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McKinsey & Company Interview Questions & Reviews

Updated Jul 21, 2014
All Interviews Received Offers

Getting an Interview  

39%
31%
11%

Interview Experience  

69%
20%
9%

Interview Difficulty  

Average Difficulty
725 candidate interviews
Relevance Date Difficulty
in
14 people found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Easy Interview

Implementation Coach Interview

Implementation Coach
San Diego, CA

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


No Offer

Negative Experience

Very Difficult Interview

Business Analyst Interview

Business Analyst
Austin, TX

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in September 2013.

Interview Details – I went through a first-round interview with McKinsey. They reached out to me — before that I hadn't heard of them. Though the initial recruitment was appealing, and everyone was very friendly, some of the people I met were just off-putting. One of the representatives was from the university that they were recruiting at (a big state school), and yet he couldn't stop mentioning Harvard.

Interview Question – They wanted very specific details during the behavioral about your life: what did you do then, how did that person react (they seemed to want the exact words they said). They were clearly trying to catch anybody who had inflated their resume.   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Associate Interview

Associate

Interviewed at McKinsey & Company

Interview Details – 2 first round, 3 final round. All PEI/Case

Interview Question – retail case on product mix allocation   Answer Question


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Associate Consultant Interview

Associate Consultant
Hanover, NH

I applied through college or university and the process took 1+ week - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in October 2013.

Interview Details – McKinsey & Co recruited from my college. After being accepted for an interview, I was offered a number of interview prep opportunities - a conference call phone session with other applicants reviewing the process and a case, an in person group case work through with a representative, and a 30 min online Q&A session. We also had to take a written business skills test that is McKinsey-specific the night before the exam for an hour (it seemed easier than the online samples). The first round interview itself was two 45-min separate interviews with a fit scenario (about overcoming challenges, working with difficult people) and a case each. One of my interviewers prodded at my example, asking things like "what did you say?" to get more detail; the other gave much less reaction.

Interview Question – One of the cases involved a graph that was given to me half-way through and was a bit complex - it also required that we refer back to numbers given at the very beginning of the case to calculate the correct outcomes. Be aware!   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Summer Business Analyst Interview

Summer Business Analyst

Interviewed at McKinsey & Company

Interview Details – Everyone was very nice. Interview consisted of the test and two case studies. Final round was with MD.

Interview Question – Case studies are the most difficult. Can't really prepare besides a lot of practice   Answer Question


No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Associate Consultant Interview

Associate Consultant
New York, NY

I applied online and the process took 2 months - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in October 2013.

Interview Details – APD hiring process: 3 rounds of interviews. Made it to the final round and was not extended an offer. Overall, I had very pleasant experiences with HR, Consultants, EMs ... unfortunately, I found the Partners and Directors I met to be fairly rude.

Interview Question – I don't think any of the questions were all that difficult. I could have done a better job with my summary and recommendation.   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Business Analyst Interview

Business Analyst

I applied through college or university and the process took 5 weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in September 2013.

Interview Details – '0th round': 1-hour pencil and paper problem solving test featuring questions on three mock business issues. The practice tests on McKinsey's site are very similar to the real deal.

1st round interview: 2 'double' interviews: a 'Personal Experience Interview' thoroughly exploring an example of demonstrated leadership followed immediately by an interviewer-led case interview.

2nd round interview: 3 'double' interviews with senior members of the office.

Interview Question – Be prepared to solve business problems in industries you know nothing about. You aren't expected to know about them, either; instead, you're expected to quickly recognize what you need to find out.   Answer Question


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Consultant Interview

Consultant
Los Angeles, CA

I applied through other source and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in September 2013.

Interview Details – I was referred to McKinsey as a PhD student from a non-target school and was invited to the round one interview (IWIA). The IWIA consisted of the problem-solving test and two group cases. The second round interview consisted of two one-on-one cases.

Interview Question – A frequent flyer program is concerned about the entrant of a low-cost airline into the US market. What should they do?   Answer Question


1 person found this helpful

No Offer

Positive Experience

Average Interview

Associate Consultant Interview

Associate Consultant
San Francisco, CA

I applied online and the process took 3 weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in September 2013.

Interview Details – First round: Problem-solving test (PST). One will need to prepare for this. 2nd rd: 2 cases (interviewer led) with a different interviewer for each, with part of a half-hour set aside for 2 experience interviews. There are practice PST's online, videos, and they have a coaching session and buddy system if you get to the 2nd rd.

2nd rd cases were (paraphrased):
-Broadband access to all of Australia with 90% of population already with access. What is the right combination of technologies to give the final 10% access over the next 8-10yrs?
-Southeast Asian province school system with attendance probs. What factors to look at as to why that may be addressed?
Experience interview q's:
-Time you had a difficult time in a group, and how addressed?
-Time you had disagreement at work or in group, and how resolved?

Interview Question – Both experience interview q's. As a physician, working in a hierarchical system, these gave me little chance to shine. Not to mention I had prepared more for q's along the lines of: time you face a challenge, and how you worked it out, etc. It's hard to positively spin a q to show positive characteristics like how did you resolve a disagreement in a group, when your answer is, "I had to shut my mouth and deal with it." Also, I blew the broadband case. Couldn't come up with a good structure.   View Answer


No Offer

Neutral Experience

Director of Human Resources Interview

Director of Human Resources

Interviewed at McKinsey & Company

Interview Details – nine interviewers, members of the human resources team, members of the office I'd work in and consultants I'd partner with

Interview Question – Tell me about a time when something you planned fell apart?   Answer Question

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3 people found this helpful

 Former Business Analyst in San Francisco, CA

Pros: “When one leaves, the name opens doors.” Full Review

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