Expert with best answer


100% Recommendation Rate

11 Meetings

94 Q&A Upvotes

USD 169 / Coaching

Is it realistic to get an MBB interview without referral?

Anonymous A asked on Feb 21, 2019

Recently I read in forums such as Wall Street Oasis or Quora that it makes no sense to apply online for an entry level position at MBB in the US without referrals.
I became nervous because I have already applied for all MBB Middle East offices a few days ago online without any referral.

Is it really a waste of time to apply online without a referral (for US and Middle East offices)? Last year, for example, I got interviews with McK and BCG for German offices...

2 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
replied on Feb 21, 2019
I am here to get you an offer! | Got 8 offers including the 3 MBBs and non MBB like Wyman, Roland Berger, Strategy&...
Book a coaching with Norah

100% Recommendation Rate

11 Meetings

94 Q&A Upvotes

USD 169 / Coaching

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for reaching out.

One thing is certain: a strong referral increases your rates of getting a positive screening outcome and geeting an interviews.

However, this is not a must at all!

If you have a strong CV with achievements and a great profile, you will get interviews, no matter what office you are applying too. Do not get disturbed by the noise on social media. I got all 90% of my interviews with 0 referrals and it went just fine.
The process is very standardized and the HR and consultants screen the CV based on your profile.

That being said, if you do not come from "a target school", getting a referral is the best way to get interviews. That's just the way it works, not necessary, but strongly recommended.

Also, it's great to network with people from the office you are applying to in order to get a sense of the job they are doing and the atmosphere and values they have.
Best of luck in your applications, and do not hesitate to reach out by PM if you have any questions,

Vlad replied on Feb 21, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

344 Meetings

4,546 Q&A Upvotes

USD 319 / Coaching


Yes and no:

  • For some offices, like New York, even having a referral does not secure you an interview. On the other hand - you can easily get an interview in the Mid West offices
  • It also depends on your resume. If it is great - it can pass without the referral. For some candidates with fewer achievements, a referral is the only way.