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No offer after interview - apply again later?

Anonymous A asked on May 20, 2017 - 8 answers

Hi everyone,

today I had my 3 interviews for an internship at McKinsey in Germany. I am still a second year undergrad student so I was already surprised to get an invite. Unfortunately I did not receive an offer for an internship.

I really enjoyed the day and the feedback was positive as well. The personal fit was there, but in some situations they had the feeling I was not structured enough during a case and could not argue why I took certain numbers.

During the feedback I asked one of the interviewers about the option to apply again later with more experience. He thought that this is no problem, but could not provide any details and told me to ask HR for more information.

But because we have friday now, HR has weekend and I am really curious, I wanted to ask you about your opinions or experience with this topic? Are chances smaller than?

Thanks a lot

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replied on Jun 15, 2017
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Hi Anonymous

You can reapply for McKinsey, however they usually blacklist you for 1 or 2 years for further applications. Of course you can also apply for other companies for an interview – all the major consulting firms have a life science practice, and some companies work specifically in this area (eg ZS Associates).

As for your third question, the criteria of consulting firms are normally NOT office specific – that is, they have likely rejected you also for other offices. The exception may be if a specific office received a high amount of applications from people with a background similar to yours that for some reasons they prefer – in this case it could be that another office may have indeed invited you for a first round.

As for the written test, although it may have indeed been good, there may be other two main factors that may have brought to rejection:

  • The combo of Test + CV + Cover may have not been strong enough
  • Other applicants had a profile stronger than yours with a even stronger test

As for your last questions on what you should do, I would structure the process as follows:

  1. Ask feedback to McKinsey on why you got rejected (they may not give you specific feedback anyway but it does not harm trying) and if they have a specific blacklist period for reapplying
  2. Define a list for all the consulting companies interesting for you
  3. Network to find an internal referral; ask them or to a consultant if they have any tip on your CV and Cover before applying
  4. Understand which is the time period for reapplying
  5. Apply through the referral

Working with an expert could speed up the networking process, but you should be able to complete the previous steps also on your own.

Please feel free to let me know if you need further information.

Hope this helps,

replied on May 20, 2017
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My case: applied right after university and was destroyed by McK ahhhaha did not prepare any interview... so the most obvious thing happened - I was out. Then did 3 years consulting in a big4 then INSEAD then McK (now I am distictive in McK)

Therefore, I would separate 2 cases

1. You re-apply 2 years or more later - no prob at all, same probabilities of succces - work on the feedback, prepare yourself and shine!

2. Yo apply next year (in some offices they require a minimum of 2 year though, so ask) - most probably they will remember your case (HR keeps all the reports) and McK will focus the interviews in your feedbacck. ie. you did very bad in numbers, then they will test it several times

Hope it helps



Sudipto replied on May 20, 2017

Mckinsey Australia and Europe office Policy: If your application is unsuccessful, we regret we will be unable to accept further applications from you for the same role in any McKinsey office for at least 12-18 months, to ensure there is additional information to evaluate.

Mckinsey Greater China Policy: Your application will not be reconsidered until a period of 18 months has passed since your previous application. A decision from one office stands for the firm worldwide.

replied on May 25, 2017
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Hi Anonymous,

You can absolutely apply after 12 months of first application. Just to give you an idea, I have applied for McK three times (every 12 months), and they have proceeded with my application every single time.

This time, make sure that you are addressing the feedback you have received from them.

Best of luck!

replied on May 21, 2017
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12-24 months depending on the office / recruiting cycle / your feedback. Your current results will not impact your reapplication

replied on Jul 04, 2018
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Hi A,

I agree, it’s absolutely possible to reapply 12-18 months later for the German office (that’s what I did!).

In addition to prepping cases a lot better and taking the feedback onboard, it can also make sense to supplement your profile with additional experience that will cover the traits you were lacking. So if you lacked structure, consider a structured environment experience for in-between - ie. do a cohorted banking internship program rather than a wacko startup summer job.

Hope this helps, good luck! :)

Marc replied on May 26, 2017
I have 50-60 cases under my belt. Practicing for my seconds rounds in French.

Think 'why me, why now' unfortunately at this stage MCK did not believe your profile to be a good profile at this stage.

This could be due to your academic background (IQ), the way you presented yourself in the interviews (EQ) or your case performance.

First things first: I wouldn't take it personnaly. I didn't even get invited for BCG London and I only got feedback by meeting the head of recruitment out of luck.

Second: Try to think of the interviews as a way to sell yourself. What you were selling fell short as such try to improve your value proposition. Do an industry internship or at another strategy company.

As for specific feedback on your performance keep pushing. They may say the don't have any but I guarantee you that they have it somewhere.

Best of luck!

replied on May 23, 2017
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You can apply within a year - I would start prepping 3-6 months before interviews though, just so you become more familiar with cases and like you said answer in a more structured way.

Good luck!

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