McKinsey & Company Associate Consultant Interview Questions

Updated Jun 29, 2015
45 Interview Reviews

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Associate Consultant Interview

Anonymous Employee
No Offer
Neutral Experience
Difficult Interview

Interview

I had gotten an interview through my school's on-campus recruiting program. The interview did not really deviate from the descriptions that I had found in various prep books. It consisted of two back-to-back interviews with different consultants. Each interview began with a heavily-guided behavioral question, in which I had to tell a story relating to a situation ("tell me about a time when you..."), and followed the storytelling with a case. The cases were pretty straightforward. There were a few quantitative questions in each case, but nothing more difficult than basic arithmetic. Each interview concluded with a chance to ask questions.

Interview Questions

  • There weren't really any curveball questions. Just do your practice cases.   Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for McKinsey & Company

  1. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

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

    Interview

    Submitted CV call for 1st round math test 2 weeks later call for 2nd round interview the week after Decision 1 week later - no offer The team is very supportive. It feels like college admissions all over again. The process is highly transparent even amongst other applicants - they reveal the list of people who make it at each stage of the interview process. Most consultants were friendly.Two consultants were snarky. One consultant was not nice, but he was the exception to the rule.

    Interview Questions

    • Math test was probably the hardest part - unlike anything you've seen before in GREs or GMATs Fit interview- they interrupt all the time for details Case interviews - standard, with some challenging graphs, but overall okay   Answer Question
  2.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer

    Interview

    1st round was PST which evaluate math and reasoning capability. 2nd round is case interview + personal experience. I didn't get invited to 3rd round interview which will be the office interview.

    Interview Questions

    • There was no suprising question. It is very well organized and they seemed to try best to make all candidates well informed before coming to interview. such as workshop and coaching session. Which were relly usuful. However the exhibition I was given was a way more complicated than the one I met through this workshop or coaching session. That was the only one I found challenging   Answer Question
  3.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 dayinterviewed at McKinsey & Company.

    Interview

    Problem solving test was one hour analytic/ critical reading exam. Short on time. Must be quick with estimation and math. Group interview consisted of two interviews in groups of four to five candidates with a consultant working through a case. Consultant asks each candidate a question and others may then build on that response.

    Interview Questions

    • Most difficult part was time management of problem solving test to start the day.   Answer Question
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  5.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at McKinsey & Company.

    Interview

    Applied online - process took 3 weeks. Interviews were very structured and case based. Interviewers were friendly and sociable, did not feel like it was a "stress interview". Communication was pretty quick, in terms of results after interview round and next steps. The group interviews (first round) were interesting in that we are thrown into a group of fellow-interviewees we've never met before and asked to solve a case. It was actually a friendlier experience than I expected.

    Interview Questions

    • Business case with a difficult math question. It had a twist and I did not catch it right away. I tried to back up and recover, but I think the stumble affected my flow for the rest of the case.   Answer Question
  6. Helpful (6)  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in September 2014.

    Interview

    3 steps (post-resume/cover letter submission): 1) Problem Solving Test (math, charts, reading comprehension, very simple business concepts) & group case (check to make sure you don't have a horrible personality). Victor Cheng's online practice tests weren't very helpful, but the videos that came packaged with that are. 2) 2 interviews (~30% fit, ~70% case). The fit portion was much deeper than I expected, more details expected to be presented than I had prepared. You'll spend the entire ~20 minutes talking about ONE activity/challenge/event, and what YOU did. Don't expect a resume walk-through. Expect quotes from interactions "what'd you think?" "How'd they react?" "What did others in the group think?" "How did you convince them?" "How did you feel?". Cases were simple - same thing you can expect based on multitude of case books available on the interwebz. 3) 3 interviews, same (~30% fit, ~70% case). Fit same, case same with the following exception you'll see below. If you've read up on consulting interviews, partners sometimes throw a wrench into the case portion (perhaps on purpose, a stress test). Normally, you get standardized cases, pre-made charts, prompts that have been rehearsed and vetted dozens of times. Well, a partner may lead instead with "let me tell you about a case I did ~15 years ago". Not much background, no pre-made charts, etc. Whoo boy. Structure and organization wants to jump out the window - don't let it! Clarification and organization are key. Don't allow yourself to get flustered, or confused. If you're not answering questions properly, don't stay silent, let them know what you're thinking and why you're thinking it. They may try to stress you more (mine changed the fixed/variable cost ratio halfway through - at that point my mind was already gone). Oh, and always start off with the baby steps. Just because you know profit = revenue - costs, revenue = volume * price, costs = fixed + variable (and of course, who at this point doesn't know that), doesn't mean that THEY know that you know that. They need to see that basic level of structure, even if you've already skipped to drivers of revenue or cost. Good luck! Oh, and disappointingly, feedback from third round was "meh". Very general, not much actionable. One makes it to the final round of McK and goes "alright, I may not have grabbed this brass ring, but getting here means I'm sooooo close to a different brass ring". Well, they say candidates find feedback to be valuable in obtaining other jobs regardless of the McK outcome. I didn't find that at all, disappointingly. Everything prior to that was positive, but to get a "no offer" plus nothing that'll help me develop was a rather disappointing conclusion.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about a "ridiculous" (in terms of magnitude) challenge that you confronted & then conquered.   Answer Question
  7.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in August 2014.

    Interview

    The interviewing process is pretty pleasant. Before the interviews, current consultant will hold workshops to help the preparation. The First round is PST test, which give me barely enough time to finish. The second round is two one on one interviews. The consultants are nice. Even if you are stuck, they are trying to help you. So the entire experience is nice. However, the passing bar is quite high. You probably need to work on a lot of details to do a good job.

    Interview Questions

  8.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online – interviewed at McKinsey & Company (San Francisco, CA) in August 2014.

    Interview

    I got an invite for the first round and it is the Problem Solving Test and Group Interview workshop about 2 weeks after the resume deadline. PST I've heard that during this round, the PST is what they are primarily judging you on. There is an unknown cut off score (rumors about it range from 60-70%) for a pretty challenging test 26 questions in 60 minutes. They have 3 practice tests online with answer keys. Some of the questions are like GMAT integrated reasoning questions but they're not exactly the same. Group interview There's a lot of variability among the group interviews depending on your interviewer. My first one would ask the same question to all of us but would rotate the order in which he asked us questions. My second one asked questions but would pick a random person from the group to answer the question and then ask if any of the rest of us had questions. I've heard that the group interview part is just to make sure that you can work on teams (so it's good to add on to other people's answers and synthesize what's been said). I'm not sure how much the group interview part counts especially since for my second one: half of us got math questions, the other half got strategy questions so I'd imagine it's mainly to give people who move onto the second round feedback. Generally, it was a very organized and structured experience. I really appreciate how quick the turnaround time was- I found out two days after my test that I didn't make it to the next round.

    Interview Questions

    • A company wants to increase its profit by 10%. How many of its mid market product does it need to convert to its lower market product to reach this target and is it reasonable?   Answer Question
  9.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 5 weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in October 2013.

    Interview

    There was an intro exam prior to the first and second round interviews. McKinsey matched candidates with buddies who helped prepare them for the interview. The case questions were difficult.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about a time you had a conflict with your boss?   Answer Question
  10.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Hanover, NH
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1+ weekinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (Hanover, NH) in October 2013.

    Interview

    McKinsey & Co recruited from my college. After being accepted for an interview, I was offered a number of interview prep opportunities - a conference call phone session with other applicants reviewing the process and a case, an in person group case work through with a representative, and a 30 min online Q&A session. We also had to take a written business skills test that is McKinsey-specific the night before the exam for an hour (it seemed easier than the online samples). The first round interview itself was two 45-min separate interviews with a fit scenario (about overcoming challenges, working with difficult people) and a case each. One of my interviewers prodded at my example, asking things like "what did you say?" to get more detail; the other gave much less reaction.

    Interview Questions

    • One of the cases involved a graph that was given to me half-way through and was a bit complex - it also required that we refer back to numbers given at the very beginning of the case to calculate the correct outcomes. Be aware!   Answer Question
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