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McKinsey & Company Research Analyst Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 9, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

26%
25%
17%

Interview Experience  

78%
13%
8%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
25 candidate interviews Back to all interview questions
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3 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Research Analyst Interview

Research Analyst
New York, NY

I applied online and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company.

Interview Details – Applied online without expecting any answer back. After all, it's McKinsey! Got an invitation to a resume screening a month later and then called in to take the PST at McKinsey office in NY. PST is difficult, especially if you haven't done any math in awhile (like me). Somehow I passed, got invited to first round of interviews. 3 interviews one hour each. Interviewers are extremely nice and helps you to be relaxed. They'll ask you about your interests, but don't get TOO relaxed. Expect random case study questions based on your interests. Case study is not just with one person, but expect to do a case study for all 3. Didn't make it to the final round, but still a great experience! Extremely respectable firm and you can tell that people here are extremely intelligent and will motivate and challenge you.

Interview Question – Determine the bell curve for the music records industry in the next 8 years   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Senior Research Analyst Interview

Senior Research Analyst

I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 3 days - interviewed at McKinsey & Company.

Interview Details – Strict interview process with 2-3 rounds with several individuals; given research case examples to see how you will research, analyze, and present your findings.

Interview Question – What would you do in a situation when two directors from different teams are asking you for research two different topics at the same time for a very important client meeting?   Answer Question


8 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Research Analyst Interview

Research Analyst
Waltham, MA

I applied online and the process took 3 months - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in February 2013.

Interview Details – Applied online at the McKinsey site for the NAKC generalist research analyst. Received email asking to set up a phone interview with HR. Quick 15 mins reviewing my resume, asking salary requirements; HR made sure that I knew that this is NOT a consulting role and asking me to go to my nearest McKinsey office to take the McKinsey PST. PST is tough but you are given a study guide and there are 3 practice tests on the McKinsey site to help you prepare.

After passing the PST you are invited to a first round interview that consists of interviewing with 3 researchers of various levels. Very structured process...1. deep dive into your resume 2. specific question asked regarding some experience/leadership/ambiguous situation and you have to walk through STAR method style. Details are KEY!. followed by a short typical strategy consulting case.

After passing round 1, invited to round 2 (final round)....similar to round 1 except with managerial level people.

Process dragged a bit but was kept in the loop so communication was great during the process. You will face roughly 6 cases and 6 resume deep-dives.

Overall a pretty thorough process and seems similar to the consulting side except the bar maybe a bit lower but it is still high.

Negatives: Location very unlike other McK offices. Feels like you are an 'after-thought.

Positives: if you want to move to the consulting side bad enough, you can do it through research if you excel and put in the hours. Free drinks/snacks. Young and diverse office though the feel is definitely different than a McKinsey consulting location (people and atmosphere wise).

Interview Question – Know your resume, experiences, how to do arithmetic/math with paper/pencil under pressure. The cases from a strategy point of view are not too tough.   Answer Question


No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Junior Research Analyst (Retail) Interview

Junior Research Analyst (Retail)
Chicago, IL

The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in February 2012.

Interview Details – Applied directly on the McK site for the position and had a 1:1 initial interview with HR before 2 1:1 interviews with Research Associates. Was then asked to go in for the McKinsey Problem Solving Test which I passed. Then had 3 1:1 interviews with Senior Research Associates from the teams in Chicago, Toronto, and Seattle.

Overall, I had a good experience interviewing with McKinsey (despite not getting an offer after all of that).
1:1 interviews were non-technical and more fit-based. There were questions about background in research and quantitative analysis experience.

The large number of rounds was tiring and frustrating (Especially to not close on an offer), but HR was extremely helpful.

Re: McK PST
Just do the practice tests that you can find online, non-calc math drills, and watch for time - it shouldn't be a problem.

Having said that, did not receive a 'negative' reply until I emailed to check-in 2 weeks after my last 1:1 interview.

Interview Question – McK PST (Interview questions were pretty standard)   View Answer


4 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Research Analyst Interview

Research Analyst
Waltham, MA

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in August 2011.

Interview Details – Was contacted for a phone screen after applying online. HR person was great on phone & in person. Asked to come in to take the "test" - case studies - fairly sure I didn't do well on them but was invited back. Met more employees. All lovely. Each gave case studies - difficult but I was on the mark more or less with each one. Third visit - difficult questions/case studies, met several more people in different positions. One interviewer was - I thought - unprofessional or autistic and just lacking the normal ability to pick up on social cues. I think may have been trying to be intimidating (?). May have been told to do this - not sure. Not very familiar with how they conduct interviews. After several visits, many hours of interviews, they let me know that they weren't moving forward - via email - not impressed. Remember - the interview goes both ways - in any economy. You're interviewing them as much as they're interviewing you.

Interview Question – You're on a plane..no access to information source...size a particular market in the x geography.   View Answer


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Research Analyst Interview

Research Analyst
Waltham, MA

I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in January 2010.

Interview Details – The first round of interview consisted of two parts: one 15-minute excel test and one 15-minute interview with two senior research analysts from their waltham office. Overall, the interview process was very pleasant. Interviewers were nice and they were really interested in knowing more the candidate instead of merely asking questions they have prepared in advance

Interview Question – Give an example of a piece of constructive advice you have received   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – negotiable


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Junior Research Analyst Interview

Junior Research Analyst

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 months - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in June 2014.

Interview Details – Consisted of 2 rounds of interviews. First one included PST test, followed by 3 one-on-one interviews. Research Analyst, Expert and Senior Manager. 30 minutes behavioural, 30 minutes cases.

Called me back for a second round, Pretty much the same process... Screwed up the final case with senior manager.

Overal process is long and demanding. Little or no break in between interviews (5-6 hours), Friendly people.

Interview Question – A case about regulation of PV panels, what recommendations you would make towards the future.   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Research Analyst Interview

Research Analyst
London, England (UK)

I applied through college or university and the process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company.

Interview Details – Test, 2 rounds of interviews

Interview Question – Do you really want to focus on the UK?   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Junior Research Analyst Interview

Junior Research Analyst
Shanghai, Shanghai (China)

I applied online and the process took 5+ weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in November 2010.

Interview Details – Resume submission online + 1 written test + 2 rounds of one-on-one case interviews + 1 group discussion + 1 behavioral interview with manager + 1 behavioral/case interview with Partner

Interview Question – Read a 100-paged case in 30 min and presented as a team   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Senior Research Analyst Interview

Senior Research Analyst

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 days - interviewed at McKinsey & Company.

Interview Details – Campus placement

Interview Question – Problem solving questions   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation

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