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Francesco

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5

prepare for the MCK second round

Hi everyone,

I am currently preparing for my second round interview at McK. I want to know whether the case in the second round is more difficult or needs to be solved at a faster speed? Also, will the partners go hard on the PEI questions? Thank you.

Hi everyone,

I am currently preparing for my second round interview at McK. I want to know whether the case in the second round is more difficult or needs to be solved at a faster speed? Also, will the partners go hard on the PEI questions? Thank you.

5 answers

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Hi there,

The cases per se are not more difficult. However, competition is stronger. This means there is less margin for error if you want to move forward.

PEI is definitely something you will be tested on.

In general, the structure of the rounds is the same (fit + case+ your questions); however in finals there is usually more emphasis on communication and fit.

Specifically, the main differences you may 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
  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 brainteaser, 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 the following:

  • Review in detail your fit stories – they will matter more than in the first round. In some finals I had almost exclusively behavioral questions
  • 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 first round. If you got feedback on a specific area, focus more on that part.

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

The cases per se are not more difficult. However, competition is stronger. This means there is less margin for error if you want to move forward.

PEI is definitely something you will be tested on.

In general, the structure of the rounds is the same (fit + case+ your questions); however in finals there is usually more emphasis on communication and fit.

Specifically, the main differences you may 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
  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 brainteaser, 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 the following:

  • Review in detail your fit stories – they will matter more than in the first round. In some finals I had almost exclusively behavioral questions
  • 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 first round. If you got feedback on a specific area, focus more on that part.

Best,

Francesco

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Hi, it depends on the interviewer, but the difficulty of the cases is comparable to the first round. However, a strong emphasis will be dedicated to your communication skills and to the fit part

Best,
Antonello

Hi, it depends on the interviewer, but the difficulty of the cases is comparable to the first round. However, a strong emphasis will be dedicated to your communication skills and to the fit part

Best,
Antonello

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The process is the same, but it can be tougher; you are interviewing with Partners who will likely press further/deeper and move from the table stakes of can you do a case, to are you clever, curious, and a good cultural fit for the firm. Furthermore, extensive notes were taken, including marks on various categories. The Partners see this and will specifically look to test anything you appeared shaky on.

Two Points:

  • More focus on fit
  • More focus on any weaknesses you may have exhibited in the first round

Your Response

  • Make sure you have your story down, a strong set of responses to questions, and you know what personality traits to highligh
  • If they gave you feedback from the first round, focus hard on improvement areas. If they didn't, try to reflect on where you weren't as strong, and practice that

The process is the same, but it can be tougher; you are interviewing with Partners who will likely press further/deeper and move from the table stakes of can you do a case, to are you clever, curious, and a good cultural fit for the firm. Furthermore, extensive notes were taken, including marks on various categories. The Partners see this and will specifically look to test anything you appeared shaky on.

Two Points:

  • More focus on fit
  • More focus on any weaknesses you may have exhibited in the first round

Your Response

  • Make sure you have your story down, a strong set of responses to questions, and you know what personality traits to highligh
  • If they gave you feedback from the first round, focus hard on improvement areas. If they didn't, try to reflect on where you weren't as strong, and practice that

Dear A,

Definitely the competition is stronger and case is more difficult.

For example this case “Deep Water rescue” (available in English & German) here on Preplounge:
https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/candidate-led-usual-style/advanced/deep-water-rescue-206

I used similar cases when I was interviewing candidates on my own in Central Europe (Germany & DACH Region), Eastern Europe (Ukraine & Russia) as well as Middle East (Dubai, KSA, Lebanon, and Qatar). So, this case is very advanced and could be typically used in the 2nd or 3rd interview rounds by the leading consulting firms.

If you need any further help, feel free to reach out.

Best,

André

Dear A,

Definitely the competition is stronger and case is more difficult.

For example this case “Deep Water rescue” (available in English & German) here on Preplounge:
https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/candidate-led-usual-style/advanced/deep-water-rescue-206

I used similar cases when I was interviewing candidates on my own in Central Europe (Germany & DACH Region), Eastern Europe (Ukraine & Russia) as well as Middle East (Dubai, KSA, Lebanon, and Qatar). So, this case is very advanced and could be typically used in the 2nd or 3rd interview rounds by the leading consulting firms.

If you need any further help, feel free to reach out.

Best,

André

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Hi Anonymous,

First of all congratulations to reach final round interviews!

While first round interviews are highly standardized especially at McKinsey, in second-round interviewers bascially everything can happen.

The main idea of second/final round interviews is to ensure your performance in those areas in which you did not convince McKinsey in the first round interviews. This can be either the case interview or the McKinsey PEI, or both. Whatever it is, your weak points from first round interviews are where you can expect a strong focus in the second/final round interviews.

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Hi Anonymous,

First of all congratulations to reach final round interviews!

While first round interviews are highly standardized especially at McKinsey, in second-round interviewers bascially everything can happen.

The main idea of second/final round interviews is to ensure your performance in those areas in which you did not convince McKinsey in the first round interviews. This can be either the case interview or the McKinsey PEI, or both. Whatever it is, your weak points from first round interviews are where you can expect a strong focus in the second/final round interviews.

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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