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McKinsey & Company Summer Associate Interview Questions

Updated Feb 17, 2015
Updated Feb 17, 2015
42 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Summer Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at McKinsey & Company.

    Interview Details

    Three rounds of interviews, starting with the IWIA, then two rounds of case/behavioral interviews. The IWIA is a standardized test of sorts (practice tests available online). The test is fairly difficult, so study up.

    The second and third round interviews are a combination of case/behavioral interviews, two or three in a row. Your interviewer will drill down into you past history, so take some time to remember a few pertinent experiences, especially around teamwork and leadership.

    The cases are formulaic. They all involve structuring a problem, solving a math problem, and interpreting a series of graphs. Be prepared to talk about unfamiliar industries and to generate insights on a short timeframe in a systematic manner.

    Interview Questions
    • A certain town in looking to increase its Foreign Direct Investment. How would you go about doing this?   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    Summer Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at McKinsey & Company.

    Interview Details

    Applied on campus as an APD candidate (sciences phd), received invitation for an Initial Assesment and Interview Workshop (IWIA) including the McK problem solving test what was a long time after I sent in the application online. Invited back via e-mail the same evening for a first round interview. I was assigned a buddy from the IWIA who gave me some great advice for how to improve! Then the interview was two different people each with a personal experience and case section. I was called two days later (on a saturday) by an interviewer saying I did not move on but giving me, once again, some great feedback.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3.  

    Summer Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in January 2015.

    Interview Details

    Round 1 interview
    Did 2 case + behavioral interviews
    Though I did quiet well both on behavioral and cases.
    It would have been better if I got feedback from my first interviewer who I thought was the one to ding me as my second case interview went really well. Everyone else was provided feedback on the interview but my interviewer didn't even after I emailed her asking for one. That ruined the entire process for me becuase I had really connected well with the company and wanted to get some honest feedback on what I could improve upon.

    Interview Questions
    • Stumbled a bit on the first case which included estimating an issue with one of the retail package products of a CPG company.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview
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  5.  

    Summer Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Chicago, IL
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Chicago, IL
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in March 2014.

    Interview Details

    I applied online after being invited by email. First I had a math test (similar to GRE) in NY and after passing that, I was invited to a first round of interviews in Chicago 2 weeks later. I passed the first round so the following day I had the 2nd.

    Interview Questions
    • Three case interviews, plus questions about particular challenges in my previous jobs (dealing with difficult bosses, teammates, etc).   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Summer Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in February 2014.

    Interview Details

    Started with info session for summer internships for APD's (advanced professional degrees, e.g. PhD, MD, JD etc, but not MBA) on campus late November-early December. Applied for the summer internship and got invited to 1st round, IWIA, at the local office which involved the PST (Problem Solving Test) and 2 group interviews. PST was 26 questions that you had to answer in 60 mins. Lots of info available about it online. We were told that we will just be evaluated for the PST and that group interviews are for practice purposes. However, once I passed the PST, I was assigned a buddy and she was able to provide me w/ feedback from those sessions, and you can ask them for more details. The results were given 2 days after the test and I was shortly invited to 2nd round interview at the regional office (e.g. Chicago for all midwest locations). It was ~3 weeks between the 1st and 2nd rounds and they shared the contact info of everyone who passed so we could practice together. Also, at this point, you can finalize your office selection (up to 8 offices). They also held multiple workshop through Cisco webex. One was a group case interview and there were some where different offices tried to have you choose them in your preferences. You can also ask for a phone interview with your buddy. Sadly, my buddy did not do one with me.

    Round 2 was two 1-hour interviews. 15 mins personal experience (PEI) where they ask you questions, sometimes related to your CV. Do check their website, b/c they ask you questions mainly from 3 categories: achievements, leadership, and challenges. You can easily find most of the questions on their own website and other places online and it's good to have 3-4 stories for each category. Then, you spend ~30 min on an interviewer-led case. Again, detailed info available online. At the end, if you have time, you can spend 10-15 asking questions from them. You should know that these last mins are as important as the rest of the interview.

    The only negative part of my experience was how much I needed to wait to get the response for the 2nd round and at the end I was not passed to 3rd round. We were told that we should get the results anytime within the 2 weeks after the interview. All my friends got their results (positive or negative) 1-2 days after the interview. However, in my case, they missed their own deadline and finally I had to email the recruiter for the results. One of my interviewers called me 3 days after that. Be sure to ask them for detailed feedback in case you are applying to other firms. The feedback you receive for round 2 is the most valuable.

    Finally, we were also told during the info sessions that 3rd round is just like 2nd round but with 3 cases as opposed to 2 and with more senior people (principals, partners, or directors) and would be at one of the offices you chose.

    For me most of the experience was positive. Their HR is a force to be reckoned with. They make you feel like a part of them as you go through the process. The only negative experience for me was to wait more than 2 weeks for a rejection. However, all the consultants were very nice and especially my interviewer who returned to me was very helpful. I feel like you learn a lot just going through the interview process. However, if you get rejected once, they recommend that you at least wait 18 months before reapplying.

    Interview Questions
    • Nothing was unexpected. Most info, especially for PEI, is available online.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  7.  

    Summer Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took a dayinterviewed at McKinsey & Company.

    Interview Details

    five rounds of back to back case interviews on superday; each interview lasts one hour, 45 min case and 15 fit questions; have to be mentally and physically prepared

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
  8.  

    Summer Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a weekinterviewed at McKinsey & Company.

    Interview Details

    Mckinsey first round: PST+ 2 interviews. In each interview for the behavior part I was asked to tell two stories, e.g. leadership, problem solving, 2 personal impact stories out of academic world (I work toward an engineering PhD). In each interview there was also a interviewer-led case.

    Interview Questions
    • In my first case interview, interviewer kept challenging me about a brunch of analysis that I didn't think to be very important (just put down to be thorough)   Answer Question
    No Offer
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Summer Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in January 2014.

    Interview Details

    I went through on-campus recruiting at business school (MBA level). Interactions began in October and interviews were held in late January. Interactions with the firm started with a presentation on campus and eventually turned into one-on-one emails and phone calls. The interview process consisted of two rounds, held just a few days apart.

    The first round consisted of two 50-minute interviews. Each first-round interview consisted of 15 minutes of personal experience discussion, 30 minutes of a business case, and 5 minutes of questions. Each interview was administered by someone who had been at McKinsey for at least 2 years (senior Associate or Engagement Manager).

    The second round consisted of three interviews in the same format as that of the first round interviews. These three interviews were held with employees who had been with McKinsey at least six years (Associate Principals or Principals, i.e. partners).

    The decision was given in the evening of the same day as the second round interviews.

    Interview Questions
    • Tell me about a time you challenged yourself. (I outlined my story.) What were the three biggest challenges for you? (I listed them). Why were they challenges? (I answered.) Okay, that story sounds like it'll work. Let's begin.   Answer Question
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10.  

    Summer Associate (Management Consultant) Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Application Details

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 daysinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in January 2014.

    Interview Details

    I spent several weeks networking with many people at McKinsey, getting to know the culture, the work-life balance, project placement, etc before I even submitted my application. After I received the interview invitation, I spent several additional weeks running cases with some of the people I had previously met, which helped me feel much more comfortable about the interview process. During the first round of interviews, they had me meet with 2 different people. One was a former associate and one was a current engagement manager. Each interview consisted of an indepth discussion about 1 job related experience I have had. They then went into a case, which had me develop strategies for the companies presented.

    Interview Questions
    • The case used the iPad and made the exhibits interactive. It was very interesting, but it threw me for a loop, because of the way that the information was laid out.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Summer Associate (Management Consultant) Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Anonymous Employee
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in November 2013.

    Interview Details

    This was for the sophomore program. They send you a lot of material to help you prepare and put you into contact with a person working at McKinsey to help you with any questions. Then you have two behavioral interviews and case studies, followed by a test. If you pass that round, you are offered an interview at one of your chosen offices.

    Interview Questions
    • "Tell me about yourself." Have like an elevator pitch or a short narrative that tells your story.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

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