McKinsey at IIM Lucknow – Summer Internship Interview Experiences – Chapter 2

Today, we bring to you the summer internship selection process experience of Utsav Kumar, Class 2015-2017, IIM Lucknow. He did his summer internship with McKinsey. He shares his interview process and a basic consulting preparation guideline.

1. How many rounds were there for the overall process?

There were a total of 2 rounds. The first round was a case-based discussion, followed by a second HR round.

2. What was the approach adopted to prepare for the interview?

I will classify my preparation into 3 broad buckets:

a. On campus preparation which comprised of elaborate case discussions with seniors and batch-mates.

b. Interaction with friends or sources working in consulting companies. These interactions help you get an idea about the kind of profiles and work that these consulting companies offer. This will help you to evaluate the options and judge the company. Also, this is a great way to understand the company-specific jargons and try understand the working principles of the company.

c. Talking to Company representatives on campus and alumni. Speak to them and try to analyse your fit with the company, the profiles, and domains that are offered. Also, interact as much as possible with the assigned buddies to get a fair idea of the company requirements.

3. How was your interview experience with McKinsey?

The first round started with a discussion on the basic ‘Why Consulting’.  It revolved around the basic difference between front-end and back-end consulting. Since I had a prior work experience in consulting, a major portion of my interview was also about the same. Then the interview moved to the E-commerce industry and a case discussion on the same. In the case interview, I was asked to evaluate 4 divisions of a company in terms of profitability and cost reduction.

The second was purely an HR interview. The major questions asked in this round were

1. Are you looking for consulting as a long term or a short term option?

2. How would I deal with a difficult client?


4. What are some good sources to prepare from?

The different sources that I used were:

a. Company websites: These websites comprise of videos and case interview guidelines that help you understand what should be your approach in a case-based interview.

b. Case Books: These are a must for any consulting preparation. Some examples Case interview cracked, LOMS by Victor Cheng, case books different B-Schools, Mckinsey – Wetfeet consulting guide (online)

5. Can you give a timeline for your consult preparation?

The consult shortlists come one month prior to the interview process. It can be divided into 3 broad stages:

a. First one week: Familiarise with the profiles and the industry

b. Next two weeks: Extensive case preparations

c. Last one week: Tone down and focus on your HR answers


6. Some Dos and Donts?

a. Don’t get invested in a solution. It’s okay to take feedback and rework the solution. Do not be rigid in the interview.

b. Do take ideas from everyone. The best way to prepare for a consulting interview is by learning from other people (Batchmates, seniors, company representatives)

c. Do not just copy-paste frameworks. Understand them and them make your own frameworks.

d. Do engage the interviewer. It majorly increases your probability of selection.

e. Do work on your HR answers, because in the end, the company fit is very important.

About the Author


Priyanka is a second-year MBA student at Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow and is a member of InsideIIM’s second student team. She is also a part of PRiSM, The Marketing Cell at IIM Lucknow.