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11

McKinsey Consultant interview

, 17.3k views
Gaurav BalharaExperiencedSelected
Application
I Applied for job through Personal Contacts for Consultant role at McKinsey
Interview Process
Case Study Interview Other Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Why academic performance was not good at IIT?
  • Question 2: Views on rolling placement process versus one week placement process
  • Question 3: Leadership instance outside work (talked about Vice captain IIT D badminton team).
  • Question 4: Why I joined Evalueserve?
Interview Experience
The government of India wants to electrify all the villages. Can this task be achieved?

Initial clarification
Asked if there are any resource constraints and in what time we have to achieve this task. He simplified by saying time is not a
consideration and resources are limited and hence part of problem was to raise resources.

Case Structure/ Discussion
I made the following structure:
1. Resources
a. Public
b. Private partnership
c. Special purpose vehicles
2. Current level of rural electrification
a. Segregate states based on low density and high density
3. Regulatory constraints
a. Role of government. To be a regulator or also an implementor
4. Political costs in changing laws
a. Eg Will Left parties support privatization

Based on the above I suggested we will evaluate whether a centralized or a decentralized model should be followed.

He was happy but then said he was more interested in evaluating ground realities i.e. So I said, there are three parts to
electrification.
1. Increasing generation through
o Thermal
o Hydel
o Alternate sources
I said will concentrate on thermal as India as huge coal reserves they can be used more efficiently.
2. Transmission
o Who will lay down poles and cables? How will players be compensated?
3. Collection:
o Who takes responsibility? Private player or government.
o Tariff structures. Who will decide private player or government
I completely missed that collections in India are low due to corruption.

After the interview, I asked him whether this target is achievable. His take was that it is very difficult and Mckinsey is still evaluating various approaches. Hence this case is not supposed to have one answer.
Interview Tips
In middle of my case, he told me to set aside my structure and just have a discussion. This was unexpected but not necessarily a bad thing. So do not get fazed. Also show by discussing policy implications (such as reaction of left parties to privatization), you can bring a wow moment in your case. Apply a layer of commonsense in your discussion.
Round 2

Other Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Leadership example that you are proud of.
  • Question 2: Why did Marc (CEO) open EVS?
  • Question 3: What are the main challenges for EVS now?
Interview Experience
I had a 20 minute PI as interviewer knew CEO of Evalueserve (my last company). So there were a lot of questions around Evalueserve.
8. Had discussion around development of ISB (Interviewer was involved in writing the business plan of ISB). How it has
emerged and whether it has measured to his expectations.

Many of these questions can be asked to people who have worked in startups/ growing organizations (EVS was 70 people strong
when I joined them and within 2.5 years the employee strength was 600). So the challenges of a small vs. big, fledgling vs. growing organization are very diff. Some points I gave were (I do not know if it helps but you will get a flavor of some answers in this regard):
1. Challenges facing EVS today:
a. Increasing face to face communication between top management and new employees (I was fortunate enough to work with Marc but new employees do not get this chance and this has contributed to increase in employee turnover)
b. Increasing interaction between sales executives and teams (majority of sales executives had not even visited EVS offices and hence did not understand pressures of people working on projects).
c. Recruitment (EVS recruitment quality had dipped as now team leads/ AVPs who were not competent enough did this task. I admitted that I was conducting interviews and I thought that I needed 2-3 years of mentoring to be really effective).

Note that none of the above mentioned are really big points but they are original ones. Hence be honest, think hard about your experience and do not be shy to mention even seemingly small things as independent thought is what really matters.

I also took these questions as small caselets Interviewers sometimes will not mention that they are starting the case. In such situations do the following:
1. Keep it at the back of your mind a situation like this can arise (could be a discussion around placement process at ISB or any other topic under the sun)
2. Be structured in your communication. Again one mistake people do is that they apply structure only during cases. It is important to apply structure during PI as it makes the communication lucid, increases impact and makes it easier for the interviewer to understand you.
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Tata Motors wants to build the 1 lakh car. Advise them how to do it?
Interview Experience
A very small case (10 minutes).

Initial clarifications:
1. Current cost structure:
a. Engine: 20%
b. Chassis, Gear box etc: 25%
c. Body: 25%
d. Tires, glass etc: 30%
2. Time frame to achieve this task: He said time is not a factor as this is a really difficult thing and Ratan Tata would be happy if this can be achieved.

Hypothesis:
I said that there was no one dominant head on which I should concentrate and hence we should do the following:
1. Explore generic ways to reduce cost
2. Then arrive at decision criterion to apply a method to a particular cost component.

1. Generic ways to reduce cost:
a. Reduce price (Economies of scale and scope)
b. Reduce Volume of material to be consumed (with price being constant)
c. Redesign (say the engine as requirement for a low income person are different. For eg. He might just be
happy with a 600 cc engine vs a 1200 cc engine)
d. Use substitutes (say plastic/ polymers rather than metal)
2. Decision criterion to apply a particular method to a particular cost component
a. Degree of tech involvement (more suitable for engines and hence this really suggests that we should redesign
the engine and may be use some substitutes).
b. Degree of commoditization (more suitable for body and can also use substitutes)
Here I concluded that multiple methods could be applied to a cost component and hence this makes our task that much harder. Here he stopped me and said he was happy with the analysis.
Interview Tips
1. Case: I had initially said that based on a criterion, I will apply batches based on this interview experience only ONE method to a particular cost head (no reason why I assumed this). But based on our discussion, we could apply a mixture of 2 methods (he said apply the 80:20 rule). So it is okay to change your initial stand based on the discussion (it’s a blunder to stick to your initial assumptions especially if the discussion proves the assumptions wrong).
2. PI: Rohit Kapoor had told us, recruiters come here recruit humans and not gods. So it is OK to say simple things but say them with conviction.
Round 4

Case Study Interview

Interview Experience
Client is a meat manufacturer operating in Europe. Their profits are falling for the last two years.

Initial clarification
1. Company has two products
a. Hams
b. Sausages
2. Only 3 players in the market. Client has 40% market share and other two players have 30% each. Clients market share has been falling (indicating that it is a revenue problem).
3. She also said that market size is not growing substantially.

Case Structure/ Discussion
1. Revenues
a. Product mix
i. The process to manufacture hams and sausages is very similar. Sausages are made from scarps left over from hams.
b. Price * Quantity (explained in the sections below)
2. Costs
a. Fixed
i. Allocation of overheads such as CEO salary
ii. Asked how fixed costs can be allocated. I said based on
1. Revenues
2. Volume
3. Number of employees in a division
b. Variable
i. Raw materials (she said there was no scope to reduce this)
3. Customers
a. Drivers of purchase
i. Only price.
ii. Quality of product is not a differentiator. Retailers were not ready to pay more for better quality products
iii. No Value added service can give any competitive advantage
iv. I concluded that this was a commodity product in a stable market
b. Customers are retailers who buy the meat, and sell it as their private label product
4. Competition
a. No new product was introduced in the past
b. No new channels were entered by competition
c. Competition had reduced the price of sausages by only $0.01. The customers (retail outlets) were so sensitive to price, that they were switching to competitor products (to both hams and sausages. So a wrong pricing decision in sausages had let to not only decrease in sales of sausages, but also affected sales of hams as consumers, in this case retailers, preferred to buy from one supplier to reduce their transaction costs.

The flaws in this method are
1. Fixed costs should not be a part of pricing decision (Basic managerial accounting funda)
2. With this method, their margin on sausages is 0. Hence they can not reduce prices according to this method.

I said if you exclude the fixed costs, then in % terms, sausages have a much higher margin. So there is a lot of scope in decreasing price.

Recommendations
1. Exclude Fixed costs from pricing decisions
2. Reduce prices in sausages
3. As process to manufacture both products is same, make one person in charge of both products. This will ensure that pricing
decisions are made in a rational manner. The whole problem cropped up as fixed costs had to be allocated between 2 products
and there were 2 line managers for the two products.

After completing the case, she said there were many other aspects to this problem. These were:
1. The client was operating in a small European country and had 4 plants. So closing down some of the plants was an option. (had enquired about this but she said that we should neglect it for the time being)
2. They could also look at entering foreign markets in Europe to boost sales (I had enquired about this)
3. Also, the sausage process was not efficient. So to improve it they could benchmark it to their ham operation.
Apparently the ham process was very efficient (she did not give reasons for why it was more efficient, probably because it accounted for 80% of revenues and hence received more attention). This was new insight to me as one always benchmarks a process to competitors, or to processes of similar products etc. But internal bench-marking was new to me.
4. This was a family owned business and not a listed company. Hence there were a lot of cultural issues which they had to resolve in terms of best management practices, mindset of the employees etc.
Interview Tips
Just listen to what the interviewer says. She clearly wanted me to go to accounting and she dropped enough hints during the initial
stages of the interview.
Also, even though she was from BTO practice, she gave me a commodity product case. So the background of interviewer/ interviewee really does not matter. What they are looking for is the ability to analyze a problem from the case facts.
Round 5

Case Study Interview

Interview Experience
An Indian conglomerate opened an IT company in Delhi and they have failed miserably. You are hired by the client to diagnose the situation and turn around the company.

Initial hints: It was clear from his narration that a drastic approach was required and the client had completely got the strategy wrong.

Initial clarifications:
1. Who is the Indian conglomerate and why did they enter the IT space?
a. Family owned business and hence there is lack of best management practices
b. They entered the IT space as it offered significant growth potential (diversification). They launched this business in 2000.
2. What are their products/ services?
a. Products
i. Healthcare (10-20% revenues)
ii. Knowledge management (20% revenues)
b. Services
i. Application Development and Maintenance (ADM) (60%-70% revenues)
At this point, I said I was not well versant with economic drivers of IT industry specifically the 2 product segments and ADM.
He then wanted me to explore how only services business could be expanded. He said services can be sold on
1. Specialization of a service which can be sold across verticals (e.g. desktop migration)
2. Verticalization (e.g. some mercury simulation service for auto industry)

In the feedback he said that my analysis was good but there was one thing I had missed. Instead of completely shutting down healthcare services, it could have been used to set up captive centers for companies and this could be spun off as an advisory service in offshoring practices.
Interview Tips
Do not hedge your answers.
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12

McKinsey N/A interview

, 13k views
Ankur VaishFresherSelected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus at Indian School of Business (ISB) for N/A role at McKinsey
Interview Process
Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Case Questions: He said our client owns a hospital that has 10 Operation Theatres. There are three types of diseases for which they are used : Cardiac surgeries : Orthopedic surgeries : Gastrointestinal surgeries The client feels that he can do more operations per day and has asked us to look into it. What do we do? (Case type:Operations – Optimizing resource utilization, efficiency, redesigning the process, reallocating the resources.)
Interview Experience
In PI, Interviewer was pleasant. I was waiting in the corridor. He came out of the conference room and before getting into the interview room, we first went out to get some coffee for him. Perfunctorily, I started the conversation with simple ‘How is your day
going? When did you come to Hyderabad – this morning or last night? How do you like the quality of candidates this year?’ type of questions. To my third question he replied he liked the quality of this year’s batch. I said yes the quality of ISB batch was improving year by year. He asked me why it was so to which I replied that as the ISB brand got stronger, even better students chose to come to ISB. He agreed. He started looking at my resume and complimented me on an impressive one. Intrigued by some of the stuff, he asked me to tell more about myself. I had thought my points for this question and framed a good impromptu response around these. The mistake I made was perhaps that I came out too strongly in favor of my leadership style (leading by example). It was so noticeable that he grilled me on leadership nuances and my style in particular for the next 5 minutes. At one point, in flow, he even said “…and consider your team your slave.” It was unexpected, so I took a couple of seconds to think and was about to defend my point when he laughed and said he was kidding. But this indicated me that I had been too strong on my leadership point and needed to correct it whenever I got a chance. He then said alright why don’t we do some free consulting.
For case, because the problem statement was short, initially it involved some questioning to find out the details of hospital operations to figure out the processes, bottlenecks, resource requirements, current resource allocation, etc. In between, I brought in my experience with hospitals to support my analysis and recommendations. In the end, my final recommendation was around building an efficient queuing based process for operation theatres much like the assembly line for an automobile manufacturing plant. Operations theatres were to be used for the most critical activities with much of the preparatory and post operative work done at other points (similar to different stations in a factory). I also borrowed some principles of just-in-time. I think interviewer liked me modeling the OT process around a factory assembly line. I may have been successful at indicating an ability to link diverse areas to build a solution. In the end, he asked me if I had any questions.
My personal interview part was very strong. Secondly, because my nervousness had gone in the first two interviews of the day with other consulting companies, I was very confident and smiling in this interview. Thirdly, even as I was framing my response, I kept my calm when he took me by surprise by his strong comment on my leadership style.
I came out too strongly in favor of my leadership style. Apparently, interviewer went in and asked the next interviewer to check me more on leadership. I think so because my next interview started from leadership points again.

Interview Tips
During the preparation phase, I wanted to know how much does PI play a role in McKinsey interviews. Everybody seemed to emphasize only on cases. I was doing cases well enough but my PI was very strong and I really hoped it would carry some weight in the interview. Further, most in the McKinsey shortlist of 39 people were so strong in academics and in their analytical abilities that I wasn’t sure how to bring a differentiation solely by case solving. You’d look at any of these 39 and say this person is definitely making it to McKinsey. As I realized from my own experience, there is no set rule. What might get a person into McKinsey would vary from person to person. It depends on what points you use to sell yourself and how well you use them in making the pitch. Go back into your past and look for things that have made you the kind of person you are today. These things differentiate you. Realize that even the McKinsey director sitting before you is a person and he wants to see more than a case solving machine in you. He should remember you when he goes back into the conference room where all of them discuss their experiences with candidates after each interview. The likelihood of anyone remembering you just for cracking a case is relatively small. Moreover, if many people are doing well on cases, a good PI can really differentiate you.
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: PI questions:Tell me about yourself
  • Question 2: If I am given a chance to change one thing about India, what it would be.
  • Question 3: What I believed was the ability common to all the leaders?
  • Question 4: Case Questions:I have forgotten exactly what case it was but it was about market entry. It wasn’t very different from the standard market entry cases you will have done in your case preparation groups by the interview day. No catches here. (Case type:Market Entry)
Interview Experience
Interviewer was also very pleasant. He also started with a ‘tell me about yourself’. And I told him almost the same thing as I had told previously Then he asked me if I am given a chance to change one thing about India, what it would be. (And here I was helpless. After the previous interview experience with previous interviewer, the last word I wanted to use was ‘Leadership’ and here I was about to go with the same word again. I had no choice but to say this because changing leadership was what I felt would change everything in a cascading effect) I thought for a few seconds and replied I would change India’s entire political leadership.
Some conversation followed on this. Then he asked what I believed was the ability common to all the leaders (There you go again dude! I thought). I thought for a while and replied that it was context specific. Abilities of a military leader, a political leader and a business leader are very different. He agreed but still said there is some common thing across all. It was clear that he had something in mind but I was convinced by my own answer. The thought in my mind at the point was that if I insist on my point, it might go against me. Already I had gotten myself into trouble with previous interviewer on leadership. And even if I don’t insist on my stand and say something which is not what he is looking for, I wasn’t sure how that would be. Overall, I didn’t know where
my interview was going at that point. Still, as an interviewee my job was to respond in the best possible way, so I thought for some more seconds and went back to the first principles. Then I said it was the leaders’ ability to do justice with the expectations of their teams/followers. And there came the million dollar smile on his face. He nodded and gave me his view on this which was on the same lines. Then he asked me some specific questions on what I had told him in my answer to ‘tell me about yourself’. Apparently, I dealt with them well because in the end, he said that the most important thing for a person was to believe that he is successful, only then he can do really well in life. In the end, he asked me if I had any questions.
Here too, my personal interview part was very strong. I was also able to undo the damage done in the first interview. And I think
interviewer’s last line in the PI indicated that I was being seen favorably.

Interview Tips
Be confident but be moderate where extreme opinions can damage your candidature. This is a delicate balance. When the interviewer insists on something different from what you said, think if you can come up with better points. Stick to your first opinion only as a last resort.
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: PI questions:Any specific reasons for choosing IIT Roorkee?”
  • Question 2: Looking at your engineering entrance exams ranks, UG record and GMAT, why are you not 4.0 here?
  • Question 3: Give me an example where you led people
  • Question 4: Case Questions:He told me that our client was some iron and steel company who used coal extensively in their operations. Currently <some capacity> was their plant capacity that required <some amount> amount of coal per quarter. The sources of coal in India were < some sources> whose production was also limited to <some capacity> and hence currently the demand and supply of coal matched. Our client was planning to increase its capacity to <some capacity> in the next one year. Can you design their coal strategy for the short, medium, and long terms? (Case type:Supply Chain Strategy)
Interview Experience
As he studied my resume, he also asked me to tell him about myself. I recited the stuff. He picked up a few points from that and this time the PI questions were on different lines - “Any specific reasons for choosing IIT Roorkee?” “Looking at your engineering entrance exams ranks, UG record and GMAT, why are you not 4.0 here?” I used my answer to this question to bring out my passions in life. “Give me an example where you led people.” (Time for a deep breath man! Here went my leadership again) But I had learned my lessons in the first interview. Handled it well this time and he was satisfied. “Alright, shall we do a case?”
The case exploration went as usual. Basically, the issues were that Govt. is involved in procurement of any new coal mines or increasing the capacity of existing mines. The processes of govt. are long and thus whereas in the long run we can think of lobbying for acquiring a coal mine ourselves or helping our supplier acquire one, something else needed to be done in the short run. All the procurement costs had to be looked at and some cost benefit analysis was also involved in deciding that in the long run our client
would be better off acquiring a coal mine themselves. In the short run, we had to look at alternate sources in the adjacent countries. Some more cost and risk analysis was involved in deciding which source was the best option. In international transportation of coal, shipping costs came into discussion and interviewer specifically asked me to look into the various shipping costs. At one point, we even came down to listing the various costs involved in shipping. When I had exhausted my possibilities, he said that he didn’t expect me to come up with all the possible costs because I was perhaps not acquainted with the shipping
industry and he just wanted to see how I went about recognizing various costs (structure?). He then told me some more costs that are involved in shipping. Medium term strategy involved a plan on how to manage the migration from short to long term procurement strategy. After this, he talked for a while about this case and the strategies he thought were possible. He told me he had taken it from one of his real assignments. In the end, he asked me if I had any question.
Some of my answers brought out my passion for my hobby – Workout. I realized later that these answers stayed with interviewer even after the interview was over.

Interview Tips
If you feel strongly about a hobby or any other thing, try to subtly fit that into some of your answers at appropriate places. People have different passions and this differentiates them. Bring out yours. Questions can come from anywhere and many of them will be
unexpected. You can’t prepare for every question beforehand. I think a better way to prepare for your interviews is to think a lot about how your life went and made you what you are. Have a consistent story right from childhood to the interview day ready. Then whatever question the interviewer throws at you, just take a thread off your story and frame your answer impromptu. This means you can’t lie but I think being yourself in the interview helps differentiate you because you are unique. I also don’t think it necessary to write down your PI answers during preparation. Just think a lot and have your story ready in mind.
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13

McKinsey Consultant internship interview

, 465 views
AnonymousFresherSelected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus for Consultant role at McKinsey
Interview Process
Case Study Interview Case Study Interview personal interview
Round 1

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: PI questions: A lot of questions about Google
  • Question 2: What it is like to work there?
  • Question 3: How Google maintains market share
  • Question 4: How Google suggest works?
  • Question 5: Case Questions: A pineapple juice manufacturer. Calculate the capacity that would be required for the plant.
Interview Experience
In PI, we discussed the scale and infrastructure that Google has and how it’s gaining competitive advantage from it.
I told him searching porn well is very important for a search engine entering a new market, and from there we went into market entry strategies for the search engines.

The PI went on for 20-25 minutes, at which point he realized he had to ask me a case. He asked me a really simple case which got over in 5 minutes

The case was very trivial. It was just multiplying a bunch of numbers together. Less than 5 minutes.


Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: PI questions: Background at Google
  • Question 2: What impact my projects(Orkut, Gmail) had and working at Google.
  • Question 3: Case Questions: What should Infosys do today to move up the value chain?
Interview Experience
Interviewer also works in IT, so he wanted to discuss what Infosys should do next. We talked about their business model, about billing rates and how they can leverage their assets. I brought up the point of “Centers of Excellence” and how they don’t really work in IT services. He asked why, then asked me to come up with alternatives to the model. I talked a while about a skunk-works type project team that they should set up. We discussed the future of the market etc…

The interview was very conversational. No case really, more of a discussion around what I thought of the IT industry and where I see the future of the industry.
Round 3

personal interview

Interview Experience
This interview was about 20 minutes long, and it was all PI. He asked about why I did an MBA, what I liked/disliked about working at a place like Google. This interview was very different from the traditional case interviews. He asked me “What would people on the campus say about Aditya Kulkarni?”, “Why consulting when you’re doing so well in Google?” etc… I was very honest with my answers, and didn’t use any of the canned responses. I even said that I’m quite lazy and don’t like doing hard work.
We even discussed strategies to do well at exams without studying for them.

I was very honest and upfront about what I wanted from McKinsey. I didn’t use any of the “prepped” answers, and just told him what I thought. I even told him that I was undecided about joining McKinsey (if they made an offer), and he seemed OK with that.
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14

McKinsey Consultant interview

, 3.6k views
Neha Mittal ExperiencedSelected
Application
I Applied for job through Walk-in for Consultant role at McKinsey
Interview Process
Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: An incumbent retail bank’s profits had been hit by competition as the competition had started building ATMs. They wanted to develop an ATM strategy.
Interview Experience
First thing to ask is why are they being hit if others are building ATMS? He answered that the client does not have ATMs while now competition does. This is making people shift their bank accounts form us to the competition. Then I asked him what ATM strategy mean in this context? He quizzed me back as to what I think it meant. To which, I replied that there could be the following sub questions we could be asking: ( I used the 4W and one H way of dealing with vague questions!) 1. Where we want to establish the ATMs? 2. What technology /interface we want to use? 3. What is the time frame of the ATM roll out? 4. How do we plan to fund this roll out? 5. To whom do we cater to through this ? I told him that we needed to prioritize these questions according to their importance in order to begin building the strategy. He told me that where to establish was the main question to answer. I began by asking him whether we were looking at specific locations or just geographies. He told me that we were looking at both. Hence, I said that I would start with narrowing down to specific geographies and then talk about specific locations in those geographies. He also told me that we wanted to roll out as soon as possible. I asked him where all we are located geographically to which he responded that we had a pan India presence. With this, I said that I would first look at the factors that affect the choice of a geography. Since the best strategy would be to attract the maximum customers per new ATM– I listed the following: 1. Income level of customers ( Assumption: Since ATMs would be used by people who had more money) 2. Density of customers (Assumption: Only customers would use our ATM service) I asked him if these factors covered or was there something that I was missing? He said this was fine but what I meant by geographies. I specified that what would be looking at is City/town wise data. He also asked me what would be the cut off level of income that I would be looking at? He said that lets assume that with this info we located the Mumbai region to be the highest on the priority list. Now he wanted to know how I would decide on a location. I said I would again look at data inside Mumbai to again prioritise areas with the above two factors.He asked me if there was anything else I would like to look at? He asked me to come out of frameworks and think about the original question. I told him that as per my understanding the locations should be one with high footfalls specifically offices, markets and hospitals etc. He asked me how I would find out where all to put ? All hospitals? Remember we need to roll out as soon as possible.. Finally he told me we could look at ATM locations of competitors and atleast put an ATM wherever they are located.
Interview Tips
Make sure that the personal interview goes well as it sets the btone for the case as well.
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: The client is a insurance company that offers life insurance to its customers through a sales force. It wants to know whether it can also offer product insurance in order to improve profitability.
Interview Experience
Firstly, I clarified what product insurance meant. It was more to satisfy my curiosity and to better understand the context. He told me that it was the insurance on consumer products like electrical goods etc. I said I would first like to understand the whole value chain to better understand the role of the sales force before laying down my approach. He said there was nothing much to it as basically the company was an intermediary between an bank and the customer. It just sent out the sales force and got customers. I asked him what exactly was the structure of the products. He said although it was not relevant to the discussion, I could assume that the premiums were paid each year and the policy lasted for a fixed time (say 30 years). I now asked him who the customer was and how did the salesperson approach the customer. He said that the customer was anyone on the street (think of LIC). Then I asked him that I would like to analyse the question in two ways, qualitative and quantitative. On the quantitative side, I would like to see whether the sales force had the time to devote for the new product. On the qualitative side I would like to see whether they had the skills and knowledge of these products. To answer the first question, we analysed the total idle time per sales person. Then, we would have to see how selling an additional product would affect the time the sales person spends with the customer. This would then determine if the sales person could cover the same number of customers or would that number drop. In the latter scenario, I told him that we would have to see what the tradeoffs were and then decide whether we would want to target lesser number of customers who would have higher value in terms of buying the two products. On the qualitative side, we looked at what capabilities were required for selling the new products. We classified these as already present and new. We found that most of the capabilities like customer lists, getting time from customers to make a call, general selling expertise was already there. What was needed was product information and knowledge. This we concluded could be built through training. He asked me if I was missing something. After a quick summary, I realized that I had not touched the new “capability” of additional budget for higher salaries. (sinece the sales persons were going to be spending their idle time as well, and earning more for the company, they would have to be compensated additionally. We tried to toy with some pay out (pay versus policies sold per quarter) to see what could work best I concluded (we did some number crunching on idle hours etc) that we could use the same sales force but mentioned the additional capabilities like training and revised pay outs.
Interview Tips
On the final day, try and keep your energy levels up as much as possible. One good idea is to carry some energy food (granola bars, chocolate bars or even fruit juice or glucose).
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: There was a steel making company on the west coast (say Surat) that wanted to determine of it should start a new plant in West Bengal
Interview Experience
First, I clarified some background information like if there were any more steel plants that the company owned? He said no there were none. Then I asked him at what capacity was the steel plant running. He said it was nowhere close to 100%. I asked him how was our profs in the last few years? He said that they had declined. Then, I began the revenue and cost route. It turned out that revenues had not declined as quantity and price (steel is a commodity so they cant do anything with price anyway) had stayed the same. In costs however, after going through all the components, I found that the raw material costs had increased. The main raw material is iron ore, and that is where the problem was. Then I asked him if we knew why the costs for iron ore had increased. He told me that the iron ore mines were located in West Bengal and there had been some regulation that made it more expensive to transport steel out of the state. Then it started making sense to put up a plant in WB.! But I though not to jump to conclusions and we deliberated more. I told him that there were four options available to us.—run only one of the two lpants, run both or shut both. (helps to be MECE!) I sad that in order to figure out what we should do , we should look at the NPV of all four options. Then we went on to do some calculations into which I will not get into here. Finally, as per our discussions it turned out that we should keep both the plants running. We could purchase iron ore cheaper due to presence of a plant in WB but at the same time it would become cheaper to produce steal at Surat. Since there was a demand shortage in this industry we could increase production in total.
Interview Tips
Do read the profiles of the interviewers before the D day. It helps in making conversation once you are in front of them. And you could also prepare for questions on your previous work experience that is similar to theirs. Also it is important to ask why a certain situation is in the way it is. This sometimes gives important leads into the case. Synthesis should be short ant to the point. Even in the middle of the discussion, if you are asked to give your opinion on something in the case, it should be firm and backed by sound logic.
Skills

Skills Tested

  • Case Solving Ability
  • Case Analysis
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15

McKinsey N/A interview

, 8.1k views
Kirti Varun AvasaralaFresherSelected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus at Indian School of Business (ISB) for N/A role at McKinsey
Interview Process
Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: PI questions:Tell me something about yourself?
  • Question 2: How would your team members at work describe you?
  • Question 3: What is your most memorable achievement in life?
  • Question 4: Some discussion about the article I had written in WSJ about Green Business
  • Question 5: Case Questions:How should India reduce its Carbon Intensity by 25%? (Case type:Public Policy)
Interview Experience
Interviewer was leading the Climate Change Special initiative and so he was visibly intrigued by my WSJ article and we had a good discussion around that for a few minutes. He is a very nice and articulate person and he put me at ease immediately. The case started off as an extension of that discussion. I asked him a few initial clarification questions:
• What is Carbon Intensity? How is it measured?
• What is the level of GDP that needs to be maintained while reducing the Carbon Intensity?
• What is the time frame for the implementation?
To this he said that Carbon intensity is the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of GDP produced. No compromise in GDP growth from the current trend of 7-8%. Time frame was next 3-5 yrs. I laid out the following approach:
• Identify sources of CO2 emissions
• Disaggregate them by sectors and geographies within India
• Prioritize these based on Amount of CO2 that can be reduced and the impact on GDP that would occur
• Implement steps to reduce Carbon intensity for the prioritized areas
He was visibly happy with this approach. I detailed out the emission sources and identified the following sectors as the major contributors to emissions:
Power, Transportation, Construction, Cement, Steel and Agriculture. As I was discussing the remaining steps in my approach, he said that he understood them and asked me to quickly synthesize the case. I did that and the case ended there. After that he asked a couple of PI questions which I mentioned above. I asked him a few questions about what Mckinsey had done in the Climate Change Special initiative. I also asked him what still keeps him going in the firm after so many years.
Pretty much everything. Connected well with the interviewer as he was leading the Climate Change Special Initiative of Mckinsey and had a good discussion about Carbon Emissions and the fall outs of the Copenhagen Conference. Also did the case very well.
Didn’t answer the question about team members that well.
Interview Tips
Please read up about the interviewer’s interest areas at work or otherwise and try to have a knowledgeable discussion around that.
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: PI questions: Questions about my work experience at ITC
  • Question 2: How was life at ISB?
  • Question 3: Some questions about my co-curricular activities at ISB
  • Question 4: 5 words that my team members would use to describe me
  • Question 5: General discussion about ITC and whether everybody in ITC smokes
  • Question 6: Case Questions: Valuation for a hotel chain that has existing hotels and new hotels in different stages of completion (Case type:Valuation)
Interview Experience
This was a long drawn out case with lots of details and numbers. Can’t recollect it completely as interviewer asked me to leave my working sheets with him. So, I’ll mention whatever I can recollect. There is a hotel chain whose revenues and EBITDA margins are known. It is also currently expanding with 50 new hotels in different parts of the country in different stages of completion. I was asked to do a valuation. After asking a couple of initial questions about the hotel and its operations, I suggested the following 2 approaches for valuation:
• DCF based valuation
• EV/EBITDA multiple based valuation
Interviewer asked me to use the 2nd approach. I did the calculation for the existing hotels based on their EBITDA margins and the multiple values (which I was asked to guess and I told him it could be in the range of 5-10 and he said use 7). While I was doing the numbers, he shot some quick calculations at me and I was able to respond to them. Clearly, my quant skills were being tested here. After completing the calculation, he told me that for the new hotels the chain was looking for Private Equity investment and I had to present a case for this investment. We discussed about the different new hotels that were being planned and the factors that were needed to be considered like location, competition, region specific macroeconomic factors like income levels, purchasing power, etc. Here it was more of a qualitative discussion and he wasn’t looking for any numbers. The case concluded here. Since interviewer was initially not scheduled to be a part of the interview team, I didn’t have any idea about his profile and the work he does in
Mckinsey. So, I asked him a few questions about that.
The case was a bit unusual, so I wasn’t completely sure whether it went well or not. The PI was good and he seemed to like my answers.
Interview Tips
Keep your cool even if the case is unusual and is filled with a lot of details and numbers. Show the interviewer that you can handle the
ambiguity and still come up with a logical approach.
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: PI questions: Tell me something about yourself?
  • Question 2: Why Mckinsey?
  • Question 3: Life at ISB
  • Question 4: My most significant leadership experience
  • Question 5: Questions about work experience at ITC
  • Question 6: Case Questions: How do you improve the performance of a Call Center? (Case type:Operations)
Interview Experience
Interviewer is one of the nicest and most humble people you’ll ever encounter in an interview. He makes you feel so comfortable that you just don’t realize that you are talking to a Mckinsey Director. He is also probably “the decision maker” when it comes to recruitments at ISB. We were discussing about my experience in ITC in implementing Operations Performance Improvements in a manufacturing setting. As an extension of that discussion, he asked me to apply the same to services industry, specifically in a Call Center. I told him that we could use the following metrics to measure performance – cost, call quality, delivery (meeting customer demand). He asked me to use Cost per employee as the performance metric. I laid out the following structure
• Understand the components of Cost/employee
• Analyze the process drivers for each component
• Suggest suitable recommendations and an implementation plan
He was satisfied with this structure and we started off discussing the 1st point. I disaggregated the cost components as follows:
• Salary & Compensation
• Long-term benefits
• Training & Development
• Infrastructure
We then had a discussion about how can Compensation & Other benefits, which he told me were almost 60% of the costs, could be
reduced. We started discussing aspects of motivation and during this I figured out that Attrition is the single biggest problem in Call Centers due to which high levels of compensation are paid to employees and it is difficult to reduce the cost of this component. At this stage, he ended the case. Since interviewer was involved in the design of ISB, I asked him a couple of questions about that and then we had a chat about what ISB should do to further reinforce its position as a top tier global school.
Interviewer is one of the nicest and most humble people you’ll ever encounter in an interview. He makes you feel so comfortable that you just don’t realize that you are talking to a Mckinsey Director. He is also probably “the decision maker” when it comes to recruitments at ISB. We were discussing about my experience in ITC in implementing Operations Performance Improvements in a manufacturing setting. As an extension of that discussion, he asked me to apply the same to services industry, specifically in a Call Center. I told him that we could use the following metrics to measure performance – cost, call quality, delivery (meeting customer demand). He asked me to use Cost per employee as the performance metric. I laid out the following structure
• Understand the components of Cost/employee
• Analyze the process drivers for each component
• Suggest suitable recommendations and an implementation plan
He was satisfied with this structure and we started off discussing the 1st point. I disaggregated the cost components as follows:
• Salary & Compensation
• Long-term benefits
• Training & Development
• Infrastructure
We then had a discussion about how can Compensation & Other benefits, which he told me were almost 60% of the costs, could be
reduced. We started discussing aspects of motivation and during this I figured out that Attrition is the single biggest problem in Call Centers due to which high levels of compensation are paid to employees and it is difficult to reduce the cost of this component. At this stage, he ended the case. Since interviewer was involved in the design of ISB, I asked him a couple of questions about that and then we had a chat about what ISB should do to further reinforce its position as a top tier global school.
Pretty much everything. Connected well with interviewer during PI and he seemed to be impressed with all the answers I gave. The case went very well as I could relate to my Operations experience and knew how to approach the problem and the related issues.


Interview Tips
Please enjoy the interview experience and show the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in solving the case
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16

McKinsey Junior associate interview

, 2.9k views
Vailina TulsaniExperiencedSelected
Application
I Applied for job through Personal Contacts for Junior associate role at McKinsey
Interview Process
Case Study Interview Case Study Interview HR Interview HR Interview
Round 1

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Case 1: Client is a large PSU Bank. They are facing challenges with customer experiences, their customers are unhappy
Interview Experience
This was a pure case round I didn’t had any PI. One small question was tell me about yourself and what does my name mean.

Recommended Approach
I started the analysis first with the branch experience. I laid down the steps in detail to identify all possible interfaces with the customers when he enters the branch Access to Branch (Location) >>entering the branch >>waiting/ self-service/no. of counters to attend customer grievances>>availability of the people at the counter/no. of breaks they take>>overall time and efficiency/how friendly the staff is etc.
He looked pretty satisfied with that and asked me if they should have the same branches for HNI as well as the masses. I told that some branches should be there. However, Economies of scale could not be achieved by keeping separate branches. Therefore, I suggested giving the HNI special treatment in the same branches, like a separate lounge to relax while waiting, a dedicated representative when they come to the branch etc. He then asked me how we can do the same kind of discretion in an ATM. I told that when a customer comes to the ATM and enters his ATM, we can use that info to check if the customers are HNI or not. After that the screen experience can be different based on better products offerings, more facilities etc. He seemed to be very impressed by this suggestion. After that talking to him became very easy.

Guesstimate: He asked me to estimate the no. of marriages that will happen in India next year I started by taking India’s population and divided it into rural (70%) and urban (30%) and solved for each individually with similar approach. I will elaborate the general steps ( Assumptions might vary based on your own discretion and also what the interviewer is comfortable with) Population>>potential age group for marrying >>removed the already married people>>filtered the one who want to marry >>filtered who will actually get married with some probability>> finally divided the no. by 2 as it’s a couple affair He seemed satisfied with this as well and said great
Interview Tips
Developing a repo is very important. I was able to do that here. He seemed very interested in talking to me after that. My interview also got extended by 10-15 min because of the same. After this interview , I really had a very positive feeling.
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: There is a large automobile manufacturer of cars, trucks and buses. The problem is of the spare parts. Whenever a customer enters the dealership shop and asks for spare parts, they are never available
Interview Experience
This round was with a very senior partner. He started by giving his introduction and told me that he has been with McKinsey almost for 2 decades. However, I was quite scared of him as he never smiled, was always looking into the newspaper. I realized that it would be quite stress full as I was not able to develop any repo with him. He asked me general questions about walk me through resume and a little bit about my work at Deloitte. One strange thing that I thought he asked me was that if my parents have given me enough freedom to travel, and work in a industry like consulting and we had a short discussion around that.

Recommended Approach
I started the analysis by drawing the whole value chain of these spare parts and tried to explore possible reasons at each step Supplier >>Manufacturing >>Dealers>> retailers>>Customers
After further questioning , I figured out that the problem of spare parts is directly originating from the Supplier itself

After that I started exploring the reasons as to why the supplier is not interested in supplying. I listed down the possible reasons 1. They are getting inputs from somewhere else – this cannot be the reason as the same problem would have otherwise occurred when they were supplying for the new vehicles as well
2. Set up time – Spare parts may be required less in no. and therefore, it takes a lot of time to do the whole setting again and again for such small nos. On this he said that’s not the issue. Assume no set up time needed
3. Capacity Issues, as most of the capacity goes in making parts for new vehicles. On this he said capacity is good enough. However, the supplier is just not interested in making just spare parts
4. After this, it clicked me that the supplier might be finding it expensive to just supply the spare parts. Therefore, I started listing down the cost elements
•Cost of raw materials - same as new parts, means parts for new vehicles
•Cost of production - Same as new parts
•Cost of Packaging - Eureka!! (I felt, when he said yes that was significantly different :)
•Cost of transportation also I asked for completeness sake but that was also not the issue

He then asked me to summarize the issue, and suggest a plan of action in 30 seconds as if I were to present the solution to the CEO of the company I told him that the manufacturer is facing this issue because the packaging cost is very high for the supplier in case of spare parts. Therefore, either he can share. those costs as it is important for customer satisfaction. Also, he can consider order pooling by ordering in bulk and keeping extra inventory so that the supplier can also package in bulk.
Interview Tips
Developing a repo is very important. I was a bit stressed in this round as I was not able to. Don’t ask too many questions. Also, majority of the scoping should be done initially itself Even while leaving the room, I was not able to figure out much how have I done as Ramesh still didn’t give me any slightest of the hint of weather he is happy or not. Therefore don’t jump into conclusions if something like this happens. You can still get hired
Round 3

HR Interview

Interview Experience
This was a pure PI round and was very light and conversational.He was really sweet and kept me at ease for the whole of 20 minutes of our interaction. The only discussion I had with him was about my name, how it came, what’s the meaning, what are my likes, dislikes etc. I think the idea was to understand my communication skills and energy levels
Interview Tips
Energy levels were really important. It became very important for me to be very lively, smiling and keep him interested in what I have to say because there was no case in this round
Round 4

HR Interview

Interview Experience
This was the deciding round in my case. A mix of a bit of HR as well as a small eco concept.
I was a bit nervous as I also knew that this will be the deciding round. Also, I had read the previous casebooks in which I was really scared with people’s experiences with him. He asked me about all my academic achievement, the meaning of my name. I thought that this was it, when he suddenly said that lets do a case He asked me to draw the average cost curve of any industry. Initially, I was not able to understand what exactly am I supposed to do and asked a lot of questions to understand to that he got a bit annoyed and I thought, now I am gone !. To my surprise later, I had drawn the curve correctly. He said fine and after a while I got the offer .Life at peace. Restlessness over
Interview Tips
I think in this case the make or break was to understand exactly what he wanted even if it meant for me to ask 10 questions and not give up. I think I was being tested on that here
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17

McKinsey Management consultant interview

, 3k views
Gaurav BansalExperiencedSelected
Application
I Applied for job through Personal Contacts for Management consultant role at McKinsey
Interview Process
Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Personal questions: Why consulting?
  • Question 2: What are your leadership examples
  • Question 3: Tell me about yourself
  • Question 4: Why MBA? Why ISB?
  • Question 5: How does consulting fit in your goals?
  • Question 6: Case Question: What is the model on which Inductis (company) works?
Interview Experience
I never realized when my case started; he was asking me the model on which Inductis works, and slowly moved towards what are the challenges for a company like Inductis in expanding. Only when he said “Or let’s say the CEO of JP Morgan, Kevin, or the CEO of Infosys comes to you and says that they wanted to expand their offshoring strength from 250 to 400, but they were not able to scale up.”, did I realize that my case had started! I politely asked him, “Is this a case, or I should be answering just on the fly?”; to which he replied – “Whatever you deem correct. Okay, lets consider it a
case”. I came up with the following issues:
1) They are not getting quality CVs
2) There are too many companies wooing the skilled people we want
3) There are some problems in meeting the expectations of the workers – challenging work , work-life balance and growth opportunities
4) Where do our workers go after leaving us
5) Is there some problem with the HR department
It turned out that the 5 point was one of the major problems.

Then I was given another case – “Mr Murthy is contemplating to expand globally and set up centers in US because India gets only $30 bn out of the total $800 bn offshoring/outsourcing market. What are the pros and cons?”
The most important negative point I identified was that that the cost arbitrage would not be there. Noshir then asked me to focus on advantages, and I came up with the following:
1) Proximity to the client
2) Cultural affinity
3) Better domain knowledge as you are working where the action is taking place
4) Lower telecom costs and hurdles
5) Political benefits – Democrats are totally against moving jobs to Asia, and hence such a move would be politically hailed

Interview Tips
Biggest learning – your case can start anytime without you being explicitly told. This is really true for McK interviewers especially. Also, they don’t always look for structuring – when I was starting to jot down some points for my first case, the interviewer told me not to worry about structure and clarificatory questions and other formalities; he said “I know you would be master in all this, so I just want recommendations and issues which will add value to the client”.
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Experience
In the second interview I was given a case study. It was conducted by another Interviewer. Your friend lives in Beijing, and is observing the commercial/office buildings being built these days. He is contemplating getting into the business of leasing cranes to constructors. What do you think of this idea?
The rough framework I told him I would follow is:
1) The market opportunity
2) Competition
3) Contacts, especially with suppliers of cranes
4) Investments in this business
5) Risks going forward
After a little discussion on each of these, he told me that this is an estimation case, and I have to estimate the market size of this business in $ terms. There can be several ways to go about it, and I took the following one:
1) An average building is built on a square of side 70m
2) Assume Beijing to be a square of side 20km
3) Out of the total are of 400 sq.km, 50sq.km is used for commercial purposes
4) 80% of this, ie 40 sq. km is the area on which a building is actually build (the rest 20% for roads, lawns, parking lots etc)
5) This gives about 8000 buildings which can be built
6) Assume in the next years, a total 2000 buildings will be build, 400 each in every year
7) A building construction requires 3 cranes in the initial 4 months,
2 cranes in the next 4 months, and 1 crane in the last 4 months, completing in whole 1 year
8) A crane costs $50,000 per month Doing all the calculation should give the total annual market size of approximately $480 million.
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Personal Interview: Discussion on how BTO practice is similar to/different from 'generalist' practise.
  • Question 2: What is the passion in your life and how are you working towards it?
Interview Experience
In the personal Interview the interview started from a discussion on BTO practice for 20 minutes. The case interview started after a discussion of my short-term/long-term goals, how consulting fits in and why MBA etc.
She gave an actual situation she met in China on one of her projects:
A meat manufacturer in Europe, selling only ham and sausages, has been seeing declining profits for the last 2 years. So what could be the reason behind it?
I did the following analysis step by step:
1) What specific did we do 2 years back? – Nothing was the answer.
2) Have the customer tastes been changing? – No, the market was stable
3) How is the competitive landscape? – 2 competitors, each having 30% mkt share, while we have 40%.
4) Revenue-Cost analysis: It turned out that the volumes of sausages was going down, while it was constant for ham. The reason was that one of the competitors was selling sausages at 99 cents a kg, while we sold at $1/kg; also, we sold ham at $4.2/kg.
The issue then shifted to the question – how was the competitor able to sell sausages at 99 cents a kg? While analyzing the cost structure, it emerged that sausages were being sold at break-even!
Now the question was – if they are zero margins in sausages, then how could lower sausage sales trigger a decline in profits? I asked some more questions about how they were manufactured, and found that the following process is followed: the company buys chunks of meat, makes ham out of them, and the small, leftover pieces of meat are used to make sausages. Hence, when the sales of sausages went down, it was because they were not able to sell the leftover meat at $1/kg they bought the raw meat at.

This rang the bell of ‘cost allocation’; why should sausages me allocated the costs for leftover scrap meat at the same rate as that of good meat used in ham? Well, one reason unearthed. Actually, there was a bigger reason; the indirect labor costs (salaries of CEO, managers etc) were being allocated very irrationally – though a ham was being sold at 4.2 times the price of a sausage and involved more processing and personnel time, both were allocated the same costs! In fact, a sausage was being allocated a total of 60 cents for indirect labor costs, though a ham was being allocated only 80 cents.
I synthesized the case by explaining how cross-subsidization was happening, how this could be because of the shrewdness of the manager of ham operations and the naivety of the manager of sausage operations. It turned out that this was exactly the reason behind all this.
In the second interview, I was not given any case.
Interview Tips
Keep in mind how much time you would have for the case; As we had lost 20-25 minutes discussing BTO, I was well aware that no way would I get much time as this was a 30 min interview. Hence I quickly went through all possible issues, and zeroed in on the relevant one
Prepare your PI well.
General Tips
Structuring of the cases should be impressive.<br />
Keep in mind how much time you would have for the case.
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18

McKinsey Consultant internship interview

, 2.8k views
Srinath NagarajanFresherSelected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus at IIM Lucknow for Consultant role at McKinsey
Interview Process
Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Tell me about yourself
  • Question 2: Tell me about yourself
  • Question 3: Tell me what you did in CRISIL
Interview Experience
The interview started with a 'tell me about yourself' for which i had prepared a 1 minute intro highlighting specific aspects about myself that I wanted to bring to his notice . Then he asked me about what i did in CRISIL (my prior workplace) . I explained that I was engaged in assigning Credit Ratings to Corporates under Basel II Regulations.
How would you go about Rating a Company, lets say Bharti Airtel.
Because it was Bharti Airtel I had to give an answer tailored to what the approach would be for a Telecom company would be. While answering I was conscious of 2 things – One, that I have a clear structure to my answers and Two, tried to keep it as simple and jargon free as possible.
(An Offshoot from something I had mentioned in the earlier answer) What are the ratios that you would look at?Here I mentioned the financial ratios that I would look at stating specifically why I would look at each ratio. He probed me on a few ratios here and there. The intention appeared to be more to check my articulation of a financial concept.
Eg: What is a Current Ratio?
I explained the formula. However I did not stop there. I went on to explain that it was used to assess the liquidity position of the company.
Then I went on to explain to the logic behind the usage of the ratio – Simply put, it tells us if there is likely to be sufficient inflows of funds over the next one year to meet the maturing payment obligations. So a current ratio of less than one means the company has more to pay than what is coming in, a liquidity problem. (Based on the approving nods that I was getting, I felt he liked those portions of my answer where I endeavored to de-jargonize or simplify complex concepts)
So Tell me, how would you increase the revenues of Bharti Airtel.
That was my case, it had begun. However, at that point I thought it was just an extension of my previous discussion and I started rambling.
Analysis:
Preliminary questions - We all know Bharti Airtel and the services it offered quite well – So there was no need to ask preliminary questions. Also, since I wasn't aware that I was doing a case I did not have the opportunity to ask preliminary questions.
Structure: The Structure that I used was fairly simple – Increase in Revenues can in Existing markets or through expansion in new markets.
I explored the existing markets first. Here increase in revenues could occur through increased market penetration, increased usage of basic services among current users or increased usage of Value added services among existing customers. He asked me a couple of questions on how these things can be done and I gave him some off the cuff answers.
For the New markets, I suggested that the company could look at inorganic expansion through acquisitions or through establishment of Greenfield operations in new markets with high market potential.
The entire case was more like an informal chat. There were a few follow up questions on some of the options I had generated. The case did not last very long – about 10 minutes at the max.

Interview Tips
Know your Resume well. At no point in the interview should you ramble on. All answers must be natural (ie, must not appear rehearsed), brief, structured and to the point.

Retaining composure through the interview is critical. Mistakes may happen during the interview, but it is important to pick you up and keep at it. People rarely have perfect interviews where everything has gone right and interviewers don‟t expect it either.
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Experience
Case: I am the manufacturer of Tata Nano. While setting up the plant I expected to have sales of around 5 lac Nanos per annum, but now the number is way below that. Can you help me find out why.
Analysis: Preliminary questions – Since it was Tata Nano, lot of the background questions were not required. I clarified whether the problem was a lack of bookings that they received. He agreed.
Structure: The Structure that I used was not the best but it did get me to the problem. I started off by saying the lack of bookings could be on account of 3 reasons – One, a lack of awareness of the product among the target customers (Marketing problem), Two, Being aware of the product but not being able to place a booking (Distribution problem) or a Three, being aware of the product yet not interested in the product(i called this the product problem). He asked me to ignore the first 2 (he did not seem highly impressed) and explore the 3 rd the product problem.
Here I again broke it up in to 2 further branches – Problems that the Car has by itself (Internal factors) and problems in the external environment mainly competition, etc. I deep delved in to the Internal factors.
Of the internal problems I mentioned, he agreed that the negative publicity from the steering wheel catching fire was an issue and comfort factor was another issue. As and when he acknowledged a problem, I made a separate note of it. Eventually when he asked me to explore the external factors, I used these points to do a quick summary of the key takeaways up to that point.
In the external problem, I divided it into competition from other cars and two wheeler. I asked a few questions here trying to pick up a clue or 2 of how to proceed from there but he just refused to shell out any information. At this point he also took out his Blackberry and acted uncooperative. I went on to analyze for myself that given that the price of the next cheapest car was over a lakh higher than this car the issue lay more with the 2 wheeler. I went on to list factors why people would prefer 2 wheeler to a Tata Nano. Of the factors I listed, he acknowledged that the high running costs and availability of easy financing options seemed like the distinguishing factors. He said I seemed to have arrived at the problem.
He now asked me to tell me how he could provide
financing options for the Nano. This I felt was like a
guess estimate problem. I said I would work backward
to solve the problem. This is how I solved it – I said the average Nano target customer would earn Rs 10000 per month (he had given me that number in an earlier discussion, he liked the fact that I had noted it down and was using it again) I said, given the average savings rate of the country is at 35%-40% (this is from the RBI website I think). That meant a saving of about Rs 4,000 per month. No one would be comfortable giving up their
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19

McKinsey Engagement manager interview

, 3k views
Pranjal JainExperiencedSelected
Interview Process
Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Personal questions:Examples of leadership experience.
  • Question 2: Personal questions:Examples of leadership experience.
Interview Experience
In the Personal Interview, I was asked about my leadership experiences. My experience of factory start-up with HLL helped my case. Further I was asked why I could not make it through with McK the previous time (I had interviewed while at IITK in 2002 for analyst post). Here I pointed out to the way I have changed in the last 3 years both while working with HLL and by doing my MBA (focusing on peer learning). I gave an example of the way I currently understand the position of HLL, with specific mention to its annual result (had been announced just 3 days back ); I had done some basic numbers (ratios) and could easily comment on the performance with a mention of the way ahead as it should be for HLL.
I was given two cases by the interviewer for my first round.
For case 1, I was given this: SAP India has not been able to expand its operations as it has not been able to hire the right number of people, so ramp up was not possible, help out its HR dept. I did some checks with simple questions to understand the situation better. Then I drew a funnel (which represents the hiring process), input to which is applicants and output is selected candidates. Understood the drop outs (people eliminated) at various stages. Concluded that the process can not be made less stringent, so the only way out is to increase the input to the funnel.
Looked at input as market share of a product (dependent on 3 factors, Awareness, Availability and Purchase intention, MARKSTRAT funda). Checked if it’s a fair way to look at it. The interviewer was pretty satisfied with it.
Awareness: 2 segments, fresh college grads and IT professionals working in other firms who might like to apply to SAP. Realized that awareness level is low on campuses and the IT Pros of other firms are not being targeted at all.
Remedy: Campus promotion events, tie ups with schools the way Infy et al are having, start a referral programme, start blogs, etc.
Availability: Very poor interface to apply on, extremely low bandwidth of HR dept. takes a month to process applications and by that time the applicants are no longer interested or already have jobs. Measures suggested here.
Purchase Intention: No problem here. The quality of work is great and the brand name of SAP is great.
In the end, synthesized the case.
I believe I was able to structure the case very well and that really helped a lot.

2nd Case: Tata 1 lakh car, need to lower the cost of parts in car to less than 75 K.
Structure made, being from a manufacturing background I tried to leverage on my wok knowledge and presented my analysis:
• Might have to use an alternate MoC (Material of construction), think plastics/composites.
• Tie up with a global vendor like GE to get the MoC
• Have all yr auto ancillary suppliers gear up to the challenge of using the MoC
• Centralized purchasing done by Tata Motors for all ancillary suppliers so as to get economies of scale
• Rationalize the components being used, get rid of useless components used in the car (I missed out this point and was driven towards it)

My energy level created very positive vibes from the very beginning
The structuring of the cases was good.
The way I could point out the change (for the better) that I have undergone since the time I last interviewed with McK.
My leadership examples was pretty strong
In the end I asked him about the Mck NASSCOM report (I had read it cover to cover) and wanted to know his views on Indian top 5 IT cos becoming USD 10 Bn firms.
He was happy with the question and gave his views.
Interview Tips
Personal Questions: Prepare very well. The way I see it, write a 10-12 page essay about yourself which really is a representation of your true self. It should not be swayed by the firm or the kind of job you are interviewing for.
It helps to serve as a key for all personal questions and having it all together ensures that there is no contradiction in any answer. It worked very well in my case.
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: What are my views on ISB and the way ahead for it.
Interview Experience
There were no personal questions in this round and it was pointed out that only 1 case will be administered. I was asked to ask him questions about work/McK. I asked him about his failures at McK.
For case I was presented with this: Client is India’s largest PSU bank (Client name cant be disclosed ☺) Due to recent RBI strictures, cheque can’t be delivered physically to a clearing house, so an alternative scheme is to be drawn up. I some how confused this whole system with RTGS and started blabbering out of that when I was checked by Nigel. (Lesson: Never ever assume anything, if you do, make sure you check it with the interviewer).
There were basically 2 schemes which were drawn up with regards to cheque processing and movement of information/data. They were to be compared, a result had to be arrived at and an optimal one (possibly a third one was to be suggested).

I went about drawing the 2 schemes (what appeared to be child’s play initially was extremely tough). By the end I was thoroughly confused between the schemes as they had so many elements to them. I requested for more time and drew them neatly (that is something not very natural to me) and on different sheets of paper. Then I concluded that we need to do a cost benefit analysis (with the constraint of acceptable service level) and I went on to identify the cost drivers. They included manpower cost, cost of hardware like scanners, bandwidth cost (for electronic flow of images), cost of courier and the constraint of service level. At this stage I was getting lost due to excess information and was asked to stop and synthesize the discussion we had had till that time before proceeding further.

Then we did establish the merits of one network structure over the other and I was then asked to arrive at an even better network. The interviewer left me alone in he room for some time to help me think and I could arrive at an alternate network. Upon discussion it was found that I had not taken care of the service level and my design was not feasible.
Interview Tips
Never crack in a pressure interviewer, if the case is difficult and the interviewer is asking you to speed up and move when you are not really done with an issue, DO take your time.
General Tips
Maintain positive energy from the beginning of the interview.<br />
Focus on the way you structure the cases.<br />
Be as succinct and creative as possible while solving the cases.<br />
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20

McKinsey Summer intern interview

, 1.6k views
Srinath NagarajanExperiencedSelected
Application
I Applied for job through Walk-in for Summer intern role at McKinsey
Interview Process
HR Interview Problem Statement Problem Statement
Round 1

HR Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Tell me about yourself
  • Question 2: Tell me what you did in CRISIL
  • Question 3: How would you go about Rating a Company, lets say Bharti Airtel
Interview Experience
Had a 1 minute intro prepared highlighting specific aspects about myself that I wanted to bring to his notice.
I explained that I was engaged in assigning Credit Ratings to Corporates under Basel II Regulations.
Because it was Bharti Airtel I had to give an answer tailored to what the approach would be for a Telecom company would be. While answering I was conscious of 2 things –One, that I have a clear structure to my answers and Two, tried to keep it as simple and jargon free as possible.
Round 2

Problem Statement

Interview Experience
Preliminary questions -We all know Bharti Airtel and the services it offered quite well –So there was no need to ask preliminary questions. Also, since I wasn’t aware that I was doing a case I did not have the opportunity to ask preliminary questions.Structure: The Structure that I used was fairly simple –Increase in Revenues can in Existing markets or through expansion in new markets. I explored the existing markets first. Here increase in revenues could occur through increased market penetration, increased usage of basic services among current users or increased usage of Value added services among existing customers. He asked me a couple of questions on how these things can be done and I gave him some off the cuff answers. For the New markets, I suggested that the company could look at inorganic expansion through acquisitions or through establishment of Greenfield operations in new markets with high market potential.The entire case was more like an informal chat. There were a few follow up questions on some of the options I had generated. The case did not last very long –about 10 minutes at the max.
Interview Tips
Know your Resume well. At no point in the interview should you ramble on. All answers must be natural (ie, must not appear rehearsed), brief, structured and to the point. Retaining composure through the interview is critical. Mistakes may happen during the interview,but it is important to pick youup and keep at it. People rarely have perfect interviews where everything has gone right and interviewers don’t expect it either.
Round 3

Problem Statement

Interview Experience
Preliminaryquestions –
Since it was Tata Nano, lot of the background questions were not required. I clarified whether the problem was a lack of bookings that they received. He agreed.
Structure:
The Structure that I used was not the best but it did get me to the problem. I started off by saying the lack of bookings could be on account of 3 reasons –One, a lack ofawareness of the product among the target customers (Marketing problem), Two, Being aware of the product but not being able to place a booking (Distribution problem) or a Three, being aware of the product yet not interested in the product (I called this the product problem). He asked me to ignore the first 2 (he did not seem highly impressed) and explore the 3rdthe product problem.Here I again broke it upin to 2 further branches –Problems that the Car has by itself (Internal factors) and problems in the external environment mainly competition, etc. I deep delved in to the Internal factors. Of the internal problems I mentioned, he agreed that the negative publicity from the steering wheel catching fire was an issue and comfort factor was another issue. As and when he acknowledged a problem, I made a separate note of it. Eventually when he asked me to explore the external factors, I used these points to do a quick summary of the key takeaways up to that point In the external problem, I divided it into competition from other cars and two wheelers. I asked a few questions here trying to pick up a clue or 2 of how to proceed from there but he just refused to shell out any information. At this point he also took out his Blackberry and acted uncooperative. I went on to analyse for myself that given that the price of the next cheapest car was over a lakh higher than this car the issue lay more with the 2 wheelers. I went on to list factors why people would prefer 2 wheelers to a Tata Nano. Of the factors I listed, he acknowledged that the high running costs and availability of easy financing options seemed like the distinguishing factors. He said I seemed to havearrived at the problem,He now asked me to tell me how he could provide financing options for the Nano. This I felt was like a guess estimate problem. I said I would work backward to solve the problem. This is how I solved it –I said the average Nano target customer would earn Rs 10000 per month (he had given me that number in an earlier discussion, he liked the fact that I had noted it down and was using it again) I said, given the average savings rate of the country is at 35%-40% (this is from the RBI website I think). That meant a saving of about Rs 4,000 per month. No one would be comfortable giving up their entire saving, so if we considered 50% of this, the customer will be willing to pay an EMI of 2000 per month. The company would want to complete the financing within a period of 4 years cause after that the car may be worthless in case of repossession. So this meant roughly a down payment of 20,000 followed by 4 years of EMI of 2000 pm approximately (I took his approval on all of the numbers I used, so he was comfortable with this number). Summary: I began to summarize all my recommendations to that point but he stopped me saying that I didn't have to absolutely nail the case.
Interview Tips
The most important thing to nail a consult interview is composure and confidence. With this in place, half the job is done. In all HR answers it is important to show genuineness. No answer must come across as fabricated.
Skills

Skills Tested

  • Problem Solving Abilties
  • Case Analysis
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