A Few Common Sense Tips On McKinsey Interviews


The course of the McKinsey interviews selection process has three sections. In the first round, the candidate faces the PST, the Problem Solving Test. McKinsey’s site provides information on the test and examples of topics here. The PST is a preselection test of 26 questions designed to test the candidate’s quantitative skills and business sense. This test is key in your preparation, and I recommend you prepare professionally for this challenging event.


pst mckinsey


In addition to this test, the first round also consists of two interviews either individually or in groups, or by phone. These interviews normally include a fit interview and a case study excercise. In the second round, the candidate will have two other individual interviews, always including a case study. The duration of the fit interview varies from five minutes to the total duration of the interview.

This depends primarily on the seniority of your contact. During my second round at McKinsey, I had to speak directly to a senior partner who was more interested to know my motivations than my ability to solve a case. Since the process is extremely formal, I had to spend an additional case study during my third round to “catch up” the case I had not done in the second round. Finally, the third round at McKinsey is composed of two to three individual interviews for which the importance of the case is still essential, but the fit interview is becoming increasingly important. Normally, all candidates for a given office must be interviewed by the partner in charge of recruitment. This will ensure that all future consultants should be evaluated at one time by a single person.

Concerning the case study for the McKinsey method, here’s a video from the company to help candidates to prepare for the test. It is interesting, but obviously largely insufficient to ensure success, but it’s informative:


Here Are My Tips For Successing In McKinsey Interviews


  1. Especially don’t overlook any of the steps, not even those that McKinsey announced as being non-eliminatory — it depends on offices. To find out, do your little investigation before interviews.
  2. Prepare specifically for the PST that requires special training.
  3. Make sure to practice McKinsey case mode, i.e., you need to get used to following the directions imposed by your interviewer.
  4. Do not ignore the fit interview. Each of the recruitment processes includes a fit interview to test your motivation, your business sense, your perspective on your career, and your skills. Too many candidates fail to address excellent preparation in this field. Let’s say it simply: it’s eliminatory at McKinsey. And candidates I coach give me feedback that McK interviewers “love my method” even if they don’t know who I am J.
  5. Finally, try as much as possible not to be too impressed with the stakes. Often your interviewers do not help much for that. I remember such a partner who had been particularly vile, a concentrate of coldness and seemed even contemptible throughout the first part of the interview. At the end of the interview, seeing that I was not tumbling down, he confided in me that he was testing the stress resistance of candidates that way! So a word to the wise…



Other Resources On McKinsey Interviews


Links of interest - McKinsey Interviewing Official Page

- McKinsey Toughest Interviews
Videos on this topic - McKinsey Case Study Training

- McKinsey Interviews Tips
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