McKinsey & Company Consultant Interview Questions | Glassdoor

McKinsey & Company Consultant Interview Questions

Interviews at McKinsey & Company

143 Interview Reviews

Experience

Experience
44%
33%
23%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
53%
31%
5%
3
3
3
2

Difficulty

3.9
Average

Difficulty

Hard
Average
Easy

Helpful (84)  

Consulting Interview

Anonymous Employee
Accepted Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company in October 2009.

Interview

It is basically the standard consulting interview process. However, McKinsey did add a test that all applicants need to take. The test was pretty hard, there was a time crunch, and they only provide one practice exam. It is hard to prepare for, but just be ready to read and analyze graphs quickly. McKinsey also provides you with an interview coach. They will do cases with you over the phone, but I highly suggest practicing cases with your friends.

Interview Questions

  • Just practice as many cases as possible, and work on expressing your leadership abilities in a very concise manner.   5 Answers

Negotiation

They don't negotiate with BAs right out of college.

Other Interview Reviews for McKinsey & Company

  1. Helpful (13)  

    Consulting Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Atlanta, GA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Atlanta, GA) in November 2015.

    Interview

    Interactive but very very fast paced, they kept asking questions and I was kept on my toes for the entire length of the interview. Wasn't a relaxed conversational interview and I felt uncomfortable a few times in between. But then tough consulting companies do that during interviews to see how fast you can think and respond.

    Interview Questions

    • Strengths and Weaknesses and how you will improve on them.   2 Answers

  2.  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Philadelphia, PA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Philadelphia, PA) in September 2018.

    Interview

    Interviewed in first round after campus recruiting. Two in-person case-style interviews, 45mins each. 30 min case, 15 min personal experience. Received feedback within a week. One interviewer was very disorganized and dismissive, the other was appropriate. Less personal than other firms, seemed like interviews were a dreaded task for them, recruiter was disinterested. Overall I had a better interview experience at other firms, glad I didn't move past first round.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me some things about yourself that are not on your resume.   1 Answer
  3.  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company.

    Interview

    After a resume review, I completed a case interview screening. I was recommended for round one interviews, but my recruiter canceled the interview and stopped responding to all emails. I was already ~1.5 months into the process. This was extremely unprofessional and reflects poorly on the company.

    Interview Questions

    • What factors would you consider in this problem?   1 Answer

    McKinsey & Company Response

    Sep 21, 2018 – Recruiting Expert

    We're sorry to hear about this lack of communication from our team - it does not reflect our values nor our usual processes. If there are others you connected with at McKinsey who might be able to... More


  4.  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Interview

    Arduous process (PhD candidate). Incredibly consuming, but McKinsey invests a lot of time and effort in preparing you to interview. The interview day was exciting but overwhelming -- I spoke with two current consultants (one PhD hire and one MBA hire).

    Interview Questions

    • Describe a time you had an interpersonal conflict in a professional setting and how you dealt with said conflict.   Answer Question

  5. Helpful (2)  

    Consultant Interview

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

    Application

    The process took 3+ months. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in October 2018.

    Interview

    All the stuff about "getting to know you" and "seeing how you think and solve problems" is all absolute nonsense. There are 100,000 people applying for the exact same job, "McKinsey Consultant". Every step of the process is designed to eliminate you. You better hope everything you say in the case interview matches their cheat sheet...word for word! One small deviation, you're out. Part your hair the wrong way, you're out. Your interviewer is just in a bad mood, you're out. All your books and hundreds of hours of case practice will be for nothing and you will have thrown away months (or more) of your life.

    The problem McKinsey has is that they have the absolute worst hiring process imaginable. But since they are drawing from a pool of the best applicants in the world (your competition btw), they still inevitably end up with some smart people at the end and then declare "aha, see it works!" But even senior people I've talked to in the firm say it's more luck than anything... you're just as well off buying a lottery ticket.

    Also, if you don't get an offer (which statistically speaking is a near certainty), the "feedback" you'll get is absolute garbage. Whether it's an HR person or the person you interviewed with, they aren't going to give you any actual feedback. They are going to tell you whatever boilerplate crap answer that allows them to "check the box" and get off of the phone.

    But if you're like the 100s of thousands that have come before, you probably already stopped reading this. You're certain that you've prepared more, and all the videos and that consultant you talked to at the recruiting event convinced you that you are special and have a "good shot". And all that may be true. But if the wind blows the wrong way on your interview day, guess what...you won't get the offer. And you'll have spent months developing a very specific skill (case interviews) that is absolutely useless in the real world.

    Interview Questions


  6.  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Durham, NC
    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Durham, NC) in January 2017.

    Interview

    I had four forty five minute interviews which covered regular case interviews and behavioral questions which the firm is known for. My interviewers were across levels from Engagement manager to partner.

    Interview Questions


  7.  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Negative Experience

    Interview

    it was hard and the interviewer was very cold and unfriendly, casing was fine but they wanted more specific but overarching anwsers very confusing over all, it was hard and the interviewer was very cold and unfriendly, casing was fine but they wanted more specific but overarching anwsers very confusing over all

    Interview Questions

  8.  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Chicago, IL
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in March 2011.

    Interview

    Very friendly staff. They tried to provide clear guidance through the process with high level of honesty.

    Interview Questions

    • What do you think is the biggest problem in the economy?   Answer Question

  9. Helpful (13)  

    Consultant Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Atlanta, GA) in December 2011.

    Interview

    The interview process itself was very cumbersome for an experienced consultant. I applied, and received an email from the recruiter asking to set up an initial screening. This screening was the only information I was ever given about the position, and it was high level.
    McKinsey's interview process centers on case studies, overly so. The first "interview" that was set up was a coaching session on the McKinsey case study. This was an hour case study, with the interviewer being arrogant and even combative. After being berated, the interview ended. Following this was the "true" case study, whereas the interviewer was quite nice and helpful. I was then passed on to a third interview with someone in the Pricing practice, who was also quite helpful. This was the only person to ever really go into my experience, and it was quite high level. Another case study followed, for a total of three up to this point.
    I was told that the next phase would get more into my experience and the processes of the pricing practice, but might have some more case studies included. I had to apply and receive a McKinsey American Express in order to expense the costs of my in-person interview. The day prior to the interview I had to email and remind my recruiter I had never received an agenda for my interview.
    I show up ten minutes early for the interview, and the receptionist was quite friendly. In fact, she and I spoke for around twenty minutes because the interviewer was late. Finally, the interviewer rushes down. His first question is to go over my experience, but five minutes into this he interrupts me (I didn't even get to half of my job experience), and we go into...yet another case study. The interviewer is friendly, but a little arrogant. In one of my answers he challenged me, saying I was incorrect. When I reiterated my stance, and explained my reasoning, he argued that my assumptions were negligible, and we ended the interview as he had to rush to another interview. I still hadn't any idea about the position I was there for.
    When I had first received my agenda, there was a gap of time that I had assumed would be filled with a tour of the office. When the time came, I was told I could stay in the conference room or go to the lobby. I waited in the conference room for an hour until the next interviewer came.
    The next interviewer came in and asked me two questions, and then another case study. By this time I was annoyed that I had no more information about the position than when I started this process. I requested we leave time for questions about the position for later in the interview, and thankfully I was able to ask two questions before ending.
    My third interview asked me one behavior-type question, and then went into a sixth case study. Not to mention that the office had food catered and our conference room fronted the kitchen so there were over fifty people talking and eating outside of the room while I was being asked to calculate 35% of 15,982,450 by hand to get the answer and then divide by 87 to get yet another number that needed to be divided and then multiplied again. As well, I hadn’t eaten. I completely shut down, and in two instances told the interviewer that I could go through the process with him, but I did not have time to calculate. The interview ended, and onto a test. The test took an hour and consisted of three written cases and 26 questions. The questions required the same as the verbal cases; calculations by hand.
    As this ended, I had no want left in my being to work at McKinsey. I know this is a prestigious firm, but as an experienced consultant with over 11 years of experience, 8 of which is in program management/ consulting I was thoroughly not impressed with their process. A total of six cases, all of which require pen and paper calculations which would never occur in the real world (people would use calculators and Excel), and then a written test of three more cases is overkill. I see the value in cases (and after the first three over the phone assumed that I excelled at them), but I also see the value in interview-style techniques. Many of the people who interviewed seemed to have no interview skills and hid behind the case studies, and I as the interviewee never received the comfort level needed for the position I had applied. As well, no one I interviewed with knew where I was in the process.
    For the recruiters, if you wish to maintain the “catered toward MBA students” reputation do not appeal to experienced professionals, and if you do, tailor your hiring process to dig into their experience, what they can bring to your practice, and what they can expect at McKinsey. Focusing on whether someone can multiply numbers with a piece of paper and pen while someone is staring at them is not an indication of knowledge or skill, and if you stay with this approach you may miss out on strong consultants who will make other consulting firms stronger in the long run.

    Interview Questions

    • I won't put any case questions down, but focus on market share, revenue, pricing, and being able to compute on the fly   Answer Question

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