Are there "probation period" in MBB and do they treat it seriously?

Probation
New answer on Jun 01, 2021
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Anonymous A asked on May 30, 2021

I used to work in finance where many top firms treat probation seriously (at least in my region). I've seen quite a few times that people didn't pass probation period, a situation which I don't want to get into.

Given MBB's "up or out" culture, are they serious on "probation", and how long is the official "probation period" stated on contract? Have you personaly heard anyone that didn't pass probation at MBB?

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Sidi
Expert
replied on May 30, 2021
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

It's very simple: at MBB, due to their business model, you are ALWAYS on probation. No matter how senior you are or how long you have been around. ;) Therefore, a "formal" proation period is not so imptant for them. In some markets, they have even kicked out the "probation period" clause off their contracts (e.g., BCG in Germany). Because it doesn't make sense, given how they do things.

Cheers, Sidi

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Antonello
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Content Creator
updated an answer on May 30, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, it depends on the office, but it usually lasts 6 months. However, the rule of up or out is always valid, therefore it's not only a matter of the probation period

Best,
Antonello

(edited)

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Florian
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replied on May 31, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Coach | Top MBB Coach | 5 years @ McKinsey | Author of the 1% | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

Agree with Sidi. You are constantly on probation.

However, from my observations, all people that got 'counseled to leave' or leave on their own at McKinsey either leave

  • within the first two months
  • at EM level

In between these periods up-or-out rarely happens and is more a myth than reality due to the recruiting and interview process that already evaluates all skills needed from Junior to Engagement Manager. After EM, the air gets thinner, and AP to Partner is significantly more difficult.

Cheers,

Florian

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Anonymous B replied on Jun 01, 2021

Hi there,

Yes, the probation period could vary from 3 to 8 months depending on the location that you are in... Regarding the "up or out" policy, you will have a performance review every 3/4 months so you can be kicked off the firm every 3/4 months.

Best,

A

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Ian
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replied on Jun 01, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Sidi is spot on with his answer. You are indeed always on probation.

There are certainly "scarier" times at MBB (i.e. the first 6 months joining, and the 6 months leading up to the promotion period). However, you are evaluated at the end of every single project and always encouraged to improve.

If you don't, you're out (eventually).

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Sidi gave the best answer

Sidi

McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers
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