McKinsey & Company Associate Interview Questions

Updated Apr 22, 2015
199 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (2)  

Associate Interview

Anonymous Employee
No Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview
No Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in October 2014.

Interview

Invited to interview through on campus recruitment. The expected "McKinsey" interview format: Fit: tell me about a situation when your leadership skills were challenged, about a failure, a situation when a project was going south, you faced opposition and critique, how did you react, what did you say, etc. Cases were not too complicated, one case in new iPad app format. Way too focused on their "framework" or "McKinsey mindset", rather than the thought process or conclusions of the interviewee.
Quick, although rather useless feedback. Very professional in their communication and interaction.

Other Interview Reviews for McKinsey & Company

  1.  

    Associate Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (New York, NY) in October 2014.

    Interview

    Applied through school's recruiting network and received invitation for interview. The entire interview process took two days, first day two interviews with engagement managers, then the following day with two partners. For the first round interview the case questions were presented first followed by behavioral questions; the orders were reversed for the final round interview. Heard back result in a day.

    Interview Questions

    • Your client is trying to build a water supply network for a new city in the desert, what kind of issues do the client need to look at?   Answer Question
  2. Helpful (5)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (Boston, MA) in September 2014.

    Interview

    I initially applied for the McKinsey "Insight" program and was invited for a telephone interview (I submitted a full academic CV (4 pages) since they asked for it and I have a PhD). The telephone interview involved a small fit portion and a case for 30 mins. The fit portion went well but I bombed the case and was not invited for the program. I was disappointed but this failed interview led to full-time Associate interview in the Fall of the same year WITHOUT me having to resubmit my CV and hence go through a CV short listing process. Also, I was given an option to interview 1 month earlier than the regular fall interview process, which does not provide an advantage but you could have a early job offer, if you get it.

    1st round (Boston): PST and 2 team cases. You can find information regarding PST everywhere in the internet and as mentioned everywhere it is tough and prepare well for it. Time management is key and make sure to answer all questions. The team cases were regular case interviews led by associates or senior associates from McK. Be proactive and enjoy the process.

    1st round decision: You get to hear within a week if you get through to 2nd round

    2nd round (Boston): 2 case interview with Senior Associates and/or Engagement Mangers and in a rare case with Principals. 45 mins long with PEI and case component. Not tricky cases if you have done enough practice. Be confident, be clear, be structured and do your math quickly and efficiently. For APD candidates they value your confidence and sharpness a lot.

    2nd round decision: You will get to hear within 3-5 days if you get through to final round

    Final round (New York): 3 interviews with Junior Partners (Principals), Partners and Directors (Senior Partners). Essentially exact same format as round 2 but unstructured. Hard to tell what they are looking for at this stage. Be yourself, enjoy the process, make it conversational and nail the math. Make sure your are confident and lively throughout this process. If you dont enjoy the interviews you will not enjoy the job.

    Final round decision: You will get to hear the same day if you make it. If you dont hear the same day MOSTLY you did not make it, but still a small possibility.

    Practice at least 50 cases before the interviews with people who know what the hell they are talking about and not random people

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    Nothing, amazing offer, took and ran with it

  3. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6+ weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in September 2014.

    Interview

    Applied as an advanced degree candidate online. The recruitment staff is extremely prompt and helpful; one of the best you will ever encounter. Made it to their final round - 3 interviews in a span of a few hours ( with 2 junior partners and a director)

    In hindsight, I would worry less about the cases (the interviewers help you along and hopefully if you get past the first few rounds, you are smart enough to figure things out eventually) and more about demonstrating that you are up to the job. This can certainly be done by providing good insights on the cases but everything else is just as important. Building a good rapport with everyone that you encounter (interviewer or not) is invaluable.

    Interview Questions

    • What is your career alternative to management consulting?   1 Answer
    • How do you think McKinsey & Company is different from other consulting firms?   1 Answer
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  5. Helpful (4)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    No Offer

    Interview

    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 Questions

  6. Helpful (10)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Accepted Offer

    Interview

    -- 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 Questions

    • - 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
  7. Helpful (3)  

    Associate Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (New York, NY).

    Interview

    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 Questions

    • 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
  8.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in April 2014.

    Interview

    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 Questions

  9.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (New York, NY) in April 2014.

    Interview

    First they scheduled a practice case over the phone, which was great. They said it didn't count and provided excellent feedback of how to improve. Then came the phone interview, where I did one case that took about 30 minutes. The next step was an in person interview, where I first did the written test (very comparable to the online version in content and difficulty), and then two cases (plus 10 minutes of behavioral questions) with relatively junior staff. Then a few weeks later, the final interview (same mix of behavioral questions and cases) with 3 much more senior people.

    Interview Questions

    • They were all fairly typical cases - no unexpected curves. It was really quite fun and a very collegial and pleasant atmosphere.   Answer Question
  10. Helpful (6)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience

    Interview

    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 Questions

    • 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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