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BCG McKinsey Recruiter Referral
New answer on Aug 01, 2019
2 Answers
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Shawn asked on Jul 26, 2019

Hi

I have been able to speak directly to recruiters (my uni alumni) and my assumption was that they will take over the CV screening and lead me to next stage or reject me. However the conversations turned out to be very generic, going through positions and interview process and finally sending me to the online application blackhole. Were I wrong putting so much efforts to reach out to recruiters if they only repeat what I have researched for months and know in depth? So why there is so much advice on approaching recruiters direclty to secure interviews if at the end they ask you to go and apply online? Would the same thing happen with a partner?

Thank you

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Francesco
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replied on Aug 01, 2019
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.700+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Shawn,

if by recruiter you mean the HR team, as Vlad said you should direct your focus on actual consultants. If instead you already contacted actual consultants, there are probably some issues in the way you are presenting yourself or connecting with the consultants in the calls - it is difficult to know exactly what you could improve without additional information though.

In terms of the general referral process, you can find some tips at the link below:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176

Best,

Francesco

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Vlad
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replied on Jul 26, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

You got it wrong. It's not about approaching the recruiters but rather approaching the consultants who can make you a referral.

There are certain criteria for the referral:

  1. The consultant makes you a reference in the system and uploads your resume. Usually, he has to indicate why he thinks you are a good candidate
  2. You skip some steps in the recruiting process (CV screening at McK, Test at Bain)
  3. The consultant gets referral bonus ($) if you get a job offer

As you can see simply mentioning a person in your CL does not change the process at all.

The conversion to reference will be higher among consultant / manager level people who are still interested in the referral bonus. The basic idea is to ask these people for a mock interview.

Here are some tips on how you can do that:

1) Leverage your own network - find friends or friends of friends who can practice cases with you or make you a reference.

2) Attend company events. Consulting companies do a lot of events both for graduates and experienced hires. Find the social network groups related to consulting or websites, subscribe to newsletters and stay tuned. Also, check if they have events in your University since you are a PHD.

While some of the events will be open to everyone, others will require a resume and a cover letter, so make sure to prep.

3) Talk to people on the events and send Thank You notes. After each event, there is a Q&A session where you can talk to consultants 1 on 1 or in a group. Ask for contact info or send a thank you note after the event ("I just wanted to thank you for visiting our University... It was especially interesting to hear about... Would be happy to keep in touch and apply in the nearest future.). Alternatively, you may use linkedin for that. If you are an experienced hire I strongly suggest to ask for a 1 on 1 meeting in a thank you note.

4) 1 on 1 meetings. All people like giving an advice. So don't hesitate to ask consultants for a career advice. Tell your story and ask how consulting fits into it

5) Mock interview Depending on where you are in your prep process you may ask a consultant for a mock interview. Consultants are very much opened to help even if it is a cold call e-mail. The main problem is a lack of time on their side. So don't be afraid to remind about yourself if the consultant has already committed but finds it hard to find the time

6) Talking to partners If you are an experienced hire I suggest to talk directly to the partners in your industry or the partner responsible for experienced hires (in consulting partners also have additional roles). Get an intro from the HR or from your friends working there. Partners care a lot about experienced hires with relevant industry expertise. Chances to get referral are much lower though. They also will not be interested in giving mock interviews.

7) If you are an MBA graduate Just talk to your section mates and ask for a reference or a mock interview - they will be happy to help. Make sure you attend all the consulting events.

Good luck!

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Shawn on Jul 26, 2019

Thank you Vlad, this is very helpful. If my CV has been rejected at screen, could a referral override the 12-18 months wait with McKisney for example or I have missed the referral window now?

Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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