Manager Bain and A.T. Kearney / 200+ real interviews
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Do Consultancies usually decline applications?


Hi there,

I've sent out around 40 applications out and only received reactions for about half of those.

Some also invited me to take multiple online assessments and after that I never heard from them again (it's been around a month now).

So my question is: Do Consultancies usually decline when they're taking you out of the application process or do only some of them have this decency?

Thanks a lot!

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replied on 12/19/2017
Manager Bain and A.T. Kearney / 200+ real interviews

Hi Christoph,

Top tier firms do inform candidates when they are not going forward with their recruitment process. This is done via an ‘automatic’ email notification if in the pre-interview phase (timing can vary by firm and time of the year – when HR are busy it will take longer to screen your application) and generally via phone (with a quick feedback) if in the case interview phase.
Smaller firms/boutiques tend to have less structured/organized processes so that their response can take longer or never arrive:) .

In any case, if you still haven’t heard from them after a while you can always follow up with the HR team (but always remember to act professionally and never sound ‘desperate’ :)).

As an additional comment, applying to 40 firms at the same time seems like a big number to me. My recommendation would be to try to be selective at the beginning and target only those firms at the top of your list: submitting a strong application and networking with your target firm can take a lot of time. Hence is better to focus your effort on a limited selection of firms (this will result in a better preparation). If your top list does not work out, you can later expand list to your top 2 and later top 3 preferences.

Best of luck,



Vlad replied on 12/21/2017
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School


Several recommendations here:

  1. Companies have recruitment cycles. If they have not responded at all - chances are high that they will respond later. Moreover, only 5-8 of them are hiring o a rolling base for the whole year. Probably they currently don't need the new consultants.
  2. If you've done an online assessment and never heard back - most probably you've failed it. Send them an e-mail or call them to check
  3. I doubt that you were able to make 40 Cover Letters that were unique for each company. This may be a reason for rejection
  4. 50% is a good response rate, If you had 20 responses - I would try to understand what's going on - is it that your resume does not go through or you have the problems with online assessments? Also, you could crosscheck with some of the companies by asking friends who work there if they are currently hiring.
  5. If you want to increase your chances of success - try to find someone who can make a reference for you. You can read re the references here: