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Do your chances decrease if applying to a different country but still qualified?

Bain BCG Mck RolandBerger
Recent activity on Jul 18, 2017
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Fouad asked on Jul 17, 2017
Looking for solid partners. Currently preparing for McK, Bain, Booz and ATK interviews

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replied on Jul 17, 2017
5+ years consulting experience | McKinsey | Strategy& | INSEAD | Bocconi | Here to guide you from your very first steps

Hi Fouad,

in general, the answer to your question is "yes". But there are a number of factors to take into account:

- do you need a working permit?

- do you fluently master the local language?

And more in general:

- does a local candidate with qualifications similar to yours have any sort of advantage when working in this location?

Most of the times, answering these questions is easy and you can easily understand that a local candidate has a substantial advantage as he can speak with local clients in their same language. This also means that you will have a substantial advantage when applying in your own country or any country where you speak the local language at a very fluent level.

However, there are two great exceptions:

1. Locations where English is the mother tongue (for example UK):

given that you probably master English at a very high level, you might be considered here a good candidate. However, exactly like you, there are many candidates that are fluent in English, therefore these are usually the locations where it is most difficult to get an offer.

2. Locations where the office (or, more in general, the Industry) is in a developing stage and local candidates are not many (for example Middle East):

here the advantages are many, above all: English as the language spoken in the office and at the client, possibility of being part of a still small and highly growing team. If you want to follow this road, the best option is that you gather Firm-specific information: where is the Firm opening a new office? Which offices did it just opened and are still in a developing stage?

Content Creator
updated an answer on Jul 18, 2017
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Great answers above!

I would add that several other macro factors that are also important:

1) An economy in general and the company growth in a particular country. For example for the last 5 years, Dubai was a top destination for many consulting companies and it was easy to get there. Now it seems that Australia is booming. On the other hand, there are several countries with stagnating economy. I would assume that consulting business is also in a slow down.

2) The particular office. For example, it is much easier to get on offer from McKinsey in Texas than in San Francisco. Or even in New Jersey compared to New York. I suggest to talk to locals in that country and ask for specifics.


Anonymous C replied on Jul 17, 2017

From what I heard, it doesn't really matter. But in reality, you have to consider three things before submitting an application to countries that you are not in physically:

1. Visa sponsorship: some countries require companies to dedicate resources/time to get their foreign employees a visa

2. Difficulty in interview coordination: the country you applied to might not even have the same time zone as the country you're in. It gets more complicated to coordinate a time and travel expenses might incur for a foreign rather than local candidate

3. Uncertainty in your willingness in relocating: I heard that this is especially true to experienced hire as relocating to a foreign country gets more complicated for people with family. You might want to demonstrate your dedication in taking the relocation seriously by stating why and how you will make this happen in your application

Good luck!

Anonymous B replied on Jul 18, 2017

The following quote comes from a MCKINSEY recruiter:

"Please note that in order to be considered for a particular office you would need to demonstrate strong links to that location - i.e. having lived, worked, studied or have family there. I am not sure about which office you are interested in joining, however please note that London is currently closed for recruiting and will be reopening in September for 2018 start dates"

Sara gave the best answer


5+ years consulting experience | McKinsey | Strategy& | INSEAD | Bocconi | Here to guide you from your very first steps
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