Interviewed at McKinsey & Company
Interview Details – about a total of 5 interviews. 3 phone, 1 in person (in chicago), and 1 final round in person in San Francisco.
Interview Question – the final case questions were a little tougher. however. I must say that mckinsey really does try to help you succeed (they help you practice etc...) Answer Question
I applied through a recruiter and the process took 5+ weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in September 2013.
Interview Details – I was contacted by a recruiter on August 16th, 2013, who had screened my resume in advance of a hiring conference. The recruiter scheduled a 30 minute interview with me for the hiring conference, conducted on August 23rd, 2013. At this point, I had one week to learn as much as I could about every company that requested an interview with me.
The interview seemed to go well; it was my first interview of the day and my first interview since 1995.
I then received an e-mail requesting a follow up phone conversation for August 29th, 2013. This was approximately an eight minute conversation covering the entire hiring process.
Following the phone conversation, I received an e-mail with four links that were meant to prepare me for the case interviews.
I was scheduled a mentoring session, which was a non-evaluated phone case coaching with immediate feedback. My case coaching was September 16, 2013. I was told to that I should focus on taking a full minute to answer each question, that while my answers were good, I was doing myself a disservice by immediately answering. I was also cautioned on other common mistakes candidates make, specifically, answer the question that is being asked, don't read into the questions.
At the same time my mentoring session was scheduled, my evaluated phone case interviews was scheduled, which was September 24, 2013; giving me another week to practice on my own. For practice, I worked through the problem solving tests, the case studies on the McKinsey & Company webpage, and the videos on the McKinsey & Company webpage. I then watched several hours of you tube videos giving pointers on how to conduct case interviews.
My recommendation, if you are only interviewing with McKinsey & Company, do not branch out and study other case interview processes. McKinsey & Company's case interview is very structured, and you do not need to answer a question until it is asked. I think looking back, if I had only relied on the preparation that McKinsey & Company provided me, I would have done much better.
Second, if you can't hear your case interviewer on the phone, and you miss several key words, let them know! I summarized what I heard, but I seemed to miss a key piece of information, which had to be clarified for me. I think in hindsight, it would have been better to say, I am having trouble hearing you, and would you please repeat what you have just said.
Third, answer ONLY the question you are asked. If you start thinking through (talking about) a process that does not directly impact the problem statement, you will seem like you do not understand the problem. This is most likely why McKinsey & Company recommends you circle the actual problem statement and make sure that each answer in your interview refers back to the actual problem statement.
I was then scheduled for my case interview feedback for September 27th, 2013. Unfortunately, at this point I was informed that I would not be moving along the interview process with McKinsey & Company. I was asked if I would like specific feedback, and I eagerly agreed. The feedback is provided in my recommendations above. I asked if there was a minimum wait time before I could re-apply, and I was told McKinsey & Company recommended waiting 18-months. Additionally, during that time, I was encouraged to continue to grow.
Everyone I met and spoke with at McKinsey & Company was OUTSTANDING. They were cheerful, enthusiastic, upbeat, well spoken, amazing people. Truly this company would be a wonderful place to have a career. Their interview process is widely regarded as the most difficult in the country for several years running. While my past experience afforded me the opportunity to interview with McKinsey & Company, not being able to jump right into an evaluated case study on the phone seemed to be an immediate disqualifying factor.
The interesting irony here is that before McKinsey & Company contacted me and requested an interview, I had never thought about management consulting. Now, I think this could be an amazing career that is well suited to my personality and proven track record. So, while I was not afforded the opportunity to move on and actually meet one of the McKinsey & Company teams, who could ultimately make the decision to hire me, I have now applied to three other management consulting firms. I am hopeful, that this process has prepared me better for what lies ahead.
Interview Question – The questions were actually incredibly easy. The most difficult part was believing that they only wanted the answer to what they were asking. View Answer
Very Difficult Interview
The process took 2 months - interviewed at McKinsey & Company.
Interview Details – Extremely complex and elongated interview process. Consisted of 2 phone interviews, 6 in-person interviews (across multiple locations), multiple rounds of feedback, and a problem solving test (akin to the GMAT). The interviews were split between case studies and personal experience, with equal importance on each segment.
Interview Question – There are some challenging case studies during the interview process. Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No need to negotiate - compensation & benefits were very good.
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