Referral Convo

Middle East Referral Roland Berger
New answer on Jun 09, 2022
9 Answers
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Leo asked on Jun 07, 2022

Hello everyone,

So yesterday I reached out to a university alumni who's working as a consultant at Roland Berger. I don't personally know him so I used the fact that we have a common background in engineering and we both graduated from the same university. I was able to schedule a meeting with him tomorrow through teams to ask some questions related to his personal experience at RB etc…

He seems like a really nice guy and the whole purpose of this call was so that I could get an employee referral for a full-time position. 

My question is how can I hint it in the meeting that I am seeking their referral at this specific position in a way that doesn't sound too rude ?

Thank you

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Florian
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replied on Jun 07, 2022
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

Congrats!

Very simple: Keep the conversation open and friendly and clearly state the intentions that you want to apply and work at RB.

Provide a couple of points on your resume and experiences to support your application as he might ask about it.

There is no need to ask for a referral directly.

If you show genuine interest + have a strong resume, he will automatically offer to refer you.

All the best!

Cheers,

Florian

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Clara
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replied on Jun 09, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Don´t worry, you don´t need to hint it at all! He perfectly knows that that is what you are after, so things are going to be much more natural than you think. 

 

Cheers, 

Clara

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Kurt
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replied on Jun 09, 2022
Conducted over 100 interviews for grads, interns & experienced hires

Some great answers here already.

My personal approach to asking for a referral would be to always ask at the end and not directly - “Your firm sounds really aligned with my interests - what would be the best way to go about applying?”

Keep in mind that staff at consulting firms are usually financially incentivised to be on the look out for referrals, so chances are he/she would be happy to volunteer to refer you if you have shown genuine interest / competence / relevant experience during the conversation.

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Francesco
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replied on Jun 07, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (3.900+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi Leo,

Good to hear that you are preparing in advance! In terms of your question:

Q: How can I hint it in the meeting that I am seeking their referral at this specific position in a way that doesn't sound too rude?

You should prepare three main things before the call:

  • Your own presentation pitch. 3-4 lines should be enough
  • 3-4 questions on the personal experiences of the person. Avoid to ask questions on the company
  • A closing question for the referral. It should be an indirect request to avoid to be too pushy. You can hint to the fact you are planning to apply soon.

Before the call, you should have your CV and Cover ready – in this way you can send them right away it if the person wants to refer you.

In case you need it for other companies, you can find more on referrals here:

 How to Get an MBB Referral 

Best,

Francesco

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Lucie
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updated an answer on Jun 08, 2022
10+yrs recruiting & top BCG trainer and coach & BCG Project leader & experienced hire & ICF coach

Hi there, 

I wouldn't overthink it, just keep the conversation open and friendly. The good sign is that the person agreed to meet! 

Ask the questions you have and be open what are you plans and your goal to enter the firm. This should be enough see if the other person offer you a referral. Usually consulting firms reward financially brining referrals, hence I guess the person should offer to you as they can gain extra money. If s/he doesnt offer it, you can politely ask at the end of the conversation. In that case, the person should feel comfortable referring you, as it is also his/her reputation that can be slightly harm by brining someone who is not fitting at all. So make sure you highlight all the important capabilities and achievement to make him/her believe you are the right fit, BUT not as being it an interview. Or offer to send your CV and cover letter to see it before they refer you. Make sure to mention, no obligation at all. 

Good luck

Lucie

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(edited)

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Moritz
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replied on Jun 08, 2022
McKinsey | 100+ coachings & interviews @ McKinsey | ESADE MBA | Top rated for experienced hires & career transitioners

Hi there,

If you're not a rude person, it won't be perceived as rude. Let me break this down:

  • Well done on identifying and connecting to potential champions & referees - that's the way to do it
  • The person accepted the invitation and is well aware at this point that the ask for a referral may come
  • Make the conversation interesting and present yourself as a potentially great new likeable colleague
  • Your contact will happily refer you, and even offer to do so without being asked, if they think you have what it takes - that's because there's something in it for them (financial reward from RB and a great new colleague)

My only advice is not to lead with the ask for referral but leave that to the very end.

Hope this helps a bit. Best of luck!

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Ian
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replied on Jun 08, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi Leo,

Good networking!

If you present yourself well during the conversation (i.e. you seem capable, driven, personable, etc.) then you shouldn't need to ask, he will offer!

Now, if you want to “hint”, you can simply say “this conversation has been so helpful, I'm definitely going to be applying in the coming weeks/months…do you have any advice for me?”

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Eishan
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Jun 07, 2022
Helping consulting aspirants crack the case interview and achieve thier dream job. Bain I LBS MBA I Uber I Bloomberg

I would keep the conversation open and talk to the person about your common interests. Understand more about RB and what it might be like to work there. I would not ask them for a referral during the first convo. But I would indicate a strong interest to apply. 

I would maybe request a follow-up call with some very specific pointers or questions that you may have from research or thoughts after the call. And in the second call, I would close the call by asking for a referral if that were possible, but also give them an out saying you understand if they are not willing to do it. 

Best  

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Adi
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replied on Jun 07, 2022
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hi Leo,

Talk about your background & experiences. Ask them about their journey with RB.

Explain your interest in RB (i.e. Why RB?) and if all goes well they will offer to refer without you asking directly. If that doesn't happen naturally, then towards the end, gauge the interaction for yourself and ask them whether they would be comfortable referring you.

 

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Florian gave the best answer

Florian

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