You Are Watching Alice & Michael's
We accepted a challenge to see if we could get Pete through the McKinsey screening process – with just 10 days of preparation. We succeeded. Pete had had no prior case interview experience before contacting us. He holds an industrial engineering degree with a minor in business administration and had worked for one of Canada’s largest retail company’s before moving to the rail sector where he led continuous improvement programs with front line staff. Pete is a Lean Six-Sigma Black his training sessions are focus on operations and implementation cases.
Click on any link below to begin.
Edward holds advanced degrees in the sciences and has worked for the federal government his entire career. In his thirties, he is planning to enter management consulting. Kevin’s mentoring call with Edward and Edwards feedback on his BCG interview experiences are discussed in this series of recordings. To protect his identity we alter his background and details in the call.
Stanley is one of Firmsconsulting’s most gifted clients. He is an undergraduate from Australia who entered investment banking, and declined positions in smaller consulting firms. Stanley’s mentoring calls with Kevin, and his feedback on the entire interview process with BCG and Bain are discussed in this series of recordings. To protect his identity we alter his background and details in the call.
Alexei is an experienced professional from Ukraine. He has a background in financial services and investment banking with a degree in business. He was interviewing in just 4 days for Bain and needed help rounding out his interview preparation.
Michael did not require a McKinsey cover letter since he applied via the Insight Program.
Kevin P. Coyne was a director and co-leader of both McKinsey’s Worldwide Strategy Practice and CEO Transitions Practice. At the time, he was the youngest associate at the firm and one of the youngest Principals appointed. He was the only person ever admitted directly into the Harvard Business School from his junior year of college, Rice University, which he attended by special permission before graduating from high school. Kevin has co-written 6 Harvard Business Review articles, 12 McKinsey Quarterly articles, 2 bestselling business books and articles across influential business publications. He spent time in the Federal Government as an Executive Assistant and sole policy advisor to the Deputy Secretary of the United States Treasury in the Reagan Administration.
Alice Qinhua Zhou is a 26 year-old candidate from Yale University. She attended Fudan University where she graduated 1st in her class. Alice has a strong track record of leadership at Yale, having served as President of the consulting club and editor-in-chief of a peer-reviewed journal. Alice has no full-time work experience. Coming off a McKinsey internship decline and unsuccessful Bain internship, Alice is interested in both McKinsey and BCG for a full-time associate position in NYC.
Michael E. Klein is a 30 year-old candidate from McGill and Brown University. Michael has a very strong analytic profile balanced by an equally artistic side: he was a candidate for ‘Canada’s Got Talent’ where he sang Prince lyrics accompanied by a harpist. Michael has limited work experience as a business journalist. Going into his very first interviews, Michael will have to prove he can use his technical skills to seamlessly understand and solve business issues, while demonstrating his leadership acumen in the fit interviews.
The season begins with a networking meeting were a partner, Kevin in that role, provides extensive resume feedback. Kevin explains who at McKinsey reviews resumes, how they conduct the review and what is sought in the review. He thereafter highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the resume and offers suggestions for improvement.
Alice & Michael take part in this formal closed-list dinner as they try to build a relationship with a partner. Dining etiquette, communication skills, body language and image management are all tested as Kevin probes their reasons for pursuing consulting, their life outside work and their ability to hold conversations with senior executives.
Kevin leads this group case examining the strategy used by Disney to manage their entertainment acts. It is a difficult case, done in the inference-style commonly used by senior partners in the final round, which tests the candidates’ abilities to move beyond stock standard frameworks taught in books, blogs and forums. One candidate, Alice, demonstrates the difficulties in solving a case when one lacks local pop-culture context.
Kevin quickly zooms into Alice’s Bain internship experience to understand what she did and why it may not have converted to a full-time offer. Alice demonstrates great skill on the leadership questions by having crisp and concise reasons for the actions she took in her various roles. She is able to apply numerical reasoning to answers, which typically do not require them.
Kevin tries to get Michael to convert a very scientific resume into language that can demonstrate Michael’s understanding of business. With strong grades and a track record of success in this field, Kevin wants to make sure Michael can extract and explain those lessons, which the consulting interviewer wants to hear.
This tough strategy case is based on a true story. It is done in the inference style and teaches Alice how to breakdown revenues and costs to understand if they have different drivers impacting them, and the profit impact of those drivers. The case solution is very different from the intuitive answer.
Kevin continues his inference-based approach to delivering case interviews. This strategy case examines the basis of Wal-Mart’s competitiveness; beyond the typically cited bargaining power it brings to suppliers. Michael needs to have a strong grasp of basic income statement analyses and core strategy concepts.
How do you behave if you spend an entire day interviewing and are invited by the consultants to lunch? This episode teaches subscribers how to handle this situation. Kevin provides more detailed feedback on the candidates’ performance and offers suggestions for improvement.
The cost-volume-profit analyses case tests this core skill required by all MBA applicants. While Alice intuitively understands the solution, she struggles to communicate this to Kevin. This case is another example where using frameworks will fail to generate a sutiable answer in a final round partner-led interview.
Kevin designed this case from his work experience at the US Treasury. This inference-type case requires Alice to examine the evolution in the manufacturing side of a market and understand how new technologies will change the basis of the supply structure. It is a difficult case requiring Alice to have a firm grasp of the basics of strategy and barriers to market entry.
In his final round case, Michael needs to prove he can both handle the strategy elements of a case and the numerical analyses. Kevin used the inference style to test Michael’s ability to understand how two players in a market will compete.
In Alice’s final round interview Kevin changes tactics by providing an extensive amount of information on a very technical subject. Alice needs to sift through the information by using an analyses structure. Alice struggles in this case because she fails to examine one important area.
Kevin provides extensive feedback on each candidate. He discusses their strengths, weaknesses, things that stood out, things that concerned him and more. He thereafter draws lessons for subscribers and offers suggestions on both how and when they should prepare, and steps to manage the over-reliance on frameworks. Kevin concludes the show by explaining who he would hire between Alice and Michael, his reasons and what they should do before their interviews in 31 days.
In a detailed set of pre-interviews 2 days before the case sessions with Kevin P. Coyne, Alice discusses her background, motivations and unique path to the McKinsey / BCG interviews. She explains the impact of her family, role models and career mentors. Alice discusses how she used TCO 1 to prepare for TCO 2, her strategy for interviewing with Kevin and the unique challenges foreign students face in the US. She discusses her case interview strengths, weaknesses and the preparation done for each type of case.
Michaels discusses his early experiences, decision to attend McGill and the influence of this older brother. He talks about preparing for TCO 2 and the challenges of applying within the US, particularly California. Michael elaborates on the differences between McKinsey and BCG cases, preparing for McKinsey inference-style cases and his unique journey to the McKinsey / BCG interviews.
In these detailed post-interviews, Alice is debriefed on each of the cases performed with Kevin. The interviews provide a clear understanding of why and how Alice chose to respond to the key areas of the case: Structuring her response, breaking down the issues, structuring her hypotheses, providing her recommendations, communication and much more.
Michael is debriefed on the cases performed with Kevin. Michael and Alice had different weaknesses and Michael explains his views from the perspective of someone who wanted to improve his technical case skills. We capture the reasons Michael responded as he did, how he interpreted Kevin’s feedback and how he tried to adjust his case approach, in real-time, based on the guidance he was receiving from Kevin.
Partners run the final round interviews and partner make the decision on extending an offer. TCO is the only case interview program in the world run by former partners. You can watch them training real applicants to join the most elite firms.
Membership to The Consulting Offer operates just like Netflix. As long as you are a paid subscriber, you will receive access to all completed seasons and all episodes within those seasons. Currently that includes Seasons 1, 2 and 3. Which makes this the world’s largest program for case interviews – and the world’s most successful program since we have never failed to a participant in a season!
Between Season 1, 2 & 3 there are over 400 hours of case training material, over 300 cases and their video solutions and, of course, all of it is done by former senior partners of McKinsey, BCG et al.
Season 4 will only be available to FC Insiders in real-time until the season concludes, at which time it will be released to TCO subscribers.
And the programs work because you are watching us place real applicants into real offers at the most elite consulting firms.
Once you make payment, you will receive immediate access and taken to your online account center to manage your subscription, credit card details and address. You will, of course, have immediate access to all the online material.
First, this is the most comprehensive case preparation program in the world. It will prepare you for everything you will face in the case interview and it is done by former senior partner.
Season 1 is for beginners or less experienced candidates who want to learn everything needed to pass case interviews. It is not easier, but takes more time to explain the basics.
The season goes into extensive details on the fundamentals of hypotheses, brainstorming/frameworks, decision tree analyses, math problems and slowly builds into very complex cases from sessions 15 to 23. The format was also different. In Season 1 we had 4 candidates and eliminated them gradually until we worked with the successful candidate, Felix who is now in consulting and doing quite well – we are still continuing to work with Felix so expect more recordings from her. All the recording was done over the internet.
There is 16 hours of footage dedicated to just editing resumes in season 1 and about 5 hours dedicated to reading graphs and exhibits in cases.
Season 2 is very different and focused on how to interact with partners in the final round – the people who make the hiring decision. It is a live production filmed on location where Kevin P. Coyne, former McKinsey Director & Worldwide Strategy Practice Co-Leader spends time mentoring and preparing 2 candidates. Season 2 cases are tougher and typical to McKinsey, BCG and Bain in the final round. Kevin does inference-based cases where merely producing a case structure usually will not work . The season includes episodes on closed-list dinners, group cases, networking and complex strategy cases.
Subscribers will struggle to handle the cases in Season 2, given their difficulty, unless they have watched Season 1.
In Season 2 we revealed the full identities of the candidates and their successes in the program. Alice received offers from McKinsey and BCG 31 days after the program ended.
Season 3 focuses heavily on the final round and partners who make the hiring decision. We focus almost exclusively on very complex cases requiring strong judgement and a deep understanding of profitability / break-even curve analyses / cost-volume-profit curves. Season 3, like the other seasons, does not repeat cases and concepts. We teach new material and focus on applicants who have a strong foundation in their preparation but need to show insights a partner would expect.
Season 4 focuses almost entirely on experienced professionals currently working in globally recognized companies. Only one participant is an MBA student. The training, focus, needs and skills sets are significant different for experienced hires. The program also runs much longer since experienced hires usually recruit off-cycle and need not rush to meet the Sept/Oct deadline for applications.
Subscribers will need to have watched Season 1 and 2 to handle the tougher cases in Seasons 3 and 4.
Like Season 2, we reveal the full identities of the candidates in Seasons 3 and 4.
You will receive immediate access.
You may cancel/upgrade your membership from the online center. Note, that any special prices you may have received will be lost if you cancel and resubscribe.
Yes, but with two small exceptions subscribers may not actually notice.
First, in a few sessions we may move a case forward or backward. So a case that is listed occurring in session 18 may occur in session 19. There are very few such occurrences. Therefore, all the cases are done but may occur in a different session in about 3 instances.
Second, since the recording took place over such a long period, data degradation may occur. We know that the recording quality in some parts of Felix Session 6, Sanjeev Session 14 & Sanjeev Session 18 is not clear and data may be missing.
We have tried to re-record some of these sessions but these 3 files are impacted. That said, all the case answers from these few sessions are still available
To maintain our editorial independence in the articles, podcasts and features we produce, Firmsconsulting does not have a direct relationship of any kind with McKinsey, Bain or BCG. If we had a direct relationship, it would hinder our ability to tell the truth as we see it.
The show is flattering of McKinsey since the host, Kevin P. Coyne, was a former Director and Worldwide Strategy Practice Co-Leader at McKinsey. McKinsey, Bain and BCG are the registered trademarks of their respective owners. They do not endorse, nor are they affiliated in any way with the owner or any content of this production.
We would not allow an endorsement even if they offered it.
All our case interview training is conducted, not just be former McKinsey, BCG etc. partners – but the most senior partners of the firms. We invest significant time and effort to produce the best possible case and career development material. Changes to our billing policy will be reflected in our terms and conditions on the site.
Every season goes through a rigorous process of quality control before as well as during the development, production, editing, and streaming stages. We spend time planning the storyline, case interview questions and testing them with the mentor, in the case of Season Two, Kevin P. Coyne. We scout locations, go through a 6 month process to find participating candidates and prepare them for the show.
We fact-check the content of every lesson before and after it’s recorded. We watch and listen to every episode multiple times before it’s loaded onto the site to ensure only the best audio and visual quality, and case interview advice. And when customers contact us with concerns or suggestions for improvement, we always listen. Because we hold our courses to such exacting standards of consulting integrity and production, we stand behind them forever.
Please review our terms for the very latest billing and refund policies.
Recurring Billing. By starting your Firmsconsulting membership and providing or designating a Payment Method, you authorize us to charge you a monthly membership fee at the then current rate, and any other charges you may incur in connection with your use of the Firmsconsulting service to your Payment Method. You acknowledge that the amount billed each month may vary from month to month for reasons that may include differing amounts due to promotional offers, including gift card redemption and promotional code redemption, and/or changing or adding a plan, and you authorize us to charge your Payment Method for such varying amounts, which may be billed monthly in one or more charges.
No Refunds. PAYMENTS ARE NONREFUNDABLE AND THERE ARE NO REFUNDS OR CREDITS FOR PARTIALLY USED PERIODS. FAILURE TO CANCEL YOUR MEMBERSHIP FOR ANY REASON WILL NOT LEAD TO A REFUND. Following any cancellation, however, you will continue to have access to the service through the end of your current billing period. At any time, and for any reason, we may provide a refund, discount, or other consideration to some or all of our members (“credits”). The amount and form of such credits, and the decision to provide them, are at our sole and absolute discretion. The provision of credits in one instance does not entitle you to credits in the future for similar instances, nor does it obligate us to provide credits in the future, under any circumstance.
Payment Methods. You may edit your Payment Method information by visiting our website and clicking on the “Manage your Account” link, available at the bottom of the pages of the Firmsconsulting website. If a payment is not successfully settled, due to expiration, insufficient funds, or otherwise, and you do not edit your Payment Method information or cancel your account (see, “Cancellation” below), you remain responsible for any uncollected amounts and authorize us to continue billing the Payment Method, as it may be updated. This may result in a change to your payment billing dates. For certain Payment Methods, the issuer of your Payment Method may charge you a foreign transaction fee or other charges. Check with your Payment Method service provider for details.
Cancellation. You may cancel your Firmsconsulting membership at any time, and you will continue to have access to the Firmsconsulting service through the end of your monthly billing period. WE DO NOT PROVIDE REFUNDS OR CREDITS FOR ANY PARTIAL-MONTH MEMBERSHIP PERIODS OR UNWATCHED MATERIAL. To cancel, go to the “Manage your Account” page on our website and follow the instructions for cancellation. If you cancel your membership, your account will automatically close at the end of your current billing period. To see when your account will close, click the “Manage your Account” page. If you signed up for Firmsconsulting using your account with a third party as a Payment Method, and wish to cancel your Firmsconsulting membership at any time, including during your free trial, you may need to do so through such third party, including by visiting your account with the applicable third party and turning off auto-renew, or unsubscribing from, the Firmsconsulting service through that third party. You may also find billing information about your Firmsconsulting membership by visiting your account with the applicable third party.
Account Management. Managing accounts, including the process of cancellation is the sole responsibility of the member. Firmsconsulting does not handle/manage any accounts on behalf of clients. We may review account details on behalf of a client but it is the responsibility of the member to make any and all necessary changes.
This is due to the licensing agreements in place and cannot be negotiated. Be advised that we use IP blocking and IP tracking to block access. Residents of Germany, New Delhi, Mumbai, Paris and Connecticut have partial access to some candidates file.
• Felix’s files will not be available to some German and Shanghai residents.
• Sanjeev’s files will not be available to some Mumbai and New Delhi residents.
• Samantha’s files will not be available to some Connecticut residents.
• Rafik’s files will not be available to some Parisian residents.
These are the only restrictions in place.
You may access your account from multiple devices. The website is responsive and adjusts itself for smaller screen sizes like smartphones or tablets. However, we use IP tracking and geographical triangulation to flag accounts simultaneously accessed from outside a single office block or accounts accessed from multiple and unrelated IP addressed. These accounts are automatically blocked and membership is suspended.
If your account is locked for sharing usernames and passwords, trying to download material or trying to bypass our firewall, no refund is offered. A 3rd party provider manages this process and we rely on their best judgement. We do not need to provide any substantiation to block an account.
Our clients expect us to protect the quality of the community and we take extensive steps to create a safe environment.
Member levels eligible to use our App, will be able to soon watch listen to mobile-episodes on the App.
Subscribers receive access to all material in The Consulting Offer and across all seasons: 1, 2 and 3.
We try to answer every email from readers but given the size of the Firmsconsulting subscriber base we are highly selective in our responses due to the sheer volume of requests received. This program is meant to be self-explanatory and subscribers should expect to use the material to find the solutions. If you do have a question, we would recommend doing the following:
• Read the material carefully to find the answers to their questions. There is substantial material online and it is responsibility of the subscriber to allocate sufficient time to review the information and plan their studies.
• A second option is to create forum study groups and share solutions online, either in private or public groups, by taking photos of case solutions, recording videos or recording podcasts – leverage the wisdom of the Firmsconsulting community!
If we elect to respond to a question, it will be done on the following basis:
• The question must be unique,
• The question must be public so everyone benefits.
• The question is written with the appropriate context allowing us to understand the question without having to contact the member,
• The member asking the question has maintained a respectful presence and contributed to the website,
• And the answer cannot be deduced / inferred from the material.
We are unable to respond to every request, even to explain where the answer may be located, and will only consider questions in an open / non-private forum / feed. Privately emailed questions about the program will not receive a response because we would prefer the answer benefit everyone.
Under no circumstances will we respond to members with incomplete profiles. This applies to our podcasts as well.
Very little information can be downloaded. You may assume that all videos, podcasts, excel files, written solutions and quizzes may only be accessed online and cannot be downloaded. Members attempting to download any material will have their accounts suspended and possibly cancelled.
Only FC Insiders have the ability to download material. Keep in mind that as a subscription service we do not transfer ownership to you when you download content, since material can only be downloaded via our App.
Very little information will be print enabled. You may assume that all videos, podcasts, excel files, written solutions and quizzes can only be accessed online and cannot be printed.
Accounts sharing copyrighted material will have their membership suspended and disabled. You IP address and email address may also be banned from the website.
If you have permission to upload any material from a university etc., you may do so or even create a university group or forum to share material.
Materials we encourage you to share typically include, but are not limited to:
• Scanned copies of your own notes
• Photos of your own notes
• Notes from group practice sessions
• Self-practice podcasts
• Self-practice videos
• Self-practice of Firmsconsulting cases
Yes. Forums or groups can be set to private, public or hidden status. Only members of a private or hidden folder can see its contents. Further privacy can be set through the administrator status awarded to members. In general we encourage files to be set to public view since this will lead to more members commenting on documents.