Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 451,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

Got an offer for a position higher than what I applied for... mixed feelings

2-tier consultant Middle East seniorconsultant tier2
New answer on Oct 08, 2023
7 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Sep 22, 2023

Applied for an entry-level role standard consultant role, and got offered a senior consultant position.

Excitement mixed with nerves—I'm unsure why the senior position. While I believe I performed well in all the interviews, I'm still not entirely sure if I'm fully qualified for this role.

With 1.6 years of experience, mostly from internships, seeking advice for this step up. 

What are they expecting from me? Should I be confident and relaxed? Tips and insights are appreciated! 

Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Content Creator
replied on Sep 22, 2023
ex-McKinsey EM & Interviewer | 7/8 offer rate for 4+ sessions | 90min sessions with FREE exercises & videos

Hi there,

Well done, congratulations! 

Here's some ‘wisdom’ to calm your nerves: they know much better than you and therefore they know what they're doing, even if you may not think so. 

They have so many data points on role requirements, candidates with different backgrounds and interview performances, performance on the job, etc. You, on the other hand, have only yourself as a data point and that can feel pretty scary. I totally get it.

I went through something similar, actually. When I applied to McKinsey, I applied for role A and was given role B (Associate in Ops), which I only found out when I got the contract. The same level to be fair, but a different role anyways. I was surprised but they knew what they were doing because it turned out to be a great fit.

By the way, a great fit doesn't mean that it was easy for me or that it will be easy for you. Consulting never is and whenever you're about to get comfortable, you'll get more responsibility. That's the way it works so prepare for a wild ride!

Have faith in yourself and the firm and you'll do great!



Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
updated an answer on Oct 08, 2023
FREE 15MIN CONSULTATION | #1 Strategy& / OW coach | >70 5* reviews |90% offers ⇨ | MENA, DE, UK

Hello, congratulations on your offer for a senior consultant position! It's understandable to feel a mix of excitement and nerves, especially when there's a jump in the level of responsibility. Here's what you can expect and some tips to help you navigate this step up:

  1. Expectations as a Senior Consultant: As a senior consultant, you'll be expected to take on more complex projects, lead teams, and provide strategic insights to clients. Your experience, although primarily from internships, has prepared you with a foundation of skills and knowledge. However, it's important to continue learning and developing your expertise in the following areas:
  • Deepening your industry knowledge and understanding of consulting frameworks.
  • Enhancing your problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • Strengthening your leadership and communication abilities.

2. Confidence and Relaxation: While it's natural to have some doubts, remember that the firm has recognized your potential and believes in your ability to take on this role. Here are some tips to help you feel more confident and relaxed:

  • Embrace the opportunity to learn and grow in this new position.
  • Seek guidance and mentorship from more experienced colleagues.
  • Take ownership of your projects and demonstrate your commitment to delivering high-quality work.
  • Communicate openly and proactively with your team to ensure alignment and success.

Overall, have confidence in your abilities and embrace this opportunity to further develop your skills as a senior consultant. Best of luck in your new role!


Was this answer helpful?
replied on Sep 22, 2023
Top-Ranked Coach on PrepLounge for 3 years| 6+ years of coaching


Congratulations on the offer, you clearly really impressed them!

Was your prior experience in consulting too? If so, it might help explain the higher offer, although senior consultant after 1.6 years of work is still incredibly impressive to say the least!

They have confidence in you - you should too. Be confident, and go in with the mindset of being ready to learn and deliver the best work you can. If you're joining a new company, there will likely be some internal specific working styles/customs that will take some time to adapt to. Don't stress out too much if it's not all easy from day 1, but do try to learn quickly, talk to people, ask questions, and so on. Talking to your new colleagues (especially the project manager/engagement manager on your team) will be very helpful in terms of understanding what's expected of you and how you should best apply yourself.

Generally, a big step up for senior consultants is also going to be learning to manage people, as it's the position in between a consultant and a project manager. I would take some time to understand whether this is something that is expected of you by talking to colleagues, and if so, I would look out for opportunities to learn and develop this skill too.

Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Sep 22, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer


Congrats on the offer. 

At BCG, when we were interviewing candidates (especially experienced hires), we would typically ‘calibrate’ the offer after the first round of interviews. E.g. sometimes the performance is weaker than expected for the applied role, sometimes its the other way as in your situation.

It will be daunting and stressful to perform in this ‘step up’ role, but it's definitely possible. Alot of how well you perform on the job depends on both the:

  •  ‘Big picture’ → having a high level goal and vision, understanding what you need to demonstrate and what support enablers you need
  • ‘Little things’ → your day to day habits and process that you have to navigate and perform on each project

Happy to share more from my own experience going through the ranks - just dm me.

All the best!

Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Sep 22, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Haha, wow, I usually hear the opposite story. 

In most cases, candidates are offered a more junior role. 

Basically, one of two things must've happened.

One - you were actually stellar during the interview process and they believe you should be in that role. If that's the case, you have no problem. Trust them and go for it. 

Second - there was some confusion in the process and somehow they assigned to you the more senior position. If that's the case, I'd still recommend that you go for it. 

I actually saw a similar situation with a friend of mine who got into McK as a Junior Associate even though he had only 1y of work experience. He then got promoted to Associate 1.5 years later. Normally, in his geography, BA to Associate would've taken 3-4 years. 

In short, regardless of whether you start as BA or JAsc, you're still going to be against a tough learning curve. However, starting already as a JAsc is a huge time save and also comes with a different compensation package. Even if you feel like you're going to struggle more, invest the difference in compensation into getting a coach to help you along, and then it's still going to be worth it from a time-save perspective.

Sharing with you two guides that you might find helpful to hit the ground running:



Practicing for interviews? Check out my latest case based on a first-round MBB interview >>> SoyTechnologies  

Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Sep 22, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

That is incredible.

Well done!

You clearly impressed in the interview.

I genuinely think you should get coaching. You've been given an amazing opportunity. You need to ensure you don't mess it up - get professional support during the first 6-12 months. You're earning a higher salary…use a % of it to ensure you keep earning that higher salary…

Here's some reading to help you on the job:

Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Sep 25, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Congratulations on the offer! In terms of your questions;

1) What are they expecting from me? 

In most firms, you will have a mentor/career advisor assigned to you. You can reach out to the person and leverage his help to navigate the first weeks/months in terms of expectations. You can also align every few weeks with your manager on the project to be sure you are well-aligned with their expectations.

2) Should I be confident and relaxed?

Yes, they would not have offered the higher role if they thought you were not fit for it.

All the best for a great start!


Was this answer helpful?
Moritz gave the best answer


Premium + Coaching Expert
Content Creator
ex-McKinsey EM & Interviewer | 7/8 offer rate for 4+ sessions | 90min sessions with FREE exercises & videos
Q&A Upvotes
69 Reviews