I applied online and interviewed at McKinsey & Company.
Interview Details – I submitted an application online (resume, cover letter, and 1 short essay question). I got invited for a phone interview and found out results the next week.
Interview Question – Company A and B sold the same product at different prices and at sold a different number of units- what is the percent difference b/n the profits of the two. I was also asked "What was your Aha moment for this experience?" when asked about what experience on my resume I found the most enlightening. View Answer
Interviewed at McKinsey & Company
Interview Details – Was a straightforward interview and application process. Standard for consulting and MBB, and human resources was active in reaching out and scheduling an interview date. Case studies were also standard sizing and fit questions.
Interview Question – A case study that spanned time and space. Answer Question
I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company.
Interview Details – Mckinsey has a notorious reputation for its grueling interview process. I say it's all relative. Understand the candidate pool from which they chose is highly selective and without a doubt very intelligent. Just because you have graduated from Harvard (or any other Ivy) does not make you a shoe-in, and just because you have never attended one does not disqualify you either. I did not attend an Ivy and was hired as an Engagement Manager, my fiance graduated from Harvard and was not (however she was hired by The Boston Consulting Group). The interview process is as much an endurance test (to see how you perform under duress and maintain an effective thought process) and as a way to see how well you can execute and convey a well structured thought process. That thought process has to be both specific to the case without deviating to much on minor details, yet broad enough to account for any unexpected curve balls. The latter is where I have seen even the brightest individuals fail. The end product is the major concern especially with case studies. It is so easy to go off on a tangent with specifics (of course I only learned this after having received feed back from the interviewers - they commended me on my ability of not straying while still taking into account particulars and I quote "We can't give you any improvement advice; please continue in the same manner in the final round"). Anxiety is a major factor in the interview process... keep a structure and actively listen during case studies as keywords will make or break you from proceeding with the interview process. Mckinsey is also very thorough when selecting a candidate as they will comb through your entire resume to ensure it is not over inflated - know it inside and out and be able to go into a lot of detail. They also what to make sure that you "fit" into their corporate culture so a multitude or personality gauged questions/ scenarios are to be expected all through out the process. Keep good and effective notes because the last thing you want is a simple miscalculation to disqualify you (as in the case of my fiance and she holds a Ph.D in Econometrics). Their is no secret to being hired. You’ll be judged less on specific answers to case questions than on the method by which you arrived at them. In other words, you’ll be judged on how you think. I should also point out that creativity plays as large of a role as is being analytical. They want someone who can combine an intellectual and creative approach to problem solving with practical advice on how to put the chosen solution in place.
Interview Question – It was long and arduous but the case studies do not set you up for failure - they are a gateway to see your approach to any number of circumstances to a particular case. The keyword being approach. Answer Question
I applied through a staffing agency and the process took 3 days - interviewed at McKinsey & Company.
Interview Details – Strict interview process with 2-3 rounds with several individuals; given research case examples to see how you will research, analyze, and present your findings.
Interview Question – What would you do in a situation when two directors from different teams are asking you for research two different topics at the same time for a very important client meeting? Answer Question
I applied online and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in November 2013.
Interview Details – Standard APD process, applied to Insight made finalist (ie had phone interveiw) but did not make the final cut (they told me they had 60 equally qualified and started choosing based on Ivy status). Had PST which was admittedly more vague than the practice tests are online. Usually I could narrow down to 1 or 2 responses but the real PST has many questions which I had to guess among 3 or more responses. Group interviews were standard with feedback mostly consisting of "go deeper in thought connections" and "be client/case specific." 2nd round interview was held in Phili. Nice office, a little less structured than prevouisly in regards to general directions given once inside the office. Mostly, hung around with other candidates for 15 minutes before interviews started. 1st inteview went fine, had a fellow APD interview me and he suggested to be calm in second interview. 2nd interview was a lot harder and the MBA didn't seem to like my flow of thought. Had me change my structure 1, 2, 3 to go in 3, 2, 1 order and kept giving me responses like "I do have information on that but lets save it for later." In the end no offer.
Interview Question – Had me change my structure 1, 2, 3 to go in 3, 2, 1 order and kept giving me responses like "I do have information on that but lets save it for later." In the end no offer. Answer Question
Very Difficult Interview
I applied through college or university and the process took a day - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in November 2013.
Interview Details – An extremely rigorous process. First was a case interview with market-sizing, followed by an in-depth behavioral interview. Next was another case interview with tricky math to be solved, followed by more behavioral questions. Lastly, we took a 1-hour text that focused on our math and problem-solving skills. The math wasn't particularly hard, it was just keeping track of the sheer volume of numbers and figures and data manipulations that became overwhelming. Much harder than the SAT or GMAT math sections, by far.
Interview Question – In the behavioral section, it's not enough to have just one story about when you faced a difficult task, or when you overcame an obstacle, etc. You should have multiple stories. Answer Question
I applied through college or university and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company.
Interview Details – the process took three weeks. PST, 2 interviews in round 2, 3 interviews in the final round. The cases were not difficult, personal part is way more important than you may think it is. Overall the process is not difficult, you just must excel at a lot of small details and be confident.
Interview Question – what do you do if you don't get a job today? Answer Question
Negotiation Details – None
I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company.
Interview Details – PST, 2 1-hour on-campus interviews, 3 45 minute in-office interviews
Interview Question – PEI in general can be tricky 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
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