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Mckinsey Frezee Period

MBB Mckinsey middle east McKinsey Referral
New answer on Dec 01, 2023
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 23, 2023

Hi,

I am 32 years old and currently working at the International Development Bank in the USA.

In 2021, I applied for a BA position at McKinsey Middle East, and the HR department called me to apply as a Junior Associate as I already have some work experience. I passed the CV screening and the Imbellus test, but in September 2021, I failed the first interview, resulting in an imposed freeze period of 18 months. Then, I reapplied in February 2023, and this time I failed the Imbellus test, leading to another 18-month freeze period.

The next time I can apply would be in August 2024, and I will be 33-34 years old. Even if I manage to receive an offer, I believe I would be much older than my peers.

My questions are:

1. Is 34 years old considered too old for a Junior Associate position?

2. If I know someone who could refer me either within the firm or who knows someone at McKinsey, can they still refer me during the freeze period?

Any advice would be appreciated!

Thank you

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Best answer
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 01, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Freeze period is about a year and it's quite hard to get around (save for, perhaps, a partner referral)

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Sofia
Expert
replied on Aug 24, 2023
Top-Ranked Coach on PrepLounge for 3 years| McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 6+ years of coaching

Hello,

To answer your questions:

1. Is 34 years old considered too old for a Junior Associate position?

Absolutely not! Age is not something to be concerned about in this case. If anything, being older than your peers may give you an advantage professionally since you will have more business experience and will probably be taken more seriously by clients. If Junior Associate is the appropriate role for you based on your skills and experience, then go for it!

2. If I know someone who could refer me either within the firm or who knows someone at McKinsey, can they still refer me during the freeze period?

Yes and no - they can technically refer you during the freeze period, but you cannot apply during the freeze period regardless, so that referral link would eventually expire without you being able to use it. There's no way to circumvent the ban unfortunately, you just have to wait it out. The good news is that a referral significantly increases your chances of getting an interview, so if you think it would be feasible for you to get one, I would definitely look into that!

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Andi
Expert
replied on Aug 24, 2023
BCG 1st & Final Round interviewer | Personalized prep with >95% success rate | 7yrs coaching | #1 for Experienced Hires

Hi there,

sorry to hear that the recruiting effort so far has not yet been successful. Happy to share my thoughts on your questions.

  1. Is 34 years too old for Jr Associate - to my knowledge, the firm does not have a hard cap on age. However, for each career level, they do have that in terms of work experience. Depending on your past career, your profile might then simply calibrate with a higher level (e.g. Associate). Besides, that, sy question would also be - at the age of 34, would you enjoy still starting as a BA, where everyone else is in their early / mid 20s. Might be a bit challenging to fit in from a cultural standpoint accordingly, so I'd consider this factor as well in your case.
  2. Waive the freeze period? In general, it's possible on occasion but you will need a very senior referral to make that happen. 

Hope this helps. Wish you all the best!

Regards, Andi

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 24, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there!

Sorry to hear about the double-rejection but I have a lot of respect for your resilience. I met many people in the firms who also had several attempts at getting in and they were eventually successful. 

First of all, no, you're not going to be too old. I know people who joined in their late thirties, early forties. It's more atypical, but it's not problematic. So go for it. 

Second of all, the referral helps increase your chances of passing screening, but it won't help you with the freeze period. So just use it once the freeze is off. 

Last but not least, make sure that you get it right this third time around. Ideally work with a coach / expert. This will make a critical difference in your chances of getting an offer, especially if you've been at it for a while. 

And aside from this, make sure that you have a good application strategy to begin with. Sharing with you a guide below that you might find useful:

Best,
Cristian

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Aug 26, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

1) Is 34 years old considered too old for a Junior Associate position?

For the firm it should not be a problem. You have to consider whether it would be fine for you to join at that age. I would expect they might propose the Associate role directly given the experience you will have developed by then.

2) If I know someone who could refer me either within the firm or who knows someone at McKinsey, can they still refer me during the freeze period?

If you have a referral and would prefer to apply earlier, I would recommend to:

  1. Disclose the previous rejection
  2. Ask them to check with HR if it is possible to anticipate the application. It might be possible to have a shorter period (eg 12 months)

You can then follow what they recommend.

Best,

Francesco

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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