Too late to apply to McKinsey, what do I do?

application process McKinsey
Recent activity on Aug 26, 2018
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 24, 2018

I was planning to apply soon but I recently found out through a friend that the deadline to apply has past, for context I am trying to apply to the Middle Eastern offices from the US. The problem is that the interviews are in October and I am graduating this semester so I pretty much missed that and I am going to move to Sweden where my family lives afterward. Can I apply anyways? Can I start my own business for a year and then apply to them next year? I am sorry for my confusing question but I am a bit dissapointed with myself and my situation, I tried getting information from them before but I wasn't getting clear replies that had the dates.

Thank you

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updated an answer on Aug 25, 2018
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

first of all, why are you considering McKinsey only? Even if it is your first choice, it would still make sense to apply to a top 5 range (eg BCG, Bain, OW, ATK, RB) to maximize the chances to receive at least an offer (so far that you receive multiple offers you can then screen them and choose your preferred ones). Thus, first thing you could do is to check if the deadline has passed also for other consulting firms interesting for you.

In terms of McKinsey, if the deadline has passed, you cannot apply anymore for that window; however, they may have a new window already open or opening soon for which you could apply.

So far that you find the deadline has passed for all the firms interesting for you, then your best options to strengthen your CV are the following, in order of priority:

  • Apply for a strategy consulting firm, even if not interesting for you long-term, for which you can see from LinkedIn that alumni have been able to move to your target companies
  • Apply for a top banking name
  • Apply for a strategy role for a major brand

Starting your own business for the sake of reapplying in one year is a risky move, as consulting companies prefer to see previous experience with a top brand or anyway in consulting firms; furthermore, it would be challenging to show impressive results with your own business in only one year.

Hope this helps,


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Jamil on Aug 25, 2018

Hey Francesco thank you for your very insightful answer, I was particularly interested in McKinsey because I have attended some of their events previously and they are aware of my background which I think makes me competitive. My problem is that this may be my only chance to apply to the Middle East office, Dubai specifically because I don't have residency there and I don't speak the language in Sweden where I do have residency so I believe it may be problem. Either way I appreciate your advice and I will follow it as I continue to pursuit my dream. Thanks


Francesco on Aug 25, 2018

Hi Jamil, thanks for clarifying it. As for your possible application in Sweden, in the Nordics usually the only language required is English, thus there may be no need of knowledge of local language for your application there (you may want to double check that for the specific office you are interested though). In case you have further questions please feel free to send me a private message. Best, Francesco

Anonymous replied on Aug 26, 2018

There are 2 scenarios here:

1) McKinsey hires year round off-cycle as well, and you will be able to reapply soon (once this round of applications is over). To confirm this, I would call/email the McKinsey recruiter to ask.

2) McKinsey only hires once a year (i.e. Milkround) for people with less than x years experience. In this case, my recommendation would be to make the most out of the year ahead, gather great analytical, leadership, and entrepreurial skills, and reapply to McKinsey next year (this time don't forget the deadline!!). A year of running a business can be viewed very favourably by McKinsey, so you would definitely have a chance at applying again!

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replied on Aug 25, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


You can apply at any time if you have a work permit in that country. You can also apply to any office where you can work legally. If you don't have a permit - the best and almost the only option is the University recruiting process.


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Anonymous B replied on Aug 25, 2018

Vlad, if you do not have a work permit but can find someone who refers to that office, does it work anyway?

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Francesco gave the best answer


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