Only ex-McKinsey Partner on PrepLounge (also Oliver Wyman) and McKinsey MBA, Experienced Hire and Undergraduate Recruiting Leader
Book a coaching

Scheduling for MBB Interview

Anonymous A

Hi All

I am hoping someone can give some insight on the following.

I applied to an MBB in Q2 this year as an experienced hire in a niche practice. About a month ago one of their recruiters reached out to me to schedule a case interview. I accepted a date for the following week (a Friday). This was cancelled on the morning of the interview, the interviewer couldn't make the time. The recruiter said she would reschedule the interview. Also, as I had some questions about the Practice, the recruiter said she will also organise an informational chat with one of the team members.

I didn't hear anything following this so I chased the recruiter the following week. The recruiter responded quickly saying that the interviewers were travelling for client engagements. She assured me she was on top of it and that she should be able to confirm a time the following week (supposed to be last week). I didn't hear from her last week.

It has now been 4 weeks now since the initial outreach and no interview, or informational chat, has been scheduled.

Should I be worried here? Is it normal for MBB experienced hires to have this difficulty in scheduling interviews (vs say the MBA hiring cycle) and having promises missed? There's a limit as to how much I can chase the recruiter and my biggest concern is falling through the cracks and being forgotten about. Could this be possible? I assume the MBBs are more sophistciated than most in managing their candidates. I also have the worry that other candidates who were able to get an interview slot may have been given offers and hence the MBB are saying they no longer want to hire. Is this concern valid?

Many thanks

(edited)

Matthew
Expert
replied on 10/09/2017
Only ex-McKinsey Partner on PrepLounge (also Oliver Wyman) and McKinsey MBA, Experienced Hire and Undergraduate Recruiting Leader

Your situation is not an uncommon one. For almost all major consulting firms, MBB and non-MBB, campus recruiting is a well oiled machine with predictable and consistent annual recruiting cycles that allow internal firm recruiters to line up the appropriate number of resources for first and final round interviews (with extras to account for interviewer cancellations). The recruiters have the luxury of being able to pick from a wide pool of Associates / Consultants and Project Leaders / Managers for first round interviews and Associate Partners / Principals and Partners for final rounds. After all, they are interviewing generalists. So, any firm member can be an interviewer.

When interviewing for Experienced Hires, specific firm members conduct the interviews that are associated with the role (e.g., practice members), at least most of the interviews. This means the interviewer pool can be quite small. In your case, which is not uncommon, it sounds like at least one or more of the interviewers had a conflict for the upcoming weeks after the first day of interviewing was cancelled. Since MBB firms don’t usually like to bring candidates in for one interview at a time, they are likely waiting until the entire set of interviewer’s calendars line up.

I’m a little surprised they haven’t brought you in for the informational interview. Also, I would have expected them to keep in reasonable contact (every 7-10 business days with you) but you don’t mention whether or not they have done that or not. If they have not reached out in over 3 weeks and especially 4, you should definitely reach back out to understand what the status is. I hope that helps but ask any follow-up questions in the Comments.