The club's Kuwaiti-based ownership have revealed their intention to speak to the former Wolves boss about taking over from Steve Cotterill at the City Ground
The Kuwaiti-based Al-Hasawi family completed a takeover of the club earlier this month and immediately dismissed manager Steve Cotterill, who led Forest to 19th place in the Championship last year.
McCarthy was dismissed from his role as Wolves boss in February and replaced by assistant Terry Connor, who subsequently failed to prevent the Black Country side from being relegated.
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He told reporters: "Mick is one of the people we are talking to, but there are others. If he meets our requirements, we would be honoured to work with Mick.
"It is very important for the manager to have good knowledge of this league and the teams involved in it. They must also have an understanding when it comes to working with a club and developing it.
"We are looking for somebody with a strong CV, with a lot of experience. We want somebody who has good, strong character to come in and inspire the players."
Former Republic of Ireland manager McCarthy has previously achieved promotion to the Premier League with Wolves and Sunderland.
However, Roy Keane, who played for Forest early in his career before moving to Manchester United, and Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson have also been linked with the position.
Al-Hasawi confirmed talks with multiple candidates, adding: "We have interviewed some people on the phone but we're starting to see people face to face and you get a much better impression when you see them face to face.
"They are more comfortable and can speak more openly."