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I got referral from a partner in Boston. Will it still work if I apply to HK office?

first round interview Hong Kong MBB office preferences Referral Summer Internship
New answer on Apr 05, 2024
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 13, 2019

Hi guys,

So I'm wondering does the location of the contact whom I got referral from matter when the companies select candidates for first-round interview? I got referral from a partner at Bain's Boston office but since I will need H1B sponsorship, I'm strongly considering applying to HK office, but I'm concerned whether in that case my referral will not work as much as in the case when I apply for Boston office.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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Dennis
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 05, 2024
Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe

Hi there,

A referral is just a door opener such that the recruiting team will look through your application more thoroughly. Depending on the seniority, tenure and advocacy of the person referring you, you have a better chance of getting a first round interview. The more senior (manager level and above) the person referring you is, the better. The longer the tenure of that person with the firm is, the better. 

The reason is that such voices carry more weight than referrals coming from super junior or brand new people. They typically know the HR folks better and have been involved in recruiting activities for a while so it is usually assumed that they have a good grasp of what types of candidates with which sets of qualifications the firm needs. But any referral is better than no referral.

Ideally, you get a referral from someone from the same office (or same country) you are applying to. But again, a referral from someone within the same firm but different country organization is still better than no referral.

A direct rejection after the CV screening stage can still happen - even with a referral. In that case the HR team usually provides some feedback to the person having given the referral. So you should follow up with them to better understand the rationale in case that happens. On the flipside, you can still get an interview invite when you just apply online without a referral - the probability is just lower on average, especially when your CV is not stellar.

And as always, factors such as economic conditions and headcount/budget planning of the individual firm also matter significantly in these decisions - but they are not within your control.

Best

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oilumiun12 replied on Apr 05, 2024

I always believe that the more prestigious and high-ranking the recommender is, the more likely you are to be accepted into the qualifying round. However, being accepted as an official employee depends on what you show during the interview and your true talent. 

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Anonymous replied on May 26, 2020

Dear A,

My congratulations with referral. This is already a very important step in order to secure your interview.

The quick answer is yes. Referral from partner in the Boston office is still good and valuable for applying in HK, of course in case you partner is willing to submit your referral cross borders. Nevertheless, just bear in mind that the referral in HK office will not be as strong as it could in Boston office.

If you need any help to secure your Bain offer, feel free to reach out.
Good luck,

André

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 14, 2019
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

referrals from partners work better when related to the same office, but can work as well for different offices. I got a referral for my application at BCG Italy from a partner in the US, and was called a few days after that. In your case however it seems the partner already referred you or is willing to refer you to the Boston office – unless you ask them to refer as well for HK would be challenging to get the same strength as for the Boston application. You may ask the Boston HR to move the recruiting process to HK after interview confirmation, but you have no guarantee when and if they will be able to do so.

Since your concern related to Boston is on the visa, I would first clarify with HR if there is any issue with them sponsoring the Visa. If they are fine with the sponsorship, you can apply for the Boston office. If they are not fine with that, you can ask the partner if he/she can refer you for HK given the visa issue.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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Nirmit
Expert
replied on Apr 14, 2019
I will get you an offer|McKinsey Senior EM|Offers from MBB|100+ interviews at McKinsey|Recruiting Lead|Experienced hire

Hi,

In my experience, Partner referrals hold most weight when they're in the same country, unless you're applying to a certain Practice and the Partner is a part of the same practice.

Best bet is to get to a point with the Boston recruiter when you've almost secured an interview, and then say you want to transfer. Worst case, they check and say HK might not be taking more candidates and you still have the Boston interview in hand.

Thanks,

Nirmit

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Mike on Apr 14, 2019

Thank you Nirmit! And I do have some confusion regarding the visa sponsorship I don't know if you are familiar with - will they take my visa issue into consideration when giving out interviews? Like they know they won't sponsor so if I apply for Boston they will just reject me (or possibly direct me to my second choice office)?

Nirmit on Apr 14, 2019

Mike - I am familiar with the situation. I am on an H1-B visa myself. Are you sure Bain doesen't sponsor H1-B visa? I just worked with another candidate who would need an H1-B and they got an offer from the Chicago office. Why don't you send me a direct message and we can talk through the options? Cheers!

(edited)

Vlad
Expert
replied on Apr 14, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

  1. The person doing a referral should select your office preferences
  2. The partners are usually too lazy to make an official referral through the system, so most probably he just sent your resume to HR without an official referral.
  3. I believe you have 2 options: 1) Ask the partner to reach out to HK office. 2) Once the HR invites you for an interview - tell her that your situation has changed and you are considering HK

Best

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Mike on Apr 14, 2019

Thanks for your response Vlad! So you are saying that I apply to Boston office to get the first round interview, and by the time I get it I talk to HR to see if it's possible to switch to HK?

Anonymous B replied on Oct 31, 2020

Yes!

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Anonymous replied on Oct 26, 2020

If it comes from a partner, I'm sure you could reach out and ask if he could reach out to the HK office to introduce you to somebody to address your application to. Given that they are so senior, this should work.

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Gaurav
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Content Creator
updated an answer on Oct 31, 2020
#1 MBB Coach(Placed 750+ in MBBs & 1250+ in Tier2)| The Only 360 coach(Ex-McKinsey + Certified Coach + Active recruiter)

Referral from a partner in the HK office will work, but it will still have more weight in Boston.

Also, you have to speak with a partner on whether is willing to submit your referral to HK. I would recommend you ask the partner to contact to HK office, and once you get invited to the interview, notify him about that.

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GB

(edited)

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Dennis gave the best answer

Dennis

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