Got invited to interview at an MBB office I never networked with, is this a mistake?

1st round interview MBB networking recruiting
New answer on Oct 25, 2020
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 29, 2020

So as the title says, I got invited to an interview at an office I never networked with and frankly have no current connection to. I'm happy first of all, because any interview is better than nothing,but I'm starting to think this seems to be some sort of mistake.

I've heard of people getting their second choice of office, but never an office you didn't apply to or network with, which has me thinking maybe it's a mistake on the recruiters part (meant to send rejection and somehow I got in office X pile?)

I'll definitely take the interview and would be glad to work there, but just wondering how common this is? Also any thoughts on how to answer "Why x office?" in intervies? I'm thinking "Frankly I never applied here but was open to any location and I've since learned X, Y and Z which makes me think it's a great fit" etc.

Thanks for any help!

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Anonymous replied on Sep 30, 2020

Hi A,

Indeed this is interesting situation.

But if you surprised and would be happy to work there, so just put your efforts into preparation, networking and creating a stories for your motivation.

If you need any help, feel free to reach out.

Best,
André

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Henning
Expert
replied on Sep 29, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Indeed curious!

Did you apply to any office to begin with? Sometimes this can happen (though usually they explain the thinking behind it).

E.g. if you are appying out of a target school into a location to which you don't have a personal connection and also no working permit, they might respond to the application saying: "We like you're profile, but getting a working permit for country XX is currently very difficult, so we'd recommend to continue your application in office X. Would you agree to that?

However, these are exceptions and as I said usually explained in their response. Since they invited you, they will probably not backtrack, so can as well take the interview ;)

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Robert
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Content Creator
replied on Sep 29, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Indeed interesting situation!

First aspect to check: Is the office you are invited to possibly within the same recruiting region than the office you applied to? If so, it doesn't really mean anything where exactly you get interviewed - even though usually McKinsey organizes your interviews in your target office(s), sometimes for logistical or resource availability issues the interviews take place in another office.

Definitely I'd proceed with interviews since you seem to be interested in that firm - even though you don't have a network there you will be also fast to build one. Shouldn't be a big deal.

When it comes to questions during the interview, your answer is appropriate!

Hope this helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Mehdi
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replied on Oct 03, 2020
BCG | Received offers from all MBB & Tier 1Firms | Supporting you secure your top tier consulting offer

Hi there,

The situation is indeed special and I believe that it can be either one of the two following situations:

  • This office might be in the same system/region along with one of the offices you applied for (for instance in BCG systems can be: Africa, Middle East, UK/Belgium/Nethedlands, Italy/Greece/Turkey/Israel, etc.)
  • An HR mistake, maybe they confused you with someone who has a close last name and who is applying for that office (I know someone who previously received a job offer from an MBB even before she interviewed. HR emailed her back 1 hour later to apologise and to explain that there was a mistake/confusion

In any case, I would advise you to get in touch with HR and try to have more clarity on the situation.

I hope this helps!

Mehdi

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Gaurav
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Content Creator
replied on Oct 25, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi A,

This is a rather unusual situation, I should say!

Nevertheless, if you are really interested in the job though you've never applied to this particular office, you should definitely go for it and take the interview.

The only thing I would not recommend is to say that you've never applied to that office. Better to skip this particular part.

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GB

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Ian
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replied on Oct 03, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Do you have any experience with that country? I.e. speak the language, have extensive experience in an industry (say, oil & gas) that they focus on, etc, etc.?

I imagine they saw something on your resume that they really liked.

Absolutely move forward (if you'd be happy to move there) BUT definitely don't say "Frankly I never applied here but was open to any location". Horrible answer!

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Francesco
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updated an answer on Oct 05, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

When you say you never networked, you mean you never applied as well? So you expressed 3 preferences and they invited for a 4th? That would be quite strange.

In any case, I don’t think you have to worry unless:

  • You don’t speak the local language
  • You don’t have a working visa for that office

Your answer to “Why office XYZ” is quite fine from the part "I've learned...". I would skip the previous part.

Best,

Francesco

(edited)

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