How to get an interview

networking
New answer on Apr 01, 2020
7 Answers
609 Views
Anonymous A asked on Mar 10, 2020

Does referral always guarantee interview? I have applied to five firms now (MBB+RB+Deloitte+Simon Kucher), but only one company replied to me. I guess one reason might be because I haven't been networking appropriately. I did spend the effort to network, but most of the time I just had a nice conversation and understood about the firm more, without being offered a referral opportunity. I have talked to some friends working in consulting, but they said it would be weird to ask someone who doesn't really know you to refer you (either directly or indirectly asking).

My question is: (1) What should I do to increase the chance of "being referred"? (2) What would be the probability of getting an interview invitation if being referred?

Appreciate the advice.

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 11, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

no, a referral won’t always guarantee an invitation. However, you are always better off with a referral than without, thus there are no reasons not to look for one.

The probability increases with the tenure in the company – thus it is very likely to get an invitation if you get a referral from a Partner.

At the following link you can find some tips to increase the chances to obtain a referral:

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

Best,
Francesco

Was this answer helpful?
Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 01, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

It only increases the chances and accelerates the process. In some highly competitive offices (e.g. NY, London, SF) it's almost necessary. I recommend asking to ex alumni of you Master now in consulting ( e.g. through LinkedIn)

Best,
Antonello

Was this answer helpful?
Federico
Expert
replied on Mar 12, 2020
Former Bain (4+ years, UK & Italy) | Ardian (France) | Specialized in Case Structuring, Case Cracking and Non-verbal Comm.

Hi Anonymous,

increase the chance of "being referred":

Short-term (if you have no time for a med/long term strategy)
- Leverage linkedin posts promoted by MBB employees, read them and get in touch on specific topics (if you have some background interest into the topic, be authentic, otherwise avoid this)
- Try to get in touch with consultants based on specific events that may be promoted the MBB company itself (showing you are following the target company)

Medium/Long Term
- register to the MBB newsletter and follow their Linkedin Page. Compared to a few years ago, the number of events have increased and you will have many more chances to meet with some recruiters now compared to a few years ago (so stay optimistic!)

(2) What would be the probability of getting an interview invitation if being referred?
I can tell you that, for what is my experience, a referall gives you a guarantee on receiveing feedback from HR. In case they don't reply to you (they might have a peak in applications to manage), your referral can always knock at the HR door (or send an internal email) to verify the status of your application. Having a referral is not a requirement to get an interview.

Was this answer helpful?
Robert
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 10, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

I absolutely agree that just meeting someone and asking for a referral won't bring you that far. Why should I risk my own reputation inside the firm and refer somebody whom I don't know at all - it's just not reasonable to do.

To increase your chances, it would be excellent if you get some chances to attend some workshops or other bigger events (so not only a company presentation or meet & greet), where you can demonstrate your skills and make a lasting impression on the participating consultants.

Once you get an internal referral, it's pretty much sure that you will be invited immediately (unless you have some severe gaps or potential red flags in your application..).

Hope that helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Mar 10, 2020

Dear Anonymous,

here's some advices from my experience when I was applying at McKinsey:

1) Attend as many events as possible where you can network and you can express you interest in being interviewed by the Company

2) Try to reach out peers people working in the Company you are interested in (via Linkedin for example) to ask them about new events/recruitment opportunities they may be aware of or if they could ask the HR

I don't know the probability of getting an interview invitation if being referred, it really depends on what you have on your CV (e.g., for Analyst roles: grades, multicultural experiences, participation in university projects).

Hope it helps! :)

Giulia

Was this answer helpful?
1
Anonymous replied on Mar 11, 2020

Hey A,

First of all, I need to say that referrals are absolutely essential in order to maximize your chances of being invited to the real interview.

I have already helped many candidates with referrals to get their invites and, consequently, turn them into job offers. One of my mentees just thanked me on Monday - he got an offer and decided to join Strategy & Dubai.

I would like to explain you the mechanics how referrals usually work:

My mentee sends me the documents (CV and cover letter) for a specific company.

I have a very wide network of friends, former colleagues and ex-mentees on high positions in consulting (partners, principals and managers) across the world. I chat with them individually praising your competences and skills. Afterwards, I ask them to follow your documents on their behalf directly to their HR ladies while putting a word for you.

In that way you may get your “partner referral” which normally brings you in the pole position for the interview. You may compare it to “skipping the line for business class” at the airport.

If you have any questions or need help to get interviews and convert them to offers, just let me know ?

Best,

André

Was this answer helpful?
0
Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 10, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

My toughts on your points:

  1. For what you write in the post, seems that you have "started" to network but haven´t finalize correctly. This means that for sure 1st step is to express your interest and deepen your undestanding in the company. However, you have to "close" the conversation with a clear call-to-action to the person, in this case, directly asking if whether they can kindly refer you.
  2. Depends on the person that is referring you: the higher in the org, the better.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

Content Creator
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching
3,641
Meetings
20,544
Q&A Upvotes
237
Awards
1358 Reviews