McKinsey Case Interview: 4 Things You Never Knew

The McKinsey case interview – there are so many things to become familiar with in McKinsey consulting interview prep. Of course, there are the basics that you have to learn. You have to know case frameworks and structures, but not be married to any one of them. You have to nail your case math. You need to present a confident and data driven conclusion. But additionally, there are things that most people don’t know that can make a difference on interview day. Listen to Jenny Rae as she gives four McKinsey case interview tips that most never knew about!

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McKinsey Case Interview: 4 Things You Never Knew YouTube Transcription:

The McKinsey case interview. There’s a lot to know, about McKinsey consulting case interviews but there’s also a lot that you never knew. Hi, I’m Jenny Rae, the Managing Director McKinsey Case Interview- 4 things you never knew- graphic, case interview prep, mckinsey & co., mckinsey interview, mckinsey consulting, case interview, case interview examplesof Management Consulted, and for the last eight years I’ve been training people to succeed in McKinsey case interview prep, along with my amazing team that is ex-MBB. We’ve noticed a couple of things that most people don’t know. This is true even the day before they’re about to walk in to their McKinsey interview. So we thought it would be helpful for you to know these 4 things.

  1. You’re Scored on Every Action You Take

Number One. In a McKinsey case interview, it’s really important that you understand you’re being scored on every action you take throughout the case. This is different from a Bain interview or a BCG interview where, in contrast, you’re scored mainly at the end of the case. For McKinsey consulting you’re scored for:

    • your opening,
    • for your structure,
    • you’re scored as you go through each one of the pieces of the case –
    • the quantitative and the qualitative pieces –
    • you’re even scored on your conclusion.

Having those scores gives a more micro view for them about what your performance areas are that are strong and also what your weak areas are. So they’re able to compare and contrast across multiple entities. But it can be a little off-putting when inside the interview. Somebody in the interviewer chair is actually writing about to you as you go through the interview. They seem slightly less engaged, but you need to know what they’re doing and you need to make sure that if you have one section of the case that’s not going well, you recover in the next part and you don’t treat it as just one macro view.

  1. McKinsey Cases Have One Additional Piece Of Data You Must Find

Next, something that a lot of people don’t know about McKinsey consulting is that because the math is pre-planned there is usually one additional piece of data or one missing piece of data in every McKinsey math question. Understanding that and identifying what it is is a key to solving McKinsey math and when you figure out what the missing piece of data is, or what the extra piece of data is, the McKinsey case interview becomes actually pretty transparent. If you have no idea that there is a missing piece, or if you think they’re making multiple missing pieces, then you have a lot more dialogue that’s unnecessary with your interviewer.

  1. McKinsey Math is Hard

The third thing to remember in a McKinsey case interview – you will have the second hardest math you will face inside case interviews. So, if you haven’t been practicing math for case interview examples, then you need to make sure before you go into McKinsey you practice in a very specific way because the math is pre-scripted. It’s on the script that the interviewer walks into the room with. They’re able to test deeper concepts and harder calculations so you will be dividing by seven, you’ll be multiplying by 17 and a half, you’ll be doing calculations that are more challenging than in other interviews, and you need to be ready for that.

Just in case you’re wondering, by the way, this is the second hardest math. The hardest math that you will likely find is in a Kearney interview, and those are incredibly difficult so make sure that you’re practicing not only in a deliberate way for McKinsey consulting but even in another level if you have those.

  1. The Interviewer Did Not Do the Case

Finally, in a McKinsey case interview, the interviewer did not do the case that they’re using. This is an important factor because they’re relying largely on a script that they walk in with. The script was created by a central bank in McKinsey & Co. They learned the script and they’re following it as they go. So when you ask for information or contacts or insights outside of the script they don’t have it. That’s why the McKinsey cases follow a command-and-control methodology, or an interviewer-led methodology. Because they don’t have information other than what is in the written case that they’re going to say.


These are four things that most people don’t know when they’re about to walk into a McKinsey case interview. We you hope that you find them enlightening and insightful. We are full of insights and tips that we’ve gathered over the 2500+ clients that we serve a year, and our 3.5M readers. You might even have more – we’d love to hear from you about your experience in the McKinsey case interview, and we’re here to answer your questions at or on social.

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Filed Under: Case Interview, McKinsey Case Interview