Mckinsey & Company Pre-interview evaluation questionnaire

In a bid to get into the world's number one consulting firm Mckinsey and Company, you typically start by completing an evaluation form which is analyzed and this determines whether you are called for a test.

A while back I completed the evaluation form and the following were my answers. These answers were deemed good enough for me to be short-listed for a PST (Problem Solving Test).

Describe an important and out of the ordinary achievement in your life

I'm proud of the fact that I graduated on time with a first class degree while I got involved in student politics, volunteer activities, while also working part-time for two years in school. A lot of my classmates weren't involved in other activities asides school work or let their grades suffer. I believe the reason I got through it all was sheer determination and discipline; I never even let myself visualize anything but finishing on time and with good grades. So I firmly believe in the importance of a positive outlook.

What has been a defining moment of your life?

One of the defining moments of my life was reading a book – An enemy called average by John Mason. I learnt about focus, perseverance and the power of self-confidence. Prior to reading that book, I was extremely shy, bereft of a life focus and was at best a mediocre having finished my high school education with an average result. I had no plans for my future; I had no idea about what to expect from life. The nuggets I learnt from that book have spurred me on to a very interesting and fulfilled life sprinkled with leadership involvements, achievements and good interpersonal relationships. I also developed some principles like asking for help when necessary as a result of reading that book. I look back in retrospect and I can clearly see that all my best years came after reading that book.

What significant challenge have you had to overcome in your life ? How did you over come it and what was the challenge?

I was working on a volunteer project to acquire new music equipment for the organization. From preliminary analysis, over a million naira would be required and the organization had funds to cover only about ten percent of the projected cost. I had outlined possible donors whom we intended writing letters of support to and knowing well that the donors I was writing to had always been supporting the organization, I was concerned about possible donor fatigue. I discussed my concerns with some other members of the organization and they agreed with me. Our options were to widen the donor bracket, reduce the amount required from a donor or both widening the donor bracket while reducing the amount required from a donor. The latter option seemed best as it would certainly meet our objective of raising funds while ensuring that no donor is overburdened. I came up with an idea of splitting the funds into smaller chunks called “blocks” hence making it possible for an amount as little as five thousand naira to be donated. With this, our existing donors didn't feel overburdened and we were able to also enlist new donors. This plan not only raised the required funds but in three weeks, we had raised about one hundred thousand naira extra.

Describe a situation where you failed in achieving your goal. What did you learn from it? 

Some years back, I was the leader of a thirty man team that organized a national conference. My team members worked with me effortlessly to make sure the conference was a success. I had planned to have a final meeting to thank everyone once the conference was over. The conference came to an end and I immediately got busy with other things thus forgetting my plans. I didn't get the opportunity to really let my team members know how much I appreciated them and their efforts. I learnt from that experience to never hold back the praise and appreciation that is due to anyone for a day but to give it immediately it is due. On the next project i worked on, I didn't hold back praise and I had a very lively team with quite a number of them becoming close friends.


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