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Behavioral Job Interview Questions and Answers for McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company is a prestigious global management consulting firm that offers challenging and rewarding opportunities. The company is known for its collaborative culture, commitment to excellence, and focus on client service.

Top interview questions to expect

Top 7 Behavioral Interview Questions for McKinsey:

1. Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult decision. How did you approach it?
2. Describe a situation where you led a team to achieve a challenging goal.
3. Give me an example of a time when you overcame a significant obstacle.
4. Tell me about a time when you had to adapt to a new situation quickly.
5. Share an experience where you had to persuade someone to see your point of view.
6. Describe a situation where you had to prioritize competing demands.
7. Tell me about a time when you had to work under pressure.

Check the latest questions for this role:

Answering interview questions with STAR structure

The STAR framework is a structured way to answer interview questions by providing specific examples of your skills and experience. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.

Situation: Briefly describe the situation or context in which the event took place.

Task: Explain the task or goal you were responsible for achieving.

Action: Detail the specific actions you took to address the task or goal.

Result: Describe the positive outcome or result of your actions.

Using the STAR framework helps you provide clear and concise answers that highlight your skills and experience.

Sample answers to above interview questions


1. Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult decision. How did you approach it?

Example Answer:

“I was once faced with the difficult decision of whether to accept a job offer from another company or stay with my current company. I carefully considered the pros and cons of both options, taking into account factors such as my career goals, the potential for growth, and the impact on my family. After thoroughly evaluating the situation, I decided to stay with my current company because I believed it aligned better with my long-term career objectives.”

Why this answer is strong:

The answer uses the STAR framework to provide a clear and concise explanation of the situation, task, action, and result. The candidate demonstrates their ability to make difficult decisions by carefully considering all relevant factors. The candidate also shows their commitment to their current company and their long-term career goals.

2. Describe a situation where you led a team to achieve a challenging goal.

Example Answer:

“As a project manager at my previous company, I was responsible for leading a team of engineers to develop a new software product. The project was complex and challenging, with many technical hurdles to overcome. I used my strong leadership and communication skills to motivate and guide the team, ensuring that everyone was aligned on the project goals and objectives. We faced several setbacks along the way, but we persevered and eventually launched the product on time and within budget, to the satisfaction of our clients.”

Why this answer is strong:

The answer uses the STAR framework to provide a detailed account of the situation, task, action, and result. The candidate demonstrates their leadership skills by motivating and guiding their team to achieve a challenging goal. The candidate also shows their ability to overcome obstacles and their commitment to delivering results.

3. Give me an example of a time when you overcame a significant obstacle.

Example Answer:

“During my time as a marketing manager, I was tasked with launching a new product in a highly competitive market. The initial sales were slow, and we faced significant challenges in gaining market traction. Instead of giving up, I conducted thorough market research to understand consumer preferences and identify potential barriers to adoption. Based on my findings, I developed a revised marketing strategy that focused on highlighting the unique features and benefits of our product. I also implemented a series of targeted promotions to reach our target audience. As a result of my efforts, sales began to increase, and we were able to achieve our market share goals.”

Why this answer is strong:

The answer uses the STAR framework to provide a clear and concise explanation of the situation, task, action, and result. The candidate demonstrates their ability to overcome obstacles by conducting thorough research and adapting their strategy. The candidate also shows their commitment to achieving results and their ability to think critically and solve problems.

4. Tell me about a time when you had to adapt to a new situation quickly.

Example Answer:

“When I first joined my current company, I was assigned to a project team that was working on a complex technical issue. I had limited experience in this area, but I quickly realized that I needed to learn fast in order to contribute to the project’s success. I took the initiative to seek out additional training and resources, and I also reached out to my team members for support. As a result, I was able to quickly get up to speed and make a valuable contribution to the project.”

Why this answer is strong:

The answer uses the STAR framework to provide a detailed account of the situation, task, action, and result. The candidate demonstrates their ability to adapt to new situations by taking the initiative to learn new skills and seek support from their team members. The candidate also shows their commitment to delivering results and their willingness to go the extra mile.

5. Share an experience where you had to persuade someone to see your point of view.

Example Answer:

“In my previous role as a sales representative, I had to persuade a potential customer to choose our product over a competitor’s product. The customer was initially hesitant, but I used my strong communication and persuasion skills to highlight the unique features and benefits of our product. I also provided concrete evidence of our product’s superior performance and reliability. As a result of my efforts, the customer was convinced and ultimately decided to purchase our product.”

Why this answer is strong:

The answer uses the STAR framework to provide a detailed account of the situation, task, action, and result. The candidate demonstrates their persuasion skills by effectively communicating the benefits of their product and providing concrete evidence to support their claims. The candidate also shows their commitment to achieving results and their ability to close deals.

6. Describe a situation where you had to prioritize competing demands.

Example Answer:

“During my time as a project manager, I was responsible for managing multiple projects with competing deadlines. I used my strong organizational and time management skills to prioritize tasks and allocate resources effectively. I also communicated regularly with my team members and stakeholders to ensure that everyone was aware of the project priorities and the expected deliverables. As a result, I was able to successfully complete all projects on time and within budget.”

Why this answer is strong:

The answer uses the STAR framework to provide a clear and concise explanation of the situation, task, action, and result. The candidate demonstrates their ability to prioritize competing demands by using their organizational and time management skills. The candidate also shows their commitment to delivering results and their ability to communicate effectively with team members and stakeholders.

7. Tell me about a time when you had to work under pressure.

Example Answer:

“In my current role, I am often required to work under pressure to meet tight deadlines. I have developed strong time management and stress management skills to help me excel in this fast-paced environment. I break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones and prioritize them based on their importance and urgency. I also take regular breaks to recharge and maintain my focus. As a result, I am able to consistently deliver high-quality work under pressure.”

Why this answer is strong:

The answer uses the STAR framework to provide a detailed account of the situation, task, action, and result. The candidate demonstrates their ability to work under pressure by using their time management and stress management skills. The candidate also shows their commitment to delivering results and their ability to maintain their focus and composure under pressure.

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