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Interpreting interview feedback

Posted by Khaled Kteily on in Networking & Reputation
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Unfortunately, getting the interview doesn't always mean getting the offer or even the final round. The following is an excerpt from an e-mail exchange with a Political Science student who used The MCN's resources to secure interviews with McKinsey, BCG, and Bain. While things didn't work out, you can learn from his experiences.

"[They] expressed that the fit/personality portions of the interviews were great, that I developed a good rapport with my interviewers and had good stories to back up my experience. That much was good.

As far as the cases go: Bain (which was two weeks before BCG) said I needed to work on structure a bit. I did so in the lead up to BCG by practicing with a friend of mine at McKinsey.

BCG's feedback was that my structure and thought processes were great, but that I need to work on my back of the envelope math. No surprises there, as that is what I thought would be my undoing in the first place and where I got caught up on the two cases, which were definitely more quantitative than the Bain ones."

Ultimately this feedback means the following: "We like you and we think that you've got the personality to be a consultant. BUT, with a big caveaat. You haven't proven your quants to us just yet.

The 2 areas that students (especially non-engineers) tend to stumble on are the following: Structure, and Math. While this candidate had excellent communication skills, creativity, and would work well with clients, he didn't show his interviewers that he could nail the analytics of a case.

Everyone knows that case structure is important (let this serve as a reminder!) but many candidates overlook their math skills - it goes a long way to proving your strength in analytics, which is especially critical if you're not an engineer. Don't forget this! There is a section in the site's resources specifically pertaining to quantitative ability and mental math, so check it out.


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Guest Jun 16, 2019