Ex-McKinsey EM, four years experience. Can improve your interviews skills and get you prepared for interviewer-led interview style
Book a coaching

Time Limit in McKinsey Case Interviews

Nandan

Hi - I know that the McKinsey Case interview can last anywhere between 25 to 35 minutes. The cases are interviewer led and typically consist of 5-6 questions each. What happens if the interviewer is not able to cover all the questions within the allotted time? Will the interviewer just stop after the time limit? Also, is this bad as a candidate? Is doing the case accurately better than doing it quickly? Thanks in advance!

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Steven
Expert
replied on 01/03/2018
Ex-McKinsey EM, four years experience. Can improve your interviews skills and get you prepared for interviewer-led interview style

Hi-

The McKinsey case interview normally lasts 35-40 mins with major questions covered. The interviewer will make sure they cover all the questions- sometimes they do overrun a bit (e.g., 5 mins). But it will not overrun a lot since the interviewer will interview other candidates as well. In order to be fair, the interviewer will make sure that they cover same questions for each candidate on the batch day.

It's not necessary bad for candidate. The interviewer will evaluate your anwsers thoroughly. I would say doing the case accurately is more important for quantitative questions. Take your time when answering questions. Practice can increase your speed as well as accuracy. If you answer a question correctly but too slowly, it will impact your evaluations as well.

Hope it helps.

Francesco replied on 01/26/2018
#1 Expert for coaching sessions (1800+) | Ex BCG | 900+ reviews with 100% recommendation rate

Hi Nandan,

I agree with the previous answers; in particular, considering each question:

1) What happens if the interviewer is not able to cover all the questions within the allotted time?

At McKinsey the interviewer will usually cut the question and move to the next area, so far that you are not able to complete your analysis in the allocated time slot.

2) Will the interviewer just stop after the time limit?

As mentioned by Steven, there is a bit of overrun possible, but normally no more than 5-10min

3) Also, is this bad as a candidate?

Of course the best thing would be to complete each session in the correct way. However, if you do everything well and just go longer in one area, you can still move to the next round, as mentioned by Wouter

4) Is doing the case accurately better than doing it quickly?

There is a trade-off between the two extremes. Neither perfectly and slow nor quickly inaccurate are ideal. Having to choose between the two, slow and accurate is usually better, in particular for math. But, as Steven mentioned, being too slow could affect your performance as well.

Best,

Francesco

Wouter replied on 01/04/2018

Hey,

I got a McKinsey first round interview a couple of weeks ago.

Even though I suspect that I did not finish 2 (or maybe even all 3) cases, I was selected for the second round.

So don't worry to much about it, focus on the calculations and interpretation ('what does it mean?' 'What are the consequences?')

Currently non-active expert
Expert
replied on 02/23/2018

Hey Nandan,

The McKinsey cases tend to be quite modular (i.e., it's quite easy to remove a question if you're running over time, without be implications on the overarching case structure), so that's what you can expect if you're significantly running over time. However, the interviewer will tend to do their best to prompt and guide you to speed up in order to do the entire case/cover all the most important questions that allow to fully assess you.

Best

Bruno

Related BootCamp article(s)

Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases

Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly

0 Comment(s)

Related case(s)

McKinsey Questions

Solved 25.5k times
4.4 5 721
| Rating: (4.4 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are ... Open whole case