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

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New answer on Apr 30, 2020
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 07, 2020

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!

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Luca
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replied on Apr 07, 2020
BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score

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

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Emily
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updated an answer on Apr 08, 2020
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University

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)

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Francesco
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replied on Apr 08, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of 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

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Vlad
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replied on Apr 07, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

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

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Anonymous replied on Apr 07, 2020

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,

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Udayan
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replied on Apr 07, 2020
Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

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

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Anonymous replied on Apr 30, 2020

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

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Antonello
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replied on Apr 30, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

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

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Clara
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replied on Apr 08, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

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

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Luca gave the best answer

Luca

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