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Application application process Bain Bain & Company BCG Case Interview CV screening First Round MBB McKinsey personal experience interview recruiting
New answer on Aug 19, 2020
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 17, 2018

Hi everyone,

I am an advanced degree holder and I submitted my application to BCG and Bain for their junior generalist positions two months ago. Up till now, I still have not heard anything from those companies. Should I assume that my applications are rejected (aka "only shortlisted candidates will be notified") or does this slience have something to do with me applying off-season?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Best answer

Definitely follow up! Two months without hearing back is not a normal standard for any of the large consulting firms.

If you have other interviews or even already one (or more) offers, by all means let them know - so you can position it as "Hey, I have applied a while back but did not hear from you; meanwhile I got an offer from another firm, but would love to also talk to your firm if you want to invite me (...)". Getting the point?

Was this answer helpful? 10

I would interpret these non responses as rejections. However, as others said writing one polite follow up email would not hurt and clear your mind of any doubts. I would strongly advise against calling directly as that might be interpreted as a very aggressive move and people might associate your name to this for future applications.


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Hi Andrea, I respectfully disagree with the risk of calling to ask for feedback after 2 months. As mentioned I got an interview invitation (and then an offer) thanks to the fact that I called the office after several weeks of silence. I doubt I would have ever been called otherwise, as it sounded as the HR person saw my CV for the first time during the call, thus was clearly lost somewhere. Thus, based on my experience there is no risk calling HR to ask for information about your application after a 2-month period, and could actually be beneficially.


I agree with Francesco here. After two months, calling feels like a natural thing to do, and I can't see this being interpreted as agressive (might differ by culture though). Of course you need to do it in a very poilte, but also in a secure way.
I know offices where a list of callers is kept. Clearly your mileage might vary across cultures but I assume is safe to say that email is perceived as a more natural step rather than calling. Indeed usually HR contacts are published as emails rather than direct line office number.


Also, just think in terms of email allows the receiver
to answer when time is appropriate for them. A phone call disrupts the work flow of the day.


It very much depends on the country and the particular season. Two months seems a bit long. I would recommend you to call the office, ask for the HR responsible for generalist hiring and check the status with her.

Alternatively, you can ask your friends working in these companies to check whats going on.


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Originally answered question:

Do Consultancies usually decline applications?

Hi Christoph,

Top tier firms do inform candidates when they are not going forward with their recruitment process. This is done via an ‘automatic’ email notification if in the pre-interview phase (timing can vary by firm and time of the year – when HR are busy it will take longer to screen your application) and generally via phone (with a quick feedback) if in the case interview phase.
Smaller firms/boutiques tend to have less structured/organized processes so that their response can take longer or never arrive:) .

In any case, if you still haven’t heard from them after a while you can always follow up with the HR team (but always remember to act professionally and never sound ‘desperate’ :)).

As an additional comment, applying to 40 firms at the same time seems like a big number to me. My recommendation would be to try to be selective at the beginning and target only those firms at the top of your list: submitting a strong application and networking with your target firm can take a lot of time. Hence is better to focus your effort on a limited selection of firms (this will result in a better preparation). If your top list does not work out, you can later expand list to your top 2 and later top 3 preferences.

Best of luck,



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Hi Anonymous,

this is quite unusual. I agree with Vlad that you should call to verify with the office for the next steps (if you cannot connect with that recruiter, I would ask for someone else as alternative). Since they wrote you a formal confirmation that you are going to have an interview, it’s extremely unlikely that this is not going to take place. Background checks are normally done afterwards, thus this it is not likely to be the reason either - more likely they want to delay the recruiting process for internal reasons.


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Originally answered question:

Should I wait or should I call?

I agree with Vlad, no harm in reaching out (politely of course). The timeline can be long if you apply outside of the normal recruiting calendar. I'll give you just one example: I had applied in late January as an experience hire; BCG contacted me back in early March, for a first round in early April - and I think my second round ended up being in late May. Then in early June I was told they liked me but I'd need to wait a year since the office was at capacity. I eventually received a firm, written offer in late November for an early March (of the next year) start date!

Of course you also have folks whose whole process (from application to offer) takes under a month. That's why you need to start your prep long before even applying!

Good luck!


Ex-BCG Dallas

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Hey there,

This depends:

1) if you are applying as part of "fall recruiting / undergraduate recruiting for an office, interviews are likely conducted all at the same time, 2-4 weeks after applications close. Therefore, what matters is the deadline vs. the actual time of submission. If you applied 2 months before the deadline, you may have to wait 3 months to interview. (This is true for London and other offices, but may be different for some specific offices which I am not aware of).

2) If you are applying for a position being recruited year-round, interviews typicially occur 1-2 weeks after submission. However, again, this can vary. A friend of mine who applied (and got an offer) from McKinsey Italy told me the entire process took almost 6 months!!

Best way to know for sure is to contact the recruiting/HR of the office you are applying for to ask when you can expect to hear back. Instead of seeming restless, frame it as "I have other interviews/travel outside of the country planned so want to make sure it won't overlap with any potential interviews.

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Hi A,

No worries, typical recruitment process depends on a season and projects needs. Recruiters are active in autumn and spring. If you pass the test in one of the seasons, then it's highly likely that the interview will be in 2 weeks or 3 weeks max. As for a last round interview, the gap may take up to 2 weeks.

It should be noted that all recruiters are people and they might be flexible with the schedule, thus you can negotiate best time for you.

As for the consultants who interview you:

  1. If you apply for a mid/senior position, managers or principals will interview you in the 1st round; partners - in the second round (up to 6 interviews altogether). All interviewers have dedicated time for interviews, as Firm needs new consultants.Partners normally work 8-10 h a day.
  2. If you apply for intern - associates and managers interview you (3 interviews altogether).

Hope it was helpful.

Kind regards,

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Dear Anonymous A,

Just wanted to chime in with a data point: in my case, it took me about three weeks after application submission to receive my invitation to first round interviews at BCG.

That said, I do agree that responses (both invitations and rejections) from the top firms are sent out fairly quickly.

Good luck! :-)

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nothing to worry about - how fast consultancies get back to you depends on the pile of applications they have built up. At times, that pile is simply too large to get back to applicants within a few days. I'd say, it normally takes around two weeks, but it may take longer to get back in selected cases. However, I don't think there is a particular pattern, when it comes to the question whether they are going to invite you or not (in fact, it should be easier to send out an automated rejection email than to call you to invite you for an interview).

So, even if it hard, just be patient. They will get back to you eventually. It may make sense to get in touch after around four weeks, just to clarify, whether they received your application.

Hope this helps.

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Originally answered question:

What about the silence?

You said the induction program was two months ago, but you didn't give a timeframe for the subsequent interactions. Depending on when you were informed on about your first round interview, there may not be an issue. However, since it tomorrow is November 1, I suspect you do have an issue.

Vlad is right that the interviewers are the most crucial part of the equation here. However, you haven't made it that far yet! Right now, HR is your only point of contact and controls the schedule as far as you are concerned. In reality, there may be more going on behind the scenes. So, the only option at your disposal right now is to reach back out to HR (if you haven't done so in the past week or so). Obviously if you had "new news" (e.g., another offer), that would greatly improve your chances of accerlerating the process, if they haven't dismissed your case altogether.

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Originally answered question:

What about the silence?

You should carry on preping and email to follow up with HR.

However, generally silence isn't a good sign for Bain. In my case, when I didn't pass to next round they just stay quite.

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Not very professional if you ask me. If I didn't meet their expectations then why didn't they just send some sort of "We regret to inform" kind of response?


Dear A,

I would recommend you to follow up with HR. 2 months is quite long.


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Mine was 30 mins approximately.

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Hi! Did you finally hear back from all of the consulting firms? How did you apply (referall/firm website/job search website)? If you've already had any interviews, any advice would be great! I am planning to apply to consulting firms here in Germany in September and am looking for any advice I can get :)

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Sidi gave the best answer


McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 270+ candidates secure MBB offers
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