- In the case mentioned above, is the waiting period extended? Yes
- In general, is the waiting period enforced only on applicants who went through the recruiting process? Or does it apply to applicants who have been rejected at the screening stage as well? Waiting period applies to any rejections independently from the step in the recruiting process
As you correctly pointed out, MBB have a rule called ‘reject re-apply’. As a consequence, they will not even consider your profile for a period of ~1.5/2 years after a rejection (this applies to both pre-interview and post-interview rejections).
What to do if you got a rejection?
If you haven’t done it already, apply to the other consulting firms.If you do not land an offer in consulting now well that is not a big deal there are so many other interesting things you can do!
How to re-apply?
First of all, you should get some professional experience in the industry and if you really want to try it again you can re-apply after ~1.5/2 years (I know many successful candidates who have done that). In that case, it would be important to show a professional growth in the meantime.
Calling HR typically doesn't make a lot of sense, they get these calls all the time and you waste their time and risk sounding desperate. You could mention about your rejection (or not mention it at all) in the cover letter by explaining that you applied before, how you improved since and why you want to try again.
A very important point: a lot of candidates want the job a little too much which can come across as desperate. Make sure you do not fall into that category (show great interest in consulting but at the same time make it clear that you have an alternative sound professional plan).
To wrap it up – wait ~1.5/2 years and why not give it a second try? But be prepared in case that does not work out.