Application for McKinsey London office

Mckinsey London
New answer on May 19, 2021
4 Answers
1.4 k Views
Anonymous A asked on May 18, 2021

Dear all coaches,

I have a question about transferrable of application invite across different McKinsey offices.

Some background about myself: I'm a Chinese national and went to business school in US, with 10+ industrial experience. I'm planning to apply for an associate role at McKinsey.

Previously I had my 1st talk with McKinsey China and was already invited by recruiter from McKinsey China office to fill online application so she can arrange the following interviews accordingly as the next step, but then I changed my mind about office location - I want to apply for London office now. But since I have no education/working experience in UK before, I wonder how I can best approach to get an interview by London office.

One idea is to reach out to McKinsey London recruitment team with this application invite sent by recruiter in China. Do you think I will have a greater chance to be invited for interviews at London office if I do so? Or should I still go for a zero-based approach and network with consultants in London from scratch to form a strong referral case to increase my chance?

If I should go for referral approach, will a referral from engagement manager in McKinsey Germa office be considered by McKinsey London office?

Thank you all very much for advice in advance,


Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Content Creator
replied on May 19, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

I agree with Ian that would be more difficult to get an invitation for McK London and would be far more likely to get one for McK China with your background. One way to reach your goal could be to join McK China and then move internally.

If you really want to apply to McK London, I would recommend the following:

  1. Network with consultants in McK London (ideally alumni of your school), be transparent with your situation (opportunity to join McK China but desire to move to London)
  2. Ask them if they can verify with HR if you have options there now
  3. If HR says there are options, leverage the referral of the person in London (alternatively the referral from the German EM would also work – but London would be better)

If you need help please feel free to PM me, I helped several candidates to get offers at McK for both offices.



Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on May 18, 2021
Highest-rated McKinsey coach (ratings, offers, sessions) | 450+ offers | Author of The 1% & Consulting Career Secrets

Hey there,

Tricky situation. I would play it as openly and transparently as possible with all parties involved.

Here is a potential sequence of things you could do:

1. Reach out to London HR and discuss your situation specifically with them to understand their needs and requirements (especially visa-related)

2a. If they agree that you can apply, get a referral and apply (a German referral should work). Tell the Chinese HR that you would also like to apply for the London office since your situation has changed

2b. If London is not an option, go for the Chinese office and then plan for an early office transfer between 6 and 12 months.

All the best,


Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on May 18, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Unfortunately, it´s not a great situation to be in, and particularly now with the pandemic and after Brexit.

Not having previous work experience, connections or visa to work in the UK dimishes greatly your possibility to even start the process there. Hence, I think your best chance is to continue with the chinese recruiter and only then try to transfer -whenever you have an offer in hand, the power dynamics benefit you, until then, not at all-.

In any case, be transparent with your recruiter, since McK is all connected and it can make you look very bad and playing a "double game".

Hope it helps!



Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on May 18, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I'm going to be very very blunt here: You are running a great risk by trying to play this game. You may end up gettign nothing as a result.

My honest view is that, as a Chinese national with no UK work visa, no UK connections, no UK reference on your resume, AND applying at the lowest level (associate), you have practically 0 chance of getting into the UK office. I don't see any reason for them to pick you over all the other applicants.

I would strongly recommend you take this incredible luck/opportunity you have with McK China and follow the process there. If you really want to move to London in the future, you can do so with McKinsey OR by leveraging the Mckinsey name.

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco gave the best answer


Content Creator
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching
Q&A Upvotes
1597 Reviews
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely