What is a Case Interview?
A case interview is a typical McKinsey business problem that we use to assess your problem solving skills. Case interviews are broad, two way discussions, rather than one way tests and there is no perfect answer. You will be assessed more on how you go about dealing with the problem, rather than the specific answers you come up with.
Will cases differ depending on my education or work background?
No. Cases are designed such that candidates from any educational or work background can solve them. Specific industry knowledge is not required. While MBA candidates tend to have a better grasp of business vocabulary and business frameworks than those from non-MBA backgrounds, this knowledge is not a pre-requisite for a successful case performance or success at McKinsey. In fact, our non-MBA candidates regularly provide fresh, new ways of looking at problems.
How long should my answers to individual case questions be?
Your answers should be as long as is necessary to achieve both the comprehensiveness and depth needed to answer the question. Because you won't have time to talk about every detail, prioritizing your time on the key issues is critical to success. You should also be prepared to elaborate on a particular issue if your interviewer asks for more detail. We strongly encourage you to review the videos and other case preparation materials available on our website.
Will there be any “brainteaser” math questions (e.g., How many ping-pong balls fit into a 747 jet?)?
No. All our case interview questions are grounded in real world situations.
How many questions are in a typical case?
It depends on the case and the flow of a particular interview. But typically, you could expect to see between 4 and 7 questions on any given case.
May I use a calculator during the case?
No. All cases are designed so that you will not need to use a calculator.