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Is it hopeless?

Bain & Company BCG Case Interview BCG McKinsey and Bain full-time MBB MBB & Big 4 McKinsey case interview recruiting
New answer on Nov 06, 2023
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 02, 2023

As a bit of background, I'm now a Junior at a non-target school (US News T50) and recently tried to recruit for MBB for Summer 2024 internships. I was lucky enough to receive interviews with all three (as far as I know, I'm one of two people at my school to do so), however, I did not receive an offer from any firm. Then, I applied to Big 4 advisory/consulting positions and didn't even receive interviews there (even for the firms that recruit on campus). I don't know what is going wrong, but I'm definitely discouraged. I know that I want to work at MBB out of undergrad if possible (a tall order for anyone, I know), but I don't know realistically what my chances of re-recruiting full-time at any firm are. 

So, my questions are:  

  • Is it realistic to still try to recruit into MBB for FT roles?
  • What can I do with my summer to maximize my chances for getting interviews? 
  • How do I pinpoint my interviewing mistakes and correct them?

I appreciate any feedback, and I'm happy to answer any questions as needed! Thank you :)

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Moritz
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updated an answer on Nov 02, 2023
ex-McKinsey EM & Interviewer | 7/8 offer rate for 4+ sessions | 90min sessions with FREE exercises & videos

Hi there,

Joining MBB is more of a marathon than a sprint for a lot of people. You're only just starting your career and there will be plenty of opportunities after these recent attempts.

As for your questions, here's my thoughts:

  • Is it realistic to still try to recruit into MBB for FT roles? Yes BUT you may have to wait some time. Most firms will ban you from re-interviewing for a period of time for any role (typically 12-24 months). Other firms will only ban you for re-interviewing for the same role e.g., McKinsey in some offices. For example, you can fail the interviews for the internship but are allowed to apply and interview for the FT BA role. However, in most cases you'll have to wait and add more significant experiences to your resume.
  • What can I do with my summer to maximize my chances for getting interviews? There's no magic bullet and you could do 1,000 things that would look good. The fact that you got invited to all MBB already suggests your resume is in tip top shape. So keep doing what you have been doing, try out different things via internships, volunteering, clubs, etc. and you'll be fine. So long as you don't stand still, all will be good.
  • How do I pinpoint my interviewing mistakes and correct them? Work with a coach and get feedback from your last interviews, if possible. Priority would be coaching though because feedback is often pretty poor - if you get any at all.

Feel free to reach out and we can discuss more. For now, I hope this helps a bit. Don't give up and keep up the good work!

Moritz

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Need real McKinsey cases? See two real examples:
Zero Carbon Mine (hard)
Car Convenience (Intermediate + brand new)

 

(edited)

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Ian
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replied on Nov 04, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Oh my, it is NOT hopeless!

Not in the slightest.

You were invited by ALL three of MBB - that's fantastic.

If you were invited now, you can be invited next year. If you were invited by them, you can be invited by others.

Is it realistic to still try to recruit into MBB for FT roles?

Yes (next recruiting cycle)

What can I do with my summer to maximize my chances for getting interviews?

What you should do (and should have done) is apply to as many firms as possible. When applying, get your resume professionally reviewed by a coach, and get networking templates + tips from a coach as well.

Here's some reading to help :https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/how-to-get-a-consulting-internship-tips-and-tricks

How do I pinpoint my interviewing mistakes and correct them?

Get COACHING.

Just like anything in life, it's so difficult to self assess. Something is wrong. Get a professional to figure it out and help!

And, avoid these mistakes! https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/pitfalls-case-interview-preparation

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Francesco
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replied on Nov 03, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Sorry to hear about the rejections. In terms of your questions:

1) Is it realistic to still try to recruit into MBB for FT roles?

Sure, if they invited you before, they can invite you again. Just be sure to apply according to the ban rules, if any.

2) What can I do with my summer to maximize my chances for getting interviews? 

In general, you should work on improving your CV (possibly with relevant work experience), cover letter and network to get a referral. You can find some tips below:

How to Get a Consulting Interview Invitation

3) How do I pinpoint my interviewing mistakes and correct them?

If you haven’t, you can start by asking for feedback from the company that rejected you (although most likely it will be generic). Next, you might ask for feedback from (i) a coach, (ii) a current consultant or (iii) a peer who got offers to try to identify the issues, depending on budget/availability.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Cristian
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replied on Nov 02, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi!

I'm really sorry to hear about all this. 

First of all, it sounds like you have a good profile. That's confirmed by the fact that you did receive interview invitations from MBBs. 

It also sounds like you weren't as prepared as you could've been or at least not within the top candidates who they then gave offers to. That is something is within your control. Basically:

  • try to get feedback from the interview rejections you got
  • get support to work on that feedback (coach or any other professional help you can get)

Second of all, it also sounds like you applied to other firms e.g., Big4 and got rejected at the screening phase. This is sort of outside your control because now it's overall a bad time for recruiting and they are taking very few people to interview stage.

What I would suggest here is to:

  • continue sending applications to other firms (e.g., boutiques)
  • do more networking and get the insider perspective and potentially referrals

Sharing with you a guide that breaks down how to put together an application strategy:

Whatever it is, don't give up. It's just a bad period now so the only two things you can do is to be better than others and to keep on going. That's it.


Good luck!
Cristian

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Alberto
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replied on Nov 06, 2023
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Hi there,

Sorry to hear you didn't make it in your consulting interviews and applications. To your questions:

Q1: Is it realistic to still try to recruit into MBB for FT roles?

Yes but you need to pass through a ban period. This is typically 12 months in most geographies. You can ask your recruiting contacts to know specific ban times in your case.

Q2: What can I do with my summer to maximize my chances for getting interviews?

Get an internship in either another consulting firm (there are many more than MBB and Big4) or a company with a strong brand / reputation.

Q3: How do I pinpoint my interviewing mistakes and correct them?

Two things. First, ask your MBB recruiting contacts for specific feedback from your interview. Second, get help from an MBB consultant or a coach to work on your interview weaknesses.

Happy to keep talking about this in private, just send me a message.

Best,

Alberto

Check out my latest case based on a real MBB interview: Sierra Springs

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ALEXANDRE
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replied on Nov 03, 2023
FREE INTRO I exMcKinsey EM I exKearney consultant I High Success Rate I Official Coach for HEC (160 coachees in 2022/23)

I understand your concerns and frustrations, but it's essential to stay determined and resilient in your pursuit of a career in top consulting firms like MBB. Here are some suggestions to address your questions:

Is it realistic to still try to recruit into MBB for FT roles?

  • Yes, it's realistic to continue pursuing opportunities at MBB or other top consulting firms for full-time roles. Many successful consultants didn't secure offers during their undergraduate recruitment but were hired later in their careers.

What can I do with my summer to maximize my chances for getting interviews?

  • Use your summer to build a stronger resume and skillset:
    • Internships: Secure relevant internships in consulting, business, or related fields to gain practical experience.
    • Networking: Connect with alumni or professionals in MBB through informational interviews and networking events.
    • Case Practice: Invest time in refining your case interview skills. Partner with peers, use case books, and consider joining a consulting club on your campus.
    • Advanced Excel and Data Analysis: Enhance your data analysis skills, which are essential in consulting.
    • Leadership Roles: Assume leadership positions in extracurricular activities to demonstrate your leadership and teamwork abilities.

How do I pinpoint my interviewing mistakes and correct them?

  • Self-reflection and feedback are crucial:
    • Seek feedback: Contact the recruiters or interviewers for feedback on your interviews. Understand what you did well and where you can improve.
    • Practice interviews: Participate in mock interviews with peers, mentors, or career services. Record and review these sessions to identify weaknesses.

Remember that persistence and continuous improvement are essential in this competitive field. Keep applying for internships and full-time positions in consulting, including MBB, but also consider other reputable firms to gain experience. Learn from your previous interview experiences and seek guidance from career advisors or mentors to help you identify areas for improvement. Your commitment and growth over time will increase your chances of success in the future.

Cheers,

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Raj
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replied on Nov 06, 2023
FREE 15MIN CONSULTATION | #1 Strategy& / OW coach | >70 5* reviews |90% offers ⇨ prep-success.super.site | MENA, DE, UK

Thank you for sharing your background and concerns. I understand that not receiving offers from MBB for summer internships and not even receiving interviews for Big 4 advisory/consulting positions can be discouraging. However, it's important to remember that the recruitment process can be highly competitive, and there are many factors that can influence the outcome.

To address your questions:

Is it realistic to still try to recruit into MBB for FT roles? While it can be challenging, it is still realistic to try to recruit for full-time roles at MBB. Many successful consultants have faced setbacks during their recruitment journey but eventually secured positions at top firms. It's important to reflect on your previous experiences, identify areas for improvement, and continue to enhance your skills and qualifications.

What can you do with your summer to maximize your chances for getting interviews? Use your summer to focus on personal and professional development. Consider pursuing relevant internships, participating in case competitions, or taking on projects that showcase your analytical and problem-solving abilities. Additionally, networking can play a crucial role in securing interviews. Reach out to alumni, professionals in the industry, and attend networking events to expand your connections and gain insights into the recruitment process.

How do you pinpoint your interviewing mistakes and correct them? Reflecting on your previous interviews is essential for identifying areas of improvement. Consider seeking feedback from mentors, career services, or professionals who have experience in the consulting industry. They can provide valuable insights into your strengths and areas that need development. Additionally, practicing mock interviews with experienced consultants or utilizing online resources can help you refine your interview skills and address any weaknesses.

Remember, persistence and continuous improvement are key in the recruitment process. Stay focused, leverage your strengths, and learn from each experience to increase your chances of success.

Best of luck in your future endeavors!

Warm regards, Raj

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Hagen
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updated an answer on Nov 03, 2023
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

First of all, I am sorry to hear about the rejections!

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your situation:

  • First of all, consulting is quite a permeable industry in which you can reapply as many times as you feel like, as long as you respect the ban period. So there is nothing against reapplying towards the end of your studies.
  • Moreover, enhance your profile by engaging in activities that can bolster your resume. This might involve leadership roles in student organizations, internships in related fields, or any strategic projects that showcase your analytical skills.
  • Lastly, I would highly advise you to reach out to an experienced coach in order to identify your areas for improvement. Since you have not even been invited by the Big 4 consulting firms, there might be more to it than your interviewing skills.

You can find more on this topic here: How to deal with a rejection from a consulting company.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare for your upcoming interviews, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

(edited)

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Moritz

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