McKinsey & Company Interview Questions in San Francisco, CA | Glassdoor

McKinsey & Company Interview Questions in San Francisco, CA

Updated Aug 5, 2017
26 Interview Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)  

    Senior Implementation Consultant Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through a recruiter. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (San Francisco, CA) in July 2017.

    Interview

    Pretty much what you read everywhere else:
     - Recruiter reached out to me
     - 30 minute recruiter phone screen interview
     - 1 hr practice session
     - 2 hr Webex Case Interview 'Best Practices' and Demonstration
     - 30 min phone Interview
     - 1 hr practice session
     - 2 x 45 min in-person interviews
     - 2 x 45 min in-person interviews

    All in all, great experience. Fast response times, approachable interviewers.

    Don't take for granted the need for 'in-person' practice... Doing math in front of someone is more challenging than you may think.


  2. Helpful (6)  

    Business Analyst Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (San Francisco, CA) in January 2017.

    Interview

    Very thorough, well-structured, and professional. The process took approximately 3 weeks and I had a phone screen -> two first round interviews -> three final round interviews. PEIs for final round interviews are differently structured than they are for the first rounds, so keep that in mind — during final rounds, they are targeting for a specific trait whereas first round PEIs target a wide gamut of traits that McKinsey seeks for.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about a time when you set a stretch goal and achieved it   Answer Question
  3. Helpful (4)  

    Business Analyst Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 4 days. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (San Francisco, CA) in October 2016.

    Interview

    Case interview as always but more creative and difficult than other firms. Remember don't over prepare frameworks otherwise you gonna kill your own creativity. Besides the techniques, confidence is very important. Remember, most of people who apply to BA position have 1-4 years work experiences, not just new and fresh graduate students .

    Interview Questions


  4. Helpful (15)  

    Implementation Coach Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 2+ months. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (San Francisco, CA) in July 2016.

    Interview

    My experience with the interview process aligned very closely with everything that is widely published online. I applied online through McKinsey's website, and was contacted by a recruiter a few days later. The recruitment process was as follows:

    - 45 minute phone call with recruiter to discuss the role, interview process, my resume and experiences
    - 60 minute non-evaluative case study coaching session with a McKinsey alumna via phone
    - 30 minute evaluative case study session via phone
    - 60 minute phone call with current McKinsey employee in similar role for Q&A, and non-evaluative case study
    - Round 1: Two 1:1 hour long interviews. Each consisted of 20 minutes of PEI (Personal Experience Interview) and 30 minutes of a case study
    - Round 2: Same as Round 1, but with more senior level McK employees.

    All in all, I found the interview process to be very lengthy, and somewhat rigorous. However, the entire process was explained up front, and communication from from The Firm was prompt and courteous. They did a good job of working around my schedule, being that I am currently employed. I spent some time researching McK and the interview process online, and everything matched my experiences very closely. Implementation Coach roles go through the same interview process as a generalist - so you need to be able to structure problems, quantify word problems and synthesize your findings. The PEI really focuses on deep soft skills - specific conversations, specific questions and decision making / influencing based on people skills, less on data.

    The interview process took 10+ weeks, but this was communicated up front. Difficult interview, fun and fair process. Do not memorize frameworks, but instead learn how to structure a problem.

    Interview Questions

    • The evaluative portions of the interview included three case studies ranging from manufacturing and production, to IT related profitability problems.

      PEI included questions related to the most challenging work situation you've been in.   Answer Question

  5. Helpful (101)  

    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.


  6.  

    Business Analyst Interview

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

    Application

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

    Interview

    I went through on-campus recruiting as my school was a target. I did my first rounds at our school's career center with 2 Engagement-managers and final rounds with 3 partners at preferred office location.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell us about a time when you were in a team situation and had to resolve a conflict.   Answer Question

  7. 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
  8. Helpful (1)  

    Business Analyst Interview

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

    Application

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

    Interview

    2 interviews in the first round - both had 15 minutes of behavioral and 30 minute case. The behavioral is quite intense and they keep probing you on a specific life experience (e.g.: Tell me about a time you dealt with conflict in a team setting?) to the extent that they asked you to specifically talk about who said what in a conversation that might have happened 2-3 years ago. Definitely think of examples to answer about times when you showed leadership, personal impact and dealt with conflict. Think hard about those examples - the people around, the conversations you had, how you felt at the time, etc.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell us about a time when you dealt with conflict in a team setting?   Answer Question

  9. Helpful (1)  

    Associate Interview

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

    Application

    I applied online. The process took 6 weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (San Francisco, CA) in August 2015.

    Interview

    This was a 2nd round interview (I had already passed the Problem Solving Test and group case studies in round 1). For APD associate hires in the 2nd round you have two separate meetings: (1) with a junior consultant (an associate) and (2) an engagement manager. They each ask you 1 or 2 personal experience interview questions (one of mine is below), and you have to solve one case study problem with each interviewer. The online preparation materials from McKinsey are very good. Study them carefully. Don't go nuts studying 50 cases and memorizing case structures and that sort of nonsense. Make your stories good for the personal experience interview questions.

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me about an experience where you had to lead a team and there was a challenging situation you had to negotiate.   Answer Question

    Negotiation

    To be clear, I just finished the second round. I haven't been heard whether I will be offered the job yet.


  10. Helpful (11)  

    Consultant Interview

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

    Application

    I applied through college or university. The process took 6+ weeks. I interviewed at McKinsey & Company (San Francisco, CA) in June 2015.

    Interview

    Very long and tiresome. Please see their website since is listed there.
    As a summary, they would have a phone interview to review your experience followed by a phone case preparation. Another call for the 30-min case interview. Then you will be invited two an in person interview with a couple of their consultants. Finally, another in person interview will take place before you get an offer.


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