Case Interview Overview

Case Training Strategy Case Interview Overview


This series of detailed podcasts provides prospective applicants to our program all the information they need to put together an application package, do well in the screening interviews, and, should they be the offered a place in the Firmsconsulting program, succeed at their McKinsey, BCG et al interviews.

Part 1

This is a selective program run by former principals/senior partners of McKinsey and BCG who conduct all the training and mentoring. We prize client confidentiality and never disclose client relationships, and clients are expected to reciprocate and never disclose our extensive support of their careers.

We do not use coaches below the principal level. We only accept 10% – 15% of all applicants into the program. Since October 2010 we have trained 279 clients, with 92% of candidates referred.

• We hold a 64% success rate of placing candidates into McKinsey, Bain & BCG.

• We have an 86% success rate including placements in Deloitte, Monitor, Roland Berger, Booz, AT Kearney et al.

• We have 93% success rate if internal corporate strategy placements are included.

The program uses the same techniques partners of McKinsey and BCG use in real engagements and test for in case interviews. Candidates not applying to McKinsey, Bain or BCG will not be eligible for this program.


Training by ex-McK, BCG et al. Partners

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4 responses to Case Interview Overview

  1. Good point!

  2. “See further, by standing on the shoulders of giants”. Thank you for the reply.

  3. Hi Nathan,

    Thanks for your comments and questions.

    You are correct: you cannot claim to have values until they are put to the test and you can stick by them. Someone once said it is easy to have principles unless they are tested. The same applies here. So, someone who has never been tested on his/her values may or may not have them. For someone tested on their values, we can clearly see if they have them.

    The thing is this, everyone will claim to be highly ethical and principled with strong values, yet when they need to breach those values, they will conveniently find an excuse. This happened quite recently with someone I have known for a long time. A former client. We have spent 2 years grooming this person on our value system and they simply, blatantly, did something completely unethical. They justified it due to health/personal reasons, and sadly, seemed quite content with their decision.

    There must be a cost of values. If there is no cost, there are no values. Period.

    My point is that everyone justifies their lack of values when they need to break it. So they failed that test.

    In fact, I would go as far as to say that most people only will be ethical when they are not personally impacted. Once they feel the cost of being ethical will a personal cost, they believe that work is work, and the costs should not be personal, so they have an escape clause to be unethical.

    That is wrong. Think of values as personal credit. Once you lose it your rating plunges to zero. You will never recover it.

    One important piece of advice I always give younger consultants is that your word must be cast in stone. Do not breach a commitment under any circumstances whatsoever.

    We do not publicly disclose how we test for values since it is part of our screening process and we would not want people to see our thinking and have the answers ready!

    Yes, I think values need to be experienced. That is nothing more striking than watching a great leader live his/her values. I have had the privilege of watching and working with 4 such leaders.


  4. Dear Michael,

    First of all, thank you for all the wonderful content you share to benefit the members of FirmsConsulting and for the substantial effort you put in. I really enjoy listening to the podcasts for numerous reasons, the 3 most important being: 1) They give me a better “behind-the-scenes” view on management consulting, which I believe I never could have learned anywhere else. 2) They give valuable tips & tricks, useful for both aspiring and (I assume) actual consultants. 3) And last but definitely not least, they give me important insights on how a partner thinks and they make me think!

    Related to the last, during this podcast I had an interesting insight you provided and several related questions on which I would like to hear (read) your thoughts.
    I have been thinking about values a lot lately (the definition, my personal interpretation, values in different cultures, the practical implications,…), as it is such an important and reoccurring theme in most of the podcasts. What I found very insightful during this podcast is what you mentioned on values that something intangible like values becomes more or less tangible if you measure the cost associated with upholding those values. This made me ask the reverse question: Can someone truly say he has values, if he never had to deal with the associated costs? How can he know, if his values have never been put to the test? How do you asses this at FirmsConsulting or is it in the little day-to-day things?
    Related to these questions, would you agree with the statement that someone cannot be thought values, but he can learn them? Similar to what is said about leadership.

    Also, thank you for always taking the time to answer all the questions on the website! I have made several and they have not always been that bright. Many of us do not often get the chance to interact with intellectual and influential people as yourself. Thank you for that.
    With kind regards,


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