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McKinsey Interview: Should I bring it up in other applications?

 
#1 McKinsey Interview: Should I bring it up in other applications?
02/12/2013 23:36

MNIrishman

I have a question with which I have been struggling and I hope the board might be able to offer me an opinion on the matter. I began my job search several months ago. As an engineer, I applied to primarily engineering positions at various large companies. However, a friend of mine suggested that I apply to McKinsey and Company, which I did. At the time, I didn't really know much about the company and, given the volume of applications I was sending out as well as the low success level of candidates for that position, I didn't invest a great deal of time in the application. Nevertheless, I was blessed with one interview, and then another after that. I studied and reviewed as much as I could from the time I got the first invite, but unfortunately it wasn't quite enough to make it past the second round.

While that could be counted as failure, I prefer to count it as success in that I learned a great deal about the field of management consulting that I didn't know before. This has led me to conclude that it is the perfect field for me. Therefore, I am applying to as many additional companies as I can identify as meeting my goals. However, I am concerned about how to write my cover letter! The McKinsey interviews were truly my introduction to the field. No one in my program ever discussed management consulting as a career path. Therefore, McKInsey is the principle reason I discovered I want to be in management consulting. Given the prestige of the firm and the (relative) success I had getting interviews, I would like to discuss this experience in my cover letter, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea or if it is, what a tactful way to bring it up might be. I need your help!

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#2 RE: McKinsey Interview: Should I bring it up in other applications?
03/12/2013 08:53

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to MNIrishman (#1)

Groan.

You had one interview and, all of a sudden, "This has led me to conclude that it is the perfect field for me." A revelation, if you will.

Put yourself for one moment in the shoes of somebody reading that phrase. Imagine you're an experienced consultant and you're reading some applications and you come across that. What would you think? Furthermore, what would you think if the letter then went on to gush about how brilliant McKinsey is and how they're your dream firm, and how you have learnt oh-so-much from your single interview with them. Again, what would you think? At best, it would come across as naïve... at worst, they might think "well go reapply at McKinsey then" and then stick the application in the cylindrical filing cabinet. I actually think it can't help your application in any way... if you had an actual offer, however, then that would definitely be a door-opener to other competing firms and would help your application stand out...

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