Final Round Internship Rejected - What to do until FT Recruiting?

advanced degree Bain BCG MBB McKinsey recruiting
New answer on Jan 18, 2023
5 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Jan 17, 2023

I recently got rejected after making it to the final round for an MBB summer position as an advanced degree candidate in the social sciences/humanities.

While disappointing, I am trying to be as prepared as possible when FT recruiting starts up again in a few months. (I asked and was not given any ban by the firm. Their main feedback was my behavioural interview wasn't polished enough. Casing was fine)

I am wondering what I should/can do between now and then? I am planning to continue networking to get a referral when I apply, but apart from that, I am not sure how much more different my resume or cover letter will look in a few months' time. I am trying not to feel too dejected, but it is tough re-motivating oneself after narrowly missing out. 

Thanks in advance.



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Content Creator
replied on Jan 18, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: I am wondering what I should/can do between now and then? 

Given what you shared, there seem to be two major areas of improvement:

  1. Improve the fit part
  2. Increase the number of invitations (i.e. manage to get interviews from the other MBBs)

In terms of the fit part, it is difficult to comment as we don’t know which questions were asked that you should improve.

In terms of the number of invitations, in case you didn’t pass the screening with the other MBBs, you can increase your chances next time by working on 3 things: a great CV, a great Cover and a referral. Most likely some of these are already good as you passed one of the screenings already.

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1) CV

The key elements they will look for and that you should structure correctly are:

  • Work experience
  • Education (university brand, major, GPA, experience abroad)
  • Extracurriculars and volunteer experience

Common red flags include:

  • Low GPA
  • Bad formatting / typos
  • 3-4 pages in length
  • Lack of clear action --> results structure for the bullets of the experiences
  • Long paragraphs (3-4 lines) for the bullets of the experiences with irrelevant details
  • Long time gaps without explanation

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You can structure a cover with 4 parts:

  1. Introduction, mentioning the position you are interested in and a specific element you find attractive for that company
  2. Why you are qualified for the job, where you can report 3 skills/stories from your CV
  3. Why you are interested in that particular firm, with additional 1-2 specific reasons
  4. Final remarks, mentioning again your interest and contacts

In part 2 you can write about experiences that show skills useful in consulting such as drive, problem-solving, leadership, teamwork and convincing others.

It is important that in part 3 you make your cover specific to a particular firm – the rule of thumb is, can you send the exact same cover to another consulting company if you change the name? If that’s the case, your cover is too generic.

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This is probably the most important point. To find a referral, you should follow three main steps:

  1. Identify the people that can help you (most of the time, the best bet is Alumni of your university)
  2. Write to them a customized email
  3. Have a call and indirectly ask for a referral

As general tips:

  • Don’t use LinkedIn for your communication – emails work better. You should target 30% conversion for your messages; if you are not achieving that, there is space for improvement
  • When sending emails, your goal should be to organize a call, not to ask questions – you can then use the call for the questions
  • You need to close the call with an indirect request for a referral – don’t leave that to chances. There are specific ways to phrase it

You should prepare three main things before the call:

  • Your own pitch. 3-4 lines should be enough
  • 3-4 questions on the personal experiences of the person. Avoid to ask questions about the company
  • A closing question for the referral. It should be an indirect request to avoid being too pushy

You can find more information on networking and referrals here:

▶ How to Get an MBB Invitation 

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In terms of the interview itself, you can find some tips below:

▶ How to Prepare for a Consulting Interview

If you need more help please feel free to PM me.

Good luck!


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Content Creator
replied on Jan 18, 2023
Ex-Bain and interviewer for 7+ years | >95% success rate | mentor and coach for 6+ years

Hi there,

First of all, I am sorry to hear about the last-minute rejection!

I think this is an interesting question that may be relevant for many people. I would be happy to share my thoughts on it:

  • It can be difficult to re-motivate yourself after narrowly missing out on an opportunity, particularly when you received feedback that your behavioral fit interview wasn't "polished enough". However, it's important to remember that rejection is a normal part of the job search process and it doesn't mean that you're not qualified or capable of succeeding in a strategy consulting role.
  • Here are some things you can do between now and when full-time recruiting starts up again:
    • Practice behavioral interviewing: Since you received feedback that your behavioral fit interview wasn't polished enough, you can work on improving your behavioral interviewing skills. You can practice interviewing with friends, family, or a coach, and focus on specific areas where you need improvement.
    • Gather more experience: Consider taking on additional responsibilities or volunteering to lead projects wherever you can that will showcase your skills and abilities.
    • Network: Reach out to professionals in your network who work in strategy consulting or have connections to strategy consulting firms and ask for their advice and guidance.
    • Update your resume and cover letter: Even though your resume and cover letter may not look very different in a few months' time, you can still make sure they're polished and tailored to the consulting role you're applying for.
    • Get feedback: If possible, try to get feedback from a professional or a coach on what you could improve on for next time.
    • Stay positive: Remember that rejection is not a reflection of your worth as a person or professional. Stay positive and motivated, and keep in mind that the next opportunity is just around the corner.
  • By focusing on the feedback you received and taking steps to improve your interviewing skills and gain more experience, you will be well-positioned to make a strong impression when you apply again. It's also important to remember that even though the company gave you feedback on your behavioral fit interview, it doesn't mean that you're not suitable for the role, it could be an opportunity to work on the areas that the company suggested and come back stronger.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to address your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.



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Content Creator
replied on Jan 18, 2023
#1 rated McKinsey Coach | Top MBB Coach | 5 years @ McKinsey | Author of the 1% | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hi there,

Sorry to hear but you almost made it all the way. That is an achievement in itself and should give you confidence (especially since your casing was fine, which is the much more difficult part).

What should you do now?

  • Continue honing your case skills. People that stop working on cases get rusty very quickly (slower, more mistakes, less insightful answers, etc)
  • Prepare for every personal fit answer on the planet and craft authentic, structured, and strong stories using the SCORE framework I developed (you can find more about it here, and generally for McKinsey PEI:



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Content Creator
replied on Jan 18, 2023
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Sorry to hear. Remember, there are SO many stories of people making it on their 2nd attempt. Don't be disuaded!

You also made it to the final round…that's not nothing! It means you can 100% make it all the way.

My advice:

  1. Continue networking (as you noted)
  2. Apply when it makes sense for all the other firms
  3. Get a coach to see where you were lacking
  4. Read this article:

Good luck!

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Content Creator
replied on Jan 17, 2023
#1 McK Coach by rating & recommendation rate| Honest feedback: no sugar-coating | Success stories ➨

Hi there, 

Sorry to hear the interview didn't work out. 

Based on your description, you shouldn't worry that much about your CV and cover letter. 

In fact, you could already consider applying already to other firms that might have rolling applications without a specific deadline. 

What you should be focusing most on is developing your personal fit / behavioural interview part. This can be more time consuming than most candidates assume so the earlier you start working on it the better.



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Francesco gave the best answer


Content Creator
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching
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