McKinsey & Company Associate Interview Questions | Glassdoor

McKinsey & Company Associate Interview Questions

Updated Feb 24, 2017
280 Interview Reviews

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Helpful (15)  

Associate Interview

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

Application

I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in December 2015.

Interview

The entire process took 3 months after applying online. I came to know about an interview after 1.5 months. All interviews were covered in 1.5 months. I'm an experienced hire.

First round: Phone Screen - Straightforward case - 30 mins
Second round: Onsite - 3 interviews - 15 min PEI, 30 - 45 mins case: 2 video conference, 1 in-person
Final round: Onsite - 3 interviews - 2 interviews had 15 min PEI, 30 - 45 mins case, 1 interview was a conversation on different business problems and how to solve those. 2 video conference, 1 in-person

After every round, feedback was provided to improve my performance. First round interview was scheduled any day that you want in the evenings. Second and Final rounds were scheduled on Fridays. Second round decision was delivered on Monday. Final round decision was communicated 2 hours after the interview.

Preparation tips:
a. Practice cases with a person either online or in-person. Initially quantity of cases is important, later quality and delivery of case is important
b. Work on feedback received after each practice session
c. Know your story in and out. You'll be grilled on one story in your PEI. Have multiple stories.
d. Practice speaking concisely and clearly. Also practice listening and taking clear notes with the interviewer.
e. Be friendly and relaxed on the interview day. Being nervous might make things worse. Take a good sleep before the interview.

Interview Questions

Other Interview Reviews for McKinsey & Company

  1.  

    Associate Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (New York, NY) in January 2016.

    Interview

    Applied through a business school campus website. Throughout the semester had many meetings, presentations, and happy hours with recruiters. Dropped resume sometime in November without a cover letter. Invited to interview a couple weeks later. They are nice enough to set up case coaching sessions with you and several other MBA Candidates at their offices. Interview was two hours total with one Associate and one Engagement Manager, separately and one hour each. Each asked one fit question and drilled very deep into the question, asking multiple follow-ups for 30 minutes. Then came the case. One was done with normal paper exhibits and one was done with exhibits on an iPad.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell us about a time you led a team.
      Tell us about a time you had to convince someone.  
      Answer Question
  2. Helpful (99)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (San Francisco, CA) in April 2015.

    Interview

    Process took 3 months. This was due to my schedule and theirs. Throughout the entire process, McKinsey was amazing. Very professional, very thorough. 50% was case and 50% was personal experience. They truly are trying to find a reason to hire you, not a reason to deny you. Very refreshing versus most other companies.

    Two critical pieces of advice for applicants. #1, if you can afford it, practice with former McKinsey consultants. I did this through evisors.com, but there are a number of other sites you can find people as well. If you practice with students or people who haven't been offered the job, it is essentially the blind leading the blind. I paid for around 10 practice sessions and it made all the difference in the world. #2, practice your math skills on caseinterviewmath.com. I absolutely loved how fast and easy this site was. None of the math you are being tested on is too difficult, but speed and accuracy do matter. The format of this site is laser focused on those two factors and it helped me tremendously.

    There are a number of other resources I leveraged (books, alumni, networking, LOMS, etc.). I just found the two above the most helpful and the least talked about online. Good luck!

    Interview Questions

    • In every single interview I was asked a version of, "tell me about a time you took on a leadership role". This was in the initial phone screen all the way up to the partner interviews. The cases are what you would expect. Most were profitability cases, but some were a little more unique. Two of my four partner interviews did not include a case. I don't think that is normal, but that was my experience.   1 Answer

    Negotiation

    The only part they negotiate is the sign-on bonus.

  3. Helpful (7)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Minneapolis, MN
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Minneapolis, MN) in October 2015.

    Interview

    For context: I interviewed during second year of b-school through on-grounds recruiting. I had one on-campus round that included two interviews with associates. I was invited to the final round at the office, which included three interviews with partners and associate partners.

    Interview Questions

    • Q: Tell me about a time you had to convince someone of your point of view.
      Q: Tell me how you've been entrepreneurial and developed something new.
      Q: Tell me about how you've overcome conflict.
      Q: How was your last engagement on a a team -- what were the characteristics you displayed?
      Each interview also included a case.  
      Answer Question
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  5. Helpful (5)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Boston, MA) in October 2015.

    Interview

    The APD interview process was long. Started with the PST + 2 coaching sessions, then 2 weeks later was second round with 2 interviews. Each interview was 15 min experience + 30 min case interview. Made it to final round (another 2 weeks later), which was 3 experience + case interviews with Partners. Throughout the process McK people were very kind and seemed excited and enthusiastic about my potential to join the firm. Seemed that it went well and was disappointed not to get an offer. Do not care for how they run the experience portion of the interview; it is all based on one past story they ask super detailed questions about.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell us of a time you had to work through a disagreement within a team.   Answer Question
  6.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company.

    Interview

    Exam & two group case interviews; entire process took 4 hours. Mostly decided on the exam, which came first. Group case interviews were pretty easy. The results were announced two days later.

    Interview Questions

  7. Helpful (2)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Boston, MA) in October 2015.

    Interview

    Round 1: The first round was a half day and included a brief introduction from McKinsey staff, followed by the hour-long Problem Solving Test, and then a group case interview.

    Between the first and second round, I was matched with a current McKinsey consultant to answer any questions I had and there was an opportunity to do another practice group case with a McKinsey consultant at their offices (or via phone for those who were remote).

    Round 2: There were two individual case and experience interviews.

    Interview Questions

    • Why McKinsey?
      Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your boss. How did you handle it?  
      Answer Question
  8.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Washington, DC) in October 2015.

    Interview

    There were three rounds as I was an advanced professional degree (APD) candidate e.g. non-MBA graduate degree program
    1. ~25 questions multiple choice test plus 2 group case interviews
    2. 3 interviews with a personal experience component and a case interview, ~50 minutes each
    3. Same as round 2, but this time with partners

    Interview Questions

    • Tell us about a time you demonstrated distinctive leadership qualities   1 Answer
  9.  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Pittsburgh, PA
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3+ weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Pittsburgh, PA) in October 2015.

    Interview

    Applied through college recruiter.
    1 phone interview
    1 Onsite Interview (2- 45 minutes)

    Ty to practice cases with Mck interns/full-time associates. This would help you understand what exactly they want you to do during the case interview.

    Interview Questions

  10. Helpful (7)  

    Associate Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (San Francisco, CA) in September 2015.

    Interview

    McKinsey's Interview process is incredibly standardized: once you make it to the in-person rounds, you will have 2-3 1 hour interviews with current consultants. The first 15-20 minutes will focus on the Personal Experience Interview (PEI), the remaining ~30 min will be dedicated to an interviewer-led case with 5-10 minutes at the end for you to ask your interviewer questions.

    Being able to think logically and communicate clearly in the case is the most important. I had a few cases where I wasn't too sure, but since I clearly explained my reasoning and my process the interviewer was willing to help guide me to the right answer.

    The PEI portion is difficult, because the answers are pretty much always a variation of 3 standard questions, and they want answers that prove that you the personality and the skill to do the job. There are several approaches to structuring your questions—STAR, PARADE, etc—but the most important thing is that you know you answers inside and out, but are able to respond without sounding like your answers are rehearsed. The consultants will interrupt your answer, as follow up questions, and generally throw you off mid-answer. You want to have a ~30 second preview of your answer, and then a well-organized longer version to go into once they start the questions.

    The cases and the PEI weren't necessarily hard, but the stress surrounding the interview process was difficult for me. Only a small percentage of applicants receive an offer, and I really wanted this job! That said, the math and the questions weren't in and of themselves difficult—it's more being able to present yourself in a way that communicates that you'll do the job well. There's also a huge personality fit component to the final decision, and that was a bit nerve-wracking. I really enjoyed all my interviewers, and I was really hoping they'd like me too.

    Interview Questions

    • Talk about a time you lead a team / Talk about a time you had to work with a difficult member / Talk about a time you changed someone's mind?   1 Answer

See What McKinsey & Company Employees Are Saying

1 person found this helpful

Star Star Star Star Star     Former Anonymous Employee

Pros: “Ability to learn and work in different industries”“Ability to learn and work in different industries” – Full Review

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