Ultimate 2018 guide to passing McKinsey's aptitude tests for professional jobs, internships and graduate schemes
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Did you know that over 60% (!!!) of candidates get rejected solely on the basis of their results in psychometric tests!

Are you looking for a job or an internship in one of the most respected strategic management consultancies? Get your dream job with McKinsey first time, and pass McKinsey’s aptitude tests, interviews and the assessment centre, using recommendations and tips from Graduates First.

In the article below we will provide you with a step-by-step overview of and tips and tools for successfully passing the McKinsey’s assessment process during recruitment. Let’s start!

We are a team of organisational psychologists and recruiters, who have worked for major psychometric test developers and recruitment teams in multinationals, and our only goal is help you get the job with McKinsey, first time.

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:

  1. McKinsey Online application form
  2. McKinsey Online aptitude tests
  3. McKinsey Problem solving test
  4. McKinsey Personal experience interview
  5. McKinsey Assessment centre
  6. McKinsey Final interview

STEP 1

McKinsey
Online application form

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.

STEP 2

McKinsey assessments
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.

McKinsey use CEB SHL tests.

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.

Learn more about numerical reasoning tests 

  • 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

McKinsey-style Numerical Reasoning Test Example

McKinsey-style Numerical Reasoning Test Example

Check if you got the correct answer at the bottom of the page.

For more FREE QUESTIONS similar to McKinsey assessment tests, register with Graduates First  and take your FREE numerical reasoning test now!


McKinsey Verbal Reasoning Test

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 use CEB SHL tests.

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.

Learn more about verbal reasoning tests

  • For more hints on how to pass a verbal reasoning test, visit our Youtube channel

Remember, you will have around 45 seconds to answer questions like the following

McKinsey-style Verbal Reasoning Test example

McKinsey-style Verbal Reasoning Test Example

McKinsey-style Verbal Reasoning Test Example

Got the answer? Check it out at the bottom of the page.

For more FREE QUESTIONS similar to McKinsey’s online aptitude tests, register with Graduates First  and take your FREE verbal reasoning test now!

STEP 3

McKinsey
Problem solving test

In this 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.

STEP 4

McKinsey
Personal experience interview

This 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 be competency-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.

This interview is very similar to case-study exercises many companies use during their assessment centres. For more practice visit https://www.graduatesfirst.com/prepare-for-your-assessment-centre/ now.

STEP 5

McKinsey Assessment Centre

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.

Learn more about Group Exercises

  • McKinsey Presentation Exercises

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.

Learn more about Presentation Exercises

  • McKinsey Role Play Exercise

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.

Learn more about Role Play Exercises  for more help.

STEP 6

McKinsey
Final Interview

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.

Do you want to pass your McKinsey assessments first time? Sign up for tools offered by Graduates First, the only aptitude practice test experts that provide tests to over 70 UK universities and their students, and also across Asia and continental Europe.

Go to Graduates First now and select from the range of products we offer at no risk. We offer a comprehensive premium package with a full set of assessment tools for job candidates (numerical, logical, verbal reasoning, situational judgment tests, assessment centre exercises and more). Buy with peace of mind without commitment to a full 100% money back guarantee.

Answers to questions:

Numerical reasoning test: D

Verbal reasoning test: B

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