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Preliminary call discussion with Mckinsey

BCG McKinsey and Bain
New answer on May 15, 2020
6 Answers
3.3 k Views
Anonymous A asked on May 14, 2020

I have an upcoming preliminary discussion with a senior recruiter from McKinsey's service ops practice. Has anyone had such conversations in the past? I'm trying to figure out what to expect and how to prepare. It's a phone conversation that I'm told will last 30-45 minutes.

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replied on May 14, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


First of all - pls check if they will be giving you a case. Very often there is a mini-case given by the recruiter on these calls. If there is a case - I strongly recommend you taking time to prepare

Secondly, prepare for the Fit interview part:

  • Tell me about yourself / walk me through your resume
  • Why consulting
  • Why Company
  • Why service ops
  • Examples of the relevant service ops experience
  • Your questions to the recruiter


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Content Creator
replied on May 15, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

I agree with Vlad it would make sense to check if you will have a case or not, so that you can focus your preparation accordingly.

In terms of the fit questions you can expect, the most common ones are:

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why consulting
  • Why McKinsey and why operations
  • Give me an example when you led a team (leadership dimension)
  • Tell me about a time when you had to convince someone not agreeing with you (impact dimension)
  • What has been your major achievement so far (drive dimension)
  • Why should we hire you

To prepare the stories, I would recommend the following checklist:

  1. Understand the difference between, leadership, impact and drive areas. You can find a link with their differences here:
  2. Identify good stories for each area. Ideally you want to have at least two stories for each area.
  3. Use a structure for your story. I would suggest to use the STARR model (Situation, Task, Action, Rational for Action, Results)
  4. Identify for each story one sentence clarifying what the story is about and start with it. Think of it as the title of a journal article.
  5. Practice live, collect feedback from people listening to you, reiterate until when you get fluent and persuasive


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Content Creator
replied on May 14, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Be comfortably prepared with:

1) Why Consulting

2) Why McKinsey

3) Why this role

You need to have your story ready, and convince them you are passionate + serious about joining McKinsey AND that you are an impressive candidate that they would want.

Furthermore, make sure you know the company. I.e. What the service ops practice does, the Partners that run it, what some of their recent insights/projects have been, what the job looks like day-to-day, etc.

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Anonymous replied on May 14, 2020


During this call, the recruiter wlll try to assess your motivations and your communication. The recruiter will also certainly detail the recruting process. I will suggest that you prepare an answer for each of the following questions

  • Why do you want to apply for McKinsey ?
  • Why Ops practice vs. a more generalist role ?
  • What are your most relevant experiences in Ops ?
  • Besides technical skills, did you develop more soft skills (e.g. problem sovling, communication, story lining, project management, ...)

Try to be very specific and structured at all time.

Hope it helps.


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Content Creator
replied on May 14, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


It´s a good chance, and for sure is good to arrive prepred and not leave things to chance or luck.

The recruiter´s job is to assess mainly two things:

  • Potential: for the firm in general and this role in particular (particularly ops vs. generalist path). He/she will be assesing your communication skills, CVs... similarly to what you can find at te beggining of a FIT interview.
  • Motivation: knowledge about the pros and cons of consulting, and despite that, determination to be a part of the firm.

Hope it helps!



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Anonymous replied on May 15, 2020

Dear A ,

My congratulations to your interview and invite from McKinsey! This will be a typical recruiting a CV-screening call, when the recruiter most probably will go through your CV and ask you typical questions about your motivation for McKinsey, consulting, your background etc.

So prepare your personal FIT stories.

If you need any help, feel free to reach out



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