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Vault’s Verdict

McKinsey needs no introduction, and very little in the way of explanation as to its capabilities and reputation. There’s a reason that the firm has been at or near the top of our prestige rankings in every region of the world for years—and it’s the same reason that make it perhaps the most sought-after name on aspiring consultants’ lists of potential employers. Put simply, this is a firm with clout on a global scale. And, while it’s had its share of negative headlines in the past couple of years, there’s little sense that that clout has diminished at all—or, for that matter, its ability to pull in the hardest problems from the world’s most prominent organizations.

With that in mind, there’s little surprise in finding that its consultants continue to rave about everything from training and progression opportunities to compensation and firm culture. Like we said: no real introduction is necessary. If elite-level consulting and leadership training is your career goal, there remains no better place to do it.

Firm Culture

“The culture is remarkable. I have never worked in an organization that is so committed to enabling and supporting their staff to succeed. The warmth and inclusiveness alongside cannot be matched. But what is humbling is also the continued push to improve inclusiveness and to accept all feedback.
The downside is similar to that of the entire consulting industry: Lifestyle challenges. However, the firm does a lot to enable people to find their sustainable performance model, and offers the largest upside in terms of colleagues, culture, development opportunities, and appreciation.”

“A firm which values diverse mindsets and allows for development.”

“Best place to work for, most interesting and smart people, most exciting clients and engagements, highest reputation, most challenging recruiting process.”

“I really like the people and culture - my main recommendation would be to come meet us and find out whether it suits you, too.”

“My firm goes above and beyond to not only recruit, develop, and retain great colleagues but to build the global leaders of tomorrow.”

“We're open to speak about our experiences. Connect with one of us and help us understand your priorities.”

Quality of Life

“Best = inspiring people with diverse working methods and work/life balance aspects to learn from

Worst = the ambitious environment results in above average working hours and there is no clear core working hours / expectation what is normal.”

“Best: Flexibility of choosing my workplace given the fact that my team is spread across Europe.

Worst: none so far."

“Consultancy is still a professional service, but McKinsey enables and pushes different working models to combine the mission of people and client first. Strong push towards a more sustainable lifestyle.”

“Obviously, consulting is intense, but the firm really tries to do their best. Part-time programs are more and more adapted and there are plenty of great offerings like ‘take time’, full support of family leave, leave of absence and extended time-off between projects.”

“Several ongoing initiatives to improve quality of life, e.g., part-time offering, parental leave program with extended paid leave.”


“Best aspects: subject to increase and promotion. Worst aspects: not considering cost of living in the city, little support with equipment for home office.”

“High bonus for good performers.”

“It is more generous than what I know from friends from other consultancies.”

“Pay equality.”

“Very fair salary compared to industry benchmark.”

Career Development

“Promotion processes are very transparent and best on honest apprenticeship and coaching. Also, trainings are truly amazing, with true wow moments. Additionally, firm rotations are very easy and it is encouraged to go abroad (if desired by employee).”

“The best part for me so far was the constant support of my team. You are getting the feeling from day 1 that they are glad to have you and willing to help you with everything. The team and managers are willing to help you to develop your career in any direction and support you wherever they can.
As I am quite new, I can mainly speak of my onboarding process. The worst here for me was that it was entirely virtual. Having the NHO [New Hire Orientation] completely virtual was extremely exhausting and tiring and I believe having done this in person would have helped to have a smoother onboarding and easier integration within the local offices.”

“Best = it is merit based, no unhealthy competition to colleagues as everyone can go farther.
Worst = in rare occasions, sometimes the career development is almost too fast since the environment is very dynamic (makes it tough to cherish the moment)."

“McKinsey supports its employees in challenging times, e.g., enables you to take leave for several months if you need it. There are a lot of in-person and remote trainings and in addition opportunities to get individual coaching sessions.”

“The best part is that you are allowed to build your own path completely, you can freely choose the industries, functions, and locations you want to look into knowing you will work on the most challenging projects with no slowdown of your career progression. 

The worst part is that sometime your region can ask you to not go for an international project if there is a shortage of local consultants in your home region.”

Community Engagement

“Our consultants represent 120+ nationalities and speak over 160 languages. Our diversity is both inherent and acquired. I typically work on international teams. We have different diversity networks, e.g., Asian/Asian Americans, Blacks, Gays and Lesbians, Hispanic/Latinos, Individuals with Disabilities, Veterans, Women.”

“Ambitious targets for more diversity but which are really implemented with concrete initiatives and tracking of KPIs.”

“Highly involved in diversity projects for women and LGBTQ+ individuals. My firm has affinity groups and communities. Everyone has access to the same opportunities.”

“Our GLAM (LGBTQ+) network is excellent, strong base in Cologne as well. We participated in the Christopher Street parade. We have many great role models, but overall, still dominated by typical stereotypes at the very high levels. It is improving though.”

“We have set a high standard for recruiting and advancing women colleagues. we are still struggling to attract talent with diverse profiles and ethnicities.”

Business Outlook

“Extremely innovative with new tools and clients every day.”

"Great client ties to support for any project. Heavy innovation and more hard skills for the firm e.g. digital, implementation, operations skills.’

“McKinsey is constantly on the forefront of industry trends investing in research across industries.”

“Strong pipeline.”

Hiring Process

“Callback process is super quick with less than 2 weeks recruiting time.”

“I received a call back within a week, informing me that I made it.”

“Very professional interview process.”

“We are seeking for inclusive (i.e. team player) candidates with strong analytical skills and the motivation to develop constantly.”

Interview Questions

“Behavioral questions to find out background and CV e.g. when was the last time you showed leadership skills?”

“Case study e.g. exhibits about automotive production figures and profitability of different cars.”

“Extremely competitive recruiting process with both technical and qualitative interview parts. Challenging case interviews and in-depth personal stories.”

“Please describe a situation where you had to overcome challenges.”

“Very tough cases were given in each interview.”

McKinsey & Company Europe

55 East 52nd Street
New York , NY 10022
Phone: (212) 446-7000

Firm Stats

Global Managing Partner: Bob Sternfels
2023 Employees (All Locations): 38,000

Major Office Locations


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