McKinsey & Company Interview Questions

Updated Apr 22, 2015
890 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 daysinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (Boston, MA) in November 2008.

    Interview

    Intense!
    There is a lot of prep for these interviews, bec they include cases. I spent months preparing with my friends, reviewing cases together and memorizing frameworks.
    First, there is a written skills test they give to many candidates, then they do large group cases together (which they say don't count towards their decision, but I got the feeling they did). Then, a very small group of those people are invited for one on one interviews at their offices at a later date. I was invited to that. The interview was with three different (male) consultants. They were mostly friendly, but the cases were tough. I did not get a call back to the next round.

    Interview Questions

    • The cases. I don't remember the specifics, but they were tough, all related to healthcare (which is not my area of expertise)   Answer Question
    • Tell me about yourself   1 Answer
  2. Helpful (2)  

    Senior Business Analyst Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a weekinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in June 2007.

    Interview

    Well, I was given the offer and I accepted, so that says that I liked it.

    I think it was the standard consulting process. 7x ~45 min interviews (1 on the phone, 2x 1st round in-person, 4x 2nd round in-person). 5 min hi/chit chat, 30 min case, 15 min personality.

    There is now a written portion up front, it wasn't there when I interviewed.

    One last thing is that they did an online (Webex) and phone prep interview before my 1st rounds, i.e. after my first phone interview, to further prep me. These were incredibly useful. Don't know if they do it for everyone.

    Interview Questions

    • Interviewer (first question, without looking at the resume): So... what should I know about you?   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    No negotiations.

    Look at it this way: The things you would negotiate I guess are:
    1. Compensation
    2. Location
    3. What else? Nada

    On #1, they have set tiers and starting salaries, so not much going on there.
    On #2, you are applying for a position in an office or group of offices, so that is already taken care of.

    Other than that, the perks are decided by the office leaders, so you can't say: "Hey, give me a better computer" or "Pay for my parking".

    There is probably some negotiations at the top level, i.e. if you are coming in as a partner, etc. But at the foot soldier level, you take what is given to you.

  3. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (London, England (UK)) in December 2008.

    Interview

    Thorough. McKinsey wants to know how you think and the case interviews are a way to simulate that. I was very well prepared - I'd recommend "Case in Point" by Marc Cosentino. Cases are what they are - tricky to generalize about. I think you need to practice a lot - which I did - but also practice with someone good - which I'm not sure I did. I practiced with friends like me, and they didn't really know about the process, so the practice wasn't that much like the interview. Anyway, I got tripped up by the math on one question, and by getting stressed I didn't help myself. The PEIs were fine for me - I just was myself and had prepared some experiences (but sounded relaxed and not like I was reading some speech). It was a conversation. I tightened up a bit in the case, but that's expected.

    Interview Questions

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  5. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took a dayinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in February 2009.

    Interview

    Overall, it was a pleasant process. The case interview is a very important part of the overall interview. You need to prepare very well for it. I would suggest that interview candidates practice with other people before the real interview. And it is better to apply multiple similar companies to get some exposures to this type of interview. It is also important to prepare for experience interview.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe a situation in which you gives personal impacts.   Answer Question
  6.  

    Senior Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Los Angeles, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 5+ weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (Los Angeles, CA) in May 2007.

    Interview

    These guys are professionals. They were 100% on top of things throughout the whole process - nothing ever slipped through the cracks. As for the interviews themselves, they were difficult b/c McKinsey gives a case interview and a fit/experience interview in which they are looking for certain evidence that you'll fit in the firm. The cases were too bad, but they definitely had a lot of numbers - dexterity with math is a must. And they push on the fit/experience part just as hard for evidence of accomplishment and leadership.

    Interview Questions

    • It was a question about offer rates and close rates for a sales force in dealing with customers   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    No - there is really no negotiating b/c their compensation is set at offer time and then varies to peers only after performance is assessed.

  7. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 3 weeksinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in January 2009.

    Interview

    first round consisted of 3 interviews from the firm, second round 3 interviews, and final interview 4 interviews. extremely professional with a mix of fit + case interviews. the process was seamlessly planned and the travel (interviewed at a remote office) was well arranged. interviewers were nice and thoughtful although the case interview part required rigorous intellect capacity. number crunching case was extremely difficult as it required analytical thinking and also questions such as "what else?" was challenging as i had to pick my brains a lot.

    Interview Questions

    • how many airplanes takes off from JFK a day? walk me through your logic.   2 Answers
  8.  

    Business Analyst Interview

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

    Application

    The process took a dayinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in January 2008.

    Interview

    there are two rounds of interviews. first round consists of 3 interviews with non-Partners. second round consists of 3 interviews with Partners. both rounds consist of case studies which may be focused on business problems or logic (brain-teaser type). Interviewers do not expect you to solve the problem, instead they focus on the structure of your answer

    Interview Questions

    • how many golf balls fit in an airplane   29 Answers
  9. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 2 daysinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (San Francisco, CA) in February 2007.

    Interview

    The interview process is almost entirely case-based. The case is the most important part of the interview. An interview will be asked to discuss a theoretical study that McKinsey is to undertake - an interviewee will need to be able to thoughtfully structure a problem and structure an approach to solving each of the questions asked.

    Negotiation

    There is no negotiation

  10.  

    Research Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Sydney (Australia)
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at McKinsey & Company (Sydney (Australia)) in August 2007.

    Interview

    In total I was interviewed by 11 different people over the period of about 2 months. Interviewers consisted of junior staff and firm Directors. I had three seperate interview dates which were mostly unstructured interviews. For two of the interviews I undertook worksample tasks.

    Interview Questions

    • Difficult question on how to use statistics to determine how a compan should change its supply model   1 Answer
  11.  

    Business Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took a dayinterviewed at McKinsey & Company in June 2008.

    Interview

    I was called two weeks prior and asked to schedule for a paper based skills test in English. I was unsure as to the position that was being tested for. I had not previously formally applied, but had sent my resume to a friend who was worked in another office at the time. When I arrived I was told to wait on the couch in the front lobby. A woman came out promptly at 9am and escorted us into a conference room. She passed out the tests and several sheets of scratch paper and pens. We were told that we had a half hour for the test and at the end, all materials were to be returned. She then left.

    The test consisted of three case studies with 25-30 multiple choice questions. A lot of reading and details. The questions tested inference and the ability to synthesize and interpret financial situations and values based on graphs with limited data and information presented in the text. My guess is that the position was going to have a strong financial emphasis.

    There were three other applicants. At the end of the time limit, the woman returned, collected our materials and said that we would be contacted if the company felt it valuable to pursue further discussions with us as potential candidates.

    I didn't hear back and so called about a week later. I was told very kindly that the company was not interested in continuing my application process at this time.

    It was a nerve racking 30 min and a good chance to find out what I don't know. Probably not as difficult for someone with extensive business experience, though the time pressure was certainly an issue.

    Interview Questions

    • Company A is a luxury boat manufacturer and is debating offering a financing option to customers in order to stimulate sales. (From here it gave a brief overview and some financial data and then asked you to infer based on this data whether this would be a sound decision and what the returns expected might be given different scenarios.   1 Answer

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