How to get myself a consulting interview?

Anonymous A asked on Mar 27, 2020

Hi guys,

I have completed a Masters degree from a top-tier university globally and want to apply to consulting firms. I have been applying to consulting firms through LinkedIn, but just do not get any response from consulting firms. I have gotten my resume reviewed and revised by consultants at top consulting firms and they say it looks good, but no calls! What can I do? I am very certain that I would like to work at a consulting firm.

on Mar 28, 2020
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on Mar 28, 2020
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Hey A,

Given the current situation i would strongly reccomend you to apply only through referrals!

You may either try to network on your own and secure a referral or use the network of others.

Here 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, just send me a direct message. – I am happy to answer your questions and help you getting interview invites and convert them to offers.



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Hi Anonymous,

Obviously I cannot comment on the quality of your application documents even after somebody assumingly knowledgable has reviewed them - but in any case I would submit your application directly via the consulting firms websites. Even though McKinsey does not explicitly favor those applications coming in directly via the direct website, it eliminates an intermediate (for the consulting firm more or less useless) step and reduces process time and risk.

Looking at your situation from a slightly distant point of view, it doesn't sound that you really stand out so much from the crowd of other applications. That's already an issue in "good" economic times, even more so at the moment of COVID-19.

Since recruiting activities are starting to slow down, I am afraid that the "classical" approach of submitting documents and passively waiting a reply will work less and less for non-experienced hires that are not in severe demand at the moment.

The most secure way to getting your interview invitation is as usual networking your way into your target firms. The more senior that person referring you internally, the more secure is your interview invitation if right now (please note that I am not referring to a job offer, I am talking only about being invited to interviews - however I expect the bar to be rising).

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


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Hi there,

I would not recommend that you apply to consulting companies via LinkedIn or websites, in particular in this period. Some offices are already on-hold with recruiting and you may “waste” the application for an office that is not hiring instead of directing it through one which is still hiring.

You should instead look for a referral for your application. You can find some suggestions on how to find them at the following link:




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I would suggest to avoid to apply through Linkedin, that's problably the main reason (in addition to covid) why you had no answers. In order to apply you should consider the following possibilities (in this order):

  1. Contact HR staff that you may have known during presentation/workshop at your university
  2. Join consulting firms events to establish a relationship with HR or consultants working in your target companies
  3. Leverage on the alumni network of your university or friends that work for consulting companies
  4. Web application


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  • Just go to the respective website of the companies you are interested in (top ones are McKinsey, BCG, Bain) and apply through the website – they always answer if you apply through an official form on their website.
  • If you have an MBA, at McKinsey you would apply for an associate and at BCG and Bain for a consultant level.
  • If you just have Masters McKinsey would be Fellow or Business Analyst (country-dependent), BCG = associate, Bain = associate consultant




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Hi, I recommend applying on the website or - even better - through a referral (look at ex alumni of your master now in consulting). After you apply do not hesitate to call/email HR, to know the application status without worrying about bothering them: they are there to help.


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