Telling current employer I am interviewing?

1stround Bain BCG Mck
New answer on Jul 23, 2020
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jul 19, 2020

Hi all,

I am currently in the early stages of interviewing with MBB, and the recruiter said that if I move on I will need to inform my current employer (large energy company). I assume this is because we are regular clients, but I am little concerned about "Tipping my hand" to my emplyer and potential repercussions if I dont get this job. Anyone else had a similar experience? Can I refuse this request from the MBB firm?

Thanks

EDIT: thanks all for your tips and suggestions! Further information is that I am in the southern USA, applying to an office in this region. I will try to work with the recruiter to evaluate at what stage is most appropriate to disclose my interview. I like the idea of the conditional offer and will ask about it. We are in a volatile industry right now and don't want to give any reason to be excused!

(edited)

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Sidi
Expert
replied on Jul 19, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 300+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi!

This is pretty common in MBB companies if they are interviewing candidates from key clients. It is essentially a risk management measure, and it is a bit unfortunate for you on a personal level. The reason behind this is quite simple:

The value of the relation to your current employer is MUCH higher to the consulting firm then you could ever become as an individual employee.

Hence, the consulting firm will do everything to ensure that it does not harm the relationship to its client by "poaching away" employees without notice. So your challenge is now to come up with a professional way to render transparency with your current employer. This should be possible in most porfessional contexts, but of course I do not have the full picture in your case.

Cheers, Sidi

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Alice
Expert
replied on Jul 19, 2020
McKinsey consultant since 3 years: extensive experience interviewing/coaching candidates + interview process still fresh in mind

Generally, you should never have to tell your current employer that you are interviewing with someone else - what if you don't get the offer in the end? That would be awkward. You are still early stages. And even if they are clients - what difference does it make? You and/or your new potential MBB employer are not exchanging any confidential information.

How I have seen it work: you interview, get a job offer (on paper! important), you either i) sign directly and then inform your current employer, or ii) you get the job offer, inform your current employer, then sign. References from your current company should only be given when you have the job offer in your hands.

Perhaps this is a country-specific thing, I would confirm with friends who have been in similar situations. If they do not know, i would call HR tomorrow morning, tell them that you are still excited about the opportunity, but ask if this is really standard practice, citing the above reasons in a respectful way. Saying that you would prefer if your interviewing status will be kept confidential if/until you receive a written offer. Good luck! (let us know how it went) :)

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Jul 20, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi there,

Are you sure they don’t mean once you have an offer proposal? It would not make any sense for you to notify your current employer while you are still in the process, unless they already know you are planning to leave.

I helped a few candidates who had similar issues due to the fact the employer was an MBB client. However, in their case they could not interview at all with the company.

In your particular case, I would try to convince the MBB company to make the offer conditional to the employer's approval and not to request it an earlier stage.

Best,

Francesco

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Anonymous replied on Jul 20, 2020

Hi Anonymous - this is unusual but perhaps a regional issue. Can you say which geography you are in?

In my experience- you will be well within your rights to refuse especially if you plan to continue working at your currently employer should you not get through. To compromise - I suggest you let the recruiter know that you would be happy for them to contact your employer on the back of a conditional offer

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 20, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

To me, it sounds very very werid that the recruiter tells you what to do with regards of informing or not your current employer, even if it´s an MBB client.

That is up to you, totally.

I would not communicate anything until having an offer.

Hope it helps!

Best,

Clara

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Anonymous replied on Jul 23, 2020

Dear A,

Actually on what Sidi said is quite right idea.

Also, from your side it depends on whether you current employer know about your application process or not, so consiquently it may cmplicate the communication a little.

In this case you can negotiate with MBB, to ask them about later notification.

Best,
André

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Sidi gave the best answer

Sidi

McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 300+ candidates secure MBB offers
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