Preparing for the interview
Candidates who are invited to interview participate in two types of interviews: experience interviews and case interviews.
These tools help us assess your capabilities and potential in the four areas critical to our daily work: problem solving, achieving, personal impact, and leadership. They also give you a better understanding of our work, our people, and ultimately if this is the right career path for you.
If you are invited to interview, we are already impressed by your achievements to date. However, it is not just your accomplishments that are important to us–it is also the skills you've developed along the way.
Our interviewers are trained to examine your past accomplishments in depth, to determine if your skills position you well for a successful career at McKinsey. Be prepared to discuss your most important past experiences in a very detailed way, focusing on your specific role and describing the main actions that were critical to success.
The most effective way for us to assess your problem-solving skills is to discuss a typical McKinsey business problem with you, using two different case studies during your interviews.
These broad, two-way discussions demonstrate your ability to creatively approach complex or ambiguous problems in unfamiliar businesses, structure your thinking, and reach sensible conclusions in a short time based on the available facts. These skills are critical to being a successful consultant.
Since no particular background or set of qualifications necessarily prepares you for a career in consulting, we've come to rely on the case interviews during our candidate assessment process.
How you will be evaluated
Because case interviews present problems for which there are no predetermined answers, you will be evaluated more on how you go about dealing with the problem than on the specific answers you come up with.
We will be assessing how you think about problems and whether you can reach a well-supported conclusion. We will also be gauging your ability to prioritize and exercise judgment within a business context.
Your approach to the case and the insights you reach will demonstrate your problem-solving abilities and help us get a sense of your potential.
How the case interview benefits you
As you work through the business cases during your two interviews, you will understand more about our firm and the kinds of problems we solve. Most candidates enjoy the cases and the business issues they raise.
Practicing before a case interview
We recommend that you practice for the case study interviews, especially if you are inexperienced at interactive problem-solving discussions. To help you prepare for your interview, we've put together some practice case studies and the team leader game.