Second round McKinsey

Interview McKinsey second round interview
New answer on Apr 09, 2021
8 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Apr 08, 2021

Hello everyone,

In about 2 weeks I will have the second round with McKinsey in Europe.

While the first round comprised of 2 interviews with Engagement Managers, the second round will be with 3 different Partners.

Can anybody that recently went through the same process tell me if the second round will actually be in the same format of the first round (personal fit, interviewer led case, Q&A)?

Thanks a lot in advance.

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Hi there,

In terms of what to expect in the final, 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. 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. Having said that, cases at McKinsey are quite standard in finals in many offices.

So in order to prepare I would concentrate on the following:

  • Review in detail your fit stories. Be sure to review your PEI stories with experienced candidates or consultants and to have at least a backup for each dimension.
  • 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.



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Hey there,

McKinsey is trying really hard to create an objective and standardized interview experience for all candidates, across offices, practices, and interviewers. As a result, you should expect exactly the same interviewing format as in the first round

  • 25 minutes PEI
  • 25 minutes case
  • 5 minutes your questions at the end of the interview

You will be evaluated on the same criteria, metrics, with the same types of cases and questions.

Now, that's the theory. :-)

Quick reality check!

That being said, partners still often employ their own way of doing interviews based on their personal preferences, which means that sometimes the final round with them can be less predictable.

Some focus on the case, others focus solely on the fit part (and deviate from the traditional PEI to ask other personal fit questions), some stick to the standard format. I had a candidate recently who had to go through two cases and one of them was made up on the spot, which made it very tricky.

In general, the more senior the partner, the more likely are they to deviate from the standard interview format because they a. can b. have their own way of doing things. :-)

So now you know the practice.

What does this mean for you and your preparation?

Nothing much.

Continue with your preparation, meaning

  • Rehearse and finetune your PEI answers with a coach or peers who know what they are talking about
  • Hone your case interview skills that are relevant for McKinsey (structuring, math, exhibit interpretation) with coaches and drills
  • Prepare for some traditional fit questions (Why consulting, why McKinsey, etc.)
  • Pay special attention to the areas where you received negative feedback in the first round. Second round interviewers are aware and will dig deeper into these specific areas

During the interview

  • Stay cognitively flexible
  • Do not be surprised if the format deviates from what you expect
  • Stay calm and collected no matter what happens
  • Stay enthusiastic, engaged and portray the impression that you are happy to be here (partners love that...)

If you managed to pass the first round, you should have it in you to pass the second round as well.

Fingers crossed and let me know if you need some help with McKinsey!



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Congrats! Generally speaking the format for second round is exactly the same as the first.

However, some partners may choose to have their own style, asking their own fit question and/or introducing a less structred and more abstract case. Some may not even have a PEI and/or case and so don't be alarmed if you come across something slightly different. Nonetheless, it's fair to assume that the majority of your interviews will be exactly the same format.

Good luck!

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Congrats on the interview!

Yes indeed, it´s going to be th same FIT + case format. However, pratners are much more difficult to predict, and they will focus more on FIT, in a less structured approach to what you are used to up to now.

If you want to deep dive on the topic, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Furthermore, you can find 3 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes for the Integrated FIT Guide, since we still have some left from the launch!

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Hi, I can confirm the partner round will present the same structure. A great emphasis will be given to the fit part


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short answer: Your preparation should have the same focus, as all topics you mentioned can be addressed, but not necessarily have to be addressed in the partner interviews, which can sometimes be more casual than interviews in previous rounds.

If you have received any hints on what was not perfect in round 1, make sure that you put a strong emphasis on this - it is a no brainer, but really do make sure that you show that you considered this feedback!!

Cheers, Florian

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Anonymous B replied on Apr 09, 2021

The format was the same for me in the U.S less than half a year ago.

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Hi there,

In general, yes, this is true! This is what you should "expect". That said, always be prepared for changes!

90% of the time, this is the flow. That said, sometimes the interviewer will cut a particular section short, or flip them around. Be flexible!

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Francesco gave the best answer


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