Didn't get the interview

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New answer on Sep 16, 2021
4 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Sep 15, 2021

Dear community,

I am a Ph.D. candidate and I applied for the Junior Associate position at one of the McKinsey Nordics offices. I was not given an interview. My academic records are fine, the universities are well-known, and I have startup internship experience, I took an HBS online course.
How can I find out which process went wrong? 

I am trying to connect to the people at the office via LinkedIn, still haven't given up. 

Actually, I was told from a previous LinkedIn connection that the referral mechanism isn't the same for the Nordics countries and the US, so I didn't really try hard to get a referral. If there's a referral, will it be possible to restart the application process?



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Content Creator
replied on Sep 15, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I'm really sorry but we are not going to be able to tell you exactly why you didn't get the interview, and it's unlikely McK will give you a reason.

Furthermore, it's unlikely that it was one thing. Your profile is viewed hollistically. The better question is how can I improve my odds next time:

  1. First, you never have a 100% certainty of getting in. You could very well try again next year with the exact same application and get in…it's always a roll of the dice
  2. Network more extensively next time - whether this is an official referral or getting put in touch with HR, this is critical to improving your odds
  3. Get your resume reviewed by an expert - make sure it's as good as possible
  4. Build up your experiences - an online HBS course doesn't mean much, nor does 1 startup internship experience. Get more consulting experience (internships, projects, etc.) to build up your resume!
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replied on Sep 15, 2021
Bain & Company Project Leader | 200+ interviews conducted | 5+ years of coaching and mentoring

Hi there,

First of all, I am sorry to hear that you weren't invited!

That is indeed an interesting situation which is probably relevant for quite a lot of users (especially those doing their doctorate), so I'm happy to give you my perspective on that:

Without knowing more details about your application files, it is quite hard to diagnose what might have been the reasons why you weren't invited.

Still, given your brief description, my hypothesis would be that either your academic or professional experience simply didn't suffice to get invited:

  • You mentioned that your academic records would be fine yet I am not absolutely sure if you were always part of the top ~10% from high school to your Bachelor's and/ or Master's.
  • Several of my coachees doing their doctorate gave me feedback that it would be especially tricky with McKinsey to be invited since you normally don't to internships during your doctorate, resulting in a skewed professional experience-academic tenure ratio. Moreover, although internships in startups are most times considered equally relevant, it seems like this would be the sole professional experience you gained.

Unfortunately, once rejected, you will need to wait for about 1-1.5 years and gain additional experience to re-apply - so even getting a referral will not get you back into the process. I would, nevertheless, make sure to be referred next time you apply, even if it won't increase chances significantly.

Furthermore, I am, unfortunately, sure that you will not receive an official reply why you weren't invited, even the feedback from other McKinsey employees from the Nordics would simply be opinions.

If you would like to discuss and have reviewed your application files in detail, please feel free to to contact me directly.

I hope this helps,


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replied on Sep 15, 2021
Experienced interviewer | Project Manager at Roland Berger | Cambridge University | Message for discount coupons

Hi there,

I'm very sorry to hear that. As other coaches mentioned, it's difficult to give you the exact answer without knowing the details. But generally speaking, could be down to 3 reasons:

1. Bad luck - If the firm has already filled out all vacancies/ spots

2. Your CV - I can help take a closer look. Let me know if you need support on this

 3. Online test results - Was there an online test you had to do for your office?

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Content Creator
replied on Sep 16, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews


It might be possible to restart the process with a referral, but it really depends on the specific situation (e.g. who will be your referee, etc.).



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Ian gave the best answer


Content Creator
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep
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