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How do I navigate multiple job offers?

Anonymous A

Hello, I am scheduled for my final round interview at McKinsey in 4 weeks but I have just been offered a job at a boutique consulting firm. McKinsey is by far my top choice because the work is perfectly aligned with my career goals and I would love to learn from all the smart people there. As far as the local firm is concerned, while I am not interested in their work, I do see the benefit of getting my foot in the industry and some of the general skills will be transferrable to subsequent jobs. In summary, McKinsey is the job that I really want, but failing that, I would take up the job at the local firm.

So, how do I buy time to respond to the local firm until after I have a definite answer from McKinsey. I would appreciate advice on the following points:

1. I will still need at least 6 more weeks to get a definite answer from McKinsey. I doubt the local firm would want to wait that long for an answer unless I give them a sound reason for the wait. How honest can I be with them so that they don't rescind their offer?

2. Should I contact the recruiter at McKinsey, explain the situation to him and ask him to prepone my interview?

3. This is not something I want to do, but can I accept the local firm's offer and then rescind later if McKinsey's offer comes through? How bad is that on a scale of 1-10?

I will really appreciate any other thoughts, advice and feedback.

Sincerely

(edited)

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Vlad replied on 03/15/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi!

Several recommendations:

  1. Try to understand whether you are ready to have the McKinsey interview right now or you need more time to prepare.
  2. Ask the boutique consulting company how much time you have to consider the offer. Note that It's important to demonstrate the commitment.
  3. Ask McKinsey to expedite the process if you are sure that you are prepared. In general, McKinsey will be fine with that, unless there is a lack of capacity on their side.
  4. Try to postpone the offer from the boutique firm if you feel that you are out of time.

Here are some strategies on how to get more time with the offer:

  • Be transparent - you want to finish the process with all companies (And it's not about the particular company. For example, Bain was giving me an Intern Role while McKinsey gave me a Senior Analyst)
  • Ask for the time without explanation and if there is an urgency ask back why is the urgency
  • Time to learn more from employees: Given with what I've seen so far I am happy to sign the offer but I might need some more time to talk to people, visit the office and learn more about the company
  • Contract - Need time to check the contract details (it's not just about salary but also you can't have equity ownership as a consultant and you need to sell your businesses)
  • Refer to feelings - you can say that you don't feel comfortable making a fast decision and need some time to reflect
  • Family reasons - Need time to discuss with the partner

Best!

Vlad replied on 03/15/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Answering your questions:

1) Unfortunately, sometimes the only option is to confirm the offer and then reject it later (but I would check the legal consequences in your country)

2) Tell McK openly that you have another offer in consulting and you have to give the answer asap. Unfortunately, an offer from the boutique firm is not the most solid argument (BCG / Bain would be better) so I would try not to specify the details of the offer.

It would also help to have someone in McKinsey who can talk to the HR and explain the urgency. In my case, I had a partner who told them that I had the other offers.

Best

(edited)

Francesco replied on 03/21/2018
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for coaching sessions (1400+) with 100% recommendation rate

Hi Anonymous,

if you are ready for the McK interview, I would simply call them and anticipate the interview. I would personally NOT say you want to complete the process with other firms – would just sound they are not your first priority.

In case it is not feasible to accelerate the process with McKinsey, you have two options:

  1. Ask the company who presented the offer to wait more – usually difficult to justify and risky in terms of final outcome. This doesn’t sound feasible in your case.
  2. Sign the contract and continue the recruiting process with McK – you have to consider if this works for you from an ethical point of view.

Best,

Francesco

Anonymous A replied on 03/15/2018

Vlad, thank you for a prompt and detailed reply. Postponing the offer from the boutique firm is not an option at this point. The Partner called me earlier today to make the verbal offer; the recruiter already reached out to me to schedule a call to discuss the offer. I feel compelled to schedule that call for tomorrow because I don't want them to doubt my commitment at this point. Do you agree?

A few follow-up questions:

1. Asking for time to consider the offer and discuss it with my partner gives me one more week. I can add another week to that If I were to haggle over the salary a bit. I would still need to ask for more time if I want to defer the decision to until after I hear back from McKinsey. And realistically speaking, the ask for 4 more weeks can only be justified by telling them that I would like to complete the process with other firms that I am interviewing with. Is that a fair request? Is there a risk that they can rescind the offer?

2. I am not sure if I am entirely prepared for McKinsey but I feel 4 weeks is too much time. What should I say to them when requesting them to prepone the interview?

Thanks alot for all the advice!

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