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I got rejected after the first round of McKinsey interview. My only career plan was to work at McKinsey. What can I do?

Anonymous A asked on Dec 01, 2018

Working at McKinsey was my only career plan since my early years of undergraduate studies. I studied a lot, practised a lot. However, I didn't succeed, things went wrong and I got nervous during the interview. I couldn't show my ability to crack the cases. And I devastated.

I will never apply other consulting firms, including BCG and Bain. It is obvious that both firms lack the prestige that McKinsey have. I ignore Big 4 or other consulting firms, since I don't consider them as a "consulting firm". And I don't even consider other jobs except consulting as a "job". For me, non-consulting jobs are too simple in terms of the work done, and way too easy to get a job offer. So, finding a job outside consulting is not a success for me.

In McKinsey, there are at least 2 years ban for rejected candidates. I will be eligible to apply only at the end of 2020. Even if I get a job offer 2 years later, I will never be a person who has never been rejected. I wanted to be a perfect McKinsey consultant. Getting rejected in the past will prevent me from being perfect. Being perfect implies being perfect at all times. Starting my career at McKinsey would be more superior than switching to McKinsey after starting at anywhere else.

I feel like that's the end of my life. Are there anything that I can do? Do you have any advices?


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replied on Dec 01, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews
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First, sorry about the rejection. It happens to many tens of thousands 9f extremely smart and qualified applicants, many of whom go on to have fantastic careers and lives anyway... but it hurts still at the time, definitely.

Second, today is not April's fool but I still hope you are joking. If not, I am glad you didn't get in - your attitude is despicable. Will you look down on all your clients, and not respect them because THEY don't work for the firm? Will you disown your children because they can't get in the firm? By displaying such a lack of empathy (among others), you are showing everyone that you do not have what it takes to be a good consultant... or even a good human being. Time to grow up

Anonymous B updated her answer on Dec 01, 2018

You can try for BCG, they are hiring a lot lately which makes it easier to get in


Vlad updated his answer on Dec 01, 2018
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To be honest, I think your approach is absolutely immature. It is true that consulting has a lot of unsecured overachievers, but putting all stakes on one company is too much even for a typical overachiever. Working with clients requires maturity, so probably it was the right decision.

You can apply to BCG and Bain - both great companies. But first, you should work on your insecurity.



updated his answer on Dec 04, 2018
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I really hope that this post is satire and you are secretly laughing about this.

If not, I think Guennael and Vlad have said it. This may be the best thing that has ever happened to you. At least it can be.

Your post just reeks of arrogance, sense of entitlement, lack of empathy, immaturity and insecurity. None of those has a place in a respectable consulting firm. So your rejection is a well-deserved one.

But you asked what you can do, and I want to try to answer that question as well:

First, I suggest you take a long, hard look at yourself in the mirror and seriously question your values and belief systems. Because those are seriously messed up.

Maybe some exercises to get you started:

  • I challenge you to read Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning"
  • I challenge you to spend one day in an Emergency Room, a refugee camp, the kitchen of a Michelin starred restaurant, a cyber-security war room or a data science lab and then come back and still say that all non-consulting jobs are "not real jobs".
  • I challenge you to see the reactions on people's faces when you say "I work for McKinsey" vs. "I work for Doctors without Borders" or "I work for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation" or "I work for Google". Still sure that McK is the only prestigious name in town?
  • I challenge you to read Seneca and other stoics, to practice gratitude and just broaden your horizon beyond that one singular goal.

Best of luck to you.


Anonymous E replied on Dec 03, 2018

This is the best lesson you might have had in your life.

You do come as immature, insecure and too categorical and there is nothing bad in this. You are probably very young. This experience will make you less of all that and ultimatley position you to be more successful.

Anonymous D replied on Dec 01, 2018

Anonymous C replied on Dec 01, 2018

Have you heard of KPMG? You could apply there

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