Declining an offer from MBB, but might want to apply again in the future?

MBB offer
New answer on Sep 13, 2020
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 03, 2019

Say i apply to all 3 MBB firms and got offer from all 3 (one can sure dream), say i take offer from MCK and decline Bain and BCG. In such event, will it be possible for me to apply for Bain and BCG in the future? Or will HR have a record that says i have declined their offer in the past and start behaving like a grudgeful ex and will not allow me to work for them again in the future?


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Content Creator
replied on Jan 07, 2019
FREE 15min call | #1 Bain Coach |10y+ experience helping candidates securing MBB offers| Tailored prep | 5 stars reviews

Hi Anonymous,

No worries at all - act professionally and you will be able to run the recruiting process again. MBB are eager to attract exceptional candidates and as you mature your experience in other MBB firms your profile might become even more interesting for them in the outlook of a second application.

However, only remark I do - which I have seen candidates doing sometimes - do not ACCEPT an offer (maybe because you wanna buy you time e.g when you are are still waiting for other offers or to complete other firms recruiting processes) and then decline. This is seen as highly unprofessional. Rather negotiate to have more time to give an answer.


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updated an answer on Jan 03, 2019
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi Anonymous! My advice is: don't worry about such things! These are PROFESSIONAL firms! Of course you might apply again in the future! I believe it's quite the opposite - if they know they had already extended you an offer in the past, then they know that you are a very interesting candidate for them and there is no reason to not trust the judgement of the colleagues who interviewed you in the past.

I can even give you a personal example: Bain interviewed me twice for full time positions (two different geographies and 3,5 years between the processes) - and I declined their offers twice. Was this a problem? No of course not. They acknowledged that my alternatives were apparently better at both occasions. That doesn't mean they would not interview me in the future (if the situation emerged).

Cheers, Sidi


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Anonymous updated the answer on Sep 13, 2020

Hi A,

Your worries are actually unfounded, we're talking about professionals. The only thing you should avoid is accepting the offer and then declining. That would be both inappropriate and unprofessional.

There's no penalty on asking for some extra time to give your final answer.




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Anonymous replied on Jan 04, 2019

Hey there,

It's important how you manage this (hypothetical) situation. Generally, if you leave on amicable terms, the company would 100% be willing to consider you in future. They are not ones to hold a grudge irrationally - recruiting candidates is extremely expensive, so if they can find someone they previously vetted to join them, they would probably be very happy!

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Riccardo gave the best answer


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