The Best Resources to Prepare for McKinsey Case Interviews
It can be challenging to determine which resources are the best to use to prepare for your McKinsey case interview. There are a countless number of case interview articles, videos, prep books, courses, and coaching services.
So, which resources teach case interviews the quickest, most efficient way? Which resources teach the best McKinsey case interview strategies and techniques? What are the best free resources available?
If you have an upcoming McKinsey case interview, we have you covered. In this article, we’ll cover the best resources to prepare for your McKinsey case interview given your needs and budget.
We categorize these McKinsey case interview prep resources into the following categories:
- Free resources to prepare for your McKinsey case interview
- McKinsey case interview prep books
- McKinsey case interview courses
- McKinsey case interview coaching
Free Resources to Prepare for Your McKinsey Case Interview
Case Interview Videos
If you are completely new to McKinsey case interviews, you can watch our 80-minute complete guide to case interviews. This is the perfect introductory video for beginners because you’ll get an overview on:
- What is a case interview
- The eight parts of a case interview
- The six common types of cases
- Written case interviews and group case interviews
- 25 of the best case interview tips
Make sure to check out our YouTube channel and subscribe for free case interview lessons, tips, and practice cases.
You should also check out McKinsey’s interview preparation website because they provide four practice cases that you can work on without having to rely on a case partner.
The four cases are:
Diconsa case: Non-profit case focused on deciding whether to leverage a chain of convenience stores to deliver basic financial services to inhabitants of rural Mexico. You can watch a video walkthrough of how to solve the case below.
GlobaPharm case: Acquisition case focused on deciding whether a large pharmaceutical company should acquire a smaller startup. You can watch a video walkthrough of how to solve the case below.
Electro-light case: New product launch case focused on deciding whether a beverage company should launch a new sports drink.
National Education case: Non-profit case focused on helping an Eastern European country’s Department of Education improve their school system.
MBA Consulting Casebooks
Consulting casebooks are documents that MBA consulting clubs put together to help their members prepare for consulting case interviews. Consulting casebooks provide some case interview strategies and tips, but they mostly contain case interview practice cases.
You can download 23 MBA consulting casebooks with over 700+ free practice cases in our MBA casebook compilation.
Many of these cases come from previous McKinsey interviews, so they can be a great resource to get McKinsey case interview practice. We’ve included a few of our recommended consulting casebooks below:
You should know that a major caveat of using these consulting casebooks is that the quality of cases varies significantly. Some practice cases may not be representative of what an actual case interview is like. Other cases may provide poor explanations of the sample answers.
McKinsey Case Interview Prep Books
In the next section of this article, we’ll move onto the best paid resources to use to prepare for your McKinsey case interview. We’ll start by covering the best case interview prep books.
Case interview prep books are great resources to use because they are fairly inexpensive, only costing $20 to $30. They contain a tremendous amount of information that you can read, digest, and re-read at your own pace.
Based on our comprehensive review of the 12 popular case interview prep books, we ranked nearly all of the case prep books in the market.
The three case interview prep books we recommend using are:
- Hacking the Case Interview: In this book, learn exactly what to do and what to say in every step of the case interview. This is the perfect book for beginners that are looking to learn the basics of case interviews quickly.
- The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook: In this book, hone your case interview skills through 65+ problems tailored towards each type of question asked in case interviews and 15 full-length practice cases. This book is great for intermediates looking to get quality practice.
- Case Interview Secrets: This book provides great explanations of essential case interview concepts and fundamentals. The stories and anecdotes that the author provides are entertaining and help paint a clear picture of what to expect in a case interview, what interviewers are looking for, and how to solve a case interview.
McKinsey Case Interview Courses
Case interview courses are more expensive to use than case interview prep books, but offer more efficient and effective learning. You’ll learn much more quickly from watching someone teach you the material, provide examples, and then walk through practice problems than from reading a book by yourself.
Courses typically cost anywhere between $200 to $400.
If you are looking for a single resource to learn the best McKinsey case interview strategies in the most efficient way possible, consider trying our one-week case interview course.
Through 50+ concise video lessons and 20 full-length practice cases based on real interviews from top-tier consulting firms, you’ll learn step-by-step how to crush your McKinsey case interview.
We’ve had students pass their McKinsey first round interview with just a week of preparation, but know that your success depends on the amount of effort you put in and your starting capabilities.
McKinsey Case Interview Coaching
With case interview coaching, you’ll pay anywhere between $100 to $300 for a 40- to 60-minute mock case interview session with a case coach. Typically, case coaches are former consultants or interviewers that have worked at top-tier consulting firms.
Although very expensive, case interview coaching can provide you with high quality feedback that can significantly improve your case interview performance. By working with a case coach, you will be practicing high quality cases with an expert. You’ll get detailed feedback that ordinary case interview partners are not able to provide.
Know that you do not need to purchase case interview coaching to receive a consulting job offer. The vast majority of candidates that receive offers from top firms did not purchase case interview coaching. By purchasing case interview coaching, you are essentially purchasing convenience and learning efficiency.
Case interview coaching is best for those that have already learned as much as they can about case interviews on their own and feel that they have reached a plateau in their learning. For case interview beginners and intermediates, it may be a better use of their money to first purchase a case interview course or case interview prep book before purchasing expensive coaching sessions.
There is no particular company we recommend for case interview coaching because the case coach that you are paired with matters more than what company you use.
If you do decide to eventually use a case interview coach, make sure that you find the right case coach. There is a wide range of quality among coaches, so ensure that you are working with someone that is invested in your development and success. If possible, ask for reviews from previous candidates that your coach has worked with.
Final Thoughts on Preparing for McKinsey Case Interviews
We hope that you’ve found this article helpful in narrowing down which resources to use to prepare for your McKinsey case interviews.
Whether you choose to exclusively use free resources or purchase case interview prep books, courses, or coaching, we want to offer you these five critical McKinsey case interview preparation tips.
1. Learn the right strategies the first time
It is very important to learn the right case interview strategies the first time. If you learn poor case interview strategies and then practice solving cases using these strategies, you’ll develop bad case interview habits. These habits will be difficult to correct later on when you decide to switch to using more effective case interview strategies.
If you learn the effective and robust strategies in the beginning, you’ll save yourself many hours of preparation time.
2. Practice with high-quality practice cases
When practicing cases, try to use the highest quality practice cases you can find. Ideally, these cases will come directly from McKinsey and be representative of an actual case interview in terms of difficulty and length.
You’ll find yourself improving much more quickly if you use high-quality practice cases versus low-quality cases.
3. Practice with a case partner whenever possible
While it may be helpful to practice solving cases by yourself in the beginning, you should practice with a case partner when you feel comfortable solving cases. Practicing with a case partner is the best way to simulate a real case interview.
4. Keep a list of improvement areas
Don’t just work through practice cases and stop once you have answered all of the questions. Take the time to go through exactly what you did to solve the case and identify areas you could have done better. Keep a list of everything you could have improved on after each case.
After doing a few practice cases, you’ll likely notice patterns on things that you consistently don’t do well. This is a great way to identify your weaknesses so that you can work on improving them.
5. Work on improving one thing at a time
Finally, focus on improving one thing at a time. Trying to work on all of your improvement areas at once is difficult to do and will likely be unproductive. Before each practice case interview, pick one thing that you want to work on. When you have mastered that one thing, move onto the next improvement area.
Land your Dream Consulting Job
If you are looking for a single resource to learn the best case interview strategies in the most efficient way possible, consider trying our one-week case interview course. The material in the course has helped 6,000+ students across 13+ countries land offers at top-tier consulting firms such as McKinsey, BCG, and Bain.