McKinsey Offer from Confidence

Success Story:

I'm writing to thank you for helping me get an offer from McKinsey, the only firm I had the fortune to interview with. I am an experienced hire. I have spent the last 9 years in the military (after graduating from West Point). I learned about a unique opportunity to interview with McKinsey only 2 weeks before my first interview. I didn't even know what a case interview was before this!

McKinsey offers an excellent set of preparation materials, but I found you through my own research. Your book, videos, and frameworks were all very helpful. However, I attribute my particular success, especially in the final round interviews, to Chapter 25 in your book. Confidence is everything.

First, I prepared as much as absolutely possible in the few weeks I had. Then, once I had reason to be confident and felt I could be competitive (especially when I made it to the final round), I started to feel EVERYTHING was at stake. So, I did the drill you suggested, thinking of several reasons NOT getting the offer would not be the end of the world, about 30 minutes before my interviews. That, I feel, was the game changer. It allowed me to be myself and really impress the partners who interviewed me.

Thank you for being so dedicated to helping us. I look forward to watching your interview with Roger Love so I can continue to project confidence in front of my clients!

My Reply:

First off, I want to offer you a big time, congratulations! Nice job on landing the offer -- especially after 9 years in the military. There aren't a lot of veterans at McK, so it's great you got in -- you'll have a lot to contribute.

I'm glad the confidence tip I suggested in Case Interview Secrets, Chapter 25 was helpful for you. McK is definitely a great opportunity, but it is by no means the ONLY great opportunity in the world. I'm glad "the firm" could see what you had to offer when you were at your best (and most relaxed).

Once again, congratulations!

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3 comments… add one
  • Kaps May 7, 2014, 6:02 am

    Hi Victor- thanks for the great job you are doing out there. I am curious as to whether I can aspire to join Mckinsey or similar firms in a business consulting role after 5.5 years (1.5 pre MBA + 4 post MBA) of non-related work-experience My background: a science student from a top school, finished my engineering in a non-fancy college in India, did my MBA in Human resources from XLRI Jamshedpur (a reputed top 5 institution in India) and have been working in HR field for the past 4 years in a IT services major. I have a consistent academic history with quite good scores though not exceptional. Am good at math, numbers and logic and infact teach students over weekend as a hobby. My concern is whether my Masters in HR and non-consulting work-ex will filter me out while aspiring for business consulting roles . Preparation wise, I am following your LOMS program and seem to be making some progress. Please give guidance on my career movements- my current work is quite mundane,I have realized that HR is not something I enjoy doing and am at an inflection point in my career.

  • Karun Jan 10, 2014, 6:52 pm

    Hi Victor,

    Have been using your book and LOMS program to prepare for consulting case interviews. I have interviews lined up with Bain and Mckinsey. I was wondering whether there are differences in case style that I need to consider while preparing for these 2 firms? Are they looking for different things? Should we prepare differently?

    • Victor Cheng Jan 16, 2014, 2:56 am


      Yes they are quite different. I have a full explanation in my book Case Interview Secrets. The detailed answer is 30 pages or so, so not practical to retype here. Search on my site for “candidate led case” and ” interviewer led case” or the corresponding chapters in Case Interview Secrets.


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