Should I defer McK 1st round after not passing BCG??

McKinsey
New answer on Nov 28, 2021
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 27, 2021

Hey guys, I'm in the middle of quite a difficult decision.

Recently interviewed with BCG and got to 2nd round but was rejected. Been preparing for around a month with around 30 live cases done. I won't get feedback until after my scheduled 1st round of McKinsey, so I literally don't know what went wrong (I have an idea, but not for sure). 

I'm not sure to either:

1) Go to the scheduled interviews and hope for the best, trying again next year with coach advice.

Pros: longer time to prepare; consulting internship, network with people to get coaching. 

Cons: will have to build CV for another year, and I'm getting a bit drained from this. I will be working next year so my schedule will be less certain to practise. May not pass logical reasoning/McKinsey game.

2) Reschedule for a month/6 weeks and try then, with a coach's help. 

Pros: if I get a job this year, I'll get a much needed break before starting, or I can start one year earlier.

Cons: might still not be prepared, then I have to pay coach fees twice when I apply again next year…

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

(By the way, for context, I'm half contemplating that even if I got the job this year, I'd defer for a year anyway to finish up on other roles)

Thank you everyone!

(edited)

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Best answer
Florian
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Content Creator
replied on Nov 28, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 530+ McK interviews in 2021

Hey there,

I would propose the following:

Get a McKinsey coach for one session to get an honest and up-to-date interviewer perspective on your strengths and weaknesses. 

Only that way you will receive a clear and honest way forward + a preparation plan that you can use for the next week or the next couple of months (depending on whether or not you need to reschedule).

Without having seen your performance, it would be difficult and dishonest to give a clear recommendation on whether or not to postpone. 

Many people who fail BCG get a McK offer and vice versa, keep that in mind! :-)

Cheers,

Florian

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Clara
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Content Creator
replied on Nov 28, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Thanks for the very detailed post, this always helps. 

It´s honestly very very hard to tell you without knowing where you stand. You could be “almost” there, in which case working with a coach and buying some time would be extremly beneficial, or you can be perfectly ready, in which it would be redundant and expensive. And both can very well fit with a person who passed 1st round but then unfrotunately not 2nd round. 

Given that the stakes are really high here, I would perhaps consider doing a session with one coach to get their assessment and, more importantly, so you see how much value to get out. I got some coachees who then realized that they needed only one/two sessions, and others who saw incredible value yet missing in their prep and continued. 

Hope it helps!

Cheers, 

Clara

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Udayan
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replied on Nov 27, 2021
Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

A coach will help guide your decision but ultimately the desire to interview has to come from within. The best candidates have a burning desire to get the offer and are willing to overcome all obstacles to do so. If you are able to dedicate your energy and time to get the offer by all means do so right now. If not then postpone to when you feel ready.

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Francesco
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replied on Nov 27, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (3.800+) | 1.300+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (www.case.tools/results) | Ex BCG | 8Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

I would not defer just to get the feedback from BCG – the feedback they give is usually quite generic.

However, there are benefits in postponing the interview if you don’t feel ready now, which is why I would recommend doing so:

  1. You will have more time to identify the possible issues. This is the main and most clear advantage. You may do so thanks to experienced peers, current consultants or a coach.
  2. You could more easily feel you have done 100% of what you could do to prepare, regardless of the outcome. This could help you to feel “psychologically ready” and more confident for the interview. It depends on your current mindset, but you may feel you have to review parts of your prep in specific areas or do a few additional cases to be ready for McK. If that’s the case, postponing could help you to feel you have done everything in your control to be in the best possible shape for the interview, which is an important confidence booster. 
  3. There are no real downsides if you postpone. Deferring the interview is totally fine and you don’t get any penalty (although ideally you should do so at least 1 week in advance to help the company to reschedule). The only possible “cost” is if you work with a coach, pay for the class and get rejected. However that won’t be wasted money, as you are planning to get a coach in any case – so basically you would anticipate an investment you would make anyway. You should be able to use most of the feedback from the coach in subsequent interviews even if later on, in particular if he/she provides written feedback.

As a side note, if you reached the final round you should have already a good level. You may not need a high amount of practice to fix the possible improvements once understood the areas you have to work on.

For other questions please feel free to PM me.

Best,

Francesco

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Adi
CoachingPlus Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 27, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

With 30 cases practice, I dont see why you should postpone the McK interview. An opportunity at hand today may not arise in future and given McK shortlisted you, you clearly have what it takes. Rejection is part of the process and pretty much everyone faces it. Dont let the BCG rejection, make you question everything. Learn from it and move on. It happens.

Suggest you work with a coach and zoom into your weaker areas and go for the McK interview. Seems like a lot is going to happen in your life in future, so holding out for future interview performance doesnt seem right to me at this stage.

Only if you truly genuinely feel within you that your case prep needs major improvement, then postpone it by a month. Otherwise, not.

Please have a look at this article for some very helpful tips on mindset and managing interview anxiety-https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/job-interview-stress

All the best!

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Hagen
Expert
replied on Nov 27, 2021
Bain & Company Project Leader | 250+ interviews conducted | 5+ years of coaching and mentoring

Hi there,

First of all, I am sorry to hear about your not successful experience with BCG!

This is indeed an interesting question which is probably relevant for quite a lot of users, so I am happy to provide my perspective on it.

Given the description of your current situation, I would advise you to postpone the McKinsey interviews for the following reasons:

  • You will have sufficient time to receive and reflect on the BCG feedback (even if I think it will not help you a lot).
  • You will have time to overcome your rejection with BCG emotionally (which is something you should not underestimate).
  • You will have more time to practice (even if you will most probably not need a lot of practice, it is still meaningful to get used to the slightly different type of interviews with McKinsey).

In case you want a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare your upcoming McKinsey interviews, please feel free to contact me directly.

I hope this helps,

Hagen

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Pedro
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Nov 28, 2021
# 1 Rated Bain Coach | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Former Head Recruiter | Principal

Given what you said, it feels like you are not far away from being prepared, it feels like a waste not going to the interview - but it is also clear that you don't feel 100% ready yet.

As you are considering a coach, I have to agree with Ian on this - just book a session from an experienced coach and get their opinion (and a training plan). It could have been bad luck, a minor issue that is easy to fix, ot it can be something that actually requires relevant preparation - only a coach will be able to give you a really informed opinion.

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Nov 27, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I note that both options 1 and 2 include a coach.

If you're going the coaching route, then, honestly, your best bet is to literally ask your coach!

First session should be a deep-dive assessment (mock case). They will tell you if you're ready, and, if not, how close you are. Problem solved!

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Chern Ern
Expert
replied on Nov 27, 2021
McKinsey 5+ years |Former Senior Engagement Manager | McK APAC Interviewer 100+ Candidates l Offers from BCG ATK OW

Hi Anonymous A, 

It does seem like quite a conundrum, and I certainly empathize having been in a similar situation applying to MBB several years ago; timing the interview rounds to get a yes/no offer from all 3 at the same time is certainly not for the faint of heart!

Short answer I would try to defer the scheduled McK interview until you get the feedback from the BCG 2nd round interview. Feedback usually should be given within a month of the interview outcome (I got mine either on the spot or within 2 weeks from all 3 firms), so moving the McK interview shouldn’t be a problem here. Getting feedback from an actual MBB interview is almost always better than any other forms of feedback so I suggest rescheduling to get and work on the BCG interview feedback. 

Having said that, all is not lost if you go ahead and get rejected by McK. I have several ex-colleagues and friends who applied as working professionals and got thru only on the 2nd or 3rd try, and are equally successful within and outside the Firm. It requires perseverance and resilience, which you will need plenty of when you join any of the MBB firms. As they say, a top tier consulting job is “more than a job but less than a life :)”.

I’m suggesting the above based on my understanding that you are probably in the final year of an UG/MBA/Masters/PHD program. DM me if you have further questions or clarifications. 

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Florian gave the best answer

Florian

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#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 530+ McK interviews in 2021
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