How is it possible to get a Job at McKinsey if you have average grades?

BCG McKinsey and Bain
New answer on Jan 30, 2020
4 Answers
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Zarah asked on Jan 29, 2020

Is it even possible and if yes, how to tell a mindblowing story then,,, some exapmles? Is there anyone who had this experience? Would love to hear more about it.

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Daniel
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replied on Jan 29, 2020
McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews

Hi Zarah!

I do agree with Sidi on regional specifics, but knowing that you are from Germany following things would help:

  • Referrals (especially, from a partner)
  • Impressive professional experience (like founding a start-up or working really high-up in a corporate, e.g. right hand of the board member)
  • Other impressive achievements (cool social engagement, sporting achievements, winning in science competition, etc.)

Hope this helps! Let me know if you want to discuss in more detail.

Best,
Daniel

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Francesco
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replied on Jan 30, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.700+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Zarah,

grades are just important for receiving an invitation, once you are invited they become irrelevant. The best way to get an invitation with low grades is to get a referral – I helped people with very low GPA that got invitations from MBB following the right steps for a referral. Best of all – you don’t even have to leave your home to get one if you know what to do.

You can find more on referrals below:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176

Best,

Francesco

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Vlad
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replied on Jan 29, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

There are certain criteria for the referral:

  1. The consultant makes you a reference in the system and uploads your resume. Usually, he has to indicate why he thinks you are a good candidate
  2. You skip some steps in the recruiting process (CV screening at McK, Test at Bain)
  3. The consultant gets referral bonus ($) if you get a job offer

The conversion to reference will be higher among consultant / manager level people who are still interested in the referral bonus. The basic idea is to ask these people for a mock interview.

Here are some tips on how you can do that:

1) Leverage your own network - find friends or friends of friends who can practice cases with you or make you a reference.

2) Attend company events. Consulting companies do a lot of events both for graduates and experienced hires. Find the social network groups related to consulting or websites, subscribe to newsletters and stay tuned. Also, check if they have events in your University since you are a PHD.

While some of the events will be open to everyone, others will require a resume and a cover letter, so make sure to prep.

3) Talk to people on the events and send Thank You notes. After each event, there is a Q&A session where you can talk to consultants 1 on 1 or in a group. Ask for contact info or send a thank you note after the event ("I just wanted to thank you for visiting our University... It was especially interesting to hear about... Would be happy to keep in touch and apply in the nearest future.). Alternatively, you may use linkedin for that. If you are an experienced hire I strongly suggest to ask for a 1 on 1 meeting in a thank you note.

4) 1 on 1 meetings. All people like giving an advice. So don't hesitate to ask consultants for a career advice. Tell your story and ask how consulting fits into it

5) Mock interview Depending on where you are in your prep process you may ask a consultant for a mock interview. Consultants are very much opened to help even if it is a cold call e-mail. The main problem is a lack of time on their side. So don't be afraid to remind about yourself if the consultant has already committed but finds it hard to find the time

6) Talking to partners If you are an experienced hire I suggest to talk directly to the partners in your industry or the partner responsible for experienced hires (in consulting partners also have additional roles). Get an intro from the HR or from your friends working there. Partners care a lot about experienced hires with relevant industry expertise. Chances to get referral are much lower though. They also will not be interested in giving mock interviews.

7) If you are an MBA graduate Just talk to your section mates and ask for a reference or a mock interview - they will be happy to help. Make sure you attend all the consulting events.

Good luck!

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Sidi
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replied on Jan 29, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 300+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi! It depends on the market. In some markets (like France for example), grades are practically irrelevant as long as you are from one of the few big target universities. In Germany on the other hand, the name of the university is much less important and grades are much more significant. The truth is mostly between the extremes.

Cheers, Sidi

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Daniel gave the best answer

Daniel

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McKinsey / ex-Interviewer at McKinsey / I will coach you to rock those interviews
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