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McKinsey & Company Associate Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jun 22, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

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Interview Experience  

78%
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7%

Interview Difficulty  

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4 people found this helpful

No Offer

Neutral Experience

Associate Interview

Associate

Interviewed at McKinsey & Company

Interview Details – apply online.first round case: open business, behaviour handle conflict. very friendly staff. before interview was training by consultant. very effective and structured. case maths is very easy but points are creative

Interview Question – conflict   Answer Question


6 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Neutral Experience

Associate Interview

Associate

Interviewed at McKinsey & Company

Interview Details – -- Quant test
-- Business case + personal interview
-- 9 interviews total: 3 days with 3 interviewers each day
- Tell us about a time you demonstrated leadership
- Tell us about a time you influenced your superiors
- Tell us about at time you demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit

Interview Question – - Tell us about a time you demonstrated leadership
- Tell us about a time you influenced your superiors
- Tell us about at time you demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit
  Answer Question


2 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Associate Interview

Associate
New York, NY

I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company.

Interview Details – McKinsey comes to my business school to interview candidates every year. They shortlist students for the interview purely based on their resumes unlike the other consulting firms who rely, at varying degrees, on networking. This shows how meritocratic they are. Even though the consultants who came to the school appeared aloof during the company presentation and networking events, they become extremely friendly, polite and humble during the interview days both at my b-school campus and during my visit to their NYC office.
There were two interviews on campus and then those selected for the final rounds had 3-4 rounds with partners/principals at their preferred location. All the interviews are half behavioral and half case. In the campus round, the behavioral questions were more predictable - they wanted to know how you influence people or handle conflicts. The stories have to be detailed with focus on what you were thinking at that point and why you did what you did.
The final rounds are very similar to the first rounds except that the partners have more freedom in the process. Be ready to talk about things not on your resume, about your passion, about your personal life as well (what I mean is, questions like biggest mistake, etc shouldn't or needn't just be a professional story). I think a BIG factor here is likability - the partners have to like you. Hence it becomes more subjective very unlike the first round.

Interview Question – Tell me something not on your resume - it is hard because you don't know where to start and what is relevant. I am not sure I answered the question well.   Answer Question


3 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Associate Interview

Associate
Washington, DC

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in October 2010.

Interview Details – Problem solving test
Case studies (2 days of 3 interviews each)
Personal experience interview (2 days of 3 interviews each)

If you're an MBA, you may do a "Power Round" (all in 1 day on campus)
Fit is a huge part of the interview -- show you're enjoying the case and enjoy talking to the interviewer
Practice for the PEI -- as many people screw it up as mess up the case

Interview Question – Always a case and a PEI
On the case, be structured, creative, and don't mess up the math!!
Practice the math -- I had math professors mess up the math in interviews because they hadn't practiced computation. It's just addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and basic algebra, but without a calculator and under pressure. Make sure you tie the math back to the case -- what is the data telling you
  Answer Question

Negotiation Details – No negotiation. Everyone starts in the same place US-wide


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Associate Interview

Associate

I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in April 2014.

Interview Details – Introduced to recruitment manager for initial casual chat re process etc. by a friend. Applied online a few months later. Interview - 2 rounds. 1st round - problem solving test (!!!!!) and 2 50-min interviews, 1 on 1, consisted of 1 behavioural qs and one case each. 2nd round - 3 50-min interviews with partners.

Interview Question – Profitability of intercity train freight company.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Associate Interview

Associate
Boston, MA

I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in October 2013.

Interview Details – McKinsey's interview process is very selective. In fact less than 1% of the people who are interviewed end up with a full-time offer. For an associate, the relationship starts early on with coffee chats and dinners. You then have to prep for full case interviews and then go through multiple rounds of interviews.

Interview Question – Business case   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Only some things are negotiable with their offer


No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Associate Interview

Associate
New York, NY

I interviewed at McKinsey & Company in September 2013.

Interview Details – First round: two case studies by two different interviewers (senior managers).

Interview Question – Cracking the cases were difficult and longer than I thought. Be prepared for the math questions.   Answer Question


Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Associate Interview

Associate
Palo Alto, CA

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 months - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in December 2010.

Interview Details – Two rounds on campus, third round in the hiring office (all day)

Interview Question – Write equations to calculate online pricing for products sold as a bundle (versus individually)   View Answer

Negotiation Details – No negotiation really. Was made an offer; had a choice on whether to accept or not


3 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Associate Interview

Associate
Chicago, IL

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in January 2014.

Interview Details – Submitted resume through my school's job portal. Interviewed with McKinsey in January. Getting your resume shortlisted for the onsite interview is considered as round 1. I interviewed with them in Chicago in January. It's an associate role for APD (Advaned Professional Degree) holders.
The interview had 2 parts: Problem Solving Test (PST) and 2 Group Case interview workshops.
The math test involved calculations and time management is the key here. You cannot solve all 26 questions in the PST in the given time. Do not get stuck on any one question. I had 3 sets and I solved 16 questions confidently.
After this, we were divided into teams of 4 each and were assigned a Mckinsey associate to solve a case. We were taken into small conference rooms and after introductions, the associate explained us the case. We were given 2 sets of exhibits, one at the start of the case and another at the middle.
Each of us was cold called to answer one question per head pertaining to the case. The question can be a mathematical calculation or "what would you suggest the management in this scenario" type questions.
For the second case workshop, I was put into another team and we had a different associate this time. The process remained pretty much the same. Practice cases as much as you can, learn a few frameworks. The conference rooms are small and the associate can look into your paper work to see how you are drawing/breaking down information on the case. From my observation, they love it if you can clearly represent the information on the case in clear pattern on your notes.
When they ask you to say your observation on the exhibits, do not say what's clearly visible. Tell them something that's hidden in the exhibit but can be seen with a deeper observation.

Interview Question – None. Practice cases as much as you can. Prepare CAT (Common Admission Test) /GMAT Data interpretation questions and speed math. CAT is conducted in India for admission into IIMs.   Answer Question


3 people found this helpful

Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Associate Interview

Associate

Interviewed at McKinsey & Company

Interview Details – I went through the standard 3 interview rounds for PhD potential hires.
Round 1 was the Interview Workshop & Initial Assessment (IWIA). For this stage of the process, I took an hour long standardized test and had two group "practice cases".
Round 2 was two one-on-one case+personal experience interviews.
Round 3 was three one-on-one case+personal experience interviews at what would become my home office.
After each stage of the process, I was given the chance to get feedback on my performance and talk with someone from the company. I started the interview process relatively uninterested in a job in consulting, but the people I met along the way completely changed my mind. I was extremely impressed by how friendly, helpful, and open everyone at McKinsey was throughout the interview process. The interviews were tough but fair, and I felt like I had a decent idea of what to expect at each round.

Interview Question – I spent time preparing to answer case questions, but I didn't spend as much time early on working on my answers for the personal experience part of the interview. After the second round, I realized the the PE portion needed plenty of prep to come out sounding coherent and polished. I'd highly suggest you come up with several stories about likely topics (leadership, passion, failure, conflict, etc.) and spend some time thinking through how you'd like to talk about them.   Answer Question

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