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Reapplying to MBB - mention failure in cover letter?

MBB reapply
New answer on Oct 24, 2020
8 Answers
1.5 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Sep 30, 2020

Hi all,

I am reapplying to MBB after two years. I had been rejected from 2 of them after interview rounds, and been told to "reapply after six months" at McKinsey. At the time, I also got an offer from a T2 firm, which I have been working at ever since.

My question is - should I mention in the cover letter that I was rejected the first time around, and explain why I am reapplying? Or should I just write about my achievements at this T2 firm, without mentioning the previous rejection? (they will see it any way).

All of this knowing that cover letters don't matter much anyway :)

Thank you!

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Best answer
Ken
Expert
updated an answer on Oct 18, 2020
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

You've answered your own question :) I wouldn't mention your previous rejection in your application or interview. It's typical that candidates have applied more than once and so it's not a special circumstance that needs an explanation.

I've met many candidates in your shoes and so three thoughts/observations, in case you aren't already doing so:

1. Networking: I would re-connect with the previous recruiter, interviewers, and consultants who you made a meaingful connection with during your last selection process

2. Your "why MBB" story: you're already in consulting - why MBB beyond pure prestige, salary, etc. You many not neccessarily get asked but I think it's an important to have clarity as you go through the process and meet various people

3. Case and fit preparation: I appreciate the work is often not vastly different but I have met many consultants from other T1.5/2 firms who interview and are mediocre with the case and fit stories. There's a favourable assumption that you can most likely do the job but the bar is also naturally higher where as an interviewer you expect strong intrinsics, especially in atypical cases and challenging situations

(edited)

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Anonymous replied on Oct 01, 2020

Agree with the others. Approach this as a "clean sheet" application without any refernce to the previous one.

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 30, 2020
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /12 years recruiting experience

Hi,

No need to mention it they already know. However I will say 6 months is not nearly enough. I would wait at least 2 years and have a lot of new achievements to make them reconsider your application.

Best,

Udayan

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Anonymous replied on Oct 01, 2020

Hi,

Do showcase of your achievements you made from then to now, but you don't need to mention about the rejection at all.

Best,

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Mehdi
Expert
replied on Oct 03, 2020
BCG | Received offers from all MBB & Tier 1Firms | Supporting you secure your top tier consulting offer

Hi there,

Do not mention it, in any case HR would know that you are reapplying so there is no need to remind them of something they should already know.

Good luck.

Mehdi

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Robert
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 01, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Highlighting your previous application/rejection does not add any real value to your current application, so I'd not waste any space for that.

Since you were rejected previously, make sure to highlight exactly those achievements which covered your previous weaknesses!

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 24, 2020
#1 MBB Coach(Placed 750+ in MBBs & 1250+ in Tier2)| The Only 360 coach(Ex-McKinsey + Certified Coach + Active recruiter)

Hi A,

It is definitely better not to mention the fact that you've been rejected. You know they will see it anyway, so better focus on the positive side: your improvement, achievements, relevant experience that you gained while working at a tier 2 firm.

Demonstrate that you've become a good fit for the company.

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GB

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 03, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

No no, wasted space! Focus on the accomplishments and how great you are...not why they rejected you :)

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Ken gave the best answer

Ken

Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach
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