Set up the McKinsey final round case below prior to watching the video
Let’s do a small experiment to show you two fatal and surprisingly common mistakes candidates make when interviewing with senior partners in the McKinsey final round and BCG final round. When I led final round interviews, this happened to me more times than I can remember.
You will see Alice makes the same mistakes in the video above. Keep in mind that Alice is an exceptional candidate who received offers from both McKinsey and BCG NYC as a result of this program.
If she can make these mistakes, everyone can make these mistakes. And the reality is that almost everyone does.
I want you to set up the case below. Just set it up and then see what happens as Kevin P. Coyne, ex-McKinsey senior partner and worldwide strategy practice co-leader, manages this common McKinsey final round case.
“A PE firm wants to decide if they should invest in a paper box storage business. The business model of the company is that they store boxes offsite in a warehouse. They are facing competition but are a major global player.
They have 100 million boxes in storage. In a typical year they will get about 10 million new boxes and they will lose about 9 million boxes. They will lose those 9 million boxes roughly 50%/50%, where 50% of them are lost to competitors and 50% of them are destroyed, meaning clients no longer need that paper and ask to destroy it.
Consequently, the business is growing about 1% per year (10 minus 9 equals 1, on the base of a 100). But projections show that paper consumption in the US has already started to and is going to continue to decline 5% per year.
The question for you is how do we go about forming a view on whether or not this business will disappear pretty quickly.
A key issue is how long this business will last given technology threats like digitization. Because if this business will go the way public telephones went after the coming of cell phones, which is to say they died, then the business is not worth very much. But if this business is going to be just fine for the next 20-30 years, then that’s great.
What would you do?”
Two common mistakes candidates make in McKinsey final round cases
If you pay careful attention to this case, you will notice two things.
- First, there is no framework in the world to solve this case. Literally none! You could not find one even if you tried since this is a case designed to be solved without a structure. This is called an inference or unstructured case and is very common during McKinsey final round interviews and even BCG final round interviews with partners.
- Second, you will notice Alice forcing a framework on the case even though there is none that will work and Kevin specifically asks for something else. It is very common for candidates to ignore partners and force in a framework since they have only ever been practicing to handle cases with frameworks.
So, an obsession with frameworks will maybe get you through the first one or two rounds. However, it will hurt you during the McKinsey final round and BCG final round interviews, where the unstructured style is very common.
However, there is a way to recognize these cases and handle them. The video will show you how to do both.
There is nowhere else in the entire world you could learn cases from ex-senior partners, or even ex-partners for that matter. We are pleased to make ~ 600 training videos available as part of The Consulting Offer. Where else do you get an opportunity to be trained by the former McKinsey worldwide strategy co-leader?