McKinsey International Offers

The following success stories come from readers who have successfully landed offers with international McKinsey firms. I hope that you can gain some insight from their stories if you are in a similar situation.

Success Story:

I want to thank you for your help. I did get an incredible job at a McKinsey subsidiary which specializes in one industry in particular, and finally got extended a job offer.

My University is a "target school" in Mexico, so I got visits from all MBB. I passed the McKinsey and Bain selection exams. The first of them was Bain. I did not know how to prepare and I ended up getting the LOMS one day before my interview. Out of the two case interviews, I aced one and failed the other, so I did not get an offer.

For the McKinsey interview I had plenty of time to prepare, so I ended up listening to the LOMS twice, and practiced about 30 different cases with some friends. I was told I did pretty good in all three case interviews but they did not like my "leadership stories" so they would not be extending me an offer.

After a while I got a phone call from a McKinsey subsidiary, in one big city in the United States! (It is WAY more difficult for a Mexican like myself to get a job like this.) They sent me a written case first. I passed several rounds and ended up flying to this big city in the US for the final interview. It was a mix between the normal McKinsey case interviews and leadership questions, and a more specialized approach for the subsidiary in particular.

By then I had practiced more than 60 cases, knew how to overcome fear, and had practiced my leadership stories.

I am flying to the United States in the next few days and I will be the top paid graduate of my class and the only one getting a job both from McKinsey and abroad. Thank you very much!

Success Story:

I just received (and accepted) my offer from McKinsey in Dubai and thought I would take a minute to give credit where credit is due and perhaps ask for you advice.

First off, let me say that I'm a big fan of all of your materials and I am confident that using them was critical in my receiving the offer. I think my most significant takeaway from your program has been to be able to internalize how good consultants think. When you're sitting in the waiting room of your final rounds with five other candidates (read:competitors), you start to appreciate just how important consistency is in these interviews.

For me, your workshop videos and LOMS program really helped to build an understanding of how consultants approach problems while your newsletters served to constantly reinforce it. I think this internalization is one of the key reasons I came out of the recruiting process with an offer, so thank you for making it so much more accessible!

On another note, I won't be starting for six months or so and am currently not in school.

Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do to prepare me for consulting? I know that there is a lot of reading material available and that many people suggest traveling before starting but I really feel like doing something more impactful. I know that McKinsey has a renowned alumni network but is there any chance I would be able to access it before I actually start?

My Reply:

Congratulations on the offer!

McKinsey is very protective of its alumni database, so you really can't access it easily until after you join and then quit McKinsey. When I was there, even current employees did not normally have access to the alumni database.

Fortunately, there is LinkedIn. If I were you, I would get an InMail account (there is a fee for this) and contact alumni and take them out to lunch. Explain you got an offer, accepted it, and will be starting soon. If they decline, it will be only due to time constraints, as you will be a very credible person asking them to lunch (and if not lunch, ask for a phone call or Skype conference).

I would also suggest joining my email newsletter for new consultants. You can sign up at: www.caseinterview.com/new-consultant

I also have a new consultant training toolkit which you might want to take a look at: How to Succeed in Management Consulting

Once again, congratulations and good luck at McKinsey!  Welcome to the "firm" (and once you join, you're always a part of the "family").

Success Story:

My feedback for Victor and everyone who contributes to CaseInterview.com is simple: you guys are brilliant.

I'd like to take the opportunity to thank you all very much. I found the website and used the free case interview preparation material to prepare for my interview process with McKinsey, here in Johannesburg South Africa. I was lucky to have a fair amount of time to prepare on my hands - and primarily used your resources.

The guidance they provided was substantial and, I believe, an important reason as to why I ended up getting an offer.

I then saved up for a few months (waitering and taking on some odd jobs) to have enough to buy the 'How to Succeed in Management Consulting' series, because I really believed that with CaseInterview.com's great track record, it would be a good investment. I just finished the video series and it certainly met and exceeded my expectations.

I will be starting at the Johannesburg Office on Monday, and a lot of the reason for this is due to your resources, kindness and great guidance!

I am looking forward to my first pay-check (which will be the first of its kind in my family) so that I can fulfill my part of the bargin to make a contribution to KidPower.org.

Keep up the life-changing work!

[XXXX]

(Soon to be) Business Analyst - McKinsey and Company

Success Story:

I wanted to thank you again for taking the time to reply to the email I sent you 3 months ago. My case was that I'm Spanish but living in the (Other European Country) and I applied for many consulting firms and got rejected from all of them (including McKinsey) with not a single invitation for an interview.

One of my guesses was that a Spanish CV is not easy to understand/interpret from the (Other European Country) perspective.

You told me that you thought this could have been the reason and recommended I re-apply in Spain. I did that and I got invited to interviews in several firms.

Yesterday I finally received a call from McKinsey offering me a position there. So you were completely right and your advice got me a job at McKinsey! I am very grateful for that.

My Reply:

I'm so glad everything worked out. One important thing for others to keep in mind is this. "McKinsey" (or any other firm) doesn't make recruiting decisions. PEOPLE within McKinsey (and other firms) make decisions.

It's always useful to put yourself in that person's shoes to see how they would see things. I know it is common practice to have alumni from a particular school screen resumes and CVs of applicants from that school.

This is done for the precise reason you mentioned above, the alumnus/ae have enough background information to evaluate the application. When you deviate from the normal, school-based, recruiting process, many of the standard practices aren't followed just to process a single application as its too inefficient.

Just something for others to keep in mind.

Success Story:

I've used your Case prep material and have recently been offered a job at McKinsey London. And I wanted to thank you personally. I found the videos a great starting point and the audio files of the practice cases (LOMS) to be great for what real cases could sound like. For someone with no consulting background- this was a treasure trove. I found a couple of highly rated cases (highly rated by you) to be especially useful and often listened to these audios on my way to school and back. And all the effort put in seems to have paid off! I am truly delighted at being offered a role at McK and I wanted to thank you for the great work you've done in making it happen.

Now that I have been offered a role and will be starting post completing my MBA, what do you suggest I do in the interim? Is there anything I could do between now and when I join to hit the ground running from day one?

Appreciate all your help again. Godspeed!

My Reply:

Congratulations on the McK offer!  Well done.

In terms of preparing between now and your start date. There are a number of ways to prepare.

  1. Sign up for my newsletter for new first-year consultants. www.caseinterview.com/new-consultant
  2. Especially for starting at McKinsey in particular, there are several McKinsey-oriented books worth reading including a) The McKinsey Way, b) The Pyramid Principle, c) anything by Gene Zelazny - he's the person who developed all of the conventions for presenting at McKinsey (Templates, etc...) over the last 30+ years.
  3. I have a program that shows the blueprint of what it takes to be successful in consulting. You might consider getting that as a resource. It’s called How to Succeed in Management Consulting (HSMC for short)
  4. If you aren't yet proficient in Excel, take an Excel course... you will be using it a lot. Formulas, pivot tables, vlookups, what/if scenario manager, solver (these are all commonly used Excel tools).
  5. Get a book on financial statement analysis - there are a bunch of these out there, I recommend two in the reading list in HSMC. The titles all sound alike, so I don't recall the exact titles of the two I looked at and liked.
  6. If you have a chance to get some practice in any kind of public speaking, that's definitely worth doing.

Other than that, enjoy the time between now and then-- it's one of the few times in life where it's relatively low stress as the immediate future is fairly certain and favorable.

Success Story:

THANK YOU! I finished 1st in McKinsey Budapest's case study competition. In the first round we had to write the PST, and 24 out of 110 students qualified to compete in the oral part, which was a presentation-only case interview (with prep time of 3 hours).

This recent success reminded me how lucky I am that I grew up in a protecting, healthy and loving environment and had access to excellent education. Meanwhile, other children face challenges I can hardly imagine, so in order to help them a bit, I donated €200 from my prize to children in Bolivia.

This month I will start interviewing for the full time position and obviously will prepare a lot using your materials (LOMSCase Interview Secrets book, newsletter, etc.) - if I get the offer, my next donation will go to KidPower, I promise.

PS: I passed my BCG interviews for a Visiting Associate (~intern) position in 2011 with LOMS, but that's another story and never said thanks - so thanks for that too!!!

Update Two Months Later:

I owe you a huge THANK YOU again, as I got an offer from McKinsey.

I won their case study competition two months ago. I was then interviewed by 6 different people, 3 of them being Directors.

As preparation, I almost exclusively used your book, which I re-read between each of the 3 rounds. In the feedback, my interviewers pointed out that I didn't seem stressed at all and it was apparent that I had fun solving the cases (so they know that I will like the job too).

There were two quite tough estimation questions that I could only tackle because you placed such big emphasis on teaching the correct mindset instead of pushing unnecessarily complex frameworks.

So thanks again, I'm really glad that I found your website and on behalf of the "consultant job-seeker" community I think I can state that you are really making an impact through your publications. Keep up the useful work, I will soon make the donation to Kidpower and will sign up for the F1Y mailing list.

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