Journey to McKinsey isn’t easy to tackle through. McKinsey uses three steps to select candidates:
- Resume and cover letter screening.
- McKinsey Problem Solving Test (PST).
- Case interview.
The entire process lasts about 3-4 weeks. It means from the time you get a shortlist to the day you will be interviewed, you get about a month to hone your case interviewing skills.
During this time, the firm also allocates two buddies. They help you through the process. They also conduct a few mock case interviews with you. Case interview was my key area of focus for preparation. I formed a case group with a few of my batchmates at IIM A. We spent about 5-6 hours per week administering and solving cases.
This not only helped me sharpen my problem-solving skills but also strengthened my structured communication skills. Both of these are critical to succeeding at McKinsey interview rounds. IIM Ahmedabad Casebook published by the consulting club was my primary source of reference.
McKinsey organizes a campus dinner for the shortlisted candidates. At this dinner, candidates get to meet and interact with IIM A alumni working and carrying out their journey to McKinsey. It was a great way of unwinding during those stressful weeks! I had the opportunity to field questions not only to Associates but also to the Partners at the firm. Interacting with my buddies and understanding their work energized me about working with multidisciplinary teams of clients and colleagues at McKinsey.
I had two rounds of interviews, 25-30 minutes each. My first interview started with a general discussion about my interests and hobbies. We then segued into case solving. I was given an unconventional case on the digital marketing strategy for an e-commerce client. Later, I approached the case by scoping out the problem statement at the outset.
Then, I structured my thoughts into a framework that captured elements of digital marketing aligned for the e-commerce sector. Thereafter we wrapped up the first interview with a discussion on the recommendations given for the client.
In the second interview, we had an in-depth discussion on the projects that I had done at my previous organization.
After the interviews, I was offered the role of Summer Associate at McKinsey. I got a PPO to join the Firm as a Junior Associate based on my internship performance.