McKinsey & Company Associate Interview Questions

Updated Sep 1, 2015
359 Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer

    Interview

    first round and second round very professional, last round depends on the style of the office, can vary a lot

  2. Helpful (2)  

    Summer Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Chicago, IL
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in February 2014.

    Interview

    Started with info session for summer internships for APD's (advanced professional degrees, e.g. PhD, MD, JD etc, but not MBA) on campus late November-early December. Applied for the summer internship and got invited to 1st round, IWIA, at the local office which involved the PST (Problem Solving Test) and 2 group interviews. PST was 26 questions that you had to answer in 60 mins. Lots of info available about it online. We were told that we will just be evaluated for the PST and that group interviews are for practice purposes. However, once I passed the PST, I was assigned a buddy and she was able to provide me w/ feedback from those sessions, and you can ask them for more details. The results were given 2 days after the test and I was shortly invited to 2nd round interview at the regional office (e.g. Chicago for all midwest locations). It was ~3 weeks between the 1st and 2nd rounds and they shared the contact info of everyone who passed so we could practice together. Also, at this point, you can finalize your office selection (up to 8 offices). They also held multiple workshop through Cisco webex. One was a group case interview and there were some where different offices tried to have you choose them in your preferences. You can also ask for a phone interview with your buddy. Sadly, my buddy did not do one with me. Round 2 was two 1-hour interviews. 15 mins personal experience (PEI) where they ask you questions, sometimes related to your CV. Do check their website, b/c they ask you questions mainly from 3 categories: achievements, leadership, and challenges. You can easily find most of the questions on their own website and other places online and it's good to have 3-4 stories for each category. Then, you spend ~30 min on an interviewer-led case. Again, detailed info available online. At the end, if you have time, you can spend 10-15 asking questions from them. You should know that these last mins are as important as the rest of the interview. The only negative part of my experience was how much I needed to wait to get the response for the 2nd round and at the end I was not passed to 3rd round. We were told that we should get the results anytime within the 2 weeks after the interview. All my friends got their results (positive or negative) 1-2 days after the interview. However, in my case, they missed their own deadline and finally I had to email the recruiter for the results. One of my interviewers called me 3 days after that. Be sure to ask them for detailed feedback in case you are applying to other firms. The feedback you receive for round 2 is the most valuable. Finally, we were also told during the info sessions that 3rd round is just like 2nd round but with 3 cases as opposed to 2 and with more senior people (principals, partners, or directors) and would be at one of the offices you chose. For me most of the experience was positive. Their HR is a force to be reckoned with. They make you feel like a part of them as you go through the process. The only negative experience for me was to wait more than 2 weeks for a rejection. However, all the consultants were very nice and especially my interviewer who returned to me was very helpful. I feel like you learn a lot just going through the interview process. However, if you get rejected once, they recommend that you at least wait 18 months before reapplying.

    Interview Questions

    • Nothing was unexpected. Most info, especially for PEI, is available online.   Answer Question
  3.  

    Summer Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company.

    Interview

    five rounds of back to back case interviews on superday; each interview lasts one hour, 45 min case and 15 fit questions; have to be mentally and physically prepared

    Interview Questions

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  5.  

    Summer Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer

    Application

    I applied online. The process took a week. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company.

    Interview

    Mckinsey first round: PST+ 2 interviews. In each interview for the behavior part I was asked to tell two stories, e.g. leadership, problem solving, 2 personal impact stories out of academic world (I work toward an engineering PhD). In each interview there was also a interviewer-led case.

    Interview Questions

    • In my first case interview, interviewer kept challenging me about a brunch of analysis that I didn't think to be very important (just put down to be thorough)   Answer Question
  6. Helpful (7)  

    Associate Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in January 2014.

    Interview

    Submitted resume through my school's job portal. Interviewed with McKinsey in January. Getting your resume shortlisted for the onsite interview is considered as round 1. I interviewed with them in Chicago in January. It's an associate role for APD (Advaned Professional Degree) holders. The interview had 2 parts: Problem Solving Test (PST) and 2 Group Case interview workshops. The math test involved calculations and time management is the key here. You cannot solve all 26 questions in the PST in the given time. Do not get stuck on any one question. I had 3 sets and I solved 16 questions confidently. After this, we were divided into teams of 4 each and were assigned a Mckinsey associate to solve a case. We were taken into small conference rooms and after introductions, the associate explained us the case. We were given 2 sets of exhibits, one at the start of the case and another at the middle. Each of us was cold called to answer one question per head pertaining to the case. The question can be a mathematical calculation or "what would you suggest the management in this scenario" type questions. For the second case workshop, I was put into another team and we had a different associate this time. The process remained pretty much the same. Practice cases as much as you can, learn a few frameworks. The conference rooms are small and the associate can look into your paper work to see how you are drawing/breaking down information on the case. From my observation, they love it if you can clearly represent the information on the case in clear pattern on your notes. When they ask you to say your observation on the exhibits, do not say what's clearly visible. Tell them something that's hidden in the exhibit but can be seen with a deeper observation.

    Interview Questions

    • None. Practice cases as much as you can. Prepare CAT (Common Admission Test) /GMAT Data interpretation questions and speed math. CAT is conducted in India for admission into IIMs.   Answer Question
  7.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer

    Interview

    First round test, second round interview

    Interview Questions

  8. Helpful (3)  

    Summer Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Chicago, IL
    Declined Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in January 2014.

    Interview

    I went through on-campus recruiting at business school (MBA level). Interactions began in October and interviews were held in late January. Interactions with the firm started with a presentation on campus and eventually turned into one-on-one emails and phone calls. The interview process consisted of two rounds, held just a few days apart. The first round consisted of two 50-minute interviews. Each first-round interview consisted of 15 minutes of personal experience discussion, 30 minutes of a business case, and 5 minutes of questions. Each interview was administered by someone who had been at McKinsey for at least 2 years (senior Associate or Engagement Manager). The second round consisted of three interviews in the same format as that of the first round interviews. These three interviews were held with employees who had been with McKinsey at least six years (Associate Principals or Principals, i.e. partners). The decision was given in the evening of the same day as the second round interviews.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about a time you challenged yourself. (I outlined my story.) What were the three biggest challenges for you? (I listed them). Why were they challenges? (I answered.) Okay, that story sounds like it'll work. Let's begin.   Answer Question
  9.  

    Summer Associate (Management Consultant) Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 days. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in January 2014.

    Interview

    I spent several weeks networking with many people at McKinsey, getting to know the culture, the work-life balance, project placement, etc before I even submitted my application. After I received the interview invitation, I spent several additional weeks running cases with some of the people I had previously met, which helped me feel much more comfortable about the interview process. During the first round of interviews, they had me meet with 2 different people. One was a former associate and one was a current engagement manager. Each interview consisted of an indepth discussion about 1 job related experience I have had. They then went into a case, which had me develop strategies for the companies presented.

    Interview Questions

    • The case used the iPad and made the exhibits interactive. It was very interesting, but it threw me for a loop, because of the way that the information was laid out.   Answer Question
  10. Helpful (2)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Atlanta, GA
    No Offer

    Interview

    I applied as an advanced degree holder so the first round is PST test plus a group session. The second round comprises two one-to-one interviews (15 mins fit and 30 mins case discussion). After that, it comes to the final round, which includes three interviews given by partners.

    Interview Questions

    • A U.S-based jeans manufacturer is facing declining profits. Its profitability has been lagging behind its competitors. The cost has gone up a lot. Its CEO has come to you for advices.   Answer Question
  11.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company.

    Interview

    Online application

    Interview Questions

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