The interview at McKinsey will include a mix of competency-based and technical questions and a case study to help us understand how you analyze real-life business.
- How hard are McKinsey interviews?
- How do I pass a McKinsey interview?
- How long is McKinsey hiring process?
- What does McKinsey look for in candidates?
Hiring Process Steps
The company receives a large number of applications each year for various roles including consultants, analysts, and more specialized positions. Below is a general outline of the recruitment process, which may differ by region and role:
- Application Submission: Applicants typically submit a resume, cover letter, and sometimes transcripts online through the McKinsey careers portal.
- Online Assessment: Some candidates may need to complete an online assessment. McKinsey used to have a test known as the PST (Problem Solving Test), but more recently they introduced the McKinsey Problem Solving Game, also known as the Digital Assessment, which evaluates problem-solving skills in a gamified environment.
- First Round Interviews: Those who pass the initial assessment are invited to the first round of interviews. This round usually consists of two interviews with consultants or project managers. Each interview typically includes a personal experience portion, where the candidate is asked about their experiences as they relate to McKinsey’s values, followed by a case study.
- Second Round Interviews: Successful candidates are invited to a second round of interviews. This usually includes three to four interviews, often with more senior members of the firm, including partners. The format is similar to the first round but may include more complex cases and a deeper dive into personal fit.
- Final Round Interviews: Some offices have a final round, which might include interviews with more senior members of the firm and potentially a presentation or group exercise.
- Offer Extended: If a candidate successfully passes all stages of the interview process, they may receive an offer to join McKinsey.
About The Company
McKinsey & Company is a United States-based management consulting firm, founded in 1926 by the University of Chicago professor James O. McKinsey, that advises on strategic management to corporations, governments, and other organizations.
Headquarters: New York, New York, United States
Number of locations: 131 offices
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A career at McKinsey & Company can be a transformative experience and offers a wide array of opportunities for personal and professional growth. Here are some aspects to consider if you’re thinking about a career at this prestigious management consulting firm:
University Recruiting internship and graduate opportunity.
- Consultant: Perhaps the most well-known role, consultants work directly with clients to solve their most pressing business challenges.
- Business Analysts/Associates: Typically for entry-level candidates or those with a few years of experience.
- Engagement Managers: Responsible for leading teams and engagements.
- Partners/Principals: More senior roles, usually requiring a track record of successful client engagements and leadership.
- Functional and Industry Experts: Specialists in areas like digital transformation, marketing, healthcare, etc.
- Operations Roles: Positions in HR, IT, marketing, and other supporting functions.
Some candidates may need to complete an online assessment. McKinsey used to have a test known as the PST (Problem Solving Test), but more recently they introduced the McKinsey Problem Solving Game, also known as the Digital Assessment, which evaluates problem-solving skills in a gamified environment.
Assessment test you may take according to your position
- Basic Math
- Numerical Reasoning & Series
- Verbal Reasoning
- Logical Reasoning
- Situational Judgement Tests
Interviewing at McKinsey
McKinsey looks for inclusive leadership, personal impact, entrepreneurial drive, and problem-solving skills.
Common Interview Questions.
The second-round interview at McKinsey is a crucial phase of the recruitment process and generally consists of more in-depth interviews than the first round. This round is usually conducted by more senior staff, such as partners or directors, who may be directly involved in decision-making around hiring. Here’s what you can expect and some tips on how to prepare:
What to Expect
- Number of Interviews: You’ll usually have two to three interviews in this round.
- Personal Experience Interview (PEI): Like in the first round, each interview typically starts with a segment dedicated to behavioral or situational questions, aimed at understanding your interpersonal skills, values, and leadership abilities.
- Case Study Interview: This is the core of each interview and will involve solving a business problem, often based on real client cases the firm has worked on. The complexity of these cases may be higher in the second round.
- Q&A: Some interviews may end with a brief period where you can ask the interviewer questions. This is an opportunity to further demonstrate your interest in the firm and learn about their experiences.
- Multi-layered Questions: Sometimes, interviewers dig deeper with more complex, multi-layered case questions or ask follow-up questions on your answers to the PEI.
McKinsey interviews usually begin with a personal experience interview, where the interviewer will ask about a candidate’s background, experiences, and specific examples that highlight qualities like leadership, personal impact, problem-solving, and entrepreneurial drive.
Interview questions and answers you need to know
- What is the single largest problem facing your team today?
- What is a typical day/week or month for someone in this position?
- What do you know about the company?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- What do you consider your best accomplishment in your last job?
- What can you tell me about the position that isn’t listed in the job post?
- What do you know about the company?
- How do others describe you?
- What are some things you would like to avoid in a job? And Why?
- Tell me about your education.
- How would you describe yourself?
- Practice Cases: Use available resources to practice as many case interviews as possible. Books, online resources, universities, and even case interview preparation companies can provide materials.
- Understand the Industry: Having a grasp of general business concepts, different industries, and current events can be beneficial.
- Use the STAR Method for PEI: For the Personal Experience Interview, the Situation, Task, Action, Result (STAR) method can help you provide clear and concise answers.
- Work on Communication: Your ability to communicate clearly and persuasively is vital.
After the interview, it’s normal to have a brief Q&A session where you can ask the interviewer questions about the firm, the team, the work they do, etc.