Off-cycle recruiting

Experienced Hire off-cycle
New answer on Oct 08, 2019
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Anonymous A asked on Oct 07, 2019

When are most entry-evel consultant positions available in the year? I am a little more than 1 year out of undergrad (target school) and want to switch into consulting. I want to know who I should network with, and when I need to be prepared by in order to maximize my chances at top tier firms like MBB.


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updated an answer on Aug 07, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

the answer depends on the country you are considering for your application.

For entry-level roles, the usual starting dates in Europe/US are September and January. Many interviews take place in September-November (January intake) and January-March (September intake). The best period to apply as a new graduate is at the beginning of the period when interviews take place, since the process just reopened and you will have less competition. This is likely to be September for the January intake, and January for the September intake. Having said that, you should check for possible deadlines for the country interesting for you.

If you are applying via referral (strongly recommended), it would also be useful to ask the internal contact what’s the current situation in terms of recruiting – sometimes, even if in the “correct” window, there is not much recruiting due to lack of projects.

In terms of the timing to prepare, many people need to put 100+ hours in preparation, I would recommend to define a prep program and start the preparation in advance accordingly. In many cases, this means at least 3 months in advance. This of course also depends on how you prepare (quality is more important than quantity).

In terms of referrals, you can find some suggestions at the following link:

Hope this helps,



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Anonymous replied on Oct 08, 2019


hiring timing really depends on location and on role.

For example, I know that in the McKinsey Milan Office there are four main intake: January, March, September and October, both from Business Analyst and for Inter. For each intake, the recruiting period is about 3 months before, hence the interview preparation should start at least 6 month ahead (my case: I start my prep in Feb, I start the recruiting process in April, I did my interviews in July and I started as Business Analyst in October).

In terms of networking, check out for specific event on the webiste. I attended the women lunch in January and that was my first contact with McKinsey and it helped me a lot in terms of networking and preparation planning.

Hope it helps! :)

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replied on Oct 08, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


You should check it with local recruiters since it's different by company / office. The best way is to call them / attend the recruiting events


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Francesco gave the best answer


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