MBB DEI hiring policy

BCG McKinsey and Bain hiring
New answer on Jul 18, 2022
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jul 16, 2022

Hi,

I had an interview with McKinsey a few weeks back and noticed something strange. In the morning briefing before the final interview rounds the HR guy couldn't stress enough that all participants today would be hired if they reach the McKinsey bar. During one of my interviews with a partner I asked her about DEI at McKinsey and she told me that they have a very strict hiring policy for lower levels of 50/50 male/female because they seem to have the same problem as described in this practice case on their website: https://www.mckinsey.com/careers/interviewing/shops-corporation I am a white male. 

Anyway, during my final hiring day at McKinsey I aced the 2 morning interviews and got invited to the final afternoon interview. I asked for feedback on which area I could improve for the afternoon round - there was none. 

My honest feeling is that I knew from minute of this final afternoon interview that there's no chance that this interviewer would let me pass this final round. I have done well over 100 cases and got lots of offers from other consultancies. With time, you just develop a feeling for cases and how they are asked and what the interviewer wants to get out of this. She asked such weird follow up questions and no matter what I said it was wrong/she wanted to hear something else. At the same time, she made lots of mistakes, for example by using incorrect units, e.g. mn vs. bn, when explaining things. 

My final feedback for why I wasn't hired was that my initial structure (Q1) would contain too much information. She literally said “there is a good amount of high level and in-detail information but it's just too much information”. I think this was extremely weird feedback and not at all in line with the morning interviews (I provided a similar amount of info in all cases, regardless of McK btw).  

I chatted with a friend at Bain the other day who's involved in hiring. He interviewed someone the other day and told me that the candidate did a very good job. However, they decided not to hire him because they would only have x slots left for males for this year to align with their DEI 50/50 hiring approach. So the candidate would have to hit unnatural standards to be considered for the x remaining male slots for this year. My friend felt really bad about it. 

Since having the interviews a few weeks back, I can't get off the feeling that the case my friend described from Bain also hit me at McKinsey. Do other people (insiders from MBB or other applicants) have similar experiences?

 

 

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Moritz
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updated an answer on Jul 19, 2022
Unearth your spike & get the offer |ex-McKinsey | 120+ coachings & interviews @ McKinsey | ESADE MBA | Transition Expert

Hi there,

Sorry to hear about this! 

Generally speaking, McKinsey wants to set up all their candidates for success. If I understand correctly, your hypothesis is that this wasn't the case with you because of gender.

On the one hand, this would violate every rule in McK's book. On the other hand, they use two principles that are clearly at odds with each other i.e. 50/50 gender intake and taking everyone who clears the bar. Both things can't be true at the same time. We'll never know why you actually failed and I don't want to speculate. However, this type of confusion is certainly an issue in other places. 

I once interviewed for a position in industry and it was hopeless from the beginning, which the hiring manager even told me. He had so much pressure to hire a woman because of affirmative action in their recruiting. At the same time, the company pledged to not differentiate between people of different religion, sexual orientation, physical ability, gender, etc. Again, both things can't be true at the same time and this creates real confusion in the process. The hiring manager was frustrated because he wanted me but would have been penalized had he hired me.

I think it's perfectly valid and good to have different hiring philosophies but the logic and communication needs to be internally consistent. Hope we get there soon!

Keep up the good work! Best of luck!

 

(edited)

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Anonymous B replied on Jul 16, 2022

To be honest, I have experienced the same at Bain and all my friends as well.

We all did very well in our cases, and as you said, you develop a kind of sense, what to say and what to do in each interview.

Even though all my cases went very well, I didnt get that offer because of some very stupid reasoning like “your structure was not perfect” and when I asked, what exactly, they told me they need to “ask the other colleague”.

I personally completed more than 150 cases and got several offers from other companies, but at some specific firms, like Bain and also Oliver Wyman they rejected me, even though I didnt make any mistake on the the case.

In some cases, the case examples were very similiar from mock cases they send around and I almost repeat the same solution they suggested, but they were still looking for some minor detail to reject me.

Im also a white male.

Where are you located?

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Sofia
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replied on Jul 18, 2022
McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching | DISCOUNTED SESSIONS Sep 2022 | Free 15 min intro call

Hello,

I'm sorry to hear about your experience! Unfortunately there are many unknowns and factors outside your control during the recruiting process. All you can do is do your best to prepare, but the rest is outside of your hands. There's no magic number of practice cases you can do to ensure you get offers, and it's extremely common to have different outcomes with different firms during the recruiting process, which might feel weird when you feel like you are performing similarly at the interviews. Sometimes it's a question of fit, sometimes they just have too many candidates with a similar profile (which doesn't have to be identity related - they might be looking for a range of professional or academic experience), and sometimes you just don't vibe well with the interviewer. Different people deal with rejections differently and you know what's best for you, but my advice would be not to dwell on how your identity, something you cannot change at all, affected your chances, but to ask for feedback about your performance and keep practicing. Best of luck!

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Ian
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replied on Jul 17, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I'm sorry to hear about this!

Unfortunately, when it comes to interviewing (and, honestly, most things in life) a lot is left up to variables/intangibles out of our control.

We will never truly have an answer here, but it could be as simple as they didn't think you were a good fit (or, needed a certain diversity target). We don't know, but, you have many other offers as you said, so just move forward and don't look back!

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Clara
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replied on Jul 17, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello, 

That is heartbreaking truly, I am very sorry to hear that inside info about Bain. 

All I can tell you is that you were almost there, please don´t give up and keep trying

Cheers, 

Clara

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Moritz

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Unearth your spike & get the offer |ex-McKinsey | 120+ coachings & interviews @ McKinsey | ESADE MBA | Transition Expert
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