Reapplying after 1st round of MBB interviews

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New answer on Dec 06, 2023
10 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 28, 2023

Hi everyone,

Earlier this year I was invited to two MBB interviews and unfortunately both times I did not make it past the first round of interviews.

I got constructive feedback, which I can work on and implement and I would be eager to reapply after enough time has passed, however, I am a bit unsure which level I would apply for.

I have completed my master's degree in 2021 and have already been working for 2 years in the financial industry, so I would have been an “older” hire as fellow/associate. If I would reapply after 12-24 months, I would already be working full-time close to 4 years. Would there be any possibilities to apply as a senior associate/consultant or would I need to have an MBA for these types of roles?

Looking forward to your feedback and your recommendations.

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Dennis
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replied on Nov 28, 2023
Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe

Hi there,

of course your suitable entry level at a consulting firm will be dependent on your prior experience. With close to 4 years of industry experience, you would no longer be considered for an entry-level consultant position but one or two steps higher (depending on the firm's specific role distribution). 

Your main selling point will then be relevant industry experience that you bring to the table and can use in your consulting job from Day 1. The higher the degree of relevance, the more comfortable the consulting firm will be to slot you in at a more senior level. 

In your case, joining the Financial Services practice at a consulting firm, for example, would probably be a scenario in which you could leverage your work experience quite a lot, especially when you have 4 years of that under your belt. 

So make sure you identify of the areas of the greatest fit when you apply in the future to make a compelling case as to why they should have you on their team.

Best of luck

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Cristian
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replied on Nov 30, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi!

Theoretically, you need 5y of work experience OR an MBA or a PhD to go straight for Associate (using the McK terminology here, where Business Analyst is entry-level and Associate is post-MBA). 

So, with 4y work experience, it's a borderline situation. Some offices also offer ‘in-between’ roles such as ‘Junior Associate’. It's best to discuss it directly with HR from your target office. They should give you an indication of what's best. 

Good luck!
Cristian

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Hagen
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updated an answer on Nov 30, 2023
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

First of all, I am sorry to hear about the rejections in the past!

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your situation:

  • First of all, it’s great to see your perseverance and commitment to working in the consulting industry.
  • Moreover, I would advise you not to ponder about the correct position too much as the recruiter will typically reallocate you if they think differently.
  • Lastly, given your 4 years of work experience, I would generally advise you to apply for a Consultant (BCG and Bain)/ Associate (McKinsey) position. However, if you want to know for certain, feel free to reach out to the recruiting teams before applying.

You can find more on this topic here: Salaries in the consulting industry.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare for your upcoming interviews, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

(edited)

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Benjamin
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replied on Nov 29, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hi,

Sharing a POV based on my time at BCG. For reference, here is the role progression and ‘normal’ tenure per role:

Associate (2 yrs, fresh graduate role) → Senior Associate (1 yr, not all geographies have this) → Consultant (2 yrs, post-MBA role) → Project Leader

Rule of thumb is <5 years working experience without an MBA you would come in maximum Senior Associate. Joining MBB as a lateral Project Leader/Manager is very rare for various reasons. In my region, I have seen people with ~8-10 years of working experience in industry join as a Consultant, maybe maximum Consultant2.

Hope this helps to clarify!

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Alberto
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replied on Nov 30, 2023
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Hi there,

MBB typically open Associate or Junior Associate positions (or equivalents) once you have 4-5 years of experience, regardless you have or not an MBA.

Double check with a recruiter or referral of your target office since this might change across geographies.

Best,

Alberto

Check out my latest case based on a real MBB interview: Sierra Springs

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Francesco
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replied on Nov 29, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Sorry to hear about the rejections. In terms of your question:

Q: If I would reapply after 12-24 months, I would already be working full-time close to 4 years. Would there be any possibilities to apply as a senior associate/consultant or would I need to have an MBA for these types of roles?

With less than 4 years of full-time experience, you should be able to apply for a Senior Analyst/Junior Associate (McKinsey) or a Senior Associate (BCG/Bain) role.

Best,

Francesco

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Ian
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replied on Nov 29, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Honestly, I would just ask them. The same people we spoke with and who told you to re-apply are the same ones you could reach out to.

Give what you're said you probably could swing a regular consultant role, but you may have to be a JC/SA rather than a full consultant.

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ALEXANDRE
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replied on Nov 30, 2023
FREE INTRO I exMcKinsey EM I exKearney consultant I High Success Rate I Official Coach for HEC (160 coachees in 2022/23)

Hi,

Indeed you could apply for a senior associate role, nevertheless is it the best strategy ? No sure of that. The most important is to be successful… for that it could be better to enter at a junior role to be evaluated as a junior, then if you re really good you will be fast tracked.

Cheers,

Alexandre

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Pedro
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replied on Nov 30, 2023
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | Market Sizing Expert | 30% discount in Feb & March

You will probably be considered an experienced (2nd year) associate when you apply again.

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Frederic
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replied on Dec 06, 2023
ex Jr. Partner McKinsey|Senior Interviewer|Real Feedback & Free Homework between sessions|Harvard Coach|10+ Experience

Yes you can apply as senior associate with 4 years without MBA. Warm regards, Freddy

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Dennis gave the best answer

Dennis

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Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe
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