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McKinsey & Company Management Consultant Interview Questions & Reviews

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Interview Experience 

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Interview Difficulty 

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Management Consultant Interview

Management Consultant
New York, NY

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in August 2011.

Interview Details – Consisted of an HR interview with a recruiter which went very well. The recruiter asked basic questions about me and my professional background. The next round was a phone interview with a consultant. It was a case study. The questions was relatively simple. Unfortunately my quantitative speed was not up to snuff.

Interview Question – The question was about an Australian beer company that had seen a loss in profits over a five year period. I was called in to help solve their profitability issue.   View Answer

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Difficult Interview

Management Consultant Interview

Management Consultant
San Francisco, CA

I applied through college or university and the process took 2 weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in January 2007.

Interview Details – Multiple rounds of case-based interviews. Each round was comprised of 2-5 one-on-one interviews with current McKinsey consultants, and each interview consisted of both fit/culture and business case questions.

With only a few exceptions, the case questions were based on actual client projects the consultants worked on. The cases ranged from telecom CRM strategy to ERP implementation valuation; all were tough in that the interviewers asked penetrating questions.

Interview Questions

  • If a newspaper wrote an article about your leadership style, what would the headline be?   View Answer
  • Business case: a client company installed an ERP system 3 years ago, spending a cumulative $100M to do so. The CEO asks you, was this a financially sound investment?   Answer Question

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Declined Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Management Consultant Interview

Management Consultant
London, England (UK)

I applied through other source and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in January 2008.

Interview Details – Two rounds of interviews meeting in total seven in the team. They might fly you out to their practice leader in Europe.

Interview Question – Lots of case questions.   Answer Question

Reason for Declining – Decided for a different career.

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Management Consultant Interview

Management Consultant

I applied through a recruiter and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in October 2011.

Interview Details – First screen interview was great! Very cordial recruiter and very professional. The second round "case study" interview was bizarre. I was spot on with my quantitative analysis and other aspects of the case study. However, the interviewer played the "break him down" down game with me. As a former attorney I was not easily thrown off by the interviewer's attempts to get under my skin. And the more calm I remained, the more abrasive the interviewer became. Needless to say, despite my accuracy and professional demeanor, it was a no go according to her. Can't say I am terribly disappointed.

Interview Question – How much do you weigh   View Answer

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No Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Management Consultant Interview

Management Consultant

I applied online and the process took 4 weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in November 2010.

Interview Details – Day 0: Attend campus recruiting session. Submit application to APD program (Advance Professional Degree- ie everything above a bachelors but not MBA).
Day 7(ish): Show up to local McKinsey office and take written test. 40-some questions in 40 minutes. All are case-based, lots of reading, no one ever finishes the whole thing. Then do three "practice" cases in teams of four with different consultants.
Day 8-9: Hear back and schedule 2nd round. Get contacted by "buddy" who answers question on process and lifestyle.
Day 12: Get contacted by partner in Cleveland office, get asked to consider putting Cleveland as top pick (hint, hint: it'll make you more likely to get an offer).
Day 13: Put San Francisco as top offer. Attend case workshop on campus.
Day 18(or so): 2nd round interview in local office. 3-4 case interviews 1-on-1 with different consultants/associates. Great conversation, interesting people.
Day 18-19: Hear back and schedule 3rd round in San Francisco.
Day 30?: Fly to SF, have dinner with non-interviewing consultants (most new and APD) in private room at restaurant. Everyone's friendly, helpful and encouraging.
Day 31(?): 3 1-on-1 with associates and a partner. Flub third interview, make math interview in 2nd one, nail 1st one. Lunch with other candidates (half are really cool and nice, half are giant tools).
Day 32: Fly home, get a bad call.

Overall I was impressed with the professionalism and courtesy shown to me at every stage. Frankly, as my first real interview I had no expectations of advancing and was happy to get a free trip to San Francisco, talk to some smart people, and learn a lot about business. Throw in the invaluable interview-mentoring (that helped me nail my interviews at a competing firm) and I see no downside to at least applying.

A few things stood out, especially after interviewing elsewhere. First, the almost OCD attention to detail. In an actual case, there's getting things right and there's getting things precise. McK has a reputation for automatically knocking candidates that make a quant error oof any magnitude. In my case, maybe it was enough (I multiplied by 2/3 instead of 3/2); but ultimately other firms are more concerned about seeing the nature of the problem and coming up with creative solutions. I clearly was good at math in all my other interviews, but that one mistake cost me. When the interviewer called to relay the bad news, he told me the vote was 2-to-1 for but that the math error cost me the spot, then he said it was a ridiculous reason to not hire me.

Second, the endless march of bureaucracy in hiring. I mean look at that schedule. An in-office test, practice sessions, three rounds of interviews. It takes a ton of time and puts some strain on you while waiting/prepping. McK needs to work on streamlining their process: at my current firm students take the test online, do the first round within a week, and then three days later do an in-office final with a decision by that night. Maybe it's the cache of McK, but for a firm in the business of finding efficiency, the process could use some.

Interview Question – What should a mid-tier European coffee firm do with the emergence of low-cost and luxury brands?   View Answer

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No Offer

Neutral Experience

Average Interview

Management Consultant Interview

Management Consultant

I applied online and the process took a day - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in October 2009.

Interview Details – The interview process was enjoyable. The consultants were friendly, professional, however, I do not think they were particularly looking to hire at the time. The office seemed to be in the midst of several transitions at that time, and so perhaps staff recruitment was not high on the priorities. The consultants and I connected afterward and they are very nice people.

Interview Questions

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Management Consultant Interview

Management Consultant

I applied through college or university and the process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in November 2007.

Interview Details – McKinsey's interview process is well structured and in general consists of multiple rounds of phone and 1:1 interviews. Non-MBA campus recruiting also involves a written test (multiple choice) that tests candidates' general business understanding and analytical skills. 1st round of 1:1 interviews are either on campus or in a McKinsey office that's close to the candidate's location. 2nd/final round interviews are with the specific offices that candidates are interested in joining. Each round of interviews involves 3-4 half-hour interviews with consultants at various tenure (more likely with partners in 2nd round). Typical 1:1 interview has 3 components: experience, case, and Q&A. There are plenty of information on McKinsey's website and other job boards about how to prepare for case interviews.

Interview Question – Please state a recent challenge that you've had in working with people and how you dealt with it   Answer Question

Negotiation Details – Offers are rarely negotiable.

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Accepted Offer

Positive Experience

Difficult Interview

Management Consultant Interview

Management Consultant

The process took 2 days - interviewed at McKinsey & Company in October 2007.

Interview Details – - Resume screening process: need to come from target school with at least 3.5 GPA.
A good resume should highlight academic achievement, professional achievement, and leadership with roughly equal weight

- Pre-selection process: 60 minute written test consisting of roughly 30 questions of both reasoning, and quantitative skills in the form of business case. Very time constrained, a bit more difficult in terms of analysis than GRE or GMAT.

- First round: two case interviews with questions ranging from government turnaround and a company losing profits
Structure of these case interviews is: 45 min each.
first 15 minutes spent on behavioral/fit/leadership questions.

- 2nd round: three case interviews, with more or less the same structure

Then offer came two days later.

Interview Questions

  • A city mayor hires you as a consultant, his city population is declining. Describe your preparation for the analysis, the analysis, and approach.   Answer Question
  • A ski resort profit is declining. They hired you to turn around the company.   View Answer

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