Over 80% of applicants get rejected by McKinsey & Company solely on the basis of their online aptitude tests!
You need to score above 90th percentile in McKinsey’s online aptitude tests to move on to the next recruitment stage.
If you want to start your career in strategic consultancy, McKinsey & Company is among the best choices. If you are a professional or graduate looking for a job, internship or a graduate scheme, we want you to succeed. In the article below, we will provide you with a step-by-step overview of the best tips for successfully passing a very thorough McKinsey’s candidate assessment process during recruitment: job application, online aptitude tests, assessment centre, and a set of interviews.
If you decide to apply, you can practice online aptitude tests with us to improve your results and get scores above 90th percentile.
We are a team of experienced organisational psychologists and recruiters who worked for major aptitude test publishers, banks, consultancis and multinationals. We share proven tips and examples of psychometric tests to help you pass McKinsey’s assessment and online tests.
This is your 2021 guide to passing McKinsey’s aptitude tests, problem solving test (PST), assessment centre and interviews.
Do not miss this opportunity. Enjoy the learning and best of luck!
McKinsey & Company is a worldwide management consulting firm. It conducts qualitative and quantitative analysis in order to evaluate management decisions across the public and private sectors. McKinsey employs over 14,000 staff in 110 offices scattered all across the globe. Since McKinsey is regarded as a top organisation for careers in management consulting, competition for each spot is fierce. This is why you need to perform your best at each stage of the recruitment process.
McKinsey’s job applications and assessment process is divided into 6 stages:
At this stage you will be asked fill in the online application form. Make sure you give all the necessary information, as this will form a basis for any future references. Do spend some extra time to make sure that this form will reflect both – you as a person, but also as an ideal candidate for McKinsey.
You will be required to provide details of your education history, academic results and relevant work experience.
Tip: When it comes to submitting your completed application, earlier is always better – often candidates are assessed on a rolling basis, so submitting early increases your chances. Always double-check the application form for any mistakes before submission.
Tip: Make sure you have a copy of all the information you have provided. You may be asked for details during the interview. Know your CV inside out. If the information in your application and information shared during the call are different, your application may be disregarded for future processing.
Tip: Make a copy of your submission documents and information provided. You may be asked for details during the interview.
Online aptitude tests
Once your application has been screened and assessed positively, you will be invited to sit McKinsey’s online aptitude tests.
These will include McKinsey’s:
numerical reasoning test,
verbal reasoning test
The difficulty level of the McKinsey online tests will depend on the business area and position you applied to, so be sure to carefully read all the information in the aptitude test invite email.
McKinsey Numerical Reasoning Rest
Since working at McKinsey and Company will require you to use numerical skills and ability to interpret data from tables and charts, the McKinsey numerical reasoning test will examine your ability to understand a previously unseen passage – as well as its data. You will be required to perform basic GCSE Maths calculations.
Do not worry if you have not done Maths in a while! The difficulty of this does not lie in the knowledge tested but in the time pressure and stress. When taking your numerical reasoning test, you will have a minute to read the question, analyse data provided and perform the necessary calculations.
Tip: The only way to succeed is to take practice tests beforehand. This way you familiarise yourself with the types of questions and become more confident. Learn how to manage your stress in a safe environment and you will not have to face rejection – just because you were unfamiliar with the process.
For more hints on how to pass a numerical reasoning test, visit our Youtube channel
If you are looking for a McKinsey-style numerical reasoning test with questions and answers, worked-solutions and professional score reports including personalised tips based on your performance – then Graduates First has it covered.
McKinsey-style Numerical Reasoning Test Example
Check if you got the correct answer at the bottom of the page.
McKinsey’s Verbal Reasoning Test will determine how confident you are in extracting information from a previously unseen passage of text, to identify whether subsequent statements are true, false, or impossible to say based on the information contained in the passage of text.
McKinsey’s Verbal Reasoning Test could potentially be more challenging for non-native speakers in English, but the advice we give to everyone is to practice verbal reasoning test questions beforehand, as this allows you to understand the specific way in which the texts are built and questions asked. The format of questions is very different to anything you would experience at school.
Tip: To have a better understanding of what is required of you, always start by reading the passage first before even looking at the question. Make sure you fully understand the text and only then should you attempt answering the question.
In McKinsey’s problem solving test assessment you will be given 60 minutes to tackle 26 real-life McKinsey client cases. You will be presented with three scenarios, each supplemented by a number of text passages, tables and charts, and will be asked to weigh-up and determine the best answer to a problem.
McKinsey’s problem solving test will assess your ability to solve business problems using quantitative, inductive and deductive reasoning. In many cases you will need to perform calculations using information from the tables or charts, then use your logical thinking to apply the results to real-life business problems. Other questions might require you to critically assess the passage of text – and so will tap into your verbal reasoning ability.
Tip: The difficulty of this test lies in the mixture of questions types. Remember to stay calm and try to tackle one question at a time. Always read the instruction twice for better understanding, and then think carefully about what skill is required from you in this particular question.
Personal Experience Interview
McKinsey’s Personal Experience Interview will consist of two main parts:
CV-based interview which will focus on your experiences and motivations
Case-study interview which will expose you to a real life problem and require you to solve it
A. CV-based interview
Anything that you included in your CV might be discussed in this interview. This is why it is so important to look through your CV and make sure that you are able to evaluate any points that you have made.
Your interview will becompetency-based (CBI). Be ready to discuss specific examples in which you demonstrated certain skills: determination, teamwork, leadership skills, etc. McKinsey and Company interview questions will typically be around your previous projects and experiences – whether they stem from your professional, academic, private or fitness-related life experiences.
Each of your answers should ideally follow a STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) model, in which you need to refer to each of the four points mentioned above; explain what the particular situation was, what task you were faced with, what action you took and what the result was.
Want to know what questions could come up in your interview? Graduates First can help with our proprietary Question Identifier Tool (QIT).
B. Case-study interview
In this interview, you will be required to demonstrate your problem-solving abilities by evaluating a business case study in front of your assessor. You will need to show how you take into account the information presented, select key factors and show your reasoning. At the end, you will need to reach a conclusion and be able to defend your decision.
Tip: Solving case-studies is a very particular skill that is impossible to be mastered without practice. Make sure you tackle a few examples beforehand. You can also practice these with your friend as that will offer you a different point of view. Ask your friend to critically assess you.
The next stage of the McKinsey recruitment process is an Assessment Centre, during which you will be assessed by senior members of the relevant business area/s across a variety of exercises. These may take form of the:
McKinsey Group Exercise
This assessment examines your ability to communicate and reach conclusions as part of a team. Throughout this task you will be observed by McKinsey’s recruiters, so try to demonstrate your strengths; share and explain your ideas, but also be open to build on somebody else’s input and develop on their points, try your best to persuade others towards your opinions and also ask thought-provoking questions. Above all – stay calm and speak in a confident and clear manner.
This exercise will mainly test you on your communication skills. Your assessors will also be looking at your body language and tone to see how you would cope with delivering professional presentations, taking part in group discussions and explaining your opinions.
Presentation exercise tip: Always stand straight, make regular eye contact with everyone in the audience and do not speak too fast.
You will be given around 20 minutes to work in a pair and analyse a set of information. You and your partner will then need to prepare your response. In the second part, your interviewer will play the role of a client and you will be representing McKinsey. In this task, you will need to display your negotiation skills, teamwork and analytical thinking.
Congratulations – you are almost there. The Final Interview is the last stage of the McKinsey application process. You just need to focus on a few more things.
Learn as much as you can about McKinsey and its corporate culture. You need to have a high level of understanding of McKinsey’s mission, any relevant recent big news and its future developments. Think about the industry as a whole too – do you see any structural changes that you could talk about?
The Final Interview at McKinsey and Company is also your opportunity to find out more about the company and the team you might be working with. However, asking interesting questions in the interview is about so much more than this. Come equipped with some thought-provoking questions, stand out from the competition and demonstrate your genuine motivation and enthusiasm to work for the company. Do not be afraid to ask your interviewer about their personal experiences with the company, as well as their career path. They want to see your genuine interest to work for McKinsey, rather than someone who comes across as just another ‘job seeker’. Your enthusiasm and interest may offset some of your shortcomings from the interview.
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