Hiring McKinsey employees from current clients

You need these skills for a job with a six-figure salary

In 2018, only 8,000 out of 800,000 applicants at McKinsey received an offer.

For example, you can stand out from other applicants with good soft skills.

Here's how to showcase your personality and leadership skills in an interview at McKinsey.

There is only one percent chance that you can get a job at the US management consultancy McKinsey.

Speaking to Business Insider, the company said that around 800,000 people applied to McKinsey in 2018, but only 8,000 of those got an offer.

An impressive résumé is a good start, but strong soft skills are the factor that will bring you closer to a full-time job at the consulting firm, the recruiters told Business Insider.

Forty percent of McKinsey employees have graduated from business school

The 94 year old company sets the bar high. Like other high profile consulting firms, such as Bain & Co. and Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey has a reputation for recruiting many business management (MBA) students. These three companies alone are responsible for hiring almost 30 percent of this year's MBA class from INSEAD - a leading business school in France. In addition, about 40 percent of McKinsey employees have business school degrees, the company said.

The company's MBA employees receive a base salary of $ 165,000, a performance bonus of $ 41,250, and a sign-up fee of $ 30,000.

You should prepare yourself adequately for the personal interview

In order to get one of the coveted positions in the company, applicants must show that they have a problem-solving mindset, a strong interest in entrepreneurship, and interpersonal skills in negotiating and maintaining relationships with business partners.

Business Insider spoke to Kerry Casey - McKinsey's North American HR director and Caitlin Storhaug - McKinsey's global director of HR marketing and communications.

The recruiters said that one of the most common mistakes applicants made would be to focus too much on exercises on the cases and not prepare well enough for the face-to-face interview. They said that presenting your skills in an interview is what sets you apart from others.

Show that you are able to solve problems - but also have empathy

Every prospective applicant should expect to have to prove that they can think quickly and solve problems quickly - because that is put to the test during an interview. However, the fact that an applicant can completely solve a test case does not necessarily mean that they are suitable for a position at McKinsey.

"Problem-solving and analytical people are in good hands here, but you can't just do a good job solving problems," says Storhaug. "As a consultant, you have to work with all the different teams at the client and also with all the different teams at McKinsey."

Casey recommends that applicants focus more on their "aptitude for collaboration, teamwork, empathy, and leading others". These are the qualities that make consultants successful, she wrote to Business Insider in an email.

Be good storytellers

Consultants are essentially storytellers, and good storytellers can successfully conduct business conversations with clients.

Morgan Bernstein, director of strategic initiatives at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, previously told Business Insider that storytelling books could improve students' communication skills. McKinsey consultants spend most of their day talking to clients and making suggestions. A key part of the work is motivating people and helping them communicate effectively, she added.

“The best interviews we've ever had are conversations,” added Casey. “I recommend that applicants concentrate on practicing their narratives of personal experiences as they prepare. You can practice with a friend and the more often you go through it out loud, the more comfortable you will feel when you talk about your experiences during the interview. "

Put your entrepreneurial skills to the test

In school, at work, and in life, we often share appreciation for projects and shy away from using the word “I”. But, according to Casey, in an interview you should do just that: talk about your personal achievements.

The HR manager recommends that you give examples from the time when you led a team or used your entrepreneurial skills to build something from scratch. A job as a business consultant requires a certain amount of creative thinking. If you can demonstrate this ability to think outside the box, you could get a job as a consultant.

“There's no one way to be successful at McKinsey,” said Casey. "The best interviews are those in which our applicants can show who they are outside of their résumés."

This article was published by Business Insider in February 2020. It has now been reviewed and updated.