What did you do before joining McKinsey?
I started my career as an embedded engineer and switched tracks to front-end engineer. Before McKinsey, I worked for several international companies based in Vietnam. I really enjoy meeting and exchanging ideas and best practices with experts from different countries. Right before joining the firm, I worked at an outsourcing company where my projects focused on different domains leveraging various front-end frameworks and libraries.
Why did you choose McKinsey?
I wanted to work in a global environment and had heard great things about the talented people at the firm. At McKinsey, there are many opportunities to learn from experts around the globe. Each team is made up of members from diverse backgrounds, so we can share what worked well in different countries, sectors, industries, and situations to help develop the best solutions. There are also many informal opportunities for me to learn from mentors and colleagues. The caring and inclusive environment at McKinsey allows me to bring my whole self to work every day. I can be honest with my team members about my working preferences, strengths and development goals.
Moreover, variety is key at McKinsey. I realized at the firm, I have support to develop my career path in many ways along different technologies that pique my interest throughout my journey.
What surprised you the most about the interview process?
My interviewers were all very genuine and supportive. As I went through the interviews, the conservations were more like casual discussions to tackle some tough challenges.
During my first interview, I felt extremely nervous. As I started the personal experience part, I started to feel warm and lost my train of thought. My interviewer noticed this immediately and interrupted me. They gave me a few minutes to calm down and collect my thoughts before proceeding. This made me feel supported and comfortable to move ahead. After the interviews, I realized everyone was there to ensure I succeeded. It was an unexpected surprise to receive so much support before I even joined the firm.
How did you prepare for the interviews?
Because I was interviewing for a technical role, I spent several days prior to the interview solidifying my technical knowledge to showcase my deep understanding of the field. For the case interviews, I spent some time reading through cases related to mainstream products or trending technology and practiced structuring my communications. The firm’s website on interviewing also gives lots of insight as to what to expect and how to prepare.
How did you feel about overall experience?
I felt very comfortable during interviews. While the interview questions were tough, they pushed my thinking about the work I do. With supportive interviewers to guide me, the experience was a lot of fun and excited me about sharing my ideas.
Any advice for those with a technical background who are considering a career at McKinsey?
If you love what you do and know your topic well, you should be comfortable sharing your knowledge and experience with your interviewers. Remember, they are there to help you succeed, so relax and try to enjoy it. Secondly, ensure you prepare for the case interviews and practice presenting your thoughts in a an organized fashion. Lastly, your interviewers may be your future colleagues so make as many connections as you can during the process.
More about Long
Long holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Hanoi University of Science & Technology. Prior to McKinsey, Long worked as a senior front-end engineer at Humax. He was also a senior front-end web designer for MCB Vietnam and a front-end technical lead for SmartOSC Vietnam.
Outside of work, Long enjoys spending time with family, watching movies and playing soccer.