What Does It Take to Get a Job at McKinsey?

McKinsey is interviewing at my school, and I was hoping to get a feel for my shot at an interview. I've previously gotten first rounds w/ Bain and BCG, but I hear McKinsey is more selective than even them.

I was a summer analyst at MS, and I did get an offer. I've got a 3.6 and solid, but not spectacular, ECs at a semi-target. I've also got the diversity thing going, if that matters at all. I'm fairly certain that I can destroy the case; I just need the opportunity.

Given that McKinsey has like a 3.7-3.8 gpa cutoff, should I expect to still get on the closed list, or should I just forget McKinsey? Sweet, thanks guys.

Harder to Get a McKinsey Interview vs. Bain and BCG?

Our users shared mixed opinions about whether it is harder to get an interview with McKinsey than it is to get an interview with Bain and BCG.

computerblue:
If you can get interviews with BCG and Bain, you have a high, high probability of getting a McK interview--it's not as if each company is looking for a different skill set. The diversity thing does help. How many non-Asian minorities do you see at MBB events? Very few. Probably 1 out of every 50 people.

The GPA cutoff is just BS. None of the firms you mention has a strict GPA cutoff. It just so happens that grades and test scores are valued by MBB more highly than they are by banks. But so what? That doesn't mean that if you don't have a 3.7 you won't get an interview.

qonnect.me:
The cutoff is just listed there; it really means nothing. I know many with 3.3s who interviewed with McKinsey. Honestly, there is too much misinformation out there, and people tend to believe "cutoffs" too easily. I have personally reviewed resumes, where 3.75 was the cutoff, but I would let the guy/girl through cause he had good experience. It's just the way it happens; always assume there is no GPA cutoff: if you do, how can it hurt you?

However, some users such as @ihavenomoneynow" shared that they got Bain and BGC but did not get McKinsey interviews:

ihavenomoneynow:
I will chime in. Got both Bain and BCG first rounds on campus. Did not get a McKinsey first round, despite top internship experience and 3.9+. Ironically enough I was one of the kids invited to apply early to McKinsey (interview date of sept. 5), but chose to forgo it for more preparation time.

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Comments (36)

Oct 1, 2008 - 8:10pm

If you can get interviews with BCG and Bain, you have a high, high probability of getting a McK interview--it's not as if each company is looking for a different skill set. The diversity thing does help. How many non-Asian minorities do you see at MBB events? Very few. Probably 1 out of every 50 people.

The GPA cutoff is just BS. None of the firms you mention has a strict GPA cutoff. Personally, I think that's bandied about by students who don't get interviews so that they can feel good about themselves when they find out that they didn't make the cut. It just so happens that grades and test scores are valued by MBB more highly than they are by banks. But so what? That doesn't mean that if you don't have a 3.7 you won't get an interview.

Oct 1, 2008 - 11:43pm

Thanks for the insight. The posting actually explicitly has 3.75 listed as the cut-off, but then again your average 3.6 guy didn't spend this past summer working on billion doller m&a transactions. We'll see, I suppose.

Oct 1, 2008 - 9:48pm

Whoops, must be a thing for semi- and non-targets then. The target I went to had no explicit cutoffs. I have never heard of it occurring at other schools. I find it odd that McK has an explicit cutoff for your school, but Bain and BCG don't. Sorry about the error and good luck with the app.

Oct 1, 2008 - 10:06pm

While I don't recall an explicitly mentioned cutoff either, it seemed to be a fairly widely accepted notion among interviewing students last recruiting season. It may be as you mentioned earlier about kids rationalizing why they didn't get an interview with McK, but I and many others I know interviewed for Bain and BCG but never had a spot to interview for McK.

Oct 1, 2008 - 11:14pm

The cutoff is just listed there; it really means nothing. I know many with 3.3s who interviewed with McKinsey. Honestly, there is too much misinformation out there, and people tend to believe "cutoffs" too easily. I have personally reviewed resumes, where 3.75 was the cutoff, but I would let the guy/girl through cause he had good experience. It's just the way it happens; always assume there is no GPA cutoff: if you do, how can it hurt you?

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Oct 10, 2008 - 11:44pm

i will chime in. got both bain and BCG first rounds on campus. did not get a McKinsey first round, despite top internship experience and 3.9+. ironically enough i was one of the kids invited to apply early to McKinsey (interview date of sept. 5), but chose to forgo it for more preparation time

Oct 10, 2008 - 11:47pm

"Even though McK started e-mailing me the summer before recruiting and had myself and one other kid from my school come to meet people at the office, I did not even get a first round interview. That other kid did, so who knows."

lol... my thoughts exactly. visited their office 3 times during the summer... two for panel sessions, 1 exclusive one where it was me and 3 other kids. constant contact with my hr recruiter and NO McKinsey interview. i was initially pretty pissed off

Oct 13, 2008 - 11:20am

nfg05, was your offer for a Southern Bain office? I think that might explain why you got Bain but not McKinsey. I think for like Atlanta they take slightly more kids from certain targets (non-Ivies, etc.)

Feb 21, 2010 - 2:46pm

sorry to dig up an old thread, but is McK more lenient on Engineering majors? I had a 3.75 and got Bain and BCG intern interviews this year but it is dropping fast, and I expect it will be around 3.6-3.65 when I apply... do I still have a chance?

Feb 22, 2010 - 2:19pm

better have a good excuse for the drop. from outside it looks like slacking off.

"... then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."
Feb 22, 2010 - 2:20pm

McKinsey interviews fall- getting the message across (Originally Posted: 09/14/2010)

just attended info session at my university. it was packed.

I wonder how can i stand out in such a large pool at a top school.

any resume tips, i have a 4.0 and plenty of leadership, activity, experience, but i still feel like all this is a crap-shoot.

how to stand above the rest?

also if their any successful summer interns out there, how did you prepare, and how did it go.

any and all comments appreciated

thanks

Feb 22, 2010 - 2:22pm

ex-McKinsey guy here : when writing your resume, pay attention to the impact you had, dont just write your day to day duties.

for ex.

Goldman Sachs
Summer Intern, M&A Group
*created.....
*researched....
*prepared......

VS.

Red Cross
Fundraising Coordinator
*Organized student rallies to collect $5000 for floods in Pakistan

Whatever job u did - even if u were dancer/plumber/actor/writer/number crunching monk or a code monkey, try to show what was ur impact : how did u take something and made it better.

make sure gpa stays 4.0. and look for a book called "Case in Point" on Amazon.com. Best case study prep.

good luck.

Feb 22, 2010 - 2:24pm

You're right - to some extent it is a crap shoot. I strongly believe that the best way to minimise the random nature of applications is by networking. 'Championing' happens, and it's valuable all the way through the application process.

Feb 22, 2010 - 2:25pm

Getting an Interview with McKinsey (Originally Posted: 10/01/2010)

A colleague of mine (non-consultant) was at a McKinsey recruiting event and recommended that I apply. I honestly didn't give it much thought initially as I've been doing quite well for myself. However, my colleague pressed the issue a bit and peaked my interest to the point where I started looking into McKinsey. After researching the company quite thoroughly, I became very interested in landing a position there.

I come from a somewhat non-traditional background and my primary concern is about getting an initial interview. I'm fairly certain I can do well with the case, I just need the opportunity.

I'm a professional with about 8 years of experience leading teams of 5-25 professionals on various projects that I would spearhead. I worked my way up to Director of Operations at my last firm (a smaller start-up style firm) after having been an Executive Account Manager. I have a great deal of leadership experience, interpersonal & communication skills, and an entrepreneurial spirit. I also possess a strong technical background and a very broad understanding of many different fields.

My primary concern is that I attended a non-target school (University of Massachusetts) and finished with a ~3.2 GPA many years ago. However, my GPA doesn't reflect that I was working 40+ hours a week while in school to walk away debt free.

Can anyone offer any advice on how to apply and present myself (resume and cover letter) to get the first interview? Is the application process the same for experienced applicants or does it vary?

FYI: I'm open to working overseas as I fluently speak different languages (i.e. Arabic, etc.)

Feb 22, 2010 - 2:27pm

The odds of landing an interview by simply submitting your resume and cover letter are slim. Your best bet, like any career switcher, is to either network your way in or get an MBA from a top school. You might want to contact some headhunters and see if they show any interest. Either way you are going to have to show why you should be hired over the Harvard/Wharton/Standford MBA grad who also had 4-5 years of experience before going to Bschool.

Feb 22, 2010 - 2:29pm

i think it's ridiculous to assume that they'll give a shit about your gpa being low considering your experience. plus, emphasizing your work and debt-free graduation would be very helpful if you could make it an interesting story.
but the initial interview really is a tough cookie i hear.
try getting into a recruiting event, talking with one of the attending consultants, and handing him/her your resume, if you can't network your way in some more direct way. mba is not always a necessity - it's for the less imaginative ppl :P

"... then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."
Feb 22, 2010 - 2:30pm

oh, but if you can get a high gmat score, that would be good - they want some proof of you being a mental powerhouse.

"... then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."
Funniest
Feb 22, 2010 - 2:33pm

Just walk in the building bro. You're in! People way over-complicate this stuff.

I think- therefore I fuck
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Feb 22, 2010 - 2:34pm

Just go to Harvard Business School. nbd. Their admission standards are piss poor these days.

Commercial Real Estate Developer

Best Response
Feb 22, 2010 - 2:38pm
  1. Top School... Top 15 school or Oxbridge/LSE/Imperial/Ivey HBA/Queen's
  2. GPA > 3.8 or First Class Honors
  3. EC's where you are a leader and show 'passion'
  4. Beast at case studies and acing personality interview
  5. Also apply to Bain/BCG/Accenture/Deloitte/PwC
  6. I am a high school senior and 20 minutes on WSO and managementconsulting.com helped me figure this out. Jesus man, can't you search this information on google or utilize the search function.
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