Referral from Tier-2 firms

Referral tier 2 consulting
New answer on Feb 28, 2021
5 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Jul 07, 2020

​Hello Experts,

I trust everybody is doing well.

I have been networking on LinkedIn for quite some time now and have connected with a lot of tier 2 consultants. I came to know if an individual wants to get into a Tier-2 firm, referral is not that important as compared to MBB. One can easily get into the firm by applying directly even though they require a work permit. ​

I want to know your thoughts on this. Is it ok to apply directly because I need a work permit (London and Singapore) and I do not want to get rejected. I know these two locations are super competitive and that is why I want to know your thoughts. Should I apply directly or network and try to get a referral?

Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Anonymous replied on Jul 07, 2020

Hi Anonymous

In summary - your need for a referral is linked to the strength of your CV and achievements. If you have consistently out-performed your peers and have well recognized academic and professional brands on your resume - then yes chances are you will not need a referral for tier 2 consultancies

I would suggest have an expert go through your CV and give you an honest perspective. In most cases you will still benefit from a referral but if you struggle with getting responses from consultants you can go through a third party recruiter as a lot of tier-2 consultancies use them. If you want I can advise about London recruiters and consultancies


Was this answer helpful?
Anze on Jul 07, 2020
What is a third party recruiter?
Anonymous on Jul 07, 2020
An external recruiter - not employed directly by the consulting company. MBB typically do not use them but some tier 2 and boutique consultancies do
Anonymous replied on Jul 08, 2020

Dear A,

Referral will definitely maximize your chances for being invited for the interview. But referall it's not a magic ticket, so your CV and cover letter should be fine and polished.

If you need any help with resume or referral, or any further career advice, feel free to reach me out.



Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Jul 08, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous

I agree to your overall summary - a referral in tier-2 firms is less important than for MBB, since competition is usually a bit less.

At the same time, a good referral will never hurt - so to maximise your chances I'd still recommend that also for tier-2 firms (better be safe than sorry), and also important you can clarify many detailed issues (which otherwise might be hard to get information on) also easily within your network.

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


Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Jul 08, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Yes and no.

It´s true that referrals in MBB perhaps make a bigger difference, given that competition is fierce.

However, for sure a referral is ALWAYS being to be useful, one of the most useful things! For any company.

Hope it helps!



Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Feb 28, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies


A referral can be a great instrument that helps you secure an interview invite.

However, it is not a 100% guarantee that you eventually get an offer because some points and effort must be given from your side as well.

The question is: How much do you really want to get the job? Of course, it is better to provide yourself with a referral for the targeted firm. Otherwise, you can not even get invited.

Was this helpful?


Was this answer helpful?