McKinsey & Company Associate Interview Questions

Updated Sep 1, 2015
208 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (43)  

Associate Interview

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

Application

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

Other Interview Reviews for McKinsey & Company

  1.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 days. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Washington, DC) in August 2015.

    Interview

    Applied for the Insight program, got rejected, and was offered an interview for a full time position. First round contained two parts: 1. problem solving test and 2. group case study led by current consultant. The test was pretty difficult. Didn't make it in the end.

    Interview Questions

    • PST composed of three cases and all were multiple choice questions similar to their sample test online   Answer Question
  2.  

    Associate Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (San Francisco, CA) in August 2015.

    Interview

    This was a 2nd round interview (I had already passed the Problem Solving Test and group case studies in round 1). For APD associate hires in the 2nd round you have two separate meetings: (1) with a junior consultant (an associate) and (2) an engagement manager. They each ask you 1 or 2 personal experience interview questions (one of mine is below), and you have to solve one case study problem with each interviewer. The online preparation materials from McKinsey are very good. Study them carefully. Don't go nuts studying 50 cases and memorizing case structures and that sort of nonsense. Make your stories good for the personal experience interview questions.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about an experience where you had to lead a team and there was a challenging situation you had to negotiate.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    To be clear, I just finished the second round. I haven't been heard whether I will be offered the job yet.

  3.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Palo Alto, CA) in August 2015.

    Interview

    First round: PST, 2 group case studies. This is slightly awkward bc you are trying to outperform but work as a group with people you don't know. Second round: 2 individual interviews, half fit/half case. I think I hurt my chances by going late in the day and late in the week, my interviewer was clearly ready to leave. I botched the second case and apparently lacked empathy in some of my personal stories. I did not make it to round 3.

    Interview Questions

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  5. Helpful (29)  

    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.

  6. Helpful (23)  

    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
  7. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer

    Interview

    First round onsite interview is in the office close to where you live, first one hour is the notorious Problem solving test, the questions are not so hard, but the time is so limited. Then comes group interview, one consultant led 5-6 interviewees in a case study, it's the typical command and control style, not hard if you prepare a bit, but obviously not everyone is prepared. They say the group interview is not evaluative, but actually they do somehow take it into account, I didn't do very well in PST but was good in case interview, so they passed me into the next round. Second round was about 2 weeks later, they flew me to the regional central office, very fancy office at the top of a skyscraper in downtown, gorgeous view. Two back to back case interviews, each about 50 minutes, case is again command and control style, not hard at all, what matters is how you answered it, how you structured it, and how you communicate it. Didn't pass the 2nd round, obviously competition was too extreme, but nice experience overall.

    Interview Questions

    • The questions are not specifically so difficult. I think how you answered and your behavior and impressions you gave to interview are more important.   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (4)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company.

    Interview

    I applied and went through three rounds as an APD candidate. I had a great experience over 8 interviews and the written Problem Solving Test. The first round was two group cases, the second was two individual cases, and the final round was 4 individual cases. Each individual case was accompanied by a behavioral interview as well.The people I interviewd with were friendly and the company covered all expenses during the interview process.

    Interview Questions

    • I was asked the formula DCF analysis on one of the cases. I did not know what it was but was able to do the calculation with some help from the interviewer.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    No negotiation needed.

  9.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    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) 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
  10.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Houston, TX
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Houston, TX) in November 2014.

    Interview

    The interview process is long and rigorous but it is very engaging and fun at the same time. It is hardest considering the amount and quality of competition but the whole experience extremely friendly.

    Interview Questions

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