McKinsey & Company Consultant Interview Questions | Glassdoor

McKinsey & Company Consultant Interview Questions

Interviews at McKinsey & Company

142 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

 

Consultant Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
No Offer
Difficult Interview

Application

I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Boston, MA) in February 2009.

Interview

Two rounds with two different recruiters consisting of personal/cv interview + case studies. They were extremely nice.

Interview Questions

Other Interview Reviews for McKinsey & Company

  1.  

    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

  2.  

    Consultant Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Atlanta, GA) in September 2011.

    Interview

    I took the PST test. It was very very hard. I was suprised to get a phone call back for the next round.

    Interview Questions

    • They were questions related to cases in a written booklet.   Answer Question
  3.  

    Consultant Interview

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

    Application

    The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Atlanta, GA) in August 2011.

    Interview

    The first round interview consists of a written test designed for your maths capability and analytical thinking under the tight time limit. The second half of the first round interview is a session of group training on case interview. It was very helpful for candidates with advanced science degrees.
    In the second round, there are 2 one-on-one interviews with McKinsey consultants, sometimes managers. Each half of the interview consists of a case interview and experience interview.
    The recruiters are very professional, and they make the whole interview process going smoothly for candidates. Candidates are informed clearly what to expect at each stage of the interview process.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe a situation that your personal impact has influenced the outcome.   Answer Question

  4. 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

  5. Helpful (1)  

    Consultant Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (New York, NY) in January 2011.

    Interview

    I have applied through my school's career site, and got an email asking me to participate in the one time interview process, along with a bunch of other candidates.
    First all of us took an "intelligence test" something similar to SAT/GRE. Then we had three consecutive one on one interviews. First one was a disaster, the person interviewing me has not seen my resume me before or my cover letter, and did not understand my career objectives. He kept saying that McKinsey doen't do that, etc. I was surprised then why did they even call me back? I knew they had a branch which did what I was interested in. The man was annoyed so he gave me one of the most stupid brain teasers, I had no idea how to solve: something with a kid that is blond, he's father is 40, how old is the younger sister. Next two interviews were much more normal, some behavioral questions on analysis and leadership and a market type case study-how would you estimate the total market size of ex, etc.
    I was negatively impressed by the very rude behavior of the first interviewer, and by the fact that they knew I was not a fit in the first place based on my interests.

    Interview Questions

    • A brain teaser, that had nothing to do with mathematics. I don't remember the details, and I don't think there was any correct answer.   Answer Question

  6.  

    Consultant Interview

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

    Application

    The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Chicago, IL) in November 2011.

    Interview

    I was an APD candidate and took a 26 question multiple choice test. Then there were breakout sessions with 4 other candidates and a current consultant to work through cases as the case interview was unfamiliar to many of us. It was an odd experience and our invitation for a second interview was based solely (or so they say) on our performance on the 26 multiple choice questions. The word questions were not overly complex but they involved a lot of calcuations and you are not allowed a calculator. Work on basic mental math before you interview!
    It was an odd way of being judged and the day I was informed I would not be invited for a second interview I heard an NPR piece on a former McKinsey big muck who was indicted on multiple counts of insider trading.

    Interview Questions


  7.  

    Consultant Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2 days. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Boston, MA) in November 2008.

    Interview

    Intense!
    There is a lot of prep for these interviews, bec they include cases. I spent months preparing with my friends, reviewing cases together and memorizing frameworks.
    First, there is a written skills test they give to many candidates, then they do large group cases together (which they say don't count towards their decision, but I got the feeling they did). Then, a very small group of those people are invited for one on one interviews at their offices at a later date. I was invited to that. The interview was with three different (male) consultants. They were mostly friendly, but the cases were tough. I did not get a call back to the next round.

    Interview Questions

    • The cases. I don't remember the specifics, but they were tough, all related to healthcare (which is not my area of expertise)   Answer Question
    • Tell me about yourself   1 Answer
  8. Helpful (1)  

    Consultant Interview

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

    Application

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

    Interview

    First round interview consists of the McKinsey Problem Solving Test. This consists of 26 multiple choice questions on 2-3 business cases presented within the test. Expect to need to perform math by hand that you haven't had to do without a calculator in years, and to do it as fast as if you had a calculator.

    Interview Questions


  9.  

    Consultant Interview

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

    Application

    The process took 1 day. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (Jersey City, NJ) in August 2009.

    Interview

    The skills test was one hour long with 26 questions pertaining to three different cases. There were about 30 of us taking it at the same time, with three different test versions. I would say that the practice tests are fairly representative of what I saw on the real test. A fairly even mix of quantitative and qualitative reasoning questions. My strategy for the test was to only read the questions, and then mine for relevant info in the background after I knew what I was looking for. This seemed to work pretty well. I finished my first pass of the test in 30 minutes, leaving several blank (if the question looked too hard I automatically skipped it), and then returned to the difficult ones with the remaining 30 minutes. We don't get a score on the test, so there's no way to really know how well this strategy worked, but it seemed well-suited to me.

    Interview Questions


See What McKinsey & Company Employees Are Saying

StarStarStarStarStar   Former Client Engagement Manager in New York, NY

Pros: “Very helpful experience to gain experience on a wide range of industries and functions”“Very helpful experience to gain experience on a wide range of industries and functions” – Full Review

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