Follow up call with McKinsey Middle East recruiter

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New answer on Mar 30, 2021
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Anonymous A asked on Jul 26, 2020

I had the chance to speak to McKinsey HR recruiter after being put in touch by a global leader at the company.

The person was friendly and answered all my questions. Moreover, she had already looked at my profile and told me that I had all the right elements Mckinsey looks for when screening CVs. She was honest in telling me that they stopped recruiting for the Dubai office at the moment but they are actively interviewing for the other Middle East offices (it is the region I am targeting at the moment).

At the end, she told me to apply on their web portal and send her an email with my CV and cover letter to inform her that I applied. What should I read into this? Should I consider this as a future referral and go ahead and apply online or should I keep talking to consultants there to get someone to "bluntly" refer me and increase my chances of getting an interview?

I am not familiar with the recruitment process and specifially the referrals, so any input is appreciated.

Let me know what you think.

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replied on Jul 26, 2020
I am here to get you an offer! | Ex MBB interviewer | Expert in MBB and Tier 2 | Deep knowledge of EU and GCC regions

Hello Anonymous,
I hope you are well. thanks for the question - referrals can be sometimes tricky.
For this particular situation, I would recommend doing both in parallel: continue networking with consultants as they can even strengthen your applcation & apply online as the recruiter told you.
I would say that if you do not apply and get a referral, it will eventually get to the recruiter who told you to apply online and that won't be helpful as they don't like being bypassed.
Let me know if you have further questions,

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Anonymous replied on Jul 28, 2020

Dear A,

I have already helped several people to get interview through referrals especially in the Middle East, so therefore you can already treat it as pre-referral. I would strongly recommend you to mention the name of the global lead person for reference in your first paragraph in your cover letter as well to address this cover letter to the recruiter you have spoken with, to mentio her name and also to mention the discussion you used to have. So, please write this cover letter addressing it to HR person, which you have spoken with, and you could already consider this as a referral.

So, submit your documents over ther portal and then as mentioned by HR lady, send your CV and cover letter over email to her. In this way your application will be screened faster, and you will get the interview invite.

If you need help in passing McKinsey ME assessment, drop me a line, I'm happy to share insights, preparation material and give you guidance.


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Content Creator
replied on Jul 27, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Recruiters don't "refer", so this isn't a referral.

However, recruiters have a lot of power here. So, given that she's interested in your profile and sees a match, you are in good hands.

I would expect that, if you go ahead and apply through the portal (and inform her when you do), you will be invited to interview.

However, I recommend you also continue to network if possible in never hurts!

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Anonymous B updated the answer on Jul 27, 2020


I had the exact same situation as you.

The recruiter will invite you to do the test (in my case it was the PST). Should you pass that, 2 rounds of interviews.

(you don't need to keep talking to people - she will invite you to the test, just follow up with her once you have uploaded your CV)


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Anonymous C on Jul 27, 2020

Hi Anonymous B, how long did it take for the recruiter to revert back with PST test? I had my CV submitted through referral, and dropped a follow up line to HR, but haven't heard anything back yet. (That was a week ago)

Anonymous B on Jul 27, 2020

The recruiter emailed me that I will be invited for the PST after about 2 weeks. You must follow up with them in a very polite manner.

Anonymous B on Jul 27, 2020

Thanks for the answer!

Anonymous D replied on Mar 30, 2021

I'm currently going through a very similar process. May you please provide me with details of what happened after you submitted your application and what was the rest of the process like? Did you end up getting an offer?

thank you

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Norah gave the best answer


I am here to get you an offer! | Ex MBB interviewer | Expert in MBB and Tier 2 | Deep knowledge of EU and GCC regions
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