Thursday, February 6, 2014

What is a "SMART" Problem Statement at McKinsey?

Aligning on the problem statement is the first step in McKinsey's approach to structured problem solving.  It is considered best practice at the Firm for these problem statements to be "SMART".  In this post I'll explain some of the characteristics of good problem statements...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Do's and Don'ts for Being Hypothesis-Driven at McKinsey

Image from
When problem solving at McKinsey, it's considered best practice to use hypotheses to guide your thinking and work.  Your McKinsey boss will often ask you to be more "hypothesis-driven".  If you are interviewing for a job at McKinsey, your interviewer will expect you to be hypothesis-driven when solving the case interview.  In this post, I'll explain what that means and also provide some tips on what to do and not do when being a hypothesis-driven consultant...

Monday, February 3, 2014

What does it mean to "Trim an Issue Tree" at McKinsey?

As covered previously, issue trees are used to solve complex problems by breaking them down into their component parts.  Your McKinsey boss might ask you to prioritize efforts by trimming an issue tree.  In this post, I'll explain what that means...

Sunday, February 2, 2014

4 Reasons Issue Trees are Used for Problem Solving at McKinsey

"Issue Trees" are especially useful for solving problems - especially large, complicated ones.  In this post I'll cover what they look like and some reasons why they are the preferred problem-solving approach at McKinsey

Saturday, February 1, 2014

What Does It Mean to be "MECE" at McKinsey?

Working at McKinsey (or for a McKinsey boss) often requires dealing with large amounts of information.  There is a strong preference for organizing that data in a manner that is "MECE".  Your McKinsey boss might also ask you to be "more MECE" in your problem solving approach.  If you're applying for a job at McKinsey, your interviewer will be looking for MECE frameworks during your case interview.  In this post, I'll explain what that means.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Why Doesn't McKinsey Recruit at My School?

Image from
McKinsey sends droves of consultants to the world's best undergrad, MBA, and other programs in search of new talent and future consultants.  It can be frustrating if you're an intelligent, hard-working, high-performing student who does not go to one of those programs.  In this post I'll explain why McKinsey focuses its recruiting efforts at certain schools...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

McKinsey Interviews - Not All Advice Is Created Equal

Image from
As McKinsey candidates prepare for interviews, they eagerly seek out information and are often bombarded with advice from a variety of sources.  However, it's important to remember that not all interview prep advice is created equal.  In this post I'll discuss which sources are more or less valuable and why...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

McKinsey Interviews - December, 2013 Posts for Aspiring Summer Interns

McKinsey's summer internship recruiting season is right around the corner.  So, in an effort to remain timely and relevant, the posts over the next couple of weeks will focus on networking, resume screen, and interview-related topics.

I will try to consolidate those posts into a short period of time so that a) interview candidates can find them easily and b) others can ignore them easily.

As always, I will post articles as I finish editing them, but they will be dated based on when they were first written.  Apologies for any confusion that causes to folks who subscribe to or follow this blog regularly.

To anyone NOT interviewing with McKinsey:

Apologies if you are already a consultant or looking for tips on how to work with a former McKinsey consultant.  We'll return to the typical mix of content after a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What It Means to be "Down In the Weeds" at McKinsey

Image from
If you've worked in the food service industry - or watched Top Chef - you're probably familiar with the term "in the weeds".  But that means something very different than the term "down in the weeds" which not a McKinsey-specific term, but one I heard used frequently at the Firm.  In this post I'll explain the difference and what you should do if your McKinsey boss asks you to not be so down in the weeds...

It's also worth nothing that McKinsey interviewers also view being down in the weeds negatively, so aspiring consultants should also be mindful of not getting down in the weeds during interviews, especially when breaking down the case.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up Problem Solving Approaches at McKinsey

There are typically two primary ways to approach problem-solving - "top-down" and "bottom-up".  In this post I'll explain the differences as well as why the top-down approach is preferred by McKinsey bosses and interviewers...