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Prep plan for final interviews

New answer on Aug 22, 2020
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 18, 2020

Hi, I have received my third case interview invitation at BCG (principal level). Does anyone know usually how many interviews will there be? Also, I'd like to seek some advice on the preparation for principal & partner level interviewers. I've heard that final rounds become more unstructured and flexible, and sometimes there's not even cases but brain teaser questions instead. I've practised 50 cases up to now, but would like to know how to strengthen myself for the last rounds of interviews. Would appreciate hearing some advice!

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Content Creator
replied on Feb 18, 2020
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience


The final round is trickier because it is not as strcutred as the earlier ones. Once you pass the initial rounds, it is clear that you are considered capable enough to be a consultant in the firm. Now, the partners are looking to see if you would do well in the firm and on their teams. THe following changes are what to prepare for :


There is now a much larger emphasis on PEI. The aim here is to see whether you are client ready and if you will be a good fit at the firm. What they typically look for is - your style of communication, your listening skills, how open are you to coaching and feedback and what sort of energy you bring to the table. Make sure you up your PEI game by practicing 5-6 relevant stories and having a clear and structured method of communicating them. You will also need to practice listening skills and being tailored in your answers.

An additional element here is also to come across as charming/personable. You want to have a good conversation with the interviewer and not just focus on walking through your stories


Cases in the final round are typically less structured. Partrners use cases here to see how you would approach a problem they have come across and want to test you on your ability to clearly structure your thoughts, perform quick analysis and come up with reasonable conclusions/next steps.

This is also where they test you for things that might have come up as red-flags in round 1, so if you felt you did not perform well in structuring earlier make sure you really structure well in this round

Stress Test

This is also the time where you may be stress tested - this includes curve-ball questions and things such as creating high pressure environments for you by for example ignoring you or asking you to answer in a short amount of time etc.

Hope this helps and all the best!


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replied on Feb 18, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers


I have supported quite a couple of senior candidates to join MBB on Principal/AP level. The process is not standardized at all - it highly depends on the specific need that the firm is trying to fill and on the logistical restrictions of the involved partners. You can expect far more interviews than in the standard process for junior candidates. In my experience the range is roughly between 8 and 15 interviews in total - all with partners and senior partners involved in the practice/topic area you are hired for. Cases may most probably be a part of some interviews, but the major focus lies on discussing topics such as topic expertise, past experience, career outlook, personal fit, etc.

Cheers, Sidi

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Content Creator
replied on Feb 28, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached


It's really likely that you will not have a real business case but just a fit part and then a talk about your industry/practice to get an idea of your knowledge. Usually you will meet most of the senior partner of the office, but you can ask HR how many interviews you will have.

Good luck!


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replied on Feb 18, 2020
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hello there,

Typically one would have 2 set of interviews in each rounds.
In the case of final round, it is normal to have 3 interviews in case there are differing thoughts among the 2 partners and they need another voice to achieve coherent decision.

For the final round, there will usually be more emphasis on the "fit" part, so prepare stories for these part. Meanwhile, the cases are expected to be passed through by candidates fairly smoothly and quickly given this part is tested exhaustively on the first round. However, it is imperative to pass them as consistent as possible to avoid any flags in this particular assessment element.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,

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Anonymous A on Feb 18, 2020

Thank you!! For the final rounds, is it always partners interviewing? hank you!! For the final rounds, is it always partners interviewing? Or it could be also principals?

Content Creator
updated an answer on Jul 31, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

normally you have 2 or 3 interviews in a final round. Indeed final rounds tend to be more unstructured and you may not even have to do a case in all the interviews - some candidates I helped for senior positions just had questions on creativity, industry knowledge and leadership.

Some suggestions:

  • Review in detail your fit stories – they will matter more than in the first round. In some finals you may have just fit questions. Prepare in particular why you want to move to consulting at this stage instead of continuing in your current industry and why BCG
  • Work on your communication (reaction under pressure, how to gain time when you do not have a structure ready, connect with the interviewer, etc). This is something you can do almost exclusively in interviews with peers.
  • Prepare cases as you did for the previous round. More market sizing practice may be useful to think outside the box if you get unusual questions. In case they have provided feedback, work on the points they mentioned.

I have a good number of questions asked to experienced hire for senior positions, please feel free to PM for additional information.



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Anonymous replied on Aug 22, 2020

Dear A!

My congratulations, you are close to achieving your goal!

The structure of the final is the same (fit + case+ your questions); however, here is more emphasis on communication and fit to the company.

Specifically, the main difference you will find in a final round with partners is that at that stage they:

  1. spend more time on fit questions and your alignment with the company - I am sending your attached FAQ for different companies

  2. check more closely your communication (eg how you react to challenging questions)

  3. may not have a “proper” structured case to present – during one of my MBB finals I had one interview which was made by two market sizing questions and a brain teaser, without any business case. That's because during the final they know you can structure and crack a case (you passed 1 or 2 rounds already) and are more interested in your logic, personality and fit with the company

So in order to prepare,I would concentrate on:

  • Review in detail your personal fit stories – they will matter more than in the first two rounds. In some finals I had almost exclusively behavioral questions

  • Work on your communication (reaction under pressure is extremely important, how to gain time when you do not have a structure ready, connect with the interviewer, etc). This is something you can do with peers or with me.

  • Prepare cases as you did for the first rounds. More market sizing practice may be useful to think out of the box if you get unusual questions.

In case you need help with unusual cases please feel free to PM me, I do a specific session on them (eg How would you estimate the effect of the Coronavirus on the economy in the Middle East)?

Hope this helps and speak soon,


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Content Creator
replied on Feb 29, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

Usually, it is about 2 standard interviews with fit + business case/market sizing + final questions to the interviewer. There will be a strong focus on fit part


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replied on Feb 18, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


In the final round, I would expect a bit more structured and demanding approach to the fit part. The partners in the last round are more experienced and they will challenge every single detail of your story. So make sure that you have a couple of backup stories. Thus:

1) Make sure that you've prepared everything: A story about yourself, motivational questions and the main FIT stories. Also, don't forget about your questions to the interviewer - you'd rather have an interesting conversation and score some point instead of a simple Q&A session

2) Then go through each story and think of the additional questions the interviewer may ask. It’s important since additional questions will take up to 50% of the interview. Try to remember the main details and facts and make sure that you know how to explain the key concepts quickly. Test your stories with your friends, ideally consultants, and ask for their feedback. There can be multiple groups of additional questions:

  • The interviewer may be interested in details about the context
  • He may want to check whether this was your effort or more sort of a team effort.
  • “Have you faced any difficulties while implementing your solution?”- Typically an interviewer would like you to tell him how you’ve overcome those difficulties.
  • Your interviewer will check how real your story is. You should be ready to provide even more granular actions, key milestones and a breakdown of potential effects.

3) Now work on 3-6 backup stories. During your interviews, you can then use these stories or adapt these stories to the additional questions your interviewer asks you.

You may be interested, why you need to prepare several stories for each question? At the end of the day, it's not that easy to come up with all of these stories. I've answered here: Repeating Fit Interview Stories


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Content Creator
replied on Feb 18, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


At least in McKinsey, the usual thing to happen is 2 interviews. However, in the cases when agreement is not reched, they follow up with a 3er interview -or even a 4th one if needed-, until consensus.

Hence, the key thing to work on is whatever made them doubt in the 1st place. For this is KEY for you to get a feedback call with them, and make a plan with that info.

PM me if you want help with it.

Best of luck!



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