How McKinsey assesses a candidate's aptitude

McKinsey invites candidates to the London office to take its Problem Solving Test (PST).

This is an overview of the application process for a graduate job or internship at McKinsey. Aspiring McKinsey business analysts face an ultra-intense selection process that includes:

  • An online application form
  • A CV and covering email
  • McKinsey Problem Solving Test (PST)
  • Experience interviews
  • Case interviews
  • A role-play and case interview

The McKinsey application form

The online form has the standard sections to complete: personal details, education, and employment history. Candidates can apply to up to four different offices; flexibility on location is appreciated.

There are bases in Dublin and London but there is the option to apply to one of McKinsey’s global offices. Bear in mind that fluency in the native language is a pre-requisite.

McKinsey asks for a CV which is typical of strategy consultancies. A cover letter is optional. The CV should include your academic record, including A-Level grades (or equivalent) and subjects. Detail extra-curricular activities, especially volunteer work, sporting achievements and entrepreneurial initiatives. Work experience and internships should be listed with dates of employment, a description of the role and any tangible achievements.

McKinsey Problem Solving Test

The McKinsey PST, or Problem Solving Test, assesses the candidate’s aptitude for problems faced by McKinsey business analysts every day. Provided with a series of tables, charts and ‘further evidence’, applicants have an hour to answer 26 questions related to three business scenarios.

Interviews at McKinsey

McKinsey is obsessive when it comes to recruiting and is notorious for subjecting candidates to multiple interview rounds, including final interviews in different cities.

First and final rounds feature two hour-long interviews with case and competency questions. The final round also includes a case interview and role-play and an advanced PST. Mckinsey's website offers lots of helpful tips on their interviews.

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