Getting The Interview

Because McKinsey is considered one of the top strategy consulting firms in the world (if not THE top management consulting firm), it is very important to the firm that its consultants represent the firm well. It is also important to realize that McKinsey charges a premium over its competitors BCG and Bain.  To justify this [...]

A reader sent me an email asking if there was a pattern or trend to what kind of case problems are given by each firm? So, does BCG give M&A questions while McKinsey gives business cases? My answer is the cases you get are all over the place and there’s no pattern that I’ve ever [...]

How do you solve market sizing cases with the appropriate level of detail? My advice is you set the assumptions (define them explicitly) and generally you get about five minutes, up to ten minutes max to do this. Further segmentation leads to greater accuracy, but sometimes you don’t need greater accuracy — in which case, [...]

There are lots of little things that separate a candidate who does a good job on a case vs. an excellent job. While it’s not necessary to be perfect on every case, it is necessary to come pretty close most of the time. It is far easier to have a higher success rate and be more consistent if you [...]

When it comes to both your personal life and professional life, your peer group profoundly impacts… well, everything. Your peers influence whom you socialize with, who becomes members of your professional network, what socially derived expectations you do or don’t have for yourself, and the filter by which you consider all life decisions. If you [...]

When I was at Stanford, the most successful students were the smartest ones. Fast forward 10 to 20 years, and the most successful people I know aren’t the smartest people I know. However, they often are the most connected. They have many friends in positions of influence and power. This works both within a company [...]

I am often asked by readers if networking will really help them obtain a consulting interview or if it could affect them negatively. My response is networking, if done properly, is never taken as a negative. I suggest you network with anyone within a management consulting firm regardless of whether they are involved in recruiting or consulting [...]

A question I get quite often is how do you network your way into a consulting firm interview when you don’t know anyone who works in a consulting firm? When I first started networking, I did not know anyone who worked in consulting either. In fact, it is not necessary to know someone who works in a [...]

Reader Success Story: I am an avid reader of your emails. Reading your email,forms a mandatory part of my reading list, which also includes Business Week, Economist, FT, Wall Street Journal, and the Quran. I wanted to send you a quick note on how I have been able to secure a McKinsey interview, despite not knowing [...]

I just want to send you a thank you e-mail, as I heavily relied on your preparation sources throughout my interviewing journey. I interviewed last autumn for a post-MBA/PhD position at the top firms in Germany. I applied to nine firms, and I had networked heavily with the four major players here in Germany, which are McKinsey, [...]

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