 

Best,
Cristian

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Oliver
Expert
replied on Jun 26, 2024
Former BCG interviewer (75+ interviews for associates, consultants and MBA hires) | I will make your practice perfect

Hi,

 

To add to the other responses. It's perfectly acceptable to make a mistake. It is however vital that you do not repeat the same mistake across interviews. So if you slightly underperform on rigor in one case interview, make sure you correct for that underperformance across the other interviews. That's one of the reasons you do multiple interviews, to be able to correct for these kind of mistakes.

Best,

Oliver

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Jun 26, 2024
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Private Equity | Market Estimates | Fit Interview

Let me tackle the 3 with a single shot.

No candidate needs to be perfect. And no candidate is perfect. You can do mistakes. But some mistakes can be fatal.

I don't think it makes sense to provide a long list of mistakes. Some mistakes are terrible and should be obvious (e.g. you tell a story where you reveal that you behaved unprofessionally), but usually the issue is the cumulative impact of smaller mistakes (or consistency in a specific flaw/limitation).

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Hagen gave the best answer

Hagen

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