expert
Expert with best answer

Egor

7 Meetings

185 Q&A Upvotes

USD 299 / Coaching

4

Invited to McKinsey and BCG with average grades

Hello all!

I must admit I did not expect to get invited to any big strategy consultancy since my grades are average. I do attend a target school, though, and have professional experiences at prestigious firms in the producing industry as well as some extracurricular achievements to brag with. But academically, I was never top of class. Therefore, I'm surprised and wondering about my actual chances to get in...

So, my question:

Will my grades be held against me during/after the interviews when I perform well in the actual interviews? Are grades a factor that are debated still after interviews?

Thanks in advance!

Hello all!

I must admit I did not expect to get invited to any big strategy consultancy since my grades are average. I do attend a target school, though, and have professional experiences at prestigious firms in the producing industry as well as some extracurricular achievements to brag with. But academically, I was never top of class. Therefore, I'm surprised and wondering about my actual chances to get in...

So, my question:

Will my grades be held against me during/after the interviews when I perform well in the actual interviews? Are grades a factor that are debated still after interviews?

Thanks in advance!

4 answers

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

7 Meetings

185 Q&A Upvotes

USD 299 / Coaching

Hi A,

Congratulations! Nobody cares about your grades, when you are invited.
Make sure you are well-prepared for the upcoming tests: PST and BCG Potential.

The only thing, which interviewers may draw attention to is your test results. If they have any concerns after the interview, they may ask for your test grade.

Be prepared to show that you are distinctive in terms of extracurrucular activities for a fit-part.

All the best,

Egor

Hi A,

Congratulations! Nobody cares about your grades, when you are invited.
Make sure you are well-prepared for the upcoming tests: PST and BCG Potential.

The only thing, which interviewers may draw attention to is your test results. If they have any concerns after the interview, they may ask for your test grade.

Be prepared to show that you are distinctive in terms of extracurrucular activities for a fit-part.

All the best,

Egor

Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

388 Meetings

7,315 Q&A Upvotes

USD 299 / Coaching

Hi,

The grades are important only during the resume screening. Once you are invited - it does not matter that much. There is still a chance that the interview will notice your grades and ask you about them. So you should have a great explanation why it happened (e.g. you were doing sports / startups / etc in parallel).

You can compensate the bad grades with other achievements:

  1. Launching your own venture and entrepreneurial activities (even failing them is fine)
  2. Grants / scholarships - even better if related to some research or entrepreneurial projects
  3. Projects for companies - you may consider doing a free project for the company or a startup or writing a case that future grads will use
  4. Volunteer / social activities. I would aim at the activities where you can have a leadership role. Organizing some club may work as well.
  5. Case Competitions-especially the ones organized by your target company
  6. Researches / articles published in well-known sources

I would try to go deep rather than broad. It's good to have something that you can put as a part-time job in your resume rather than just a bullet point. It will also give you great stories for the FIT part of the interview.

Best,

Hi,

The grades are important only during the resume screening. Once you are invited - it does not matter that much. There is still a chance that the interview will notice your grades and ask you about them. So you should have a great explanation why it happened (e.g. you were doing sports / startups / etc in parallel).

You can compensate the bad grades with other achievements:

  1. Launching your own venture and entrepreneurial activities (even failing them is fine)
  2. Grants / scholarships - even better if related to some research or entrepreneurial projects
  3. Projects for companies - you may consider doing a free project for the company or a startup or writing a case that future grads will use
  4. Volunteer / social activities. I would aim at the activities where you can have a leadership role. Organizing some club may work as well.
  5. Case Competitions-especially the ones organized by your target company
  6. Researches / articles published in well-known sources

I would try to go deep rather than broad. It's good to have something that you can put as a part-time job in your resume rather than just a bullet point. It will also give you great stories for the FIT part of the interview.

Best,

Congrats, that's amazing! Did you have a referral or apply by yourself? My grades are fairly average as well (I live in Germany) and that has been a concern of mine. Great work! Let us know how the interviews go :)

Congrats, that's amazing! Did you have a referral or apply by yourself? My grades are fairly average as well (I live in Germany) and that has been a concern of mine. Great work! Let us know how the interviews go :)

Hi,

As someone who has talked to alot of consultants and HR at my school fairs etc., I can assure you that the decision is only dependent on your performance in the case interview section. As soon as you enter that door to the interview room, you can forget about your grades. Everyone who is interviewing is at an equal footing.

Grades, acheivements etc. are only there to screen for bright applicants and to bring them in for interviews. Thats it.

Best of luck with your interviews.

Hi,

As someone who has talked to alot of consultants and HR at my school fairs etc., I can assure you that the decision is only dependent on your performance in the case interview section. As soon as you enter that door to the interview room, you can forget about your grades. Everyone who is interviewing is at an equal footing.

Grades, acheivements etc. are only there to screen for bright applicants and to bring them in for interviews. Thats it.

Best of luck with your interviews.

Related BootCamp article(s)

Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases

Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly

Related case(s)

McKinsey Questions

Solved 36.4k 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 5 849
| 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 25.0k 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 5 206
| 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

Espresso, Whatelse?

Solved 2.6k times
Espresso, Whatelse? Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand the root causes of this 2019 trend and how to increase its profit margin again.  
4.6 5 109
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand ... Open whole case

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 1.9k times
MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.7 5 69
| Rating: (4.7 / 5.0)

Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvant ... Open whole case

Coronavirus Times - COVID-19 Brainteaser

Solved 700+ times
Coronavirus Times - COVID-19 Brainteaser You and your family are faced with a challenging set of decisions. Due to coronavirus, your partner has taken a 20% paycut and you are worried you may lose your job. In addition, while daycare is still open, you are worried that sending your two children there will increase the risk of them bringing the virus back to your house, where your elderly grandparents are also staying. How would you go about thinking about this problem, and what would you recommend?
4.5 5 22
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Beginner | Style: Brain Teaser | Topics: Brain teaser

You and your family are faced with a challenging set of decisions. Due to coronavirus, your partner has taken a 20% paycut and you are worried you may lose your job. In addition, while daycare is still open, you are worried that sending your two children there will increase the risk of them bringing ... Open whole case