How’s it going? I am a non-business background, former teacher interviewing for the business analyst position at McKinsey. Since I am interviewing for the bottom of the ladder at McKinsey, will the cases most likely be business situation and profitability or am I equally likely to get any type of business situation as a HBS alum interviewing for a consultant position?

My Reply:

If you don’t have a business background, they would expect your logic in any case to be sound but if you didn’t use the proper jargon/terms, they would be okay with that.

For the business analyst position at McKinsey specifically, the standard is actually substantially higher than that for the Associate position (where HBS alums apply). You are expected to be smarter, sharper, and more logical than the HBS’ers… but less business maturity (client skills) and industry/finance jargon is okay. The reason is the older MBA’s have business savvy, client skills, understand corporate politics, etc… as an analyst, those skills are still pretty raw, so you’re primary usefulness is to be analytical.