Applying in Dec. vs. Jan. / backup plan advice

Application application process DACH germany interview process MBB networking
Recent activity on Dec 05, 2018
3 Answers
2.2 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Dec 04, 2018

Hello to you all!

I have two questions, and am happy to receive any answers, opinions or advice:

1. I completed my Master degree in November and am beginning my job search. My goal is MBB and I have been networking for several months with people in MBB and other firms (in-house) I am about to begin networking with people in second tier firms. I have some informational interviews set-up in mid-Dec. I have several contacts who said they will submit my CV as a referral when I want to apply (MBB and in-house). My question: is it better to apply in mid-Dec or wait until early January? Does it matter? For reference I am in Germany where the firms accept year-round applications, not only at certain dates. I still have a lot of preparation for case interviews but do not want to spend so much time/money preparing (I know I will need to hire help from one of the coaches on here) before I know if I even have a chance at an interview. When I receive an interview offer I will be able to prepare for the interview almost full-time.

2. Any suggestions on different companies or positions I should look into if I do not get accepted by an MBB, in-house or second-tier firm? While those are my goals, it is important for me to apply for other positions. Not only do I need the German interview practice, but also I do not want to put all of my eggs in one basket and in February come to find I have no job. I am looking for suggestions or opinions about different industries or firms I should look into (so far I have been seeing lots of jobs in marketing/PR in the suggested jobs beside consulting ones).

Thank you!


Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
replied on Dec 05, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

To your first question, I don't think it matters. An argument can be made to apply earlier (classes haven't filled up yet) and after (new projects in January may give an boost to recruiting for example).

Second question... I'd just try to join a large / reputed company for the brand name, or a start-up for the breadth of experience. Either way, you will also be judged on your career trajectory. If your main objective is MBB, one place I probably would not recommend is internal consulting however. Others here may disagree btw, I'd welcome the exchange of ideas

You also didn't ask but I'll tell you anyway: I'd focus on Tier2 before MBB, just so you have more experience by the time you interview w/ the big guys.

Good luck

Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
updated an answer on Dec 04, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


I think you've completely missed the fact that you'll be invited for the tests / written cases first. And it requires preparation as well. So I would recommend applying once you are ready for the tests and at least 50% ready for an interview.



Was this answer helpful?
replied on Dec 04, 2018
Ex-McKinsey Engagement Manager / Ex-Diplomat - Perfect choice for non-traditional candidates. Let's get you an offer!

As a general rule, you should apply whenever you feel ready for the case interviews. I am from Germany as well + went throught the whole application myself and can assure you that the timing of your application does not seem to matter. Instead, ince you are able to demonstrate that you are good enough to get an offer from MBB, you will get the offer irrespectively of the performance of your peers during the interview day.

To your second question: This really depends on your personal preference. I have seen many candidates going into a DAX30 trainee program or one of the big tech firms. I would need more information on your background to give you a more sophisticated answer.

Feel free to reach out if you are interested in doing a case in German :)

All the best,


Was this answer helpful?
Guennael gave the best answer


Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews
Q&A Upvotes
171 Reviews