Hi, I was not shortlisted for the interview with Bain even with a referral from a Partner. I don't understand?

Referral rejection
New answer on Feb 16, 2021
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 15, 2021

He was my college alumni, I connected with him on Likedin. We had a great chat, he himself asked me to let him know when I apply so that he can talk to the recruiting to put in a word. Once i submitted the application, I let him know and he mailed back telling me that he would talk to the staffing immediately. However, after 5 weeks of waiting, I got a rejection from the recruiting team. I am confused. I applied for Associate Consultant position. There are no apparent red flags on my CV: GMAT - 700, Decent GPA not extraordinary, previous experience working in consulting projects.

(edited)

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Ian
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replied on Feb 16, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi,

I'm sorry but nothing in life is a guarentee.

A referral, even from a Partner, greatly helps your application chances but doesn't gaurentee them - this is the way of the world...connections only go so far.

The likely scenarios are any or all of the following:

  1. Sub-optimal CV (poor style/format, errors, non-impressive background, etc.)
  2. Lack of demand from the office (weak pipeline)
  3. Too much competition
  4. Bad luck (i.e. that particular HR person just passed on you)

I would keep this Partner as contact, work on your experience, CV, cover letter, etc., and re-apply in a couple of years.

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Clara
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replied on Feb 16, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Sorry to hear about that.

It´s true that MBB are super selective, and this year things seem more complicated than ever.

However, I am very surprised, since when a partner is so sure about backing you up, there are reasons for that.

I would kindly follow up with this person, indicating your frustation and asking for help. Perhaps it´s not yet lost.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Ken
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replied on Feb 16, 2021
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

Sorry to hear it didn't work out. As Francesco said, a referral does not guarantee an interview.

Based on what you highlight from your CV, I don't get the impression you have a particularly strong profile and/or you are highlighting the wrong things. In terms of your academic achievement GMAT doesn't really add anything where most MBB applicants would be in that range or higher and many will have top 10-15% of the class grades from a target school. It's also much less about whether you have done consulting before and more about have you shown examples of analytical rigour, communication skills, team work, leadership, etc. which have been outlined in your CV will clear impact/results.

It might be worth having your CV reviewed to make sure you are putting your best foot forward.

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Florian
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replied on Feb 16, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

Unfortunate but sometimes things just don't work out for reasons beyond your control.

I have a similar story from 2012 when I first got interested in consulting. I attended my first recruiting event with Booz (now strategy&) and it went well. I got a call from a partner afterward, who encouraged me to apply and even feedbacked my resume and cover letter + pushed the application. I got a rejection with no reasons stated.

At the same time, I got the interview invitations for all other firms (MBB included) without any referral...Random.

Cheers,

Florian

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Henning
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replied on Feb 16, 2021
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Only one point in addition to what was already mentioned:

You're writing that you have done the GMAT already, but applied for an AC position. People typically take the GMAT well into their career, when they apply for BSchool. Do you also have work experience already? In that case, it might have been a mismatch between your work experience and the very junior position you applied to.

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Francesco
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replied on Feb 16, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Sorry to hear the referral did not work out.

A referral does not guarantee an invitation unfortunately, even from a Partner.

There may be several reasons for a rejection:

  • Lack of need for consultants in that office
  • Competition stronger than you in one or more areas
  • Issues with the CV (eg formatting, typos, lack of proper structure for consulting)

Best,
Francesco

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Lukas
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replied on Feb 15, 2021
BCG | PwC | LSE | 3+ years in Consulting |I get you ready for BCG

Hi,

MBBs are extremely selective. Several relevant internships and experience abroad are definitely the basic requirements for an interview invitation. Based on your description, I can't give you a clear reason why you were rejected.

Feel free to contact me with your CV via private message and I will be happy to give you free feedback.

Kind regards,
Lukas

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Antonello
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replied on Feb 16, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, unfortunately, it can be due to the application status of the office. it is not the best period, as you can imagine. However, I would recommend asking HR when you can re-apply (maybe the classical ban of 18-24 months can be reduced due to these reasons)

Best,
Antonello

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Gaurav
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Content Creator
replied on Feb 16, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

sorry to hear!

First thing - a referral does not give you a full guarantee.

Second, it might be the case that the Partner forgot to actually refer you. Did you ask him about it after he promised he would talk to the staffing? I'm not trying to be rude, it's just that people forget sometimes.

Third thing, maybe your CV wasn't that strong or you emphasized wrong points. Feel free to send it to me for a quick check up.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

GB

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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