expert
Expert with best answer

Luca

100% Recommendation Rate

22 Meetings

1,592 Q&A Upvotes

USD 179 / Coaching

9

How to answer the question: Did you get an offer at XYZ?

Hey guys,

I completed an internship at McKinsey in 2018 and did not receive a return offer. I am currently preparing for my full-time application interviews at Bain and I am struggling to answer the question: Did you get an offer at McKinsey? I have two questions on the matter:

1. Will I be asked this question in my interviews?

2. If so, what would be the best strategy to answer it?

Currently, I am inclined to answer the question using the following structure:

1. Outline the feedback I received for not getting the offer: Not being vocal and active enough in team meetings

2. Explain the root causes of the feedback, showing that I clearly reflected on my mistakes: Anxiousness and nervosity in presentation settings with multiple senior partners present, lack of ability to properly present my work

3. Show the steps I took to improve and tackle these issues: Presentations of multiple project studies at university in front of different audiences

Alternatively, should I just pretend I received the offer?

Thanks so much in advance!

Hey guys,

I completed an internship at McKinsey in 2018 and did not receive a return offer. I am currently preparing for my full-time application interviews at Bain and I am struggling to answer the question: Did you get an offer at McKinsey? I have two questions on the matter:

1. Will I be asked this question in my interviews?

2. If so, what would be the best strategy to answer it?

Currently, I am inclined to answer the question using the following structure:

1. Outline the feedback I received for not getting the offer: Not being vocal and active enough in team meetings

2. Explain the root causes of the feedback, showing that I clearly reflected on my mistakes: Anxiousness and nervosity in presentation settings with multiple senior partners present, lack of ability to properly present my work

3. Show the steps I took to improve and tackle these issues: Presentations of multiple project studies at university in front of different audiences

Alternatively, should I just pretend I received the offer?

Thanks so much in advance!

9 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Luca

100% Recommendation Rate

22 Meetings

1,592 Q&A Upvotes

USD 179 / Coaching

Hello,

What have you done in the meanwhile? If you have a good excuse to pretend that you received and offer but you wanted to wait (e.g. to finish your studies) you could say that you have them on hold to try Bain at the same time because you didn't like the work culture of McK. Be careful because it's something risky, if they understand that you are bluffing it would be far worse than knowing that you didn't receive an offer.
Alternatively you can answer telling them the reasons and how you worked on that in the meantime (2 years it's a reasonable amount of time).

Best,
Luca

Hello,

What have you done in the meanwhile? If you have a good excuse to pretend that you received and offer but you wanted to wait (e.g. to finish your studies) you could say that you have them on hold to try Bain at the same time because you didn't like the work culture of McK. Be careful because it's something risky, if they understand that you are bluffing it would be far worse than knowing that you didn't receive an offer.
Alternatively you can answer telling them the reasons and how you worked on that in the meantime (2 years it's a reasonable amount of time).

Best,
Luca

Book a coaching with Emily

100% Recommendation Rate

21 Meetings

1,970 Q&A Upvotes

USD 149 / Coaching

Hey there,

Don't ever pretend; tell the truth if asked. The consulting circle is actually pretty small, and credibility is super important. You never know your interviewer might know someone in McK and just one casual chat can expose you.

The answer you outlined is quite good. Stick to that storyline and polish your answers.

Cheers,

Emily

Hey there,

Don't ever pretend; tell the truth if asked. The consulting circle is actually pretty small, and credibility is super important. You never know your interviewer might know someone in McK and just one casual chat can expose you.

The answer you outlined is quite good. Stick to that storyline and polish your answers.

Cheers,

Emily

(edited)

Book a coaching with Francesco

100% Recommendation Rate

2,842 Meetings

5,058 Q&A Upvotes

USD 349 / Coaching

Hi there,

please find my answers below:

1. Will I be asked this question in my interviews?

Yes, it is very likely

2. If so, what would be the best strategy to answer it?

You should never lie in an interview and in your specific case, I would say there are two reasons for that:

  1. Your interviewers may double-check with people at McK they know
  2. This happened 2 years ago. It means you can easily show you worked on the areas of improvement and improved there

In terms of the answer, your structure is good, although the improvement doesn’t sound super-convincing. It would be great if you could add a work experience showing the improved skills instead of a university one. Also, if you are now in the process with McK again, you can “accidentally” mention it, this would likely eliminate any remaining doubts.

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

please find my answers below:

1. Will I be asked this question in my interviews?

Yes, it is very likely

2. If so, what would be the best strategy to answer it?

You should never lie in an interview and in your specific case, I would say there are two reasons for that:

  1. Your interviewers may double-check with people at McK they know
  2. This happened 2 years ago. It means you can easily show you worked on the areas of improvement and improved there

In terms of the answer, your structure is good, although the improvement doesn’t sound super-convincing. It would be great if you could add a work experience showing the improved skills instead of a university one. Also, if you are now in the process with McK again, you can “accidentally” mention it, this would likely eliminate any remaining doubts.

Best,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

388 Meetings

7,050 Q&A Upvotes

USD 299 / Coaching

Hi,

Most probably the will ask. You should tell the truth and the actions you've taken to fix the issues. I like your answer

Best

Hi,

Most probably the will ask. You should tell the truth and the actions you've taken to fix the issues. I like your answer

Best

Book a coaching with Alessandro

3 Meetings

124 Q&A Upvotes

USD 149 / Coaching

Hi there,

First of all very good luck for your interviews. Here below you can find my answers:

  • Will I be asked this question in my interviews? Yes actually in Bain, Strategy& and BCG asked me this question.
  • If so, what would be the best strategy to answer it? I replied them the truth, that I got an offers from some of them. I suggest you to tell the truth as well because if Bain/BCG etc.. selected you means that your CV fits with the company. They ask you this questions only to understand your scheduling and if they have to propose you a job offer before other companies. Of course if you apply for other company is normal, and they know it, you have just to highlight that this company your first priority.

I hope that my reply have been useful! For further clarification do not hesitate to contact me in private,

Hi there,

First of all very good luck for your interviews. Here below you can find my answers:

  • Will I be asked this question in my interviews? Yes actually in Bain, Strategy& and BCG asked me this question.
  • If so, what would be the best strategy to answer it? I replied them the truth, that I got an offers from some of them. I suggest you to tell the truth as well because if Bain/BCG etc.. selected you means that your CV fits with the company. They ask you this questions only to understand your scheduling and if they have to propose you a job offer before other companies. Of course if you apply for other company is normal, and they know it, you have just to highlight that this company your first priority.

I hope that my reply have been useful! For further clarification do not hesitate to contact me in private,

Book a coaching with Udayan

100% Recommendation Rate

45 Meetings

509 Q&A Upvotes

USD 179 / Coaching

Congratulations on the interviews at Bain

I have a different opinion here - I would say as much as possible deflect on this question or avoid being asked by addressing it yourself. It is only human nature to question your candidacy if you reveal you did not get an offer from McKinsey. Which is not to say that Bain will not give you an offer, they might just be less certain to assess you based solely on interviews. You could say that you did not see yourself fitting into McKinsey as the culture was not in line with what you had expected (with relevant examples that ideally do not apply to Bain)

Of course if you are asked directly whether you recieved an offer you have to answer honestly and you approach seems fine

All the best,

Udayan

Congratulations on the interviews at Bain

I have a different opinion here - I would say as much as possible deflect on this question or avoid being asked by addressing it yourself. It is only human nature to question your candidacy if you reveal you did not get an offer from McKinsey. Which is not to say that Bain will not give you an offer, they might just be less certain to assess you based solely on interviews. You could say that you did not see yourself fitting into McKinsey as the culture was not in line with what you had expected (with relevant examples that ideally do not apply to Bain)

Of course if you are asked directly whether you recieved an offer you have to answer honestly and you approach seems fine

All the best,

Udayan

Book a coaching with Andre

100% Recommendation Rate

59 Meetings

1,883 Q&A Upvotes

USD 269 / Coaching

Dear A,

There is no problem that you received an offer from McKinsey. Just be authentic. Normally, the firms like Bain shouldn't ask you whether you have received an offer or not in order to put you in uncomfortable situation. But if that happens, you can sincerely answer it. Important thing here is to show good structure in your communication, confidence and also your learnings from internship, that you've been working on your weak points and now a way much better.

Hope it helps you.

Best,
André

Dear A,

There is no problem that you received an offer from McKinsey. Just be authentic. Normally, the firms like Bain shouldn't ask you whether you have received an offer or not in order to put you in uncomfortable situation. But if that happens, you can sincerely answer it. Important thing here is to show good structure in your communication, confidence and also your learnings from internship, that you've been working on your weak points and now a way much better.

Hope it helps you.

Best,
André

Book a coaching with Antonello

98% Recommendation Rate

101 Meetings

1,243 Q&A Upvotes

USD 219 / Coaching

Hi, arrive prepared because it will be almost 100% sure they will ask you. I like your approach, I suggest being transparent about the fact you didn't get it

Best,
Antonello

Hi, arrive prepared because it will be almost 100% sure they will ask you. I like your approach, I suggest being transparent about the fact you didn't get it

Best,
Antonello

Book a coaching with Clara

100% Recommendation Rate

32 Meetings

3,507 Q&A Upvotes

USD 189 / Coaching

Hello!

Don´t lie, this world is too small.

Focus the answer on how resilient you are and how much you have focused and learned from your mistakes.

Good luck,

Clara

Hello!

Don´t lie, this world is too small.

Focus the answer on how resilient you are and how much you have focused and learned from your mistakes.

Good luck,

Clara

Related BootCamp article(s)

Personal Fit

Besides being great at case cracking you also need to convince the interviewer that your personality fits into a case team or in the company as a whole

Related case(s)

McKinsey Questions

Solved 36.0k times
McKinsey Questions Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you achieving it? What is your typical way of dealing with conflict?
4.5 5 844
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you ... Open whole case

BCG Questions

Solved 24.8k times
BCG Questions What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation where you were not the official leader.
4.5 5 203
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation where ... Open whole case

Bain Questions

Solved 23.4k times
Bain Questions Tell me about a difficult situation you had to cope with. Tell me of a task which you didn’t like doing and explain why you performed it nevertheless. Why do you do things? What do you like doing most / What is your favorite hobby? Walk me through a situation where you showed leadership skills.
4.6 5 285
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me about a difficult situation you had to cope with. Tell me of a task which you didn’t like doing and explain why you performed it nevertheless. Why do you do things? What do you like doing most / What is your favorite hobby? Walk me through a situation where you showed leadership skills ... Open whole case

The Top 5 Questions

Solved 12.5k times
The Top 5 Questions Questions Tell me something about your background. Why should we hire you? Describe a difficult situation and how you handled it? What did your boss or colleagues criticize about you? Do you rather work in a team or independently?
4.5 5 192
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Questions Tell me something about your background. Why should we hire you? Describe a difficult situation and how you handled it? What did your boss or colleagues criticize about you? Do you rather work in a team or independently? Open whole case

Unusual Questions

Solved 11.9k times
Unusual Questions What books/films have you enjoyed recently and why? What is the worst thing that you have ever gotten away with? How do you define and evaluate successful work? Do you fear anything? How would you rate me as your interviewer?
4.6 5 166
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Advanced | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

What books/films have you enjoyed recently and why? What is the worst thing that you have ever gotten away with? How do you define and evaluate successful work? Do you fear anything? How would you rate me as your interviewer? Open whole case