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What should I answer to "why are you trying to switch from your consulting firm to McKinsey?"

Anonymous A asked on Nov 10, 2019 - 4 answers

Hi,

I am a business student from Spain and I did a summer internship in a tier 2 strategy consulting firm. I will likely have interviews at McK soon for an internship position, and I am personally expecting the question "why aren't you sticking with the firm you were intering in". My real idea is that:

- McK is obviously more prestigious, and I am expecting to work with extremely interesting people and find a great culture.

- More global opportunities.

- Better exit opportunities.

- Moreover, there are some practices like Digital McK that I would potentially be very interested in.

Would it be fine according to you to say all this (maybe with exception of exit opportunities)? would it be solid enough?

Thank you!

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Antonello
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replied on Nov 11, 2019
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Hi,
your points are great. I would only improve them a bit by adding personal experience/friends/research you made in order to make the story even more personal.

Best,
Antonello

Vlad
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replied on Nov 11, 2019
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Hi!

It should be your personal research since the reasons may vary in different geographies. Here are some ideas of what you can use to structure your thoughts:

  • You can start with general facts about the local office. Something like “Sidney office is the fastest growing McKinsey office worldwide.”
  • If you have an interest in a particular industry or client this may also be a great reason. For example, McK can be the only consulting firm working with airlines in your region.
  • You may address the different Global opportunities and office initiatives. E.g. international staffing can be a good opportunity to learn about business in a particular country
  • Try to combine professional and Non-business rational. If you have friends working in that company, don’t forget to mention them and what you’ve learned from their experience.
  • You may use your other personal experiences like working with this McKinsey, it's deliverables or as it's client
  • You can provide your personal experience of working with McKinsey Alums

Good luck!

Francesco
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Hi Anonymous,

your points are fine, I would just change the following:

  • Avoid to mention prestige and exit opportunities, as may give the idea you are not going to stay long (which is actually usually the case in consulting, but you don’t want to specify it in your answer)
  • Try to connect with someone at McKinsey for an informal chat and to have first-hand information on the points you listed to personalize them

Best,
Francesco

Giulia
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Hi,

I think you have already found great answers.

I agree, I would avoid the exit opportunities and would avoid the prestige as well. Instead, it seems a great idea to concentrate on the last bit of that bullet point "extremely interesting people and find a great culture". Showing that you know the company culture and values makes always a good impression, because it shows interests and that you spent time in researching this information.

If you have a first-hand experience about culture and values in McK (e.g., friends that work there, recruiting event where you have talked with an inspirational consultant, ...), it's also worth saying.

About the practice, I would avoid the "potentially". It's always better to show confidence, thus say something like "I'm very interested in digital themes, knowing that McK has a dedicated practice would allow me to further explore the sector, improving my knowledge"

You may also want to cite the challenging environment if you feel like to.

Hope it helps!

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