McKinsey & Company Associate Interview Questions

Updated Jun 21, 2015
200 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (22)  

Associate Interview

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

Application

I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed 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. Helpful (16)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university – 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.

  2. Helpful (22)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    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
  3. Helpful (4)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed 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.

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  5. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    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
  6.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 dayinterviewed 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
  7.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer

    Interview

    Initial interview was a set of two cases and behavioural questions. The interviews were in their main office and with 2 partners. They were looking for strength of leadership and analysis. It is a great company but it is not for everyone.

    Interview Questions

    • Please give me a time when you had to influence a group.   Answer Question
  8.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience

    Interview

    Brought in through APD recruitment program. First round was a problem-solving test and group practice case. Second round was individual personal and case interviews. Experience with case interviews is definitely necessary--if you plan to apply, start practicing before applying as there might only be a short amount of time between your first and second round interviews.

    Received useful individual feedback about my performance after each round.

    Interview Questions

    • None--they are very straightforward about the structure of the interview process and how to prepare.   Answer Question
  9. Helpful (6)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in October 2014.

    Interview

    The interview process consisted of three rounds
    1) Problem Solving Test and Group Mock Interview
    The Problem Solving Test is highly time constrained. It is important to take the online practice tests to get a sense of how to budget your time. The online practice tests are very similar in format and difficulty to the actual test. I was told that the Group Mock Interview is not selective. Just don't break any social norms. It's a good way for you to learn the McKinsey interview format.

    2) Two 1:1 interviews
    Each interview consists of two parts. The first part is the Personal Experience Interview, which is one story, usually with a lead-in question of "Tell me about a time when you... [demonstrated leadership/overcame an obstacle/had impact/etc]". The second part is the case, which is interviewer led and usually starts with a case description, then a break for you to structure an approach, then a quantitative question with some data the interview provides, then one or two more open-ended questions, and finally a short impromptu conclusion.

    3) Three 1:1 interviews
    Same as 2), except with more senior people at the firm (Principals & Partners). Some may go a little "off-script", but format is still fairly similar.

  10. Helpful (2)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company.

    Interview

    Applied through my business school (top-15) in U.S for the BTO practice. I interviewed first round in one office and then second round at my chosen office. The first round interview (two cases and PEIs) went very well - I was told that I was one of the 'standout' candidates. The second round had 4 interviews (PEI and case in each), 3 of them with Partners and one with Associate Principal. Interview cases were not hard - the math was very easy and I solved them correctly. Some brainstorming with one partner maybe didn't go very well because his point of view had certain assumptions (that I brought out). Disappointed to not get an offer.

    Interview Questions

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