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McKinsey Acceptance Rate – Revealed

Renowned for its edge-cutting strategies, transformative insights, and influential clientele, McKinsey & Company has become synonymous with excellence. So how competitive is it to get a job there?

Through rigorous research and hours spent online, I found the McKinsey acceptance rate is only 1% to 1.1% which means the firm is even more selective than Big 4 firms when hiring new professionals. This rate is affected by several factors, including:

  • Vacancies for the role
  • Requirements of the firm
  • Candidates’ academic backgrounds 

Below, I’ll reveal:

  • The key stats regarding McKinsey’s acceptance rate
  • I’ll analyze the factors that may shape your chances of securing a position at McKinsey
New York skyline, including headquarters of McKinsey

McKinsey Acceptance Rate Stats

McKinsey & Company is a renowned global management consulting firm. They were founded in 1926 and provide a range of advisory services to:

  • government
  • leading businesses
  • and institutions

While McKinsey is widely known for attracting top-tier talent from diverse backgrounds, it also maintains an exceptionally rigorous hiring process to hire only the best professionals in the field. 

In fact, the firm’s recruitment process is known as the most competitive one in the corporate world, with only a 1% to 1.1% acceptance rate.

McKinsey mostly hunts for MBA holders and hires only 2000 professionals among the 200k applications it receives yearly. (Source

McKinsey Acceptance Rate Comparision With Big 4 Firms

If you are a new graduate and eager to get a job at McKinsey or any Big 4 firms, you might want to compare their acceptance rate to gauge your chances of success.

To help you with this, I’ve compared the acceptance rate at McKinsey with the Big 4 firms in the table below:

CompanyAcceptance Rate
McKinsey1% – 1.1%
Deloitte3.7% – 4%
PwC4% – 5%
KPMG4% – 8%

As the above data reveals, McKinsey boasts a notoriously low acceptance rate among these prestigious consulting firms.

Let’s be clear – this shows their highly selective approach to recruiting top talent. 

This means a candidate has to showcase:

  • Exceptional skills
  • Academic qualifications
  • Experience to secure a coveted position within the firm.  (Source)
The New York skyline at dawn, with the Rockefeller Building in the foreground

McKinesy Recruitment Process

The McKinsey recruitment process is pivotal in determining the acceptance rate statistics because it helps the firm identify exceptional and best of the best candidates for the respective job position.

I’ll now comprehensively discuss this process at McKinsey to help you prepare for it and join the list of accepted professionals.

1. Online Applications Submission

The first step to starting the recruitment journey at McKinsey is to submit your online application on their website, along with your CV and cover letter. 

This is a brutal phase!

This stage is the core of the low acceptance rate at the firm because almost 60-80% of candidates are rejected because the details in the application forms fail to impress the HR representatives. (Source)

The firm evaluates the CVs of the candidates based on:

  • Academic excellence
  • Relevant experience
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Internships 
  • Hobbies 

2. Problem-Solving Game

Once the recruitment team reviews the applications, the shortlisted candidates are invited to complete a problem-solving game. This game helps the recruitment team to check their abilities in:

  • Critical thinking at the most opportune moments
  • Problem-solving behavior while stuck in a situation
  • Deductive, decisive, inductive, and qualitative skills to getting out of the tough hurdle

The game stage further narrows down the list of selected candidates at McKinsey and lowers its acceptance rate. (Source)

3. Interviews

The McKinsey interview process includes two interviews and each lasting around 40-50 minutes. During this stage, you’ll undergo a comprehensive evaluation to fluctuate the firm’s acceptance rate and your suitability for the job position. (Source)

In the first part of the interview, the HR team asks you about:

  • Your experiences
  • Achievements
  • And skills.

Then you’ll be asked to provide details of any important event in your life and to how to handle tasks to succeed.

The second part of the interview involves a case study discussion, where the recruitment team presents you with another problem to solve.

The focus here is how you approach and solve the problem rather than proposing the solution outright. 

McKinsey values:

  • creativity
  • analytical thinking
  • and adaptability in navigating complex challenges.

In the last stage, you are provided with an opportunity to ask questions about the corporation. These will help demonstrate your interest in the company, and how you align with their culture.

After the first interview, the recruitment team provides feedback and invites you to the second round in case of success. 

One applicant at Mckinsey said about the interview process, “Case (building a framework, calculations, other recommendations) and behavioral interview with a current analyst; 45 minutes total on Zoom with time for Q&A; they call later in the day about the result.” (Source)

The recruitment process extends to full-time positions and internships that ensure the same high standards are upheld regardless of the role.

This process may be a bit different for specialized job positions to assess specific skill sets and expertise.

4. Offer Letter

Once you have demonstrated your exceptional skills, cultural fit, and potential to thrive within McKinsey, you’ll receive an offer letter formally extending an invitation to join the list of accepted professionals in the firm. 

The most interesting part of this bit is the more candidates who manage to impress the HR representative, the more their chances are getting hired by the company, which positively affects and increases its acceptance rate. 

Factors Affecting Acceptance Rate At McKinsey

While the acceptance rate at McKinsey is highly elusive, several factors can affect these stats, such as:

  • Vacancies for a job
  • Competitiveness for the position
  • Business requirements of the firm 
  • Academic background of the candidates
  • Experience and skills of the candidates (Source)

Final Thoughts!

In this article, I’ve revealed the stats about the McKinsey acceptance rate and compared it with the Big 4 firms. I’ve also discussed the recruitment process of the firm, which includes:

  • Submitting online application, along with CV and cover letter
  • Completing the McKinsey problem-solving game
  • Going through three rounds of interviews, each lasting 40-45 minutes
  • Receiving an offer letter from the firm in case of approval

I hope the stats and analysis in this article gave you an idea of the firm’s competitiveness to help you prepare well for a chance of hiring in any of their global offices. 


  • Will Bennett

    Will Bennett is a Cambridge graduate. He worked as a Consultant and Senior Consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in London. Will is the Founder of The Cambridge Consultant.