The most suitable / effective referral?

Referral
New answer on Sep 16, 2021
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 15, 2021

Dear community: I'd like to hear your thoughts on referral. Last year, I didn't pass the CV screening of 2 firms (MBB), even though I had referrals (junior level and unfamiliar people).

This year, apart from brushing up my CV / work experience, I am struggling with finding a powerful referral. My questions are:

(1) Does referrals have the power to influence who to be selected for interviews?

(2) Best level for referral? 

I've heard consultant / project leader gets referral bonus, so they may have more motivation to help. But principal / partner have more decision power to decide who gets interviewed. Should I try to cold mail more senior people in order to get their referral?

Thanks so much!

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Calvin
Expert
replied on Sep 15, 2021
Experienced interviewer | Project Manager at Roland Berger | Cambridge University | Message for discount coupons

Hi there,

1. Having a referral increases your chances of being selected for interview. However by no means does it guarantee an interview

2. Seniority does matter - referrals from seniors have “more weight” 

Happy to look at your application documents and see what can be improved. Feel free to reach out to me if you need support 

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 16, 2021
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi there,

(1) Does referrals have the power to influence who to be selected for interviews?

A referral will help you to get interviews. It won’t guarantee one though (even if from a Director/Partner),

(2) Best level for referral? 

Director/Partner. In general the more senior the better.

If you want to cold email, be sure to have the right strategy in place. You can find more on that here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176

Best,

Francesco

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Hagen
Expert
replied on Sep 15, 2021
Bain & Company Project Leader | 200+ interviews conducted | 5+ years of coaching and mentoring

Hi there,

This is indeed an interesting question which is probably relevant for quite a lot of users, so I'm happy to give you my perspective on that:

  • While I agree with what other coaches said so far, I still think that having a referral is pretty powerful, especially when you enter the interview phase. Here, you can - depending on the familiarity with the employee who mad the referral - always refer to what he/ she said, making you seem more informed and authentic.
  • In my opinion, there is no one best level of referral, and I would advise you to not limit yourself to a specific level. While a partner referral will most certainly weigh in a lot, a project leader referral might help you more in the interview phase.
  • Since you have already received referrals for the past application, you seem to already have a basic understanding of how to succeed in receiving referrals. Generally speaking though, one of the best ways to receive a referral is genuine interest in the work of the project leader/ (associate) partner and having some type of common ground (e.g. university).

Nonetheless, however, that your application files were simply not strong enough to be invited.

If you would like to discuss and have reviewed your application files in detail, please feel free to to contact me directly.

I hope this helps,

Hagen

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 15, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

My immediate thoughts are that 1) Last year was incredibly tough (just so little demand) and 2) You need to double-check your resume (get a professional to take a look).

That aside, to answer your questions:

1) No. Not in the slightest. It greatly helps (flags your resume for particular review), but no referral ever has the power to automatically get you selected

2) The general rule is the higher the level, the more the impact (this is particularly true for Partner). Ultimately, why are you narrowing your scope? Cold mail both! Diversification is key here…the only “downside” is time spent. The upwise is a referral. Cast the net wide!

3) Bonus tip: Don't forget to “play tag” across calls. This minimized the amount of cold messaging you have to do

Good luck!

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 16, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi!

A referral helps to get an interview. Partner level should be preferred to other seniorities.

Best,

Anto

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Calvin gave the best answer

Calvin

Experienced interviewer | Project Manager at Roland Berger | Cambridge University | Message for discount coupons
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