Networking calls/coffee chats are tricky. You should not be following the advice found for general recruitment. We insist our clients network with partners so most of the advice we provide is for networking with McKinsey and BCG partners. The reality is that partners are best equipped, and most influential, to assess a unique profile and make a judgement call on the spot. The danger is that if you do not impress the partner, you are very unlikely to go anywhere with further networking. The more atypical your profile, though, the greater the need to network with a partner, and the benefits far outweigh the risks.