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McKinsey reached out to me - should I apply now?

Anonymous A asked on Apr 26, 2018 - 3 answers


we had a campus event with McKinsey about a week ago, and I had lots of great chats with the consultants during the event. Now one of them has called me yesterday, encouraging me to hand in a formal application via him. He suggested that this way, I would almost certainly get an interview invitation. As great as this sounds - the thing is that I have not really prepared for consulting interviews until now, and I am a bit concerned whether there will be enough time for me to get ready until the interview (if I hand in my application now). So I wonder whether it is a risk to delay my application by a couple of weeks? Also, how should I best prepare? Should I also aplly to other consultancies for practicing purposes?

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replied on Apr 26, 2018
McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 100+ candidates secure MBB offers
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Hi Anonymous!

I don't see a problem in telling the McK consultant that you are very happy to apply, and you will do it in a couple of weeks from now since you have a coupe of obligations until summer.

I believe it then might make sense to adopt the following strategy:

1. Concentrate on proper preparation with excellent case partners/experts!

2. Make sure your written applications (CV, cover letters, referrals) are on point!

2. Once you feel really comfortable on fit, cases and your application, apply to all Tier2 firms

3. Continue practicing cases!

4. Schedule interview days with the Tier 2 firms

5. Once T2 interviews are scheduled, apply to McK (and the other two MBB firms if they are also appealing to you!)

6. Continue practicing cases!

7. Go through T2 interviews and get used to the setting (if you focused your preparation on MBB, you will realize that interview formats and cases might be a bit different at T2 firms, but don't get irritated by that fact). Try to get at least one offer (this is a great psychological help!)

8. Schedule interview days with the MBB firms that invited you

9. Continue practicing cases!

10. Nail interviews with MBB firms and celebrate your offer(s)!

Cheers, Sidi

replied on Apr 26, 2018
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What is the role that you've discussed?

In most of the cases, you will have to write a PST test. Usually, they have a test day once a week and you have a month to write the test once they've invited you. I suggest the following:

  1. Do 1 case from mck website in 60 min. Check your score. Target score is 22 out of 26 correct. If you do 17-18 correct you have great chances to improve in a couple of days. If lower - reschedule take a full month to prepare
  2. Take another month or so to practice the cases. If it is the generalist position - there will be no time pressure.


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replied on Apr 27, 2018
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Hi Anonymous,

I think Sidi gave some great tips on the steps to follow and I agree it should not be an issue to say you are going to apply in week or two. In terms of case practicing I would recommend the following:

  1. General understanding of the process: get a general idea on what a consulting interview is about
    • Resources: Case in Point, Victor Cheng free videos, PrepLounge Resources section
  2. Learning structures and main fit questions
    • Resources: Victor Cheng Look Over My Shoulder, MBA Handbooks, PrepLounge Resources section, Expert sessions
  3. Practicing with live partners to apply knowledge and improve communication
    • Resources: PrepLounge P2P interviews, friends preparing for consulting.
  4. Final review to eliminate the last mistakes
    • Resources: PrepLounge P2P interviews (experienced users), friends working in consulting, Experts sessions

Hope this helps,


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