McKinsey Assessment Centre, Problem Solving Test and Interview Preparation

Are you applying to McKinsey and Company, either on an internship, as part of the McKinsey graduate scheme or in another position? There is a detailed and difficult recruitment process, particularly for the graduate program with a few different steps that you will need to come through in order to get that prized offer. This article aims to help you through the entire recruitment process with tips and suggestions to you the result you want.
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There are a number of different steps in the McKinsey recruitment process and they include:

We will outline each of the stages below.

McKinsey Online Application Form

The first stage of the McKinsey recruitment process is the completion of the online application form. In this form you are required to fill in all of your scholastic achievements. You also need to upload your CV. Unlike many companies who only want a simple CV, at McKinsey they want to know about you in a more personal way. This means that they want to know your past work experience as well as your other skills and achievements. Of particular relevance is your application of the key values and principles of the company and where you have shown them in the past. This is used as a predicator for the future. The key values are:

  • The client’s interest comes ahead of our own.
  • Behave as consummate professionals.
  • Client information always stays confidential.
  • Always telling the truth.
  • Delivering the best.

Showing that you have demonstrated these values before in your CV, creating a snapshot of your life achievements thus far, is a complicated task. This is why here at JobTestPrep we have a prepared a CV and cover letter package that helps you produce the best possible CV and cover letter possible. Avail yourself to this great package and you won't be disappointed.

McKinsey Problem Solving Test

This test is unique in the application process as it is a combination of a case study, numerical reasoning test, and verbal reasoning test. You are presented with a case study about a certain company that needs McKinsey’s help to increase their profits. To begin with you are given approximately a page of information with four questions. After the initial four questions you will be given more information about the case that you have to analyse and use to form a larger picture of the company and aims for them. As you continue to work your way through the questions you will be given more and more information. There are 26 questions to be answered in the one hour timeframe.

The questions fall into two main categories: Numerical reasoning problems and Verbal critical reasoning questions.

Regarding the numerical test questions of the McKinsey problem solving test you are presented with numerous tables and graphs that you have to use to calculate percentages in terms of growth rate, cost, profit, and sales among other things. Using the information given you have to calculate the output and select the correct answer from four or five different options.

With regards to the verbal questions in the McKinsey problem solving test you have to analyse the information and judge which one of the multiple choice options is the correct answer. There are two types of questions in this section of the test. In the first type of question, you are asked to correctly find the conclusion from the information given. In these questions all you have to do is to actually find the relevant and correct information from the case study. The second type of question has more to do with your judgement. In it you have to discern the correct conclusion from the information given. There is a clear cut answer but you will only be able to work it out by using your critical thinking skills.

The McKinsey problem solving test is a huge obstacle for many of the candidates. There are two very different skills assessed in this test; your numerical reasoning skills as well as your verbal reasoning skills. Furthermore, comprehending the large amount of information and using it to come to correct conclusions in a very time pressured environment is not easy. We therefore recommend both our numerical reasoning practise pack and our verbal reasoning test package to give you complete preparation for taking the McKinsey problem solving test.

McKinsey Personal Experience Interview

There are two parts to the McKinsey interview process. This interview, the first of two, is an in depth look at your CV. Everything that McKinsey have found interesting on your CV will be up for discussion. For example, if you have included that you were in charge of a youth group, you will be expected to go through what you did, the challenges you faced and what you did to come through them. This is best done through using the STAR method. As well as this, all your qualifications will be under the microscope in the same way. You will be asked to explain the reasons why you chose a particular course and why you think it will help you in the future.

Some McKinsey interview questions include:

  • Tell me about a time you resolved a conflict.
  • Describe a situation when you had to deal with a difficult team member.
  • Why do you think that your qualification is ideally suited to consulting?
  • Tell me about a time when you have shown professionalism.

The best way of preparing for an interview is to actually have a mock one where you have to answer the questions that will be posed during the real thing. This can be done with a friend or relative but the best way to prepare is to have an interview with a trained assessor who can give you tips and advice on enhancing your answers, tailoring them to the company you are applying for. At JobTestPrep we have created a Skype based interview package to help you create the best persona you can for your all important job interview.

McKinsey Case Interview

Following on from the personal experience interview is the McKinsey case study one. In the McKinsey case study interview you will be presented with a particular case, similar to the one you have already gone through in the McKinsey Problem Solving Test. You will work through the problems and solutions with the interviewer, analyse the different possible solutions and come to a decision on the best course of action. You are being analysed on your ability to think outside the box, showing your lateral thinking skills. This interview in many respects is like a game of chess with the interviewer; you have to respond to their challenges and mount one of your own. However, bear in mind that you are being measured against the key values of the company mentioned above, and to this end try to incorporate these values into your answers. Learn how we can help you with case studies and role plays.

Useful tips for the case study interview include:

  • Make a note of the important information. You can do this on the paper that is provided.
  • If something isn't clear -ask! This shows that you want to make informed decisions and not hasty ones.
  • After you have come through the previous stages, you will be invited to have some more interviews similar to those that you have already faced. These are of a less formal nature and serve the purpose of seeing how well you would fit into the company.

In Summary

We have seen that although the McKinsey recruitment process is arduous, it is not particularly long in comparison to other companies but definitely very difficult. With our help and advice, we are sure that you will be able to produce the best performance you can for every aspect of the process. We hope you have enjoyed this article and look forward to helping you in your application, good luck!

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