I recently received a reply from a Western Europe McKinsey office saying I was unsuccessful in my application following the CV screening stage. My question is why this is the case? Let me give you a bit of background about myself.
I applied to the BA role. I am 1-year experienced strategy consultant in a tier 2 firm with office in the same city as the McKinsey office I applied to. This means should I get an offer, by the time I enter McKinsey, I would have two years of experience.
I have always passed the McKinsey CV screening stage in the past during my uni years. My CV and cover letters have remained the same in terms of structure, but I have tailored and highlighted the content to suit my current circumstance and ambitions.
I also have an internal referral who flagged my details to the recruitment team this time around. In the past, I had never been internally referred.
Now, here are a number of hypotheses I have.
1. McKinsey hasn't seen my progress throughout the years of applications - I don't believe this is the case as the last time I was unsuccessful, I was still finishing my degree. Now, I have a full-time job with relevant experience. If this is not a definition of 'progress', I would love to be proven otherwise?
2. I am over-qualified - The BA role accepts candidates with 1-3 years of work experience so I don't think I applied to the wrong role. Meanwhile, the associate role requires you to have PhD/MBA/4+ years of experience, which is not applicable to me.
However, I still think hypothesis 2 is correct for the following reasons:
1. I have work experience but in strategy consulting
2. When McKinsey accepts candidates with 1-3 years of work experience, they want to target those from industries so they can offer industry expertise/experience to the general BA pool. Furthermore, these candidates will have no consulting experience and hence will be 'coachable' and there will be a learning curve for them at McKinsey
3. It is unfair for candidates fresh out of university to compete with experienced consultants. But it is fair for them to compete with experienced candidates with no prior consulting experience for the BA role
And for these reasons, I think that is why hypothesis 2 is correct. Let me know what you think because my unsuccessful application comes as shocking news to me. The motivation behind this post is to really understand the root cause of this and for me to learn from it. Thank you, everyone!