McKinsey & Company Associate Interview Questions | Glassdoor

McKinsey & Company Associate Interview Questions

Interviews at McKinsey & Company

354 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (4)  

Associate Interview

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

Application

I applied through college or university. The process took 4 days. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Washington, DC) in February 2011.

Interview

Pretty standard consulting interviews, first presentation, then multiple tests to pass, then two case studies followed by a personality test. Everyone is pretty professional and lay out what they expect from you, which is numerical proficiency and the people skills to get your softs across to the interviewers.

Interview Questions

  • One of the case studies was to figure out how many bags Heathrow airport loses every day.   Answer Question

Other Interview Reviews for McKinsey & Company

  1. Helpful (8)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 1 day. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Boston, MA) in November 2011.

    Interview

    There are totally 3 rounds interviews. The first one includes a one-hour-test with GRE/GMAT format test. It is a little hard to finish the test on time, since there are 26 questions and require reading and calculation. The second and third rounds are case interviews. The interviewer are all very friendly and willing to help you if you have any problem in understanding the questions.

    Interview Questions


  2. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Palo Alto, CA) in January 2012.

    Interview

    The McKinsey interview process is 3 rounds: (1) a problem solving test (see their website for a sample test) + Case study workshop, (2) 2 x 1 on 1 interviews, half of it is to test "fit" (whether you fit in the McKinsey culture), and the other half is the case study, (3) Onsite.

    The process is as fair as it might get - they set you up with a McKinsey buddy, who answers your questions and helps when you need it. Also, they have workshops to help you along, e.g. a case study workshop, and informational sessions to introduce you to different parts of McKinsey (e.g. the west coast business practices, the business technology office).

    I didn't make it past the second round; however it is as advertised- if you practice McKinsey-type cases, and work on your fit interview stories, it should be a fair assessment.

    Interview Questions

  3. Helpful (5)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Jersey City, NJ
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    The process took 6+ weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Jersey City, NJ) in September 2011.

    Interview

    McKinsey is very eager to spend a lot of time on attracting and interviewing their candidates. However, the interview process is very long and exhausting. The recruiters and lower management are very pleasant and engaging (however a bit clone like), the partners though are very disinterested in the interview process and are quite cold and unwelcoming.

    Interview Questions

    • How can a company raise cash quickly?   1 Answer

  4. Helpful (3)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Atlanta, GA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Atlanta, GA) in October 2011.

    Interview

    As a PhD student, I had to take the McKinsey Problem Solving Test before being invited to second round interviews in Atlanta (regional office). Met with two consultants, both incredibly friendly and nice guys, and spent about 10 minutes on fit questions, 30 minutes on a case, and 5 minutes on questions I had for them. Was disappointed to not be called for final round decisions but overall was a great experience. As a PhD, I need to work on being more concise and not as detail-oriented as I have been trained to be.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe in detail a recent personal conflict and how you dealt with it.   Answer Question

  5. Helpful (33)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Boston, MA) in September 2011.

    Interview

    All resumes and applications must be submitted online. If resume screen is passed, candidate proceeds to interviews. For Associate candidates who do not have an MBA degree, McKinsey administers a "McKinsey Problem-Solving Test" consisting of 20+ business-related conceptual and quantitative questions to be completed within one hour. Most common mistake on the test is marking the answer for question XX on the answer sheet for question YY (e.g. answer for 16 on line for 15). The test is very challenging and most candidates either rush through it or leave questions unanswered. Immediately after the test, there are two mini practice sessions where candidates are "coached" by McKinsey interviewers on how to do a business case interview. The "coaching" is not evaluative. Coaches and buddies are usually more junior McKinsey personnel, such as Business Analysts, Associates, Senior Associates, and Engagement Managers.

    Candidates who pass the test are invited to attend telephone-based coaching sessions for round 2. Candidates who pass the test are also assigned a "buddy" who is responsible for answering candidate questions, putting candidates in touch with other relevant McKinsey personnel (e.g. people who work in a particular discipline in which the candidate is interested). Before the second round, the candidates are asked to state their "office preferences", i.e. what McKinsey locations they are most interested in. Recruiters recommend selecting only 3-5 locations and locations must be ordered (i.e. can't rank three locations as 1st choice - they have to be 1,2,3). After round one, the buddy also shares some initial feedback with the candidates: what they did well and what they should work on for the next round.

    Second round of interviews typically consists of 2-3 one-on-one interviews and are typically conducted by more experienced McKinsey personnel (Sr Associates, Engagement Managers, and Associate Principals). Second round of interviews is conducted at a location close to candidate's residence to minimize travel costs. Each interview contains a case, and some interviews contain a personal experience section. Cases are very typical business cases that MBA students use to prepare for interviewing, however McKinsey looks for different skill sets in MBA and non-MBA applicants. Non-MBA applicants are not expected to be familiar with business jargon or frameworks, and it is ok to ask clarifications on terms that are unfamiliar. The interviewers have a very structured set of questions to go through with the candidate, and they may jump to next question in interest of time. Business cases have questions about general thinking / framing the problem, math, and analytical thinking. The personal experience portion of the interview is also very structured, and the interviewer may ask many sub-questions to really understand the situation, outcomes, and the candidate's contributions. Whether the candidate passes or not, McKinsey tries to provide objective feedback on interview performance. Feedback consists of what the interviewers thought the candidate did well, and what should be done better.

    The third round of interviews is very similar to the second. The key differences are the seniority of personnel and format of interviews. The third round interviews is conducted at the office in which the candidate hopes to work, and are typically conducted by Associate Principals, Partners, and Directors (most senior partners). The format of the interviews can remain the same as round two, or it can include group interview, a "day in life at McKinsey" interview, or focus only on personal experience without the case. There are usually 2-3 one-on-one interviews in the third round.

    Interview Questions

    • Questions are confidential.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    McKinsey normally has only a standard offer for all starting associates regardless of location (salary and benefits are the same throughout the US). Starting date is negotiable. I am not aware that any other aspects of the offer are negotiable. McKinsey organizes a "new offeree" dinner, gathering, or weekend (depending on location/office).


  6. Helpful (7)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cleveland, OH
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Cleveland, OH) in October 2011.

    Interview

    The first part of the McKinsey Interview process is not too bad. I took their test and then had two interviews. Each interview was 1/2 behavioral and 1/2 case interview

    Interview Questions

    • You are working on a project with a Major Airline running a well known frequent flyer program. The airline has been very successful. Recently you are seeing competition from a low priced airline running the same routes. What do you do?   Answer Question
    • Describe a time when you had to resolve conflict in order to accomplish a task?   Answer Question

  7.  

    Associate Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 days. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (New York, NY) in October 2011.

    Interview

    first round is math and verbal test in office with a group case study; not too difficult, but you do need to prepare as your math, calculating, and verbal reasoning skills.
    second round is 2 1-on-1 interview with cases; each with 10-15 minutes fit questions, going into really detail. (e.g., your leadership skills examples), and a 30 minutes case discussion, (well-organized, with specific questions and numbers). only key on success if to practice.

    Interview Questions

  8. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Interview

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

    Application

    The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (New York, NY) in September 2011.

    Interview

    Phase 1: Written exam. They do have a practice exam online, but if you want more, I recommend studying GRE math (to help with speed), and LSAT logical reasoning.

    Phase 2: 2 rounds of PEI + cases. Prepare unique stories that really make you stand out. They interview a lot of smart people, so you need something special. Practice lots of cases, show structure, accurate math, and synthesis.

    Phase 3: 4 rounds of PEI + cases back to back, this really tests your endurance. No surprises, no stress tests, just 4 normal "McKinsey" style cases. You really have to shine on all 4 exams, nail the math, and be creative. The PEI is also important, show your uniqueness. I did not pass this round because I did not nail all of the cases, and my math was a bit slow (I wanted to make sure I was doing it right). If you get to this stage, I recommend doing 4 cases in a row back to back.

    Interview Questions


  9. Helpful (4)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (New York, NY) in September 2011.

    Interview

    I went through the campus recruiting route and was put in to the early process. The first round consisted of PST and "non-evaluative" group break out. They give feedback on the group breakout so overly poor performance or obnoxious behavior could be a reason some people didn't pass on. Heard that i was being passed onto the second round the same night i took the PST and was assigned a McKinsey Buddy who gave me advice and feedback on how to prepare for the next round. We were also assigned a group case coach to practice with as well as were invited to an interview prep workshop, both of which were helpful. Also McKinsey hosted a dinner event for people going on to the second round to meet more of their consultants from various offices, which was helpful in finalizing my office choices.

    Second round was consisted of two 1:1 interviews both including a case and PEI questions. There were no surprises; get ready for public math, thinking out loud, and being asked details about the stories that you are telling. The interviewers were polite and nice. It took almost a week to hear back about whether i was passed on to the third round or not, as well as detailed feedback on what to work on. They said this (one - two week waiting period) depended on which office you were being assigned to and I think this was true because the people who were going to the same final office heard back on the same day.

    Two weeks later, I was at the NY office for my final round. This was consisted of three 1:1 interviews. Again, no surprises, polite and engaged interviewers, PEI and Cases for each interview. it's very important to have the right stories to highlight your leadership and teamwork qualities that are also structured and concise. the Cases were much more in depth and varied and long (~40 mins each). I felt that they were looking for high level thinking, creativity, analytic rigor, and insightful synthesis. Difficult to do if you haven't practiced cases but definitely not unreasonable things to look for in a candidate. They offered me a position within hours.
    Overall, great process, fun, and transparent. I felt like I was part of the team even before I signed my contract.

    Interview Questions


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