Should I quit my current job to go for interviews?

enthusiast_68's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 14

I know almost everyone would advise not to quit your current job unless you have a firm offer lined up, but I am in a situation where it is very difficult to ask for time off if I want to go for interviews, especially with MBB as one round can take hours. I work for a small company where everyone is closely supervised. I almost never took time off before unless I need to see a doctor then I would leave 30 minutes earlier than usual, so if I ask for some time off now in the middle of the day, it would likely raise some eye browns. I know I only have 10 days vacation for this whole year, but I will have to spend it for an important family event that I can't say no to. If I wait for another year to use vacation time for interviews, it would be too long. Does anyone know if recruiters in management consulting industry are against candidates who are not currently employed (not for being fired but for reasons above - that I won't be able to interview at all unless I leave my job)? Would quitting my job then going for interviews affect my chances to get an offer (at MBB)?

I appreciate any help/advice!

Consulting Case Interview Course

  • 2,037 questions across 209 consulting firms. Crowdsourced from over 600,000 members.
  • 11 Detailed Exclusive Cases developed by a McKinsey Associate and 10+ hours of video.
  • Trusted by over 1,000 aspiring consultants just like you.

Comments (6)

Jan 2, 2019

Quitting would be a horrible idea as most people interviewed for MBB don't get offers. It's not a good look to be unemployed and applying to some of the hardest firms to get into. Take an unpaid day of leave for any interviews you get if you burn through all your PTO.

    • 1
Most Helpful
Jan 3, 2019

Absolutely not. Being unemployed is always a black mark, especially for MBB. You don't want to give interviewers the leeway to think you may have been fired.

You'll just have to be careful with your vacation time and with how many "doctors appointments" come up. Eventually your employer will catch on if you keep taking 3-4 hour blocks of time, but it's better than walking in to an interview without a paycheck. It's also a LOT of pressure to interview without current income. That desperation can come through in high pressure situations - and few situations are as high pressure as consulting interviews.

Don't restrict yourself to MBB - it will be hard for you to get interviews anywhere unless you are a blue chip candidate. Network at all of the T2 (OW/ATK/S&/Deloitte S&O/LEK/Parthenon) and MBB roles. If you aren't getting traction, ask a few people you chat with for honest feedback as to why and then add the big 4/Accenture to the mix. Play the long game, don't put all your eggs in one basket.

    • 4
Jan 4, 2019

Thanks for the great advice! I am likely going to consider saving some PTOs for this year. Will be tough dealing with some family members but doesn't look like there is a better option.

Jan 4, 2019

You can explain the situation to the MBB recruiter in a way that doesn't sound like you're putting down your current company's management. They are usually accommodating for lateral hires because you guys have busy schedules.

Gimme the loot

Jan 4, 2019

Interviews at MBB usually won't take more than a couple of hours. Recruiters will def help you schedule maybe after 6pm or (in some cases) on Saturdays.

    • 1
Jan 4, 2019