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21

McKinsey Consultant interview

, 9.5k views
AnonymousFresherSelected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus for Consultant role at McKinsey
Interview Process
Resume Shortlist Interview Interview Interview Interview
Round 1

Resume Shortlist

Interview Experience
a) I put a lot of thought into it. A LOT. I started top-down. In a sense, I always knew I was gonna target only 2 types of companies: Consulting and Banking. So made my 2 resumes accordingly. Basically I conveyed what needed to be conveyed. For this, I talked to a lot of people in Oct/Nov and researched a bit from previous editions of BePrepared. Being a DD helped. And then I spent a lot of time thinking how best to convey it. For example, I knew that my success in strategy competitions was crucial for Consulting Firms, hence I put those above my projects/extracurrics. b) Sent it to many people for feedback. Some of the points were accepted, some not. Its always our call in the end. But more often than not, external views make up the MOST important part of Resume Making. Advice: Make a rough copy first and then start thinking. If you think without it, it will take up a lot of time. DON’T LIE – IT WONT HELP YOU IN THE INTERVIEW. Be very serious in your resume. Avoid any kind of humor. Also don’t try to squeeze in too much.. you wont be coherent. Know what you want to convey and convey exactly that. At the end of it.. Look at your resume page by page. And see what it conveys at a VERY MACRO level. For ex: In my resume, Page 1 conveyed Decent Acads with Success in Strategy Competitions and Page 2 conveyed A lot of positions of responsibility with decent results and excellence in dramatics. I attended some of PPTs. Basically, from the beginning my focus was only on Consulting and Banking companies. In all I attended about 6 PPTs. But they do help. I know some of them are more than 90 minutes long. But its worth it in the end. There are some 5-6 important lines in every PPT and a wasted 90 minutes is worth those lines. Do catch the opportunity to talk to the presenters after the PPT informally. I found it to be quite valuable. Ofcourse, this meant less pizza consumed by me. But that’s okay.
Round 2

Interview

Interview Experience
2+ 2 rounds of interview after resume short-listing. Total 22, After 2 rounds: 6 Final Offer: 3 (out of which 2 accepted). My McK interviews were scheduled immediately after my 2 BCG interviews. So I was not tense going into them. Round 1: It started off with general HR. Which is how all interviews typically are. This is to make the interviewee comfortable. I was asked about my dramatics and my economics project. He was looking for short, precise answers. Then came the case: I was asked my sport of preference. I said Football. He asked me to Guesstimate (Guess + Estimate) the number of footballs in Europe. (For those of you who are not familiar with guesstimates: It basically involves coming to a number logically. You can either approach it from the supply side (involves estimating the total capacity and multiplying with a capacity utilization kind of a thing.) or the demand side (estimating the number of users and then multiplying by the frequency of use). I told him about how I can approach from the demand and the supply side. I said I would like to use the demand side as I thought it was easier. He asked me to instead use the supply side. This came as a shock as I had hardly practiced anything from the supply side (Lesson: Be prepared to think about novel problems – which you have never practiced). I made a hash of this one. I made a lot of mistakes. But the good thing was I was speaking aloud whatever was going inside my mind. So if I said: “costs at all London shops will be the same”, my interviewer would interject and ask “Would they”.. after thinking for a bit I would realize that they wont be since the transportation costs are different for different shops (unless they are competing) . I think he got impressed by my ability to recognize that I have made a mistake and the ability to rectify it. After this he asked me if I had any questions about McK. I had a few and asked him the same. .
Interview Tips
Lesson Learnt: Don’t have any conceived notion of an interview. You can be asked anything. Go with an open mind. For Cases, Speak aloud. Don’t be stubborn on your findings. You could be wrong.
Round 3

Interview

Interview Experience
Immediately after round 1, I was whisked away for the round 2. This was a senior partner. He grilled me about how my CPI was low (8.48) . He asked me whether I was against McKinsey taking up govt. studies. I said No and explained him the reason. He was happy. Quite literally. After that came the case: “A and B are the two top Cement manufacturers in India. A foreign cement behemoth C has bought both of them. C is now wondering how to integrate the HR of the two purchasing departments of A and B. What are the possible options? What should it do?” The case was 2-pronged. I had to identify the possible options first and then suggest one. An important learning was that I established the various “parameters” on the basis of which C must decide which one is the best first. I thought I did pretty well with this. The interviewer seemed very happy. After the 2 rounds, I was called by McK people for feedback. I was told that sometime I come across as too Assertive and that should be avoided. I found this feedback very helpful. And later on I realized that a consultant is typically a quiet, analytical, serious character and not a bubbly, flamboyant one.
Interview Tips
Lesson Learnt: Don’t be overtly aggressive against some of the firm policies (govt. work in this case)
Round 4

Interview

Interview Experience
It Was with a partner, again. I was told in this interview that my temperament and way of speaking was to b observed. He asked if I wanted some tea since I looked tired. I said yes. He jumped straight to the case. “A boiler co. wants to go global. Advice.” I didn't have much information about the boiler industry and hence clarified a few doubts. Every second I nagged myself to be less assertive and be more open and unbiased to information. He didn't let me solve it completely. Stopped in between and said I did okay. Ambiguous statements, very typical of consultants. :)
Interview Tips
Lesson Learnt: Respect the client (in this case the interviewer). He knows much much more than you do.
Round 5

Interview

Interview Experience
Was with a German partner. As I entered the room he said how everyone is very keen on me.. but then said he was not sure and had to see for himself. There was no case in this interview. It was mostly fit. We talked about cars and football. I have never had so much fun in an interview. It was awesome. In the end we agreed that Germany played some kick ass football in the world cup and deserved to at-least reach the final. I was told in the interview that I would be made an offer.
Interview Tips
There are no ready-made formula. However, to get shortlisted he/she must have spikes in his/her resume/CV. The person should be hyper-analytic, open to ambiguity, a person who never gives up and above all should be able to communicate well. You need to also present yourself very professionally in front of this company. It tolerates no informality. Know why you want McKinsey/Consulting etc. Prepare case-studies well. Don’t over-prepare. And you definitely need some luck. Looking back, you realize its only one or two statements that you make which makes you unique.
Skills

Skills Tested

    General Tips
    I think the biggest learning was the fact that each company has a different work culture. You should do some research on this also before. I hadn't done much research on UBS and it showed. You will also need to prepare the “Why XYZ?” type of questions from the bottom of your heart. You cant fool the interviewer. Also, always always respect the interviewer. I was down in energy later on. One should have a proper meal before coming for placements. Always be in touch with your seniors (wherever they may be). They can really throw gems of advice at the important instances. Do not worry about your interviews. Its futile. I think overall, I could have researched a bit more on the company cultures. Carry Red-Bull if you have more than 4 interviews. Also keep a sophie/thirdie always at your disposal. Switch off your cell phones when inside. I would prefer that you wear a suit. It gives a good impression. Don’t wear it for the first time on that day itself though. Do check if its good morning/good afternoon/good evening.
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    22

    McKinsey Management consultant interview

    , 2.6k views
    Sridhar SankararamanExperiencedNot Selected
    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 Case Study Interview
    Round 1

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: What is your best academic performance? why?
    • Question 2: what is your worst academic performance? why?
    Interview Experience
    Personal Interview questions revolved around my academic performance and about grades. The case interview started off with the following case:
    Client is a no 1 boiler manufacturer in India. He is now witnessing reduce profits. Advise.
    I Laid out the structure--- Client (his product lines, pricing, distribution channel), competition (change in competitors, their strategy wrt product lines, distribution), Customers (size, preferences), Industry (regulatory, new technology) and cost dynamics (fixed, variable, etc).Interviewer was happy with the structure and said he wanted hypothesis as to why is he losing profits:
    • New competitors have come up with diff technology for boilers –NO
    • The market size for boilers has shrunk (due to changes in the industry they have been rendered redundant)
    • Price war in the industry – reduced profitability – YES
    Then I explored how the competitors are offering a lower price. After delving through each item on cost structure, Supply chain, etc; it appeared that it was because the competitors used a new technology to manufacture boilers --- This tech required LESS raw material (steel) per unit of boiler because the manner in which Steel was being cut (he gave some technical knowledge) -boy….this took some time to get to…in fact interviewer helped out here !!!
    Interview Tips
    Stay Confident & Cool even if you miss the above fact. Move on
    and build on it. Show Energy during the interview. !!
    Round 2

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Experience
    in the second interview of the first round, personal interview was entirely experience based; did not miss any line of CV on work exp (as I had fin work exp)
    case: I want to start a crane leasing biz in China….estimate my annual profits for next year
    I Assumed: No regulatory issues, no replacement of cranes with better equipment for 1 year
    First zeroed in on city, then city space, available free space, plausible for construction next year.
    Identified alternative pricing strategies—ie per diem, per contract, on/off season rates (less in rainy,etc)

    Lots of numbers given (area—square kms, rates, etc)– he wanted me to calculated to the nearest dollar….
    Made a calculation mistake (while using square root for area
    estimation)…but keep your cool ..they are looking at approach

    He then asked me to convert the final answer ($33,85,263) to the nearest pound sterling (DON’T LOSE your cool…)..I used 1.8 conversion rate to convert it (did not carry a calculator☺)))

    At the end I asked few questions on M&A issues in China (I heard up on this after the interview schedule was out)..this helps impress him as he was based in the Corp Fin group in China
    Round 3

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: what is your work experience?
    • Question 2: why MBA and not investment banking?
    • Question 3: Why ISB?
    Interview Experience
    In the first interview of the second round personal interview was more of a general feel good talk. Then the case Interview began. the case was:
    Airline industry—reduced profitability
    I gave the structure, identified the drivers and was beginning to explore each item ---he said that he was happy with structure and gave me another scenario where an airline had 2 options either to fly:
    Brazil to US
    Brazil-Argentina-US

    I explored the pt to pt vs hub and spoke model….we went through the numbers and looked at the opportunity costs to finally chose the right strategy.
    I also looked at non-fin aspects like strategy and future growth before choosing the option.

    He asked me to list adv and dis adv of both models. I drew a model and explored that for 10 routes, pt to pt needs 45 air crafts (10 C 2) while hub and spoke needs only 10. Also identified positives and negatives in other aspects such as costs, customer perception, time, target segment impact, load factor (utilization rate), pricing, etc
    Incidentally the actual opinion he said was similar to my recommendation.

    Interview Tips
    Be ready for pep talk, good opportunity to create feel good
    Round 4

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Experience
    In the second interview, the personal interview was more of a general talk with questions on why MBA, why ISB etc.
    Case: International Courier company-losing market share

    Standard structure—
    • product mix (packages of all sizes), distribution network pricing,
    • competition,
    • customer segment (attributes they look for: time, safety of packet and prices; convenience – centers for collection-touch points),
    • industry dynamics,
    • cost structure (esp fixed), etc

    Identified problem as local couriers eating market share due to lower costs

    Recommendation:
    As Fixed costs are high; increase volume business by:
    • Alliances with Low cost couriers (but quality of service is a issue)
    • JV s (would help as equity stake)
    • Acquisitions (highlighted both positives and negatives)

    Reduce costs internally (explore using excess capacity on other airlines instead of using your own airlines for low volumes)
    General Tips
    Keep your cool during the interview.<br />
    Keep smiling and be confident.<br />
    Try to not to goof up with calculations.
    Read Full post...
    23

    McKinsey Junior associate interview

    , 2.5k views
    Simran KharaExperiencedSelected
    Application
    I Applied for job through Personal Contacts for Junior associate role at McKinsey
    Interview Process
    Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
    Round 1

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Experience
    Case
    Client is a philanthropic foundation with a corpus of $ X million. It wants to invest in India with a view to help curb AIDS spreading (Patient Care was ruled out). Help it decide: HOW + WHERE + HOW MUCH

    Facts provided when asked:
    - Estimate of population afflicted on a Pan India basis
    - Main Source of infection was STD and hence for the purpose of the case I was to concentrate on this alone
    - Estimate of segment sizes ( Sex Workers, Wives and Migrant Labor/Clients of Sex Workers) and the percentage afflicted
    - Which Indian states is it concentrated in?
    - What is the cost of a detection test?

    Analysis
    Stuck to the structure provided by the question of How, Where and How Much?

    It was more of a discussion where I suggested different plans for 2 of the segments (Sex Workers and the Clients, Wives ignored as it was agreed that using protection after marriage was not acceptable by most men in this strata).

    Testing in the ‘Sex Workers’ was to be shelved for the first part of the plan as the incremental benefits were small given that they had a very high percentage of affliction.

    Suggested that the plan be rolled out 5 states to begin with and in areas having brothels near construction sites (migrant labor) and highways (truck drivers were a major part of the clientele)
    How much?

    To be tackled by setting milestones that the foundation set to achieve in terms of ‘slowing down spreading of AIDS’ in terms of spread after program introduced vs. spread with natural rate) using some publically available estimates of expenditure involved in such programs.
    Interview Tips
    Take your time. Don't rush.
    Round 2

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: What does leadership mean to you?
    • Question 2: Is Leadership given or taken?
    • Question 3: Why ISB after LSE?
    • Question 4: I don’t see leadership on your resume, am I missing something?
    Interview Experience
    Case
    Client is a PSU Bank; savings account opening takes 60 mins.
    (Entire Chain of Activities was given as an Exhibit with time and sequence involved) Reduce this to 15 mins.
    It was a 10 mins case.

    Analysis
    1. Identify Critical Path
    2. See which activities can be moved off/performed simultaneously/ performed by customer (perhaps at home)/performed beforehand (printing of cheque books)/performed by others (outsourced)
    3. See which activities can be simplified, e.g. Form filling took 15 mins (It was a 15 page form, so simplify and shorten form)

    NA: Why do we need the teller? Why can’t the officer do the work for the teller? (This would mean slashing off 6 mins of the process as the officer would not need to verify again)
    Interview Tips
    Be honest in all your PI answers, as the inconsistencies are very apparent on the other side of the table even if you have rehearsed
    your answers to perfection.
    Round 3

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: What would you do differently at ISB if you could start over?
    Interview Experience
    Case
    Client is a bank looking to set up a 100 ATM network or operate it on a contract. What would be your advice to the CEO?

    Additional facts provided when asked: Real Estate + Machine + IT Network + Utility Costs on a monthly basis when owned and run by the bank as well as the annual management contract fee when outsourced.

    Analysis
    To study the differences in Costs between ‘Owned and run’ and
    ‘Outsourced’ (Owned and then leased out to different banks was not an option)
    It was just a numbers case after the basic costs were identified, from the costs angle alone ‘Owned and Run’ was a better option.
    Interviewer: Other than the compelling numbers, what might be the advantage of ‘owned and run’ over ‘outsourced’
    Me: Maintenance and service levels can be controlled more effectively.
    Interviewer: For what reasons would you favor outsourcing over owned and run?
    Me:
    a. Fact that cost estimates are current and these could be revised downwards as the outsourcing vendor acquires scale
    b. Not a core function/the usual outsourcing arguments.
    Interview Tips
    Take your time. Don't rush.
    Round 4

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Experience
    Case
    Estimate Gasoline Consumption of Cars in Mumbai in one year.

    Estimation involved:
    - Population of Mumbai
    - Average Income
    - Number of Cars ( This was estimated using an ‘affordability ratio’ –-> using the average price of a car, average life of a car and fuel and service expense required, an average operating expenditure p.a. on a vehicle was found. And this operating expenditure would be less than 20% of Household Income, hence assuming a normal distribution of Income, an estimate of number of cars was found)
    - Average Distance Traveled per vehicle
    - Average Mileage
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    24

    McKinsey Consultant interview

    , 2.5k views
    Digvijay GagnejaExperiencedSelected
    Application
    I Applied for job through Personal Contacts for Consultant role at McKinsey
    Interview Process
    HR Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
    Round 1

    HR Interview

    Interview Experience
    He recognized me from our interaction at the McKinsey dinner. So, he didn’t really introduce himself. He further asked me about my background and then the work experience at ITC. He went in depth to discuss about the projects I had worked on and practically left no stone unturned.
    Round 2

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: Case Type- Operations Based Case
    Interview Experience
    Case narration - The client is a Projects based company that takes up contracts to layout power lines in India. They have been facing profitability issues.
    Recommended Approach -Take out the famous profitability framework from your armor and begin to dissect the problem. I went into revenues and costs.
    List down all the costs for e.g., Fixed and Variable (e.g. Raw Materials, Labouretc.) and check whether any item has higher costs than that of the competitor or the client’s initial costing for the project. You would find that the costing for each item would be still the same. (
    At this point I was given a hint - what is the most crucial thing in a project? You have worked on many of them).
    I immediately realized that this was about the timelines. Ask, are they overshooting the timelines defined in their costing? – Yes, the client was overshooting their project timelines leading to higher fixed costs incurred per project. Then, you dive into revenues and first understand the process of taking up each order and how the payments are made. I recommend making a whole cycle (or diagram) of the process. It helps you visualize better. You will realize that government projects are given through a lowest bid tendering process. One potential problem that you immediately state is that probably the client is not adopting a sound bidding strategy thereby bidding too low in order to get a project. Second thing that you will realize is that the payments may be getting delayed. This will lead to a higher working capital.

    Interview Tips
    I couldn’t reach the point that payments maybe getting delayed. I was given a hint that “the working capital is increasing? Why do you think that could be?”. I just couldn’t write the formula for the working capital. Finally, after a while, I caught the hint and realized that the payments were getting delayed. Overall, I could feel that the interview went well except for the minor blip in the end. Things that worked for me: 1. Always keep smiling and be confident. PI is 50% of the whole game. If you do that well, you are well placed. Be very confident, open and genuine in the PI. Let the interviewer see through who you really are as a person. 2. Never lose your cool. If you’re stuck, just say that I think I have hit a dead end, let me start from the top and see what I could’ve missed. The interviewer is out there to help! 3. Make a good conversation. I spoke to Shirish about the restaurants he has invested in.
    Round 3

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: Case Type- Guesstimate
    Interview Experience
    Case Narration- I was just reading through the newspaper today, and I found this article. It says that India needs nearly 500 million skills by 2022. What do you think about this?

    Recommended Approach
    Task at hand is to estimate the number of unemployed people in the country by 2022. So, first estimate the current unemployed number of people in India. And then also add a growth percentage to it to say, how many people will get added every year.

    Split the population first by age above 18 and then into urban and rural. Then split further into income groups followed by gender. Then, put an estimated percentage of unemployment for each category. This way you will find the current number of unemployed population. Then add a growth percentage of population of nearly 1.5% and add it for years from 2015 to 2022. The number came to $480 million for me and thus justified the $500 M in the newspaper statement.. So, the interviewer stopped me there.
    Interview Tips
    After the case, the interviewer asked me about my previous interview and which case had I got. He told me that the previous interviewer had asked him to test me on the numbers. Thus, the bizzare case. Things that worked: 1. While we were discussing the case given to me in the first interview, I started to discuss on how does McKinsey fair in government projects and tenders. We had a good discussion that made a positive impact. 2. I didn’t panic after listening to the case. It was an arbitrary case, but I knew that in such cases, the interviewer will be more than willing to help you break down the case. So, I just continued having a conversation about the statement in the newspaper till the time I could understand exactly what the interviewer wanted me to do in the case.
    Read Full post...
    25

    McKinsey Management consultant interview

    , 2.6k views
    Sandeep MohanExperiencedSelected
    Application
    I Applied for job through Personal Contacts for Management consultant role at McKinsey
    Interview Process
    Case Study Interview
    Round 1

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: Personal Interview: Why consulting and Mckinsey?
    • Question 2: Examples of leadership experience
    • Question 3: challenges faced in the client environment( I was a project manager handling projects at the client site)
    • Question 4: Why not cricket as a career?
    • Question 5: What are your key strengths?
    Interview Experience
    Case 1: As I had worked in the healthcare industry for the last 2.5 years of career with Infosys. The interviewer made a case on the spot for the software industry and healthcare.
    Nandan Nilakeni approaches you for advice on a product that can be created for the US healthcare industry. How do you analyze the situation?
    Analysis
    Since healthcare industry value chain has many players, structured case as focusing on the healthcare providers. Confirmed with interviewer. Bucketed the IT drivers into market trends, government regulation & operational efficiency.
    Market trends
    Discussed the broad trends in the US healthcare industry
    f. Climbing health care costs
    g. Government encouraging customers to take more responsibility for their health care spending
    h. Creation of tax deductible Flexible spending accounts
    i. Consumers transitioning to customers (earlier customers were the payers employers)
    j. Need for more robust means of identifying customers and their medical history to manage chronic diseases
    k. More consumer directed health plans being purchased
    l. Importance of customer relationship management systems for health care providers (which currently doesn’t exist/ limited versions)
    He further quizzed me about the apparent lack of IT systems in US HC providers. Asked me to explore historical reasons
    Me:
    1) Misaligned incentives for the providers vis-à-vis accrual of benefits from IT usage. Major beneficiaries are insurance companies.
    2) Practicing Physicians less likely to make IT investment Government Regulation
    Discussed high cost of regulation in the health care industry (1 of total health care spend)
    Discussed HIPAA regulations as an example
    Interviewer: Will the providers be able to meet the deadlines set by HIP? Talked about the security and portability aspects of HIPAA, Timelines for each phase etc
    Me : Compliance will drive some of the major health spending. Ease of enhancement for regulatory compliance will be one of the important aspects of the IT product.

    Operational Efficiency:
    Me: Accidental deaths from inefficient and error-prone process within hospitals. Operational efficiency to be improved. Importance of IT systems like CPOE, EHR gaining importance. Potential toreduce errors. Standardization of processes within hospitals
    increases scope for productization.
    Interviewer: To summarize, what are the most important aspects which favor product development as opposed to customized application development in the health care industry ?
    Me: Standardization of requirements is one. Regulatory compliance is another.

    Asked if I have any questions.

    In the second interview I was given another case.
    Client is a no 1 boiler manufacturer in India. He is now witnessing
    reduce profits. Advise .
    Laid out the structure--- Client (his product lines, pricing, distribution channel), competition (change in competitors, their strategy wrt product lines, distribution), Customers (size, preferences), Industry (regulatory, new technology) and cost dynamics (fixed, variable, etc).Interviewer was happy with the structure and said he wanted hypothesis as to why is he losing profits:
    • New competitors have come up with diff technology for boilers
    –NO
    • The market size for boilers has shrunk (due to changes in the
    industry they have been rendered redundant)
    • Price war in the industry – reduced profitability – YES
    Then I explored how the competitors are offering a lower price. After delving through each item on cost structure, Supply chain, etc; it appeared that it was because the competitors used a new technology to manufacture boilers --- This tech required LESS raw material (steel) per unit of boiler because the manner in which Steel was being cut (he gave some technical knowledge) -boy….this took some time to get to…in fact interviewer helped out here !!!

    Discussed about the trends in IT off-shoring. Asked him about the next wave of off-shoring from Infrastructure management business and how well prepared the Indian players are to meet this challenge in his opinion ?
    General Tips
    Stick to a detailed and precise answer while solving for the case.
    Read Full post...
    26

    McKinsey Consultant internship interview

    , 2.4k views
    Amit DeshpandeFresherNot Selected
    Application
    I was interviewed on-campus at IIM Lucknow 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: Tell me something about yourself.
    Interview Experience
    We started the interview by talking about the video conferencing facilities in IIM L, since there was a VC setup in the interview room. We talked about it for a while and then we started the interview. He asked the most standard question: tell me something about yourself. I gave him a long and descriptive answer since he wasn't engaging me much. We ended up talking about badminton since both of us were badminton players.
    Since I am passionate about badminton, he asked me to estimate the no. of badminton courts in India. I started off by dividing India into rural and urban areas, and confirmed with him that I can ignore the rural areas for this guesstimation. I divided the urban areas further into tier 1 and tier 2 cities, and started with Mumbai as an average for tier 1 cities. The rest of the case was pretty straightforward, since I took an average number of people per badminton court and multiplied it by the population. I took a percentage of the number in case of tier 2 cities to arrive at the total number.
    Interview Tips
    Draw out an MECE structure before starting analysis of the case. Reality checks are essential.
    Round 2

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Experience
    The interviewer was extremely informal. He was talking how weird the interview process is these days, as compared to the process in his days. We talked about how big the interview room was and how difficult it is to focus while sitting in a comfy couch! He didn't ask me any personal questions since he said he had already been through my CV a million times. The case was about a fertilizer manufacturing company based out of the US which was receiving complaints regarding its poor customer service. I started by asking details about the company, its operations, its customers, the competitors and the market in general (barriers, trends etc.). After the initial questions, I realized that the problem was in the supply of fertilizers to the customers (which were 5 major distributors across the US). So, I broke down the case into the supply value chain, i.e., raw materials (procurement and transportation), manufacturing process and inventory handling. This led me to the problem which was their inventory handling methods. Specifically, the demand estimation was way off; they estimated demand on an annual basis and it was a word of-mouth contract with the customers. Besides, despite geographical variations within the US, the demand was estimated by one sales team centrally. This was the key issue and I got to it pretty quickly.
    The pace of the interview was very fast and the interviewer did not let me talk for long periods of time; basically he was testing me on my speed of option generation. I thought I did pretty well and suggested seasonal demand estimation based on geography and that the contracts with customers should be on paper.
    Round 3

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Experience
    Very serious interview. He was completely straight faced right from the word goes. Immediately asked me to tell him something about myself. After hearing me
    out, he asked me to tell him something about my work experience at the Bain Capability Centre. This part went pretty well.
    He didn‟t really give me a case. He asked me which sector I followed in India, to which I replied the retail sector. We then entered into a discussion into the retail sector in India. I had very little sector knowledge and retail was my best bet. SO after giving him some facts that I had read, , he asked me what a retail company think should about while entering the Indian market, i.e., the key success factors. . I told him that we should consider the target customer segment, the product offerings, the retail format and the locations. The interview was pretty OK till this point. . However, then he started getting into details. He asked me what a company should do to compete with the huge unorganized sector, and wasn't convinced with my answer. I knew that I‟d blown it.
    Finally he ended the case and asked me if I had any other shortlists before I left.
    Interview Tips
    Please prepare one sector thoroughly, not just facts, but to have a business opinion about it.
    Read Full post...
    27

    McKinsey Consultant interview

    , 2.5k views
    Charu SinghalExperiencedSelected
    Application
    I Applied for job through Personal Contacts for Consultant role at McKinsey
    Interview Process
    HR Interview Case Study Interview
    Round 1

    HR Interview

    Interview Experience
    He was very friendly and tried to make me comfortable. He asked if I wanted windows to be open or if I was feeling too hot or cold. He asked if I wanted to have tea/coffee. I told him that I was completely comfortable. He first took 2 minutes to first introduce himself and then he asked me if I was nervous. He was happy hear that I was not. It was followed by a 5 min PI, which mainly involved description of my overall profile.
    Round 2

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: Our client is a large PSU bank which wants to improve its customer experience. How would you help our client? (Case Type* Banking Industry (Operations)
    Interview Experience
    Sameer first asked me how I would evaluate the customer experience in a bank
    . I talked about a few factors like- time, user experience judged by feedbacks, complaints & grievances, and ambience. I largely divided the entire banking setup contributing to the customer experience into 3 parts: -People: Number of people present to cater to the customers and the kind of soft skills they possess. Are they trained? Knowledge pool? -Processes: Processes can be seen from two points- first as the overall technology driving the bank in terms of the front end user interface and the back end processes used by the staff (which translates into speed of processing the transactions), and secondly as the overall organization structure itself in terms of the hierarchy of employees and the degree of decentralization of decision making power (as to the levels of approvals required for opening an account etc.)
    -Infrastructure/ Ambience: Overall arrangement of the branch, availability of proper air conditioning, location of branches, accessibility, availability of drinking water etc.
    Then Sameer said, let’s concentrate on the time it takes for an average customer to process a transaction in a branch. Let’s take any simple transaction like cash withdrawal/ deposit.
    I asked him how much does it take for a customer on an average to process a transaction, from the time he enters the bank till the time he leaves. Sameer told me that it takes ~45 min of which 2/3 minutes are needed for the actual transaction and balance time is spent in queue. Here I talked about 5 reasons which could be responsible for this queue: -Number of customer coming in: he said we have ~750 customers who visit the bank -Variability in their arrival: peak hours, morning hours mainly when customers arrive -Capacity (in terms of counters): we have 5-6 counters, each handling dedicated functions -Utilization of capacity: varies based on time of the day and type of transaction -Variability in process: quite automated, not much variability.How can we reduce the average time? -Reduce the need for customers to come to bank: Induce online transactions, mobile banking/ ATMs -Try to shift customers from peak hours to non-peak hours
    (Not Possible)
    -Capacity: Cross train the counters to deal with all kind of transactions
    Sameer then told me that the bank had ATM just outside the branch, but people still used to come in to withdraw the cash. So maybe we can reduce the customers by pushing ATM usage.
    I then asked for a few numbers: 750 customers -85% visited for doing transactions -55% of whom were for withdrawing money -65% of those transactions were of amount <10000 -35% of users already had Debit cards & by promoting ATMs we can perhaps increase this to 50% So net we can reduce the number of people coming in by ~110 (i.e. 15%) He seemed quite happy with this number. Then he asked me if I had any questions for him. Sameer told me in his intro that he was an engineer and is working with the finance practice. So I asked him about his journey from being an engineer to a finance specialist. He very happily shared his experience.
    Interview Tips
    Sameer was very helpful and steered the interview whenever I got stuck. Do’s: If you are stuck think from the first principle, you’ll always find a way out
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    28

    McKinsey Consultant interview

    , 2.4k views
    Charu SinghalExperiencedSelected
    Application
    I Applied for job through Personal Contacts for Consultant role at McKinsey
    Interview Process
    Case Study Interview
    Round 1

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: Estimate the number of aircrafts taking off from Delhi airport in a day. (Case Type- Estimation case)
    • Question 2: Our client is an LIC firm and productivity of its agents is going down. Please help the client to figure out the reasons for the same.(Case type -Profitability/ Productivity case)
    Interview Experience
    Peeyush(interviewer) gave a 2 min introduction about him and then jumped directly to the case without wasting time.
    Case 1. I started the case by mentioning 3 approaches by which I could estimate the number of aircrafts:
    1. Supply side- in terms of capacity of the airport
    2. Supply side- in terms of the number of carriers and their flights on domestic and international routes
    3. Demand side- Demand for flight seats and then using the average capacity utilization and average fleet aircraft size. Peeyush asked me to go ahead with the first approach. I asked him a few questions about the number of runways Delhi airport has, the average operational hours in a day, the time it takes for a flight to land/ take off and the time gap between two take offs or landings. At this point Peeyush seemed impressed and told me that you have cracked this case. Let’s moved ahead to some other case.

    Case 2. Productivity= Policies sold per annum/ person So I began the discussion by staking that this metric could be worse off for two reasons, firstly if my agents are incapable of selling policies and there is some issue with respect to their efforts or secondly, if I am employing excessive employees in my organization. I wanted to go ahead with the first one.
    I first talked about how the process works when an agent approaches a client to sell the policy. I drew a funnel and explained that leads keep dropping out of the process and only a few buy the policy finally and to know why our agents are unable to sell policies, we need to look at each step in this chain.
    Peeyush seemed satisfied with this approach and asked me to go ahead with it. I listed down the following process:
    1. Identifying the leads
    Here I talked about identification of right set of people whom our agents should target based on the nature of our
    product and income class and needs of the clients
    2. Our agents approaching the leads and informing them about the product. I listed a number of factors play an important
    role at this step:
    a) Skills of our agents Skills could be in terms of the educational qualifications of our agents, their knowledge about the
    product, communication skills, and marketing skills. Peeyush hinted that it was a key problem. I suggested that this
    problem could be resolved by making our hiring policies more robust, providing proper training to our incoming
    employees and allocating agents to areas based on their background and demographics of people residing there.
    b) Brand of our firm- This was another issue, though Peeyush didn’t want me to elaborate on that.
    c) Competitor’s products
    d) Terms and conditions of our product
    3. Follow up by agents
    4. Processing of the policy by our back office
    5. After-sale follow up (impact on referrals and brand

    Case was mostly done when I identified the agent side and brand issue, however Peeyush was just patiently listening to me and waiting for me to finish. He seemed satisfied with both the cases and their outcomes. I asked him about what career option could have given him the same degree of satisfaction as consulting and Mckinsey. Here he mainly talked about how much he liked consulting and what other options he had faced and evaluated over the course of his life.
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    29

    McKinsey N/A interview

    , 547 views
    AnonymousFresherSelected
    Application
    I was interviewed on-campus for N/A role at McKinsey
    Interview Process
    Case Study Interview personal interview Case Study Interview
    Round 1

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: PI questions: Tell me about yourself
    • Question 2: Why do you continually push yourself to perform well academically
    • Question 3: How I train for half marathons.
    • Question 4: Case Questions:Our client is one of the largest banks in India. They have done fairly well in retail banking but have struggled in commercial banking division.
    Interview Experience
    Interviewer was into sports himself hence my interest in running became our topic of conversation for several minutes.

    Identified details about the bank – which region, products etc. Next identified the competition and the products they offered. Grouped products as per the total volume of transactions. Was able to isolate bad performance to a single product - forex
    derivatives. Then tried to understand how banks make money from forex derivates and by benchmarking with competition was able to ascertain why we aren’t selling. At this time we realized we had already spent about 35min on the PI +Case – so was asked to synthesize the case.

    What helped me was that I was able to scope the problem well and isolate the problem to a single product. It was never an interview, more so a conversation. Honestly speaking, for atleast the first 10min of the case I had little idea on where it was going but I tried to employ a MECE structure and spent considerable time on being absolutely clear on the problem.
    Finally, even though I had not touched upon the recommendations in the case analysis, I was able to give 2 recommendations as part of my synthesis. This was something which interviewer actually liked.

    My lack of practical knowledge about the banking sector was a disadvantage.




    Interview Tips
    PI is important! Read and be comfortable on different sectors. Also don’t lose you cool even if you think the case is going around in circles.
    Round 2

    personal interview

    Interview Experience
    Walk me through your resume.
    Questions on my academic performance at School, Engineering College
    and ISB
    Strengths
    If you had to relive ISB again whom would you want to be
    Weaknesses – here was really grilled as he continually pushed back on
    each of my prepared answers until I finally cracked
    Lots of questions on my work experience.
    Why do you want to move from EDA to consulting
    Do you think you will do well in a consulting company
    Why Mckinsey and how will you make your decision between firms
    Interview Tips
    Practice your PI!! It is as important as your cases
    Round 3

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: PI questions: Some questions on the resume especially the work I had with Taiwanese client and the challenges I had faced while working with them.
    • Question 2: Compare Indian clients with Asian clients
    • Question 3: Toughest position I had been in at a client and how I handled it
    • Question 4: Where do I see myself in 10 years
    • Question 5: Why consulting
    • Question 6: If not consulting then what
    • Question 7: Haiti Crisis and why does a country like Japan respond well while countries like India suffer. A little bit on Reliance and Lyondell deal and what I thought were the risks for that.
    • Question 8: Case Questions:Problem with Airline industry in India
    Interview Experience
    The interview started on dramatic note as I came about 15min late. Was asked the reason for coming late and promptly responded with the truth. Interviewer was a little shocked but finally told me that he appreciated my honesty – “integrity was as important as intellect in consulting”

    Thankfully had read up on this.
    • Started out through the first principles – supply of total seats and the total demand.
    • Quickly established the various cost heads – fuel, leasing planes, facilities and staff
    It really was a conversation and soon realized that Vivek didn’t really want me to solve it like a case but just discuss. So we started on the analysis phase where we started discussing what is that Air India can do. Identified the places where Air India loses more money compared to competition (both India and foreign). Was able to use some points from Southwest and Singapore airlines
    and did a great job in identifying the problems with hub and spoke model of operation – price competition on arterial routes and operational efficiency.
    Interview Tips
    Practicing cases is important but please don’t neglect your PI and general reading. An intelligent conversation backed by well researched data can really help.
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    30

    McKinsey Consultant interview

    , 2.3k views
    Chayan DhirExperiencedSelected
    Application
    I Applied for job through Personal Contacts for Consultant role at McKinsey
    Interview Process
    Case Study Interview HR Interview
    Round 1

    Case Study Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: Case type- Abstract .Q :- The oil price has been falling for some time. What do you think will be the impact?
    Interview Experience
    Since the case was very open ended, I took a couple of minutes to structure my thoughts. Luckily, the recently concluded course on GSB ( Govt, Society & Business ) came to my rescue and I started by saying that I would like to explain the impact on these three1.
    Govt
    – It would primarily mean a lower oil bill. I mentioned that since oil bill forms a major chunk ~ 90% of the forex outflow, this would lead to increase in $ reserves with the govt and reduce the current account deficit ( everything else being constant ofcourse) - principles of macro economics helped here

    2.
    Society
    – The petrol bill of households would reduce and hence and increase in disposable income. Since Indians have a higher marginal propensity to save ( another macro / micro economic funda ), we could expect the banks to see a higher CASA ( current and savings account) balance. Also, the unsaved cash could be channeled towards retail/ tourism ( based on a recent article I read in the economist ) 3.
    Business
    – Business could be basically of two categories – those which have oil as a revenue ( drilling & allied services – BP, Halliburton etc ) would have a hard time as the revenue will drop and the ones which have oil as a cost (airlines) who can look forward to improvements in margins. He was very satisfied and asked me that how did I expect the Indian stock to behave given the drop in stock price. I wasn’t very sure and requested the interviewer to guide me. He very patiently explained that the stock market had
    so witnessed a decline. He then asked me to explain the reason for decline. I said I wasn’t sure but would like to hypothesize. Basically the stock market would decline if investors would withdraw their money. Since FIIs ( Foreign Institutional Investors) are responsible for a major chunk of the investments, it might be that they are withdrawing their investment and using the money for some other purpose. At this point, I checked with the interviewer if the hypothesis was correct. He smiled and nodded and asked me to continue. Now, I said I would need to see who exactly are these investors to ascertain why they were withdrawing their money ( since because of the Modi govt. the business outlook was very positive). Here, he said that these investors were mainly sovereign wealth funds of OPEC countries. Now the picture was clear . Due to declining oil price, the governments in these countries were facing revenue pressure and had to recall the investments in order to continue funding the operations. The interviewer again smiled and said that given the situation, would I invest my money in the Indian stock market. I said that I would invest in specific sectors like airlines, but not in the market as a whole. The case ended here.
    Interview Tips
    A relaxed state of mind goes a long way in helping crack the case as well as forming a connect with the interviewer. So, keep calm and read the economist / FT and then keep calm again on the D-day!I was able to even hold a conversation here because I had been reading up the economist / financial times. Hence, please make it a habit to please read at least one journal during ISB, especially a couple of months before Day 1
    Round 2

    HR Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: Tell me about yourself
    Interview Experience
    Only one PI question this time also – Tell me about yourself. The interview was mainly case based.
    Read Full post...
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