Unless you have a stellar resume and profile, you will likely need to do some form of networking to secure an interview. Most aspiring consultants cannot network and treat networking as a “tick-the-box” set of coffee chats and phone discussions.
They actually become upset when the person on the other end does not immediately offer to submit their applications. Networking should not be about securing an endorsement from a McKinsey consultant, It is about being liked. Focusing on the latter will lead to an endorsement. That is the counter-intuitive point.
The key to networking, as described in this podcast, is to ALWAYS present the image of someone who is successful and sure of themselves. In essence, you need to play a little “hard-to-get.”
If you are using external networking guidance, the most important thing to remember is that networking with McKinsey is NOT about selling yourself. Candidates who do usually end up unsuccessful. The trick is to present such a polished image, that you do not need to sell yourself.