Applying for Middle East Offices Post-Covid19

Coronavirus covid19 Hiring freeze? Should I apply now and wait? Middle East
New answer on May 27, 2020
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 18, 2020

Dear all,

I was considering in applying to consulting firms in the Middle East but because of the circumstances due to COVID19 would it be wise to wait until the crisis is somewhat over to apply or apply now and wait for a response from firms?

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Anonymous replied on Apr 18, 2020

Hey A,

All the hiring in the Middle East is now in general got frozen and all the interviews got rescheduled (BCG, Strategy &, Roland Berger, Kearney, Bain, McKinsey, OW, etc.).

Under the current situation I would recommend you to wait untill the situation clears up and appy again after the situation will be stabilized and hiring will resume later this year (maybe after Ramadan). Otherwise you risk that your profile will be lost in the middle of application pile.

Good luck,

André

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Anonymous replied on Apr 19, 2020

Hi there,

Actually I know some collegues that are moving in Dubai office, after this situation. As far as I understood from them now everything is on hold but they are interviewing, at least first round, to be ready when the business will start.

My recomendation is to apply now, actually I would recomend to ask for an internal referral, because expecially in this period you can wait less and get a first round interview right now.

Very good luck and for further clarification do not hesitate to contact me in private

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Emily
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replied on Apr 18, 2020
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University

Hi,

I don't think anyone can give a definite answer to this, as no one can pridict how the COVID situation would go. That said, suggest 2 actions you can consider:

(1) Try to see if you can connect to anyone within the firms, and ask about their experiences e.g. case status, project pipeline etc to get a sense of whether things are indeed slowing down or not

(2) Assess your own readiness. This is not the time to rush, so apply if you think you are ready but wait out and prep if you are not there yet.

Cheers,

Emily

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Vlad
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replied on Apr 19, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

It's not just about Covid - there is a huge financial crisis going on. It will take a couple of years to recover so there is no sense to wait. I expect the things getting even worse within the net year, so the best time to apply is now

Best

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Francesco
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replied on Apr 19, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.700+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi there,

unless there is a specific application deadline you have to meet, I would not recommend to apply now unless:

  1. You can find a referral and
  2. They confirm the hiring process is active in your target country

At least in Europe, MBB are still recruiting for certain positions/ in certain countries, but not in others.

Best,

Francesco

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Thomas
CoachingPlus Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 18, 2020
150+ interviews | 5+ years experience | Kearney & Accenture | Sold consulting startup| London Business School

Hi there,

It is good to keep in mind that ME firms are still hiring, but perhaps delaying offers or start dates. It is currently a bit easier to get lost in the process as HR is distracted and there is a huge backlog. This backlog will only become worse over the next few months, and hence your odds are lower. Therefore, my recommendation is to wait a few months until the dedicated departments are focusing on business as usual again.

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Anton
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replied on May 27, 2020
FREE 1st session in November | From Lawyer to MBB | Top in FIT | 10x your structuring skills | Message to get Free Prep Checklist

Hi,

It highly depends on your location, company preferences, position. I can explain it in the following way:

Firms:

  • MBB: less affected, interviews are still conducted, offers are issued for Q3 and Q4 2020 and Q1 2021; companies still have business and enough liquidity to survive; some offices expect to grow in terms of revenue for 2020
  • Tier 2: highly affected, the general trend is that interviews are postponed, the majority of firms do not issue offers, some firms experience liquidity gaps and cut FTE or ask employees to take an unpaid leave
  • BIG 4: less affected, advisory business experiences problems, but recurring revenue from Tax and Audit allows to manage through temporary uncertainty

Geographic coverage:

  • USA: the strongest market for consulting, interviews are conducted, offers are issued, consulting revenues might even grow
  • Europe: consulting is affected, but is expected to recover in Q3 and Q4
  • CIS: consulting is affected, MBB and BIG 4 will survive, as well as Accenture, but boutiques have liquidity problems
  • Asia: consulting revenues begin to recover, but Hong Kong political crisis still creates uncertainty around Financial sector and transportation (that affects consulting revenues from these industries)
  • Middle East: MBB firms still conduct interviews, consulting business starts to recover slowly, low oil prices still slow down the economy
  • Latin America: no info
  • Australia: no info

Positions:

  • Interns: affected, interns is a long term game for consulting firms (as well as a way to handle “monkey” tasks) and consulting firms at the moment are not super focuses on long term investments
  • Junior and middle management: less affected, hiring is in progress across MBB and Big 4
  • Principals & partners: less affected, consulting firms still look for experienced leaders

Programs:

  • Summer programs: the majority of programs are cancelled, bad news
  • Full time: highly depends on other factors

Career tracks:

  • Generalists: generally affected as consulting firms currently have more demand towards digital and data driven projects
  • Industry focused experts: depends on the industry, but oil and gas industry is affected
  • Digital experts: almost not affected, high demand for digital projects and the supply of experts is weak
  • Data scientists: not affected at all, consulting firms are heavily hiring data scientists

Hope this helps!

Anton

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Clara
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replied on May 26, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
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Antonello
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replied on Apr 30, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,
unfortunately, nobody now is able to predict the precise effects on each business. The 2 true facts today are that interviews are taking place regularly but online instead than face to face, and that many new consulting projects are being paused. Therefore if this lockdown continues for long it can cause a shrinking in new hires.

Best,
​Antonello

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