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PhD teamwork for McKinsey group interviews

I hope Michael will have a very special birthday and I was very happy to be asked to contribute to this book. My Michael Moment came in my second round with McKinsey. It was a group interview with 4 PhD candidates and I was terrified of my chances. I was at a weaker school and the other candidates were from Harvard, Yale and so on. I sent Michael an email asking for advice and this was his response:

This is not a competition. If you see it as a competition you will fail. Your job is to help the team succeed. Every time you want to say or do anything, ask yourself if it helps the team succeed and makes the team feel better about themselves. If you can do both, you will get through. Also remember to build on a point and not dismiss it – this makes people feel worse about themselves. That is counter to McKinsey values of trust and support among colleagues. Just don’t abdicate your responsibility of politely guiding the team towards the right idea.

It is my moment because I felt that I got the offer in this round and the rest of the interviews were just a formality to prove my skills. Michael see’s things from a different perspective and forced me to do just that. Thank you Michael.

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