MBB to be inflexible with starting date

onboarding starting starting time Startingdate
New answer on Dec 20, 2020
7 Answers
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Peter asked on Dec 18, 2020

Hello!

After a successful interview process, I landed a junior consultant position offer from a European MBB office. However, the excitement quickly turned to despair once I was told that my previously communicated preferred starting date (in 8 months) will not work for them and the only possible starting date in this office is in 2 months. No detailed explanation was given as to why is this the case.

Due to personal reasons and other commitments, I am not able to start this early. After elaborating on this, I was given the choice to either take the offer with the early starting date or walk away from the offer.

Is this non-flexibility with regards to starting dates a common practice at MBBs? Has anyone encountered such a thing? My close peers applying to other MBB offices were taken by surprise by this. I'm wondering what's behind if this is not a common practice.

Thanks,
Peter

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Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 19, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

It's very common that you get a later starting date but then they ask you to start earlier. I think it's absolutely here. the company has business needs. Moreover - I don't know any other employer who is as flexible with a start date as MBB. Thus, it's just a question of managing the expectations.

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Adi
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replied on Dec 18, 2020
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hi Peter,

This is very unusual indeed and most of the times firms accomodate such requests. Unless you have other comparable options or your situation mandates prioritsation, your starting position must be: I cant let go of this offer.

So, what can you do. Consider these:

  1. Be very open about your situation and get their empathy. Show them how excited you are join the team but are constrained by your situation to start early. Talk on phone to both HR and partner
  2. Come to a middle ground i.e. start in 4 months & not 2..can you make this happen?
  3. Can you start early but then take a break in lets say 3-4 months to focus on your situation

The idea is to come up with options from your end and put them forward to HR and Partner as required. Make it easy for them to act. This is negotiation 101. You dont want to be rigid. Focus on win-win.

Good luck and hope this works out for you smoothly.

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Ken
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replied on Dec 18, 2020
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

Wow, that is quite unusual but it does occasionally happen in smaller offices where headcount and start dates have much less flexibility. I'm sure the current COVID pandemic and uncertainty is not helping too.

How transparently have you shared your personal circumstances? It's hard to say without knowing details but if your constraints are resonable, I'm sure there is a work around.

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Clara
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replied on Dec 20, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Sorry to hear about that, it must be quite taught to find yourself there after all the fight.

I sounds very very unusual to me to.

Do you know someone internally who can help you negotiate with HR?

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Gaurav
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Content Creator
replied on Dec 18, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi Peter,

It is indeed a very unusual practice. If you already tried discussing it with the HR and they showed no interest in finding a middle ground, I don't see any other choice as walking away from it. At this point, I would really be thinking that there is a better position for me elsewhere.

Good luck with any decision you make!

GB

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Anonymous replied on Dec 18, 2020

Hi,

Normally the Firm want you to start as soon as possible, having said that, starting date usually is not a make or break and 99% of the time they can accomodate. I even found some extreme cases where it is being delayed 1 year later.

Would it be possible for you to clarify what is the reason behind the strict requirement? Try to have a video call conversation as this is quite uncommon.

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 19, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi Peter,

I'm really sorry to hear this!

While it's uncommon, it's not unheard of. Remember that afterall you''re working for them...if they need people now but not later, that's their prerogative. They likely have a spot to fill and intend to fill it now (with you or their 2nd choice).

Sorry to say, but you have to take it or leave it :/

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Vlad gave the best answer

Vlad

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McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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