McK Referral - Next steps for preparation?

preparation recruiting Referral program at MBB
New answer on Jan 10, 2022
5 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Jan 06, 2022

I'm an experienced consultant at a big 4 firm, currently fully employed/staffed (and extremely busy!). 

I made a pretty good connection with an EM at McK. The EM and has asked for my resume for a potential opportunity as an Associate. A couple of days ago the EM informed me that the referral has been submitted for a resume screen and is now in the hands of the recruiting team. 

Would love to hear what my next steps should be focused on? (Cover letter, case prep, etc)



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Content Creator
replied on Jan 07, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hey Kyle!

First, have a read here for the mindset you need to have coming into this:

Now, you're going to get some very drawn out answers here. That said, time is your biggest problem here. Your interview is coming soon (your runway is shorter than it should be) and you're busy. As such, quite genuinely, the main thing you need to do is optimize time. This is hard if you go it alone (you will naturally be inefficient, learn things the hard way, learn bad habits, etc.). My number 1 advice is to use a coach as a time lever (especially since you have a job and can afford it).

In general how can you prepare? (General Advice)

1) An initial planning session with a coach: 1 hour with a coach now will have a productivity multiplier effect on all your efforts moving forward. They will figure out what materials are best for you, guide you towards the best ways to learn, and come up with a preparation plan with you.

2) Leverage free resources first: PrepLounge Q&A and case library, Poets and Quants, SpencerTom, Google, etc.). Leverage these options, read-up, and build that casingknowledge

Importantly, read The Economist, the Financial Times, McKinsey Insights, and BCG Insights daily to build up your business knowledge.

3) Case with other PrepLoungers: Casing with other PrepLoungers is free. Not only do you get to practice casing, but you get direct feedback. Additionally, you learn a lot just from casing others. Finally, from other PrepLoungers you'll learn which materials/coaches are helpful.

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Content Creator
replied on Jan 06, 2022
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Dear Kyle,

In order to prepare for case interview, I suggest the following approach:

  • Read the Case in Point (Cosentino) in order to get a first approach with the Case interviews
  • When you have read most of it, start doing cases on yourself practicing with frameworks, math and structure of the interview.
  • Practice with other people (candidates/coaches)
  • Start developing your application strategy considering your target companies and timeline
  • Read some chapters of the Case Interview Secrets and listen to the recordings of the LOMS program

While you are practicing for your cases, you have to consider also some time to prepare your CV/Cover Letter and the Fit Interview that is a fundamental part of the interview.

Consider that you will need around 1.5/2 months to prepare and at least 40/50 cases.

Feel free to contact me if you wan to discuss further.



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Content Creator
updated an answer on Jan 07, 2022
Unearth your spike & get the offer |ex-McKinsey | 120+ coachings & interviews @ McKinsey | ESADE MBA | Transition Expert

I have referred a number of people at McKinsey and the process is pretty straight forward.

Here´s what´s happening with some tips for your preparation:

Your resume is being screened by HR for each of the locations indicated in the referral (in McKinsey this is between 1-3 location). They will consider you for all kinds of roles at Associate level e.g. generalist, implementation coach (whatever is needed at the location)

  1. The screening step is equivalent to an application, which most likely you won´t have to do. Therefore, no cover letter either.
  2. In case they like your profile, HR will reach out to talk about interviews. If you´re not ready for case interviews yet, ask for time to prepare! This is well seen at McKinsey and not a problem at all since recruiting is continuos throuhout the year. I saw people asking for several weeks/months and the time was granted. In your case you’re very busy, which they will understand).
  3. Start preparing ASAP, which in your case has to be very efficient. I suggest expert calls as opposed to pure peer based case cracking, to get your performance up with a very targeted and less time consuming (wasting in some cases) approach. Also, as an Experienced Hire, McKinsey should give you access to consultants for a couple of practice interviews - ask about it when the time comes. This is common practice and I once benefitted from that, too.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more specific questions - happy to help!


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Anonymous A on Jan 07, 2022

Thanks for your reply. Would the McK PST be applicable to me? I have heard it is being replaced with something else, but, not entirely sure.

Moritz on Jan 07, 2022

You may or may not have to do it. For example MBAs from a top school don’t because they had to ace the GMAT and get into a top school. In your case coming from a Tier 2 firm, they might wave it as well. However, I can’t be certain. And yes, PST was replaced by Imbellus, which is a gamified test.


Anonymous on Jan 07, 2022

Alright, I’m from top/target MBA program in NA. Good to know! Thanks.


replied on Jan 07, 2022
Current Bain & Company Project Leader and interviewer | 250+ interviews conducted | 6+ years of coaching and mentoring

Hi Kyle,

First of all, congratulations on the referral!

This is indeed an interesting question which is probably relevant for quite a lot of users, so I am happy to provide my perspective on it:

  • First of all, I would highly advise you to have an initial session with a coach (on PrepLounge or somewhere else if you prefer). Especially at the beginning of preparation, coaches know very well what areas and resources to focus on (e.g., and contradictory to what other coaches said, I would advise you not to ready the “Case in Point” book since this will provide you with an unrealistic point of view on consulting interviews).
  • Moreover, I would advise you to first get a glimpse of how the strategy consulting market segment works differently to what you are used to at your current employer. There is a lot of free material out there, also on PrepLounge.
  • Lastly, I would advise you to start early with practicing case study interviews with peers (and/ or coaches) here on PrepLounge. This way of preparation for the case study part will be most realistic and since it is more a question of practice than talent, it is beneficial to start early (especially given that you work full-time).

In case you want a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare your upcoming McKinsey interviews while working full-time, please feel free to contact me directly.

I hope this helps,


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Content Creator
replied on Jan 10, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Congrats, sounds amazing. You will be contacted soon for the Imbellus, so I would focus my prep on that for now. 



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MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep
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