Not great, in comparison to other jobs. It does vary, but in general, you should expect to be working from 8-9am until 10pm Monday - Thursday, with breaks for dinner, and/or working out. Friday, the day ends earlier (around 4pm-6pm) and the pace is more relaxed. Many engagements will require working up to midnight during the week, and most engagements will have a few days that require work past midnight. That varies dramatically by study, however. Some study types have notoriously bad work-life balance (due diligences for example), but they tend to be shorter engagements. Weekend work is not common (in the Chicago office at least), but some offices have more aggressive norms. Just ask current firm members at the office you're recruiting for to get a sense.
What did the recruiting process consist of from start to finish? (e.g. how many rounds, format of interview, how long did they last, etc.)
2 rounds 1st round: 2 cases and 2 PEI questions (on campus) 2nd round: 3 cases and 3 PEI questions (at McKinsey's office, all with partners)
What advice do you have for someone recruiting here, and how would you recommend preparing for the interviews?
There are two components to each McKinsey interview - an in-person case and the Personal Experience interview (PEI). It is extremely important to remember that THEY ARE WEIGHTED EQUALLY. Cases are perhaps easier to practice, but do not neglect your stories. The McKinsey website has lots of good advice for how to prepare for the PEI, as will current Associates. Current employees are asked not to give direct feedback, however, so you should try to practice with classmates, friends, and family.