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Part Eight: McKinsey Rejection

Max is an aspiring consultant who is looking to secure an analyst role with one of the top firms for the upcoming recruitment cycle in September 2011. His interest in management consulting was sparked by a failed McKinsey interview last year. In this series of blogs, he will be sharing his background, case preparation process, useful resources, and any breakthroughs or setbacks that he experiences.

***

A few weeks ago I submitted my online applications to McKinsey. Unfortunately, I was not invited to interview with the firm. Before I go on, I just want to say that the firm handled everything with the professionalism that you would expect from a top firm, and I have no hard feelings toward them whatsoever. If anyone is looking into management consulting, I would still strongly recommend that they apply to McKinsey! The determining factor in my McKinsey rejection was the fact that I was dinged a year earlier during the interview rounds, and they feel that I have not had enough time to grow.

However, they looked over everything from the first try as well. I disagree with this as I think it has the potential to introduce bias, but I also see the merit behind their method and decision.

Their entire recruiting team was very pleasant, and actually took the time to give me feedback – which I thought was very nice. The only thing that somewhat bothers me is that I thought their restriction on applying again is 12 months, and it would have been nice to have my application reviewed as a fresh entry. However, they looked over everything from the first try as well. I disagree with this as I think it has the potential to introduce bias, but I also see the merit behind their method and decision. Why would they want to invest resources to interview someone who they’ve already rejected in the past?

 These opportunities don’t come by easily, and you must be ready to seize the moment when it arrives.

I am very disappointed with the outcome as I feel that I was so severely underprepared last time (2 hours of case prep) that I was not able to showcase my problem solving abilities. Now that I have had sufficient time to prepare, I am confident I could have went all the way if given the opportunity. The reason that I am sharing this failure with you is because I want the candidates out there to fully prepare the first time around! Even with the heavy networking I did the second time around, it was still not enough to get me another chance. These opportunities don’t come by easily, and you must be ready to seize the moment when it arrives.

It’s somewhat discouraging that one of my top options has been eliminated, but I am still hopeful that I will get a chance to interview with one of the other top firms. The ones remaining on my list are:

1) BCG

2) Bain

3) Roland Berger

4) Booz

5) Oliver Wyman

6) Monitor

I hope that one of them will be willing to give me a chance to interview! Also, I’m typing up the transcript for another sample case, and will share it with everyone once it’s ready.

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