Unexpected question at a case interview

1st round interview Bain BCG Mck
New answer on Aug 04, 2020
5 Answers
1.1 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Aug 01, 2020

in an interview at McKinsey, if the interviewer ends the case and right away says “ok, just one last question” and comes up with a completely different approach (not related with anything we said)... is this a good sign you did well?

(edited)

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 04, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

It's impossible to read into this!

Honestly, it's just a final test into your adaptability. I.e. the interviewer is just doing a final check on your ability to react/think quickly, keep up with change, etc. etc.

One of my favorites to throw out is, at the end of the case, say "The CEO is actually calling us right now, and we need an answer". If the candidate says "Can I have a minute to gather my thoughts", I respond "We're on the third ring....your call" :P

What do I want to see?

Very simply, preparedness and adaptability.

When new information comes in, do they quickly update their view of the world, slot this new information in, and go with the flow? Can they still clearly articulate/communicate their thoughts in a structured way and continue to drive the case/answer?

Was this answer helpful?
Robert
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 02, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

It's impossible to say with certainty, it's pure speculation.

Try to focus on your job during interviews, which is bringing the best performance to the table at any point in time; and let's leave the evaluation to the interviewer. Only he knows his exact expectation level and how it compares to other candidates.

So don't worry about that, it says basically nothing about good or bad!

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

Robert

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Aug 04, 2020

Dear A,

I wouldn't speculate on that, because basically it means nothing - nor good nor bad. For any evaluations there should be evident on that.

WIsh you good luck,

André

Was this answer helpful?
3
Deniz
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 02, 2020
BCG | Kearney | 350+ trainees | 5+ years of experience in London, Dubai and Istanbul

Hi,

Your performance probably has nothing to do with this. Some interviewers want to ask curveball questions to check how interviewees react and respond in such high-pressure moments.

Best,

Deniz

Was this answer helpful?
Axel
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 02, 2020
Bain Consultant | Interviewer for 3 years at Bain |Passionate about coaching |I will make you a case interview Rockstar

Hi,

I think it is wise not to read too much into that as it may be something your interviewer does with every candidate. If you did well or not should be more evident from the core case you worked on and how you performed across structuring, analyzing, and synthesizing the case.

-A

Was this answer helpful?
Ian gave the best answer

Ian

Content Creator
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep
817
Meetings
54,000
Q&A Upvotes
158
Awards
5.0
99 Reviews