McKinsey & Company Associate Consultant Interview Questions

Updated Oct 13, 2014
Updated Oct 13, 2014
38 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

58%
27%
13%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

53%
33%
11%

Interview Difficulty

3.7
Average

Interview Difficulty

Hard

Average

Easy

38 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all interviews

Sort: Popular Date Difficulty

 

Associate Consultant Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate
Anonymous Interview Candidate
Application Details

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

Interview Details

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
No Offer

Other Interview Reviews for McKinsey & Company

  1.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at McKinsey & Company.

    Interview Details

    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
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    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
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    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
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Interview Review
  5.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at McKinsey & Company in August 2014.

    Interview Details

    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
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    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
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Hanover, NH
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Hanover, NH
    Application Details

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

    Interview Details

    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
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  8.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in October 2013.

    Interview Details

    APD hiring process: 3 rounds of interviews. Made it to the final round and was not extended an offer. Overall, I had very pleasant experiences with HR, Consultants, EMs ... unfortunately, I found the Partners and Directors I met to be fairly rude.

    Interview Questions
    • I don't think any of the questions were all that difficult. I could have done a better job with my summary and recommendation.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in September 2013.

    Interview Details

    First round: Problem-solving test (PST). One will need to prepare for this. 2nd rd: 2 cases (interviewer led) with a different interviewer for each, with part of a half-hour set aside for 2 experience interviews. There are practice PST's online, videos, and they have a coaching session and buddy system if you get to the 2nd rd.

    2nd rd cases were (paraphrased):
    -Broadband access to all of Australia with 90% of population already with access. What is the right combination of technologies to give the final 10% access over the next 8-10yrs?
    -Southeast Asian province school system with attendance probs. What factors to look at as to why that may be addressed?
    Experience interview q's:
    -Time you had a difficult time in a group, and how addressed?
    -Time you had disagreement at work or in group, and how resolved?

    Interview Questions
    • Both experience interview q's. As a physician, working in a hierarchical system, these gave me little chance to shine. Not to mention I had prepared more for q's along the lines of: time you face a challenge, and how you worked it out, etc. It's hard to positively spin a q to show positive characteristics like how did you resolve a disagreement in a group, when your answer is, "I had to shut my mouth and deal with it." Also, I blew the broadband case. Couldn't come up with a good structure.   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at McKinsey & Company in August 2013.

    Interview Details

    I applied online for the associate consultant position as an advanced degree in life sciences. I went to the first round PST and did not pass the test.

    Interview Questions
    • Definitely practice as much as possible and make sure to budget your time accordingly!   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

Work at McKinsey & Company? Share Your Experiences

McKinsey & Company

 
Click to Rate
or

The difficulty rating is the average interview difficulty rating across all interview candidates.

The interview experience is the percentage of all interview candidates that said their interview experience was positive, neutral, or negative.

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.