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Questions regarding the waiting period after a MBB application

Nabil (Bill)

Hello everyone,

I hope I find you well.

I have two questions regarding the 6 months/1.5 year/2 year waiting period that MBBs enforce on applicants who have come up short in their interview process. Specifically regarding the case of applicants who have served their "sentence" (for a lack of a better word), reapplied and have been rejected at the screening stage.

  1. In the case mentioned above, is the waiting period extended? Or should applicants reapply after fine-tuning their application. Bear in mind that I am talking about applicants who worked on their profiles to cover the weaknesses mentioned in their HR debrief during their first application.
  2. 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?

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my question.

Kind regards.

(edited)

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Jacopo
Expert
replied on 11/29/2017
Ex Bain and A.T. Kearney (7 years in consulting) / 200+ real interviews / Landed all Big 3 offers

Hi Nabil,

  1. In the case mentioned above, is the waiting period extended? Yes
  2. 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.

Good luck!

Jacopo

(edited)

Francesco replied on 11/30/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (1000+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Nabil,

Thanks for clarifying the situation. First of all, I want to clarify: you should not at all manipulate your credential – just put some (correct) information that will not lead you to be automatically rejected by a software that could be in place, so far that you have to apply online. Then you have a chance to be actually assessed by HR (which will always have on track your past application). You cannot (and should not) try to hide your previous applications from HR.

I would say your plan should work – even without the MBA, the right referral could allow you to move to interviews after the waiting time required for your second application. You will of course have to clarify why you got rejected twice and have a solid answer for that. To properly apply such a plan, you would need to:

  • Understand the reasons for the second rejection
  • Before the next application, ask your referral to have an informal talk with HR, to understand whether he/she feels you are ok for reapplying. If you get negative feedback, work on the new inputs before proceeding with the third application

Finally, assuming your final goal is MBB, as Jacopo mentioned, you could apply to Bain and BCG as well in the meantime.

Best,

Francesco

(edited)

Nabil (Bill) replied on 11/30/2017

Hi Francesco,

Thank you very much for the reply and for confirming Jacopo's input.

I admit that the prospect of being permanently blacklisted just for reapplying is spine-chilling. I was aware of how stringent MBBs are with their standards but this really puts things into perspective.

To give further details regarding my situation:

  • I initially applied to McKinsey in March 2015 and gotten an interview invite in April of that year. Due to arrogance and lack of prep on my end (I cannot insist enough on the fact that I was completely at fault here), I naturally bombed the interview.
  • I took a gap year focusing primarily on the weaknesses that were highlighted during my HR review, invested a considerable amount of time preparing for case interviews on PrepLounge and offline and networked with consultants and HR reps from my target office.
  • I reapplied in February 2017, a little bit over the 1.5 year mark, and, unfortunately, I was rejected at the screening stage.
  • Academically, I do come for the primary target school that my preferred office hires from.

I honestly want to consider the option of fiddling around with my credentials as a last, last, last resort (I'm not too keen on using such tricks) but do you think that after spending a few years in a consulting role at a tier 2 firm/specialized boutique and potentially going for an MBA at a top 10 B-school (on top of the referral), they might consider my application? Or should I consider my situation a case closed and put the matter to bed permanently?

Thanks.

Francesco replied on 11/30/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (1000+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Nabil,

I agree with Jacopo. It could also be that after two applications your application will be automatically blacklisted for a longer period of time (potentially forever, without a good referral).

So far that after the waiting period you are applying online for the third time, the following are some hacks that could help:

  • Use a different email address/phone number
  • Use your nickname, instead of the full name
  • Apply to a different country

There is no guarantee these methods will help, but could reduce the risk to be automatically rejected when reapplying after the second time.

Best,

Francesco

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