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PhD candidate to McKinsey, question about recruiting process and how much the game weigh

advanced degree McKinsey McKinsey problem solving game
New answer on Mar 26, 2023
7 Answers
1.4 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Mar 13, 2023

Hi everyone, I am a PhD candidate studying STEM at a target (US), I recently applied to the McKinsey insight program and did the PSG game. Even though I prepared, I totally bombed it. I did horribly on the ecosystem (pretty sure did not get all the organisms to survive, maybe 4-7/8) and for the redrock one, I did well on the data analysis and report portion, but this time they threw a curve ball at me and included 10 cases to answer after that, which I only answered 1 due to time constraints. I have a very strong resume but was worried that this might jeopardize my chances for at least a year (the game will stay on system for a year). I am wondering how much the game is weighted for the insight program and how this might affect FT application? Thanks a lot


 

 

 

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 14, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

I love that McKinsey has done this.

I'm really sorry to hear about this for you as an individual, but it's happening to everyone right now.

And it's exactly what I would do if I were McKinsey.

And, it's exactly what all of these companies are doing with their interviews.

If a company designs a game, and then all these people replicate it, and the people who have money pay to pass it, then the game loses it's purpose! (To assess a candidate's capabilities). Of course it should be changed (without telling anyone)

That's why I train my candidates in the core consulting skills and capabilities NOT in memorization. Because, no matter what you memorize, it will change.

Now, again, I'm really sorry to hear about this!

It's *possible* this new game is not yet being used as a screening/evaluation but rather as A/B testing to later be used as a screening.

It's also *possible* the rest of your profile will overcome this poor result. Remember, your profile is evaluated hollistically.

If you did indeed fail, you will need to re-apply in 1 year.

But please reset your thinking here. You only ever had a 5% chance of getting into McKinsey. 

Hope for the best and plan for the worst. You need to apply to dozens of firms. You are unlikely to get McKinsey even if you do well on the Imbellus. Therefore, you need to increase your chances of getting an offer from a consultancy by applying to all the rest!

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Francesco
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replied on Mar 13, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Sorry to hear about the issues with the PSG.

Indeed McKinsey just changed the game and instead of the Plant Defense is now doing the Redrock study with 4 sections (the new one being the 10 cases part you mentioned). 

In terms of your question:

Q: I am wondering how much the game is weighted for the insight program and how this might affect FT application?

Difficult to say. I know candidates who did not have a perfectly sustainable ecosystem and passed to the next round anyway. Additionally, I helped candidates who did not manage to answer all 10 cases and passed anyway. In any case, that’s not in your control, so the only thing you can act on now is the preparation for the other companies.

In case you have additional questions, please feel free to reach out, happy to help.

For those who want to know more about the new Redrock format, I just updated the Imbellus Solve Combo here with 8 new videos on that as well, including all 4 new Redrock sections (they are already part of the package - the description will be updated soon).

Best, 

Francesco 

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Hagen
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Content Creator
replied on Mar 13, 2023
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

First of all, I am sorry to hear about your poor performance!

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

  • First of all, given that your McKinsey Solve score will be assessed along with only your resume, if you truly failed the McKinsey Solve, unfortunately, I would assume that your chances of success are very slim.
  • Still, at this point, I would highly advise you not to ponder on it any further, as you have no more control over it.
  • Lastly, please rest assured that applications for specific programs and full-time positions are treated separately, even when it comes to potential pre-interview assessments that need to be conducted beforehand.

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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Anonymous B replied on Mar 13, 2023

Hi, 

I took the same assessment two weeks back and from my experience the Red-rock study was time consuming.

I am yet to hear someone confirm if they were able to complete all 10 mini cases. I was able to do 4-5 in the time left.

I will keep you posted on my results but for now we will have to wait and watch!

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Anonymous C on Mar 26, 2023

Did u get the offer?

Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 13, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there, 

Sorry to hear the game didn't work out for the best. 

The way it works, is that most offices assess the results of the test with the rest of your application (CV, cover letter, referrals). They might be ok with a lower test result if your application is otherwise distinctive, but during this period they are especially tough with screening since they're not hiring as much as in previous years. 

Regardless of what happens, it's beyond your control now with McKinsey. My suggestion would be to already consider next steps in applying to other firms. 

Have a look at the article below to see how you can leverage coffee chats with consultants in order to find out more about prospective roles and potentially get referrals:

How to network and get referrals

Best of luck with the rest of the process!
Cristian

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Paul
Expert
replied on Mar 13, 2023
PL-level BCG experience (6 years)|Interviewer at BCG| 6/6 personal + 95%+ candidates offer success rate

As Francesco said - effect difficult to predict

1) Candidacy evaluation to progress to interview is a holistic evaluation of all factors including CV etc..

→ It largely depend on the supply/demand equilibrium in short-term for the office and the cohort you are judged with

→ There is no strictly determined “weight” , but there is a minimum threshold (at least BCG)

Hope this helps

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Pawel replied on Mar 26, 2023

Did you here back in the end?

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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