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Choosing when to submit your initial application

Anonymous A asked on Sep 06, 2018 - 2 answers


I am looking for advice regarding when to submit an application. I will be applying from my final year of university to the London offices of MBB and tier 2 firms.

1. Approximately how soon after submitting online should one expect an invitation to an online test (if applicable)?

2. Approximately how soon after submitting online tests (and assuming they are passed) should one expect an invitation to an interview?

I am struggling to decide how to split my time between online test practice and case practice. I think this planning will be made easier if I better understand the expected timespans between rounds.

Many thanks

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replied on Sep 06, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
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1) From 1 week to 2 months. Depends on the company and recruiting cycle in your particular city for graduating students. You can check with the HR / Company rep at your University (in case its a target one)

2) Usually, you get the results the same week. However, the interview dates depend on the availability of the interviewers and the recruiting deadlines for fresh graduates.

To sum up - you should only check locally with each company.


replied on Sep 07, 2018
Bain & Company | University of Cambridge | CV/Resume writing | 770 GMAT
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Hi there,

Since you are applying as part of the regular graduate hiring in London, the scheduling of interviews/tests is not aligned to when you submit your applications, but rather when the applications close. For MBB, applications close in mid-late October for London graduate hiring cycle.

1. Online tests will be sent 1-2 weeks after applications close (so early November). Only McKinsey and Bain have tests, BCG has a GMAT-like test you do in person as part of the first round interviews (if selected).

2. First round interviews for BCG and Bain are held in ~mid November. BCG has an additional second round, which is held around 1-2 weeks after first round. Finally, BCG and Bain both have final round in early-mid December. Outcomes are communicated only after all interviews have taken place - so from your final round interview, you can wait anywhere between 1.5 weeks to 1-2 days.

McKinsey is slightly different, and just pushes schedule back a bit. PST is done at around the same time as the first round for BCG/Bain. First round interview is done around the time when BCG/Bain have final round (early-mid December), and final round is held in early January. Up until last year, final round is held in a hotel just outside London for 2 days, including a day of presentations + "get to know you" dinner.

Another difference between McKinsey and BCG/Bain is that with McKinsey, outcomes are communicated a few days after interviewing, whereas for BCG/Bain, outcome is only communicated after all candidates have completed interviews for the round.

Hope this helps!

Thank you very much for your responses - both are appreciated. Alessandro's specific insights into the London process were particularly useful. — Emma on Sep 09, 2018