McKinsey & Company Interview Questions in Chicago, IL

Updated Feb 26, 2015
34 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Business Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Chicago, IL
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in October 2013.

    Interview

    Took the PST on campus on a Monday, had first round interviews at the office that week consisting of 2 case interviews. Notified of final round interviews the following week, and flew to the office that Friday. Was told I had an offer a few hours after the final interviews (3 case interviews with Partners)

    Interview Questions

    • What is something that you have been thinking about recently? (Philosophically, something about what's going on in the world)   Answer Question
  2.  

    Business Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Chicago, IL
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4+ weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in October 2013.

    Interview

    I applied for my interviews through my school. I got notified within a week of an office visit for the first round which consisted of three one-hour interviews, followed by a written test. Within two business days, I was notified that I made the final round the following Friday. That consisted of another four one-hour interviews. All interviews had a half-hour experiential/behavioral portion and a half-hour case interview portion. I was notified by the end of the day of my final round of my offer.

    Overall, I was extremely pleased with the speed and clarity of the process. Everyone I met was modest and friendly!

    Interview Questions

    • What is not on your resume that I should know about you?   Answer Question
  3.  

    Associate Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in September 2013.

    Interview

    Round 1:
    - PST which you need to work quickly through
    - 2 breakout sessions that were sort of useful

    Round 2:
    - Regional interview with a lot of preparation material and advice provided by McKinsey.
    - The 2 interviewers are an associate and an engagement manager

    Interview Questions

    • Mostly covered in the other reviews.
      They don't seem to go as in depth as I imagined. I suppose they look more at problem solving skills than actual ideas.
       
      Answer Question
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  5. Helpful (2)  

    CSI Market Research Junior Specialist Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in March 2013.

    Interview

    Let me preface this by saying that I am not leaving this review simply out of spite for not receiving an offer. I understand that McKinsey is notoriously difficult to interview at. However, I have issue with the process itself and the blatant lack of professionalism exhibited by my interviewer.

    First, I applied for the position in January and received my first contact several weeks later. This is not uncommon for any hiring process so I thought nothing of it--especially for an organization that receives a deluge of resumes regularly. On contact, I scheduled an initial screener that took place the following week. Almost immediately following the phone call I was told that they'd like to speak with me more and run me through a case study interview--but first they'd like to have me talk with a "coach" prior to the interview. My HR contact (who was different from the first one that contacted me) was unable to get a coach to speak with me for two weeks. Upon speaking with the coach, they provided some good advice and wished me luck.

    Now, it was not the coach's prerogative to schedule the ACTUAL case study interview, but my HR contact. I did not hear back from them for a week. I, myself, had to contact them to see what the hold up was. After several more days waiting to hear back, she contacted me to say that she could not find anyone right now. Finally, an additional two weeks later, I had a phone call scheduled and performed my case interview.

    Again, this went well and I heard back soon after that I would be interviewing in person at the Chicago office. This contact was made from yet another HR person. Now I had talked to 3 HR people. More time passed with nothing scheduled. After ANOTHER 2 weeks I was told that no one in the Chicago office had time to interview me and a tele-interview would be performed. Setting that up took YET ANOTHER WEEK or so. Keep in mind that I started this process in January and it is now March.

    Finally the day of my interview and problem solving test. Obviously I was a little nervous considering the implications I heard surrounding passing/failing the PST. When I arrived in the office, my interview was first. They put me in a room with the teleconference computer. It took nearly 15 minutes before they could get it to work properly and I had to fix it myself. So, already 15 minutes have been lost to IT issues. Then came the interviewer. I understand that McKinsey is a busy company, but that does not excuse poor professionalism. My interviewer regularly checked the clock during my interview both while she was talking and while I was talking. As if that wasn't enough, she brought her phone in the room too and would check that while I was giving responses to her questions. The icing on the cake came when I was doing another case and SHE ANSWERED HER PHONE AND TOOK A CALL! I was floored that she'd interrupt my interview for a phone call. This is what the prestigious McKinsey has for employees?

    Needless to say I was already irked before heading to take my PST (which is a lesson in unrealistic difficulty itself).

    Please McKinsey--improve your internal processes!

    Interview Questions

    • The case studies are meant to be challenging. There really isn't a single question that was difficult, they all are to a degree.   Answer Question
  6. Helpful (1)  

    Summer Business Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Chicago, IL
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 6 weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in February 2013.

    Interview

    Used a contact to get in touch with 2-3 BAs before I sent in a resume. Met the recruiter at an info session. After being selected for 1st round, was given a "prep buddy" who was extremely helpful. There is a PST (problem solving test) first. It's tricky, but apparently just another data point. 1st round interview was at the office, which was very nice. Got a great vibe. Both interviewers were very, very pleasant. Standard behavioral + case format. McK does behavioral slightly differently with the PEI--personal experience interview. They dig very deep into your story. Cases were fairly straight-forward. Advanced to the final round and many people reached out offering help/advice. Final round consister of three 1-hr interviews. 1 was with a director, 2 with associate principals. Got an offer 30 minutes later.

    Interview Questions

    Negotiation

    No negotiation.

  7.  

    Consultant Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in January 2013.

    Interview

    In first place you have to take a problem solving test, in order to prepare for it they offer you in their website 3 test samples, those test samples are similar in style to the real one; my advice is only to do those or not even that much, when i went to the interview a lot of people who practiced a lot where more nervous than those who did not practice as much, expect every question to be different!
    After the problem solving test you have to do two interviews, one personal and one case study. In the first one you have to be yourself and be ready to every type of questions and in the case be ready to unexpected turns.
    Finally you have the final interview with a partner with same style to the previous questions.

    Interview Questions

    • in the case study when you have a really good answer, and they ask you for other possible answers, i find it difficult to quickly create another answer.   Answer Question
  8.  

    Summer Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in January 2013.

    Interview

    The recruiting process at the school was enjoyable and positive. They make a real effort to let the students know about the company and to get to know the people.
    There were two interviews, each 45 minutes long. The interviewers were pretty poker-faced, didn't help out too much, and were actually quite intimidating, and not very personable.
    They say that they're rooting for you and they're trying to help, but it really doesn't feel that way in the interview. If I didn't tell them exactly what they wanted, they would look upset and would not make any effort to push me in the right direction.

    Interview Questions

    • The first case was a little unusual, the second was pretty standard.   Answer Question
  9. Helpful (3)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Chicago, IL
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ monthsinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in October 2012.

    Interview

    I was a APD (Advanced Professional Degree) candidate. The interview consisted of three rounds:

    Round 1: You are invited to the McKinsey Problem Solving Test (PST) if you pass the resume screen. The test was difficult but doable if you practice with the sample tests online as well as 3rd-party simulation tests. After the PST we had two non-evaluative sessions of case practice. The decision to move you to the next round is based almost entirely on passing the PST.

    Round 2: Face-to-face interview with junior consultants. Two sessions, each covering a Personal Experience and a Case Study.

    Round 3: Similar to Round 2. Three sessions with PE + Case, but with more senior people (Partners, Associate Principals).

    Overall, I found the interview process intense but enjoyable. The interviewers whom I had encountered were all very respectful and pleasant to talk to. Given the reputation of the Firm, the bar for performance was definitely high. The best advice I can give is to be structured, both with the Personal Experience part and the Case Study part. You will get a lot of support and useful information between the different rounds; heed the information and prepare wisely. In addition, enjoy the process. Have the mindset of going to a nice seminar where people argue about ideas. That mindset certainly helped me relax and appear confident.

    Interview Questions

    • What factors would you consider in addressing this client's issues?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    You get a letter with the terms of offer and then you can sign it to accept the offer. Little room for negotiation.

  10.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    No Offer
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university – interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in August 2012.

    Interview

    The 1st round for Advanced degree holders begin with a one-hour written test (practice tests can be found in McKinsey site) and proceed with two hours of break out sessions where a small group practices cases with consultants. The key of passing the written test is really about managing your time effectively. I first tried questions that do not seem to require heavy math or thinking and then went back to the missing questions. Though I wans't so sure of the result, somehow I passed the interview and got an invitation for the 2nd round.

  11. Helpful (6)  

    Management Consultant Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ monthsinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in June 2012.

    Interview

    I went through the full interview process with McKinsey, total of 9 interviews spread out over several months, and two trips to Chicago. I was being considered as an industry hire, so this was not the traditional MBA path, though certainly similar.
    It was a great sequence of a first discussion with an HR person to introduce me to the process, followed by a first training case study (phone), a real case interview (phone), a case study training session (webcast), a trip to Chicago with three case interviews (2 live, one through video link), a second trip to Chicago with two case interviews and a written test, and then one final complementary phone interview.
    All the way, I met very interesting and capable people, the process itself was process grueling - training for case studies in parallel to a full time executive job is not easy - but also very motivating.

    Interview Questions

    • Paradoxically, the most difficult case for me was one which related to my own background (manufacturing) - because I felt so familiar with the context, I did not lay it the process out as clearly as I could have. The lesson is that even if the context is familiar, the same rigorous lay-out of the case study should be applied.   Answer Question

    Reasons for Declining

    I took an offer at another management consulting firm. Both offers were compelling, and it was a very difficult decision, but ultimately I felt a bit more in tune with a more generalist approach, while McKinsey was very interested in my vertical expertise.

See What McKinsey & Company Employees Are Saying

 Former Summer Associate in Chicago, IL

Pros: “Enables quick career advancement if you can stick with it for a couple years.” Full Review

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