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McKinsey Middle East office HR call

Interview McKinsey networking Referral
New answer on Nov 05, 2020
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jul 20, 2020

I have been networking like crazy for the last 2-3 months. I was able to speak to one of McKinsey global leaders who did not offer to refer me but instead offered to write an email to the HR in the Middle East office (my target office) and ask them to reach out to me to schedule an information session.

I received an email from HR saying that my resume has been shared with them by this senior partner and they are very excited about my profile. They asked me to let them know if I am available this week to schedule a phone call to discuss current opportunities.

I have 2 questions:

No.1: Does this mean that I passed an initial screening and an interview could be on the way or I should not get my hopes up yet?

No.2: How best should I prepare for this call (mini-fit interview) and what should I be discussing with the HR contact?

Appreciate any helpful input. McKinsey is my No.1 target so I don't want to waste this chance.

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Jamie replied on Jul 20, 2020
Former Tier 2, now MBB in Dubai. Here to chill :)

Hi there,

Same happened to me.

In my case the call was to discuss office preferences (e.g., if I wanted Doha Riyadh or Kuwait)

Very informal call (no mini fit whatsoever). We ended up discussing how to process would go (if I needed to do the PST or not).

I expect your call to be quite similar.

Regarding your specific questions:

1. There is no garantee you passed screening but its a good indication of such

2. I would be prepare to discuss the overall interview process (e.g., if you need to do PST, how the rounds would go (remote I assume even if you are in the country)); also to understand your office preferences (potentially they will try to steer away from Dubai and give you other ME options

Hope it helps!

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Content Creator
replied on Jul 21, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

First off, congratulations and well done....your networking efforts paid off! This all is very good/promising news.

Of course, careful to not set expectations, but you should be cautiously optimistic.

No 1: No, but yes. You should get your hopes up, but they will still be evaluating you in this call. It still counts as a screening. But that's ok! They're already impressed with you :)

No 2: Prepare like a regular interview. It won't be as intense, but you should be ready with 1) Resume walkthrough 2) Why Consulting 3) Why McKinsey.

You should also be very clear about why you're interested in the ME office, and have a good idea of what possible roles might fit you. They will let you know which roles they think you fit in (and, ideally, this matches what you expect).

You should then be prepared to say "I think that role sounds great. It's exactly what I was expecting, and it's where I would thrive b/c I have experience, interest, etc. there"

Good luck :)

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Content Creator
replied on Jul 23, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


To add on top what has been said already, try to behave as you would when meeting your partner´s parents: not only trying to impress them, but also being enjoyable and nice.

Best of luck,


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Content Creator
replied on Jul 21, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

1) Most most likely you passed the initial CV screening at this stage. What you describe fits into the "standard" procedure of McKinsey (assuming there are no red flags / show-stoppers in your documents that HR needs to clarify to do a proper diligent job). You can get your hopes up.

2) I would not expect a fit interview - it's not what HR is doing. If your all is with HR, it will be about more general recruiting-related topics. Like discussing your background in a bit more detail to understand your application track (experienced vs. non-experience hire, etc. etc.). Obviously it's good to be prepared for a general fit interview and review your own documents to be prepared to elaborate on any of the points mentioned - but take it easy, mostly administrative talk.

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!


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Content Creator
replied on Nov 05, 2020
#1 MBB Coach(Placed 750+ in MBBs & 1250+ in Tier2)| The Only 360° coach(Ex-McKinsey+Certified Coach+Active recruiter)

Hi there,

  1. It could be both yes and no. But you have already impressed them, so it’s a good beginning.
  2. It would be an ordinary interview (why consulting, why this position, why this company and of course CV screening).

Do you need any further help?

All the best,


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Anonymous replied on Jul 23, 2020

Dear A,

My congratulations to this referral and your interview invite.

Yes, it means that you have passed the initial screening and you are on the pre-stage before the actual interviews will take place to answer your first question.

Regadring the second one, I would strongly recommend you to prepare for the personal fit as much as possible, it will be about your resume, your general motivation for consulting, for McKinsey and for ME. Specifically as well as some exemples of individual behavior like leadership or conflict management stories.

Be sharp during the interview and use this chance.

If you need any help, drop me a line, since I already helped multiple people to get inside MBB in the Middle East.



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Content Creator
replied on Jul 21, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Congrats on getting the initial call, in particular in this tough period.

Answering your questions:

  1. It could be, but the goal of the call is indeed to understand if there is a mutual fit
  2. I helped some candidates who had the same call and as Jamie said you may not get any fit questions. However, I would be overprepared and organize the standard answers for fit just in case. You can find some examples below:

In your specific case, be sure to have a good answer for "Why the Middle East", as it is one of the most common questions asked there.


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