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McKinsey & Company Interview Questions

Interviews at McKinsey & Company

2,319 Interview Reviews

Experience

Experience
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Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
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  1. Helpful (7)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (San Francisco, CA (US)) in September 2015.

    Interview

    McKinsey's Interview process is incredibly standardized: once you make it to the in-person rounds, you will have 2-3 1 hour interviews with current consultants. The first 15-20 minutes will focus on the Personal Experience Interview (PEI), the remaining ~30 min will be dedicated to an interviewer-led case with 5-10 minutes at the end for you to ask your interviewer questions.

    Being able to think logically and communicate clearly in the case is the most important. I had a few cases where I wasn't too sure, but since I clearly explained my reasoning and my process the interviewer was willing to help guide me to the right answer.

    The PEI portion is difficult, because the answers are pretty much always a variation of 3 standard questions, and they want answers that prove that you the personality and the skill to do the job. There are several approaches to structuring your questions—STAR, PARADE, etc—but the most important thing is that you know you answers inside and out, but are able to respond without sounding like your answers are rehearsed. The consultants will interrupt your answer, as follow up questions, and generally throw you off mid-answer. You want to have a ~30 second preview of your answer, and then a well-organized longer version to go into once they start the questions.

    The cases and the PEI weren't necessarily hard, but the stress surrounding the interview process was difficult for me. Only a small percentage of applicants receive an offer, and I really wanted this job! That said, the math and the questions weren't in and of themselves difficult—it's more being able to present yourself in a way that communicates that you'll do the job well. There's also a huge personality fit component to the final decision, and that was a bit nerve-wracking. I really enjoyed all my interviewers, and I was really hoping they'd like me too.

    Interview Questions

    • Talk about a time you lead a team / Talk about a time you had to work with a difficult member / Talk about a time you changed someone's mind?   1 Answer

  2.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Philadelphia, PA (US)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Philadelphia, PA (US)) in October 2012.

    Interview

    Power round of 4 interviews at top-5 MBA school. You have to pass 4 interviews with senior consultants. Each interview has a case interview and a behavioral interview. McKinsey lets you know if you got an offer typically within 3 days.

    Interview Questions

    • - 4 business cases of 40 minutes each with focus on conceptual thinking and analytical thinking
      - 4 behavioral interviews to measure leadership, entrepreneurship, and team work   Answer Question
  3. Helpful (2)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA (US)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Boston, MA (US)) in October 2015.

    Interview

    Round 1: The first round was a half day and included a brief introduction from McKinsey staff, followed by the hour-long Problem Solving Test, and then a group case interview.

    Between the first and second round, I was matched with a current McKinsey consultant to answer any questions I had and there was an opportunity to do another practice group case with a McKinsey consultant at their offices (or via phone for those who were remote).

    Round 2: There were two individual case and experience interviews.

    Interview Questions

    • Why McKinsey?
      Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss. How did you handle it?   Answer Question

  4. Helpful (28)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    Three Rounds of interviews:
    1st Round - test
    2nd Round - 2 case interviews + fit questions
    3rd Round - 3 case interviews + fit questions

    Read website which has extensive explanations of interview process and practice cases. Get a hold of business school case books for further practice and refinement of structured problem solving techniques. Practice doing calculations by hand, short cuts, and doing calculations in front of people.

    The feedback I received was that I was energetic, genuine, and seemed comfortable. Try not to be nervous. Also have structured responses for fit questions.

    Interview Questions

    • Tech company wants to enter the healthcare space. You have a meeting with the client next week. How would you think about structuring this meeting.   Answer Question

  5.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY (US)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (New York, NY (US)) in November 2014.

    Interview

    After I sent my application for the associate position in LaTam, 1 week later I got an interview invitation from the campus recruiter in my MBA school (Philadelphia, US). I got an email with all the details about the process and even a couple of sample cases.
    The company organized a case preparation session with a current Manager who shared with me and with others, during 45 minutes, tips and suggestions to solve problem solving cases.

    Interview Questions

    • Problem solving cases - 4 in total
      Tell me a story about leadership in your last job   Answer Question

  6. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Chicago, IL (US)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL (US)) in September 2014.

    Interview

    Applied as an advanced degree candidate online. The recruitment staff is extremely prompt and helpful; one of the best you will ever encounter. Made it to their final round - 3 interviews in a span of a few hours ( with 2 junior partners and a director)

    In hindsight, I would worry less about the cases (the interviewers help you along and hopefully if you get past the first few rounds, you are smart enough to figure things out eventually) and more about demonstrating that you are up to the job. This can certainly be done by providing good insights on the cases but everything else is just as important. Building a good rapport with everyone that you encounter (interviewer or not) is invaluable.

    Interview Questions

    • What is your career alternative to management consulting?   1 Answer
    • How do you think McKinsey & Company is different from other consulting firms?   1 Answer

  7. Helpful (35)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company.

    Interview

    Applied through on-campus recruiting. Went through 2 rounds of interviews - 2 interviews in the first round, 3 interviews in the final round. All interviews were a combination of a case and personal experience/fit. Very important to have practiced case interviews and prepare stories about your past experience that highlight leadership, teamwork, etc.

  8. Helpful (4)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY (US)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (New York, NY (US)) in October 2014.

    Interview

    Applied through school's recruiting network and received invitation for interview. The entire interview process took two days, first day two interviews with engagement managers, then the following day with two partners. For the first round interview the case questions were presented first followed by behavioral questions; the orders were reversed for the final round interview. Heard back result in a day.

    Interview Questions

    • Your client is trying to build a water supply network for a new city in the desert, what kind of issues do the client need to look at?   Answer Question

  9.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY (US)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (New York, NY (US)) in September 2012.

    Interview

    Typical case interview + behavioral. Looking for very specific things like structure, synthesis and implications.

    I was an experienced hire so started with a phone screen (case interview), then 2 seperate in-person interviews where i was interviewed by a total of 6 people.

    At the end, the decision was made by the Director (senior partner)

    Interview Questions


  10. Helpful (104)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (San Francisco, CA (US)) in April 2015.

    Interview

    Process took 3 months. This was due to my schedule and theirs. Throughout the entire process, McKinsey was amazing. Very professional, very thorough. 50% was case and 50% was personal experience. They truly are trying to find a reason to hire you, not a reason to deny you. Very refreshing versus most other companies.

    Two critical pieces of advice for applicants. #1, if you can afford it, practice with former McKinsey consultants. I did this through evisors.com, but there are a number of other sites you can find people as well. If you practice with students or people who haven't been offered the job, it is essentially the blind leading the blind. I paid for around 10 practice sessions and it made all the difference in the world. #2, practice your math skills on caseinterviewmath.com. I absolutely loved how fast and easy this site was. None of the math you are being tested on is too difficult, but speed and accuracy do matter. The format of this site is laser focused on those two factors and it helped me tremendously.

    There are a number of other resources I leveraged (books, alumni, networking, LOMS, etc.). I just found the two above the most helpful and the least talked about online. Good luck!

    Interview Questions

    • In every single interview I was asked a version of, "tell me about a time you took on a leadership role". This was in the initial phone screen all the way up to the partner interviews. The cases are what you would expect. Most were profitability cases, but some were a little more unique. Two of my four partner interviews did not include a case. I don't think that is normal, but that was my experience.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    The only part they negotiate is the sign-on bonus.


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