McKinsey Offer Scandinavia

The following success story and advice from the front lines comes from a new McKinsey F1Y from Scandinavia.

Success Story:

First of all, please allow me to say I really admire the great work you are doing for the many students who are trying to get into consulting.

Your website was no doubt the best case interview preparation material I found, and that was the case even before Look Over My Shoulder® was rolled out.
Thanks to your superb materials, I have received and accepted an offer from McKinsey [Scandinavia].

Before I found your website, I used Case in Point, which was my only source of solving business problems because I have an engineering degree. In my first consulting interview, I stunk up the whole room.

My questions lacked structure, and I could not make sense of the information given to me.

Then, thank God, I found your website.

The workshop video greatly helped me in understanding what is meant by "structured thinking", as was demonstrated in working through the profitability framework; the business situation framework is simple, coherent, and flexible, and I can use it to tackle a great variety of problems (unlike Case in Point, where 12 frameworks were presented).

In Look Over My Shoulder®, I especially enjoyed the examples where you interviewed yourself, as it demonstrated what "to do" instead of what "not to do".

Whenever I did cases and got stuck, I simply asked myself "What would Victor do?" and then did exactly that. I could only answer that question because I listened to so much of your self-interviews.

Now I have an opportunity to unleash my potentials in McKinsey, which is beyond my wildest dreams (literally, because in all of my dreams I got rejected).

I don't think I could've gotten this opportunity without your materials, regardless how much harder I worked myself.

Thank you for steering my career into a new dimension, I will power on. I'm not sure whether you see your viewers as students, but I definitely see you as a teacher - one of the best I've had.

I sincerely appreciate your generous advices, and wish your family the best!

 

My Reply:

Congratulations! Nice job preparing and landing the offer.

I find your comment about, "What would Victor do (in this situation)?" very amusing, flattering, and ironic at the same time.

Here's why.

My clients say the exact same thing!  (I guess I am very consistent in my approaches across all aspects of business.).

Most of my client work these days is by phone or brief in-person meetings (as opposed to full-time on site which is the McKinsey way).

Often they will tell me what is going on in their business, especially if something unusual happened (unusually good or unusually bad). So they'll say, "X happened this past month."

Then my next response is, "Oh, that's interesting...." and everyone with Look Over My Shoulder® knows what that phrase means.

And before I start doing a "deep dive" on that particular issue, the client says, "Oh yeah, and you are probably wondering why X happened (hint... hint... root cause analysis... this should sound very familiar to you)."

I'll say, "Yes..."

"Well, we analyzed it and we discovered Y cause... and here's what we're thinking about doing. Either option A, which I'm sure you think is a bad idea, and option B, which you're going to really like. Am I right?"

I'll say, "Yes..."

They'll say, "Okay, we thought so. Thanks for your help; have a great day. Thanks for a really good call today."

I always chuckle a little bit, because on this entire call, I pretty much don't say anything... they ask their questions, and then answer their own questions using the "What would Victor do?"

I guess I am a creature of habit, and everything I do is pretty much automatic. And for the clients who have been around me for a few years, many of them have adopted these autopilot habits just by being around me so much.

Perhaps this is why I'm such a big fan of building good habits through extensive practice, repetition, and reinforcement through programs like Look Over My Shoulder®.

I've found this immersion learning experience is a pretty effective way to move conceptual knowledge into actual human behavior.

And of course in a case interview, you do not pass the interview based on what you know about case interviews, you pass the interview by demonstrating certain behaviors.

So knowing what to do is the foundation, actually doing what you know you're supposed to do is a different thing entirely.

Also I should mention, for those unfamiliar with Look Over My Shoulder®, why I interviewed myself. That's because for several cases, the cases were so hard, and so difficult that out of 20 people I interviewed, nobody got them right!

(Several of the people who did not pass my tough cases were able to get offers from Bain & McKinsey several weeks later.)

So I know it sounds a little weird to interview one's self, but I thought it was very important that people with Look Over My Shoulder® be able to hear actual case interviews from candidates with varying levels of performance.

It's my belief that when you study people who do it right and those who do it wrong, you learn different things.

For example, airplane pilots study how to fly a plane, and they also study what other pilots did wrong when they crashed a plane.

Both are useful to study, but for different reasons. The same is true in case interviews, so I wanted to make sure to cover both ends of the spectrum, especially for the tougher cases.

And finally, thank you for your comment about my being a teacher. I don't know if you and others can tell, but I really like to teach and to coach.

I have a passion for it -- and frankly when I get on a roll, it's hard to get me to stop!

It still somewhat amazes me that 1) I end up writing these long multi-page emails that on some days might take 2+ hours to write even when I only intended to spend a few minutes doing so, and 2) that people are willing to read it.

So thank you for your kind words and I wish you the best at McKinsey in Scandinavia.

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