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Partner Round - McKinsey

Partner Interview
New answer on Feb 27, 2023
8 Answers
522 Views
Anonymous A asked on Feb 24, 2023

Hi Community Members,

I have final round with McK next week. considering just completed the initial round today they are very quick. Are there any any key areas that needs to be considered or prepared?

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Florian
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replied on Feb 27, 2023
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hey there,

Congrats on the 2nd round - almost there :-)

The first thing that you should know is that you have what it takes and you can go confidently into the 2nd round. The 2nd round is just to confirm what has been noticed during the 1st, yet with a different set of eyes from more senior firm leaders.

Now to your questions:

McKinsey is trying really hard to create an objective and standardized interview experience for all candidates, across offices, practices, and interviewers. As a result, you should expect exactly the same interviewing format as in the first round

  • 25 minutes PEI
  • 25 minutes case
  • 5 minutes for your questions at the end of the interview

You will be evaluated on the same criteria, and metrics, with the same types of cases and questions.

Now, that's the theory. :-)

Quick reality check!

That being said, partners still often employ their own way of doing interviews based on their personal preferences, which means that sometimes the final round with them can be less predictable.

Some focus on the case, others focus solely on the fit part (and deviate from the traditional PEI to ask other personal fit questions), and some stick to the standard format. I had a candidate recently who had to go through two cases and one of them was made up on the spot, which made it very tricky.

In general, the more senior the partner, the more likely are they to deviate from the standard interview format because they a. can b. have their own way of doing things. :-)

So now you know the practice.

What does this mean for you and your preparation?

Nothing much.

Continue with your preparation, meaning

  • Rehearse and finetune your PEI answers with a coach or peers who know what they are talking about
  • Hone your case interview skills that are relevant for McKinsey (structuring, math, exhibit interpretation) with coaches and drills
  • Prepare for some traditional fit questions (Why consulting, why McKinsey, etc.)
  • Pay special attention to the areas where you received negative feedback in the first round. Second-round interviewers are aware and will dig deeper into these specific areas

During the interview

  • Stay cognitively flexible
  • Do not be surprised if the format deviates from what you expect
  • Stay calm and collected no matter what happens
  • Stay enthusiastic, and engaged, and portray the impression that you are happy to be here (partners love that...)

If you managed to pass the first round, you should have it in you to pass the second round as well.

Fingers crossed and let me know if you need some help with McKinsey! 

Feel free to read some of the articles I wrote here about the process:

Cheers,

Florian

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Hagen
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replied on Feb 25, 2023
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

First of all, congratulations on making it to the final round of the interview process!

I think this is an interesting question that may be relevant for many people. I would be happy to share my thoughts on it:

  • Be prepared: Review the information you've been provided about the company and the position, and be ready to discuss your qualifications and how they align with the role. Make sure you have also identified and addressed any weaknesses that you may have.
  • Show your enthusiasm: Let the partners know that you're excited about the opportunity to join their team and contribute to the company's success.
  • Highlight your relevant experience: Be sure to emphasize the experiences you've had that make you well-suited for the role.
  • Be a good listener: Pay attention to the questions the partners are asking and answer them directly. Also, don’t hesitate to ask clarifying questions if you are unsure about what they are looking for.
  • Be prepared for anything, including strategic and conceptual questions about the consulting industry and business in general. Be ready to think on your feet and demonstrate your problem-solving abilities.
  • Lastly, be authentic and show your passion for the role and the company.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to address your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Andi
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replied on Feb 26, 2023
BCG 1st & Final Round interviewer | Personalized prep with >95% success rate | 7yrs coaching | #1 for Experienced Hires

Hi there, 

first of all, congrats.

I largely agree with the other coaches' opinions, but here a few more thoughts: 

1. Structuring: In terms of structuring, don't actually expect less structure, just be mindful that more senior interviewers are less detail-oriented but rather focus on bigger picture / conceptual thinking.

2. Quant: Senior interviewers are less likely to bring (detailed) exhibits and care less about complex maths. Sizing type of questions, on the other hand, become a bit more likely.

3. Judgment: Senior interviewers care less about technical skills, but more about good judgment and want to see if you can connect the dots. Good common sense goes a long way, especially 

4. Comms: focus less on being as tight as possible on the process (esp. in the case opening), but make sure the language you choose is even more top-down, crisp and especially more natural & contextualized. Esp the first 2 points are important, as the more senior interviewers get, on average, the less patience they have for rambling and long explanations (the same is true for more senior clients).

Hope this helps. Wish you all the best!

Regards, Andi

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Francesco
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replied on Feb 25, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: I have final round with McK next week. Are there any any key areas that needs to be considered or prepared?

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. Ask questions related to the areas of improvement for which you got feedback after the first round.
  3. Not use a "standard" case. Although in most offices McKinsey cases remain standard in finals as well.

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To prepare, you can work on the following:

  1. Review your PEI stories. Be sure to have at least one backup for each dimension.
  2. Work on the areas for which you got feedback, if any (eg. structure, creativity, PEI).
  3. Continue with your case prep. If you are tracking your performance, do drills for the areas where you are struggling the most / review cases where you made mistakes instead of just doing random cases.

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Extra reading:

▶ 4 PEI Dimensions You Should Know

▶ 4 Ways McKinsey Interviews are Different

▶ How to Prepare for a Case Interview

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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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Anonymous replied on Feb 25, 2023

Dear applicant, 

 

Congratulations on your final round interview. For the interview be prepared that it may be more challenging than the previous interviews and note that it is a great idea to know a lot about the office, role, industry you are applying to beforehand so you can make references to l that. Also note that you can shine by networking, mentioning why you are eager to join that diem and if you make a great value based presentation of what you stand for then it should be easy to convince the interviewer. Best regards, 

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11
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 25, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Remember that it's really important to be ready for anything. This isn't to shy away from answering your question, but it is the truth. The moment you go in expecting x, is the moment you've set yourself up for failure.

Train yourself in solving any problem, in any scenario, with any interviewer style.

Every Partner/interviewer is different, so just train your flexibility/adaptability.

After all…isn't that what consultants do on the job?

It doesn't matter if my past Roland Berger Middle East client got 1 top-down market sizing, 3 brainstorming questions, and 1 profitability case with a really direct/mean/short interviewer. You might get 2 bottom-up market sizings, zero brainstorming questions, and 2 unconventional cases with a really friendly/fast-paced interviewer!

Here's some reading to help:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/how-to-shift-your-mindset-to-ace-the-case

https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/pitfalls-case-interview-preparation

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Jackson
Expert
replied on Feb 25, 2023
BCG| BCG Ambassador On Campus at Kellogg MBA| 50+ mock interviews delivered| Successful placements for McKinsey & BCG

Hi! 
 

First of all, congratulations!! It is definitely something to make it to the final round!

 

My personal experience is, Partner round interviews are usually more emphasizing on few dimensions: 
 

  1. Presentability: can you articulate your thought process in front of a senior client, and defend with sound logic and confidence when you got challenged?
  2. Mental-math: given that partner interviews are usuall unstructured, you will be less likely reading a chart or table and conducting on the paper calculations. Instead, you could be asked to a random market sizing in your head and give a ballpark of best estimations
  3. Fit of the firm: do you showcase qualities of stress-resistance, intellectual curiosity and lastly, likability (think of Aiport Test)?

 

I will say, the best preparation is definitely focusing on how to bring out your A-game on the day of interview. Be confident and keep yourself sharp with enough rest is definitely essential.

Good luck!

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 24, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there, 

Congrats on passing the first round!

Here's a few things to keep in mind for last round interview:

  1. Work on the feedback provided in the previous rounds. Most firms communicate the feedback from the previous rounds to the final interviewer. It's important then to show the final interviewer that you have a growth mindset and are reactive to feedback. This matters immensely. Make sure you are clear on your development areas and that you get the right support to polish them before the final interview.
  2. Expect less structure. Senior interviewers already have the confidence that you are a decent candidate, your skills having been already vetted by their younger colleagues. They are rather more interested in your as a person and your way of thinking. So they might present you with an unusual case, or one that is created on the spot or no case altogether. Expect anything.
  3. Focus on excellent communication. Senior interviewers care a lot about how clearly you communicate and how you manage to forge a connection with the interviewer. It's important to be top-down and concise as much as possible with your answers, while allowing the conversation to flow in a natural way.
  4. Put yourself in their shoes. The one question senior interviewers are asking themselves throughout the interview is what will happen when they'll put you in front of a client they've groomed for years? Make sure that even based on this first impression you seem somebody who can be trusted and who can work with any client regardless of how difficult they might be.

As a last note, if you want to increase the likelihood of success, consider hiring a coach to assess your readiness for the final interview. 

This question has been asked previously in a similar fashion. You can read it HERE.

Best,
Cristian

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Florian gave the best answer

Florian

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