McK - asked to reapply in a year

1st round Feedback first round
New answer on Oct 25, 2020
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Oct 02, 2020

Got feedback from my first round this week with McK (BA, target school) that I was extremely close to making it through. I was also told that they would keep in touch in the future, and I should reapply in a year if I'm interested.

Their feedback was that my initial FW was not deep enough while almost everything else, including PEI, was really good.

While my interviewer is great, I can't tell if it was genuine feedback because I feel like if I were actually good, I'd have made it through at least to a final round.

What should I make of this?

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Content Creator
replied on Oct 02, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Obviously lots of speculation involved in answering, since nobody of us was really involved in the process.

In general an offer to re-apply in a year does not mean that much as most candidates would like it to be. In conjunction with your additional input that the interviewer offered personally to stay in touch and that McKinsey will reach out again, it sounds already a bit better!

Still there is no point from McKinsey's perspective to be 'unfriendly' in whatsoever way to a candidates - you don't know what future brings and where pathes might cross again in future (also possible from client side later in your career).

So take this offer with a grain of salt, but maximize your chances by staying in touch and ensure to re-apply later based on that offer (if it still fits into your life at that point).

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!


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Content Creator
replied on Oct 03, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Candidly, you should make nothing of it.

It doesn't matter. You didn't get in. Now, you need to focus on how to change that in a year (note: Everyone can re-apply after a certain period, so there's nothing "special" here unfortunately).

  1. Build your resume//experiences
  2. Network (again)
  3. Hire a coach - you were lacking in some areas and it's extremely difficult to properly self-assess...get a coach to help you improve
  4. Get back to preparation when the time comes

I firmly believe that the greatest accomplishments come from temporary defeat. So, take the defeat, recharge, and come back with a new (successful) approach for the next time!

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Content Creator
replied on Oct 03, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Then they give you "no" as an answer but they invite you to re-apply means that, even though you did not meet the bar, the liked your performance.

Probably when you re-apply you will skip a step (e.g., the initial test).

In any case, it does not mean anything for next time, you will still be tested from zero and will need to meet or raise the bar.

Hope it helps!



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replied on Oct 02, 2020
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

To be frank, it is a common way of turning down a candidate. There's a chance you could get an offer in the future with more practice and experience but they didn't see it on that day, based on how you performed. The slight nuance is whether the interviewer went into enough detail to personally show excitement and encouragement about seeing you re-apply or not. Perhaps one sign could be around whether they offered to personally stay in touch with you or not...

Specifically on the feedback, I feel the "really good" might be a little inflated where they likely struggled to see clear strengths that made you stand out from the crowd. Unless your structuring was appalling, that alone would not be the reason they would turn you down.

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Anonymous on Oct 02, 2020

Hi Ken, thanks for the detail there. Just to add more color, the interviewer did offer to personally stay in touch and said that McK would be reaching out in the future. Interviewer also noted my PEI was 'phenomenal' and quant was 'very strong.' I think they might've been a bit too nice because my structure was not 'appalling' by any means. I'll try to reach out to the second interviewer because it doesn't seem like I'm getting the full picture.


Anonymous replied on Oct 02, 2020

Hi Anonymous!

It's always difficult to assess what someone really means in a feedback, even more so when not hearing it, but reading a 2 paragraph summary. Every person's/office's/company's style is different so you can't interprete much in this.

My personal style is to be very honest and upfront in these conversations. When I give feedback, I mean every bit of feedback that I give. So if I encourage someone to re-apply (and that has happened a few times in the past), it is because the interviewers saw great potential, but e.g. a lack of preparedness or maturity. This doesn't change the result, but it is a true encouragement to try again in the future.

Anyway, there nothing you can do about it. But I would keep an eye on your inbox. If they really stay in touch as you wrote they said, that would be a clear sign that what they said is true.

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Content Creator
updated an answer on Oct 25, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi A,

Now it is really hard to say whether the interviewer did mean what he said or whether he wanted politely turn you down. Anyway, it doesn't matter right now.

Now I would recommend you concentrate on more important things so you can maximize your chances of making it to the final round and eventually get the offer when reapplying in a year.

You should not only network hard but also improve your skillset, get relevant work experience so you present a strong upgraded profile next time, and become an excellent fit for them. Getting guidance from an experienced coach would also make it much easier to reach your goal.

Do you need any further help?


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Robert gave the best answer


Content Creator
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author
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