Resources for Advanced Interviewer Led (McKinsey) Cases

Case preparation McKinsey McKinsey & Company Mckinsey interview resources
Anonymous A asked on Apr 11, 2021

Hi, thank you for taking the time out to review this question.

I was wondering, what are some resources where advanced level McKinsey style cases can be found. If there is like a McKinsey casebook or something. I have already looked at most of the recent casebooks e.g. Sloan, Stern, Duke, Kellogs, etc.

Secondly, are there any resources for industry drivers and trends?

I would be very greatful if you could share.

Thank you!

4
on Apr 14, 2021
Last Activity
4
Answers
370
Views
on Apr 14, 2021
Last Activity

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer

Hey there,

Any case is a McKinsey case if you make it one. Let's dissect the differences and see how you can use the cases you already have for practice:

1. The difference between a McKinsey case and a non-McKinsey case first and foremost lies in the interviewer-led format as you are aware. Every case you have in this case book can be asked from an interviewer-led perspective.

In the McKinsey interview you will have to answer three different questions types - broadly speaking:

  • Structuring
  • Exhibit Interpretation
  • Math

Use the cases from your books and focus on these three question types. While in candidate-led cases, they should arise naturally when you drill down into your structure, in McKinsey interviews, the interviewer will bring them up in succession.

In your case books, answer one question, then move to the next.

2. The second big difference lies in the nature of questions asked at McKinsey. At the core, McKinsey wants to see creative ideas communicated in a structured manner, the more exhaustive the better.

As a result, McKinsey cases will usually be very creative in nature and not something that can be solved by looking at industry frameworks or industry trends. For a specific example of a typical McKinsey case, have a look here at the article I wrote: https://strategycase.com/case-interview-frameworks/

The example of the machine breakdown in the lower part of the article is a real McK case question and demonstrates the creative and out-of-the-box aspect of their interviews.

Be aware that frameworks were applicable in the 2000 years, the era of Victor Cheng and Case in Point. McK has long caught up on this and the cases you will get during the interviews are tailored in a way to test your creativity and ability to generate insights, not remember specific frameworks.

3. The third big difference is how to answer the questions in a McKinsey interview. Since the interviewer guides you from question to question, you need to be in the driver's seat for each question and treat each almost like a mini case in itself.

Your goal should be to come up with a tailored and creative answer that fits the question. The framework should - broadly speaking - follow these three characteristics:

  • Broad
  • Deep
  • Insightful

The firm wants to see exhaustive and creative approaches to specific problems, which more often than not do not fit into the classic case interview frameworks (or can be derived from industry drivers and trends) that were en vogue 10 years ago...

Again, this only applies if everything you say

  • adds value to the problem analysis
  • is MECE
  • is well qualified
  • includes a detailed discussion of your hypotheses at the end

As a result, you can spend several minutes, guiding the interviewer through your structure!

Now for Structure and Exhibit Interpretation, there is also no right or wrong answer. Some answers are better than others because they are

  • deep
  • broad
  • insightful
  • hypothesis-driven
  • follow a strong communication (MECE, top-down, signposted)

That being said, there is no 100% that you can reach or the one-and-only solution/ answer. It is important that your answers display the characteristics specified above and supported well with arguments.

As for Math questions, usually, there are answers which are correct (not always 100% the same since some candidates simplify or round differently - which is ok), and others that are wrong, either due to the

  • calculation approach
  • calculation itself

The difference in format and way of answering a question is the reason why I recommend preparing very differently for McK interviews vs. other consultancies.

Now that you know about

  • the different format
  • the different question types and case briefs
  • the ways to answer the questions

you can start using the cases you already have and approach them in a McKinsey-specific way. For more detail on this, feel free to have a read of this article here as well: https://strategycase.com/mckinsey-case-interview/

If you have any more questions, please feel free to reach out for some free guidance on how to come up with your own McKinsey-type cases on the spot.

Cheers,

Florian

Was this answer helpful? 24

Hello!

You can find those types of cases classified precisely as "McKinsey" and "advanced" in most casebooks (look for instance at Ivy League casebooks, for instance the MCC-Sloan one). Furthermore, have you seen the ones in PrepL? They also have those type of tags :)

For industry insights, same Ivy League books are super useful, since they normally include some pages. If not, just Googling it gives many resources. In PrepL´s library there is also some material you can buy

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Was this answer helpful? 15

Hi, I confirm it is important also to work with candidate-led cases. Even in McK they are frequently used. In addition to the resources shared by other coaches even in Preplounge library, you can find flags to filter Interviewer led cases

Best,
Antonello

Was this answer helpful? 0

Hi there,

Mckinsey-style Advanced Cases

  1. Columbia
    1. Cases by Firm
    2. Cases ranked by difficulty of Math, Structure, AND Creativity
  2. Stern
    1. Cases by interviewer vs interviewee-led
    2. Ranked by diffiulty
  3. Haas
    1. Cases by interviewer vs interviewee-led
    2. Ranked by difficulty
  4. Darden
    1. Cases by Firm
    2. Cases ranked by difficulty across quantitative, qualitative, and overall

Now, remember, much more important than just reading a "hard" McKinsey case or having a friend case you in it, is actually how you're cased. I can make the easiest case be your worst nightmare (as can any other coach). Make sure that, if you're really trying to get pushed hard and get prepared for the toughest cases, you're looking at hiring a coach...delivery is truly key here!

Industry Overview

The following casebooks all have industry overviews

  • Ross
  • Stern
  • Darden

I also have 20+ industry deep-dives (approx 2 pages each) and a process for researching them yourself so that the knowledge better sinks in. Feel free to message for more info!

(edited)

Was this answer helpful? 0
Florian gave the best answer

Florian

Content Creator
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | Imbellus Expert
294
Meetings
7,341
Q&A Upvotes
21
Awards
149 Reviews