McKinsey & Company Associate Consultant Interview Questions | Glassdoor

McKinsey & Company Associate Consultant Interview Questions

Interviews at McKinsey & Company

71 Interview Reviews

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Associate Consultant Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Hanover, NH
No Offer
Positive Experience
Average Interview

Application

I applied through college or university. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Hanover, NH) in October 2013.

Interview

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 Questions

  • 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

Other Interview Reviews for McKinsey & Company

  1.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (New York, NY) in October 2013.

    Interview

    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 Questions

    • 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

  2. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (San Francisco, CA) in August 2013.

    Interview

    I applied online for the associate consultant position as an advanced degree in life sciences. I went to the first round PST and did not pass the test.

    Interview Questions

    • Definitely practice as much as possible and make sure to budget your time accordingly!   Answer Question
  3. Helpful (4)  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Washington, DC) in February 2012.

    Interview

    The day began with an hour-long multiple choice quantitative exam. The exam is standardized, and is used heavily as a screening process. It was a difficult exam, requiring full use of the time.

    Following the exam, we had a small break prior to starting two consecutive group interviews. Each interview had three applicants and one associate. Associates read a case out loud and sometimes asked us to read a section of the case on our own, and asked applicants to work through the case out loud. Some aspects required calculations.

    I was displeased by the quantitative skills exam, and pleased with the group interview format. Admittedly, my perspective is biased, as my current strength lies in the latter, not the former. Nonetheless, there are skills that employees can learn on the job, with quantitative skills being one of them. Many applicants don't have a financial background, yet can nonetheless offer great skills. I am a physician with clinical experience, significant publications in the biomedical literature, completing a second residency, and obtaining master degrees in public health and business administration.

    To date, I've completed advanced quantitative courses successfully, including physical chemistry, linear algebra, differential equations, multivariable calculus (and three calculus courses leading to that), and so on. This was years ago, but clearly, if I was able to master these years ago, I can learn these quantitative skills o the job. Much to my surprise, then, it seemed rather shortsighted of McKinsey--of all companies-- to use this tool to screen applicants. They do so to their own detriment. Hard skills such as these are easy to pick up on the job. What is more difficult to pick up are more right-brained, creative problem-solving skills, which is my strength. Again, I am biased, but believe this argument is valid. Suffice to say, I've written off McKinsey, as well as any other company that uses such quant skills assessments; to me, this is a marker of shortsightedness that I want to have no part in.

    Interview Questions

    • There were no personalized questions. The most difficult questions came from the quantitative exam. See online copies available for download to get a sense of this.   Answer Question

  4.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Stamford, CT
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Stamford, CT) in January 2008.

    Interview

    McKinsey interviews can be a bit daunting. Luckily, I was able to get a spot, as my business school was on McK's target schools. First round interviews are 2 babk-to-back interviews that consist of a case portion (~35 minutes) and a personal experience portion (~15 minutes). The case is your standard consulting case, albeit with very structured questions. The personal experience portion, true to their website, is just an opportunity to see whether you jive with the four dimensions of leadership, personal impact, etc. Nothing too intense, but make sure you know your resume inside and out. They like to ask questions about it. In other words, don't BS too much.

    Once you make it to 2nd round, it's just a long day. 4 back-to-back interviews which end up being really draining towards the end. You're tired, your brain hurts, but you gotta keep pushing.

    Negotiation

    At the associate level, there's no real negotiation on money, but you might be able to fennagle things like moving stipend, location, etc.


  5.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

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

    Application

    The process took 1 day. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in October 2009.

    Interview

    Very structured case interview compared to peer companies. The interviewer will guide you to what he/she wants to talk about. The behavioral will typically consist of one example but will constantly be asking for more details. What did you say? think? do?

    Interview Questions

    • What would you do as the sales manager of X company?   1 Answer

  6. Helpful (6)  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ months. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in December 2010.

    Interview

    Applied online through the APD (advanced professional degrees - MD, PhD, Masters, etc) channel. Passed the initial resume screen and was invited to the IWIA (Initial Workshop and Initial Assessment). This consisted of a standard assessment test which was a 26 question test based on case studies. Challenging part was the 1 hour time constraint. (Test is similar to the online sample on McK's website). The second part was two group breakout sessions (3 candidates/1 McK consultant) that's meant to give an idea of how case study interviews work. Was repeated told that the outcome of the first round interview was SOLELY based on the assessment test, but opinions differ.

    The second round was held at my local office. Consisted of three 1-on-1 interviews. Each interview consisted of initial chatting, a personal experience type question (e.g. name a time in your career that you were a leader and had to resolve conflict within your group, etc) and a case interview (standard consulting cases). Prior to the second round, we were asked to give preferences for our final office. Supposedly, there is a standard bar across all of McK, which if passed, you're advanced to the final round (regardless of office preferences). Once you get thru to the final round, your office preferences and the office's needs are matched up.

    I got my first preference, the Chicago office. Similar to the 2nd round with three 1-on-1 interviews, but the only difference would be these interviews tend to be more senior members/partners in the office. That being said, the case interviews in the 2nd round were more formatted (interviewers have cases in front that they reference). The 3rd round partners tend to be more off the cuff, formulating their own case information as they go and they want to see you think on your feet.

    Overall, I agree with previous posters that McK makes you feel like part of the team even during the interview process. In between each round, they offer plenty of support/feedback, opportunity to meet other consultants, etc. They sincerely appear to want you to succeed. They pick up the bill for travel/lodging and you get a glimpse of the glitz/glam of working for a company with their reputation. A key part of this process appears to be your ability to interact with interviewers and have a solid approach with case interviews so live practicing with friends, consulting clubs, etc., would be helpful.

    Interview Questions

    • Personal experience type - name a time in your career....   Answer Question
    • Case studies - similar to those found in Cosentino's Case in Point   Answer Question

  7. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Palo Alto, CA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Palo Alto, CA) in September 2012.

    Interview

    Applied for a position and was considered for my 4th office preference which was an international office. The recruiter was pretty efficient in getting back to me with dates and times for the IWIA and group case interview. The PST went okay I felt but the group interviews were weird. First interviewer was clearly irritated at being pulled out of his daily routine to interview us and it showed. 2nd interviewer was more upbeat and took the time to ask people personal questions before starting the case.

    Interview Questions

    • It was just a profitability case question that entailed recognizing which was the more profitable product out of the mix and increasing sales of that.   Answer Question
  8. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company.

    Interview

    Many interviews, first 2 with engagement managers then 3 with partners. Was flown to NYC and paid all expenses. I did very good in the cases but lacked structure in both my behavioral and case answers

    Interview Questions


  9.  

    Associate Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Interview

    I had gotten an interview through my school's on-campus recruiting program. The interview did not really deviate from the descriptions that I had found in various prep books. It consisted of two back-to-back interviews with different consultants. Each interview began with a heavily-guided behavioral question, in which I had to tell a story relating to a situation ("tell me about a time when you..."), and followed the storytelling with a case. The cases were pretty straightforward. There were a few quantitative questions in each case, but nothing more difficult than basic arithmetic. Each interview concluded with a chance to ask questions.

    Interview Questions

    • There weren't really any curveball questions. Just do your practice cases.   Answer Question

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