Rejected from McKinsey's First Round Interview

McKinsey
New answer on Nov 11, 2020
10 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 29, 2020

Hi everyone.

I just received a rejection call from one of the interviewers 2 hours after the interview.
I was told that I did well in the 1st interview, but bombed the 2nd one. I reckon it was because the interview strucure was changed in the 2nd interview, and I did not handle it well. One of the interviewers encouraged me to reapply again in the future and I could reach out to him next time for referral/to ask any question regarding consulting as a whole.

The question is that if I reapply in the future, do I reapply for Associate/Junior Associate positions? Would these roles be Generalist roles, or Specialist Roles? And would the Interview Processes be the same as BA's? Thank you.

(edited)

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Giulia
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replied on Jun 29, 2020
McKinsey | 4+ years in Consulting + Health Tech |Certified High Performance + Systemic Coach | Women Empowerment

Hi, it's great that the interviewer offered you this! It is always a benefit to have good internal contacts.

I would not worry too much about what position you will apply for in 2 years. It just depends on what professional experience you will make until then.

But instead I would rather apply for other big consulting firms. You can always try to do a transfer from one consulting firm to McK.

Feel free to reach out to me directly.

All the best,
Giulia

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Anonymous replied on Jun 29, 2020

Hi there,

Sorry to hear about the rejection - but hey, it is rare to have an interviewer being so impressed that he/she would offer to refer you in 2 years. You must have left a very good impression!

Regarding what position you should aim for in the next 2 years, it highly depends on the work experience you are planning to get in that period of time.

The only experience that might qualify you for the junior associate role, is consulting experience (from at least one of top tier-2 companies) or maybe (less likely) investment banking or private equity

Anything other than that would make it very hard to apply for anything other than analyst. So maybe try to focus your efforts on BCG/Bain, tier-2 or boutique consulting...life isn't about McK only :)

I hope this helps

Khaled

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Clara
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replied on Jun 29, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Sorry to hear about that, but it´s not so bad news. You will have someone to refer you when the time comes.

Regarding position to apply to in 2 years time, totally depends on:

  • Position and business unit you were applying to this year
  • Relevant work experience that you can add to your CV in this time

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Anonymous B replied on Jul 01, 2020

Hello,

I don't have much insights on your question. However, I just wanted to share my thoughts with you as I was in the same situation last year. I can understand the frustration when you work so hard and touch from so close a position with McK. If it can make you feel any better you can tell yourself that you did pass the CV screening (barely 1/3 pass it) then you pass the PST (another 1/3 will pass it). That already means you are already in the top10% of the applicant. So I guess tell yourself this is already a good accomplishment and prepare more for the next time. I also did a very good job on a the first case with a very predictible structure. However, for my second interview I got a public government case and it made me very uncomfortable. I reached out to the recruiter and he was very "sorry" for not taking me to the final round as I "passed well above" the practice interviews before to the 1st itw round. He also encouraged me to re-apply in 18/24 months as he believes this was a close call. All in all, take the positive, learn from your mistakes and grow from it in order to build resilience. It will only make you an even stronger candidates in two years. In the meantime apply to other consulting firms (ATK, RB, OW etc.) you will see the interviews are "somewhat easier" once you went through the McK recruiting process. I have to admit the McK interview process was so well thought, encouraring and honest that I was not mad at them after being rejected and only reinforced my desire to re-apply in the future. Good luck!

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Anton
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replied on Jun 30, 2020
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Hi!

The fact that interviewer offered you a referral next time is a very good sign.

The position will depend on your performance during an interview as well as your experience.

Best,

Anton

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Anonymous replied on Jul 02, 2020

Dear A,

Congratulations, you have a nice proposal form the interviewer to make a referral in a future and you also have some time to obtain a great working experience. So take your time and don't worry about what positions you may apply for in 2 years, because it depends on you.

If you need any help with preparation to other interview and discuss your further career plan, feel free to reach me out.

Best,
André

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Ian
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replied on Jul 01, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

In a way, congraulations! You may have failed this time, but you have a shot at a second! And, my favorite quote is "the greatest accomplishments come from temporary defeat"

When you re-apply, 1) Check with the recruiter/referee to see for which level you should apply and 2) Check with us here!

Also, the process will be exactly the same (but expectations for the interview will be much higher)

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Francesco
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updated an answer on Aug 26, 2020
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Hi there,

I am sorry for the outcome of the interview. Still, it is rare for an interviewer to offer a referral - that's a great opportunity when you are going to apply again.

The process will be the same as before. In terms of the role, assuming you don't have work experience now, the only options to apply as Associate before your new application are:

  1. You work 2-3 years for another consulting firm
  2. You work 2-3 years in the industry and then do an MBA
  3. You work 4-5 years in a strategy role in the industry

I would recommend to apply at BCG and Bain as well, plus the 2nd Tier firms, if you haven’t already.

Best,

Francesco

(edited)

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Robert
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replied on Jun 30, 2020
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Hi Anonymous,

  • Process will be the same
  • Role: depending on how well you can improve your profile meanwhile you might be able to negotiate a higher entry rank. However, keep in mind that it's better to outperform on a lower rank and get promoted quickly, as opposed to underperform in a higher rank..

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

Robert

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Gaurav
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replied on Nov 11, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

I am sorry about that! I see you did a great job that could impress an interviewer.

I would recommend you not to think a lot about the position you would like to apply in a few years. Take this time for upgrading your profile significantly and getting new work experience. This way you'll make things work when reapplying next time.

Do you need any further help?

All the best,

GB

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