Recieved reject letter - can I reapply through referral?

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New answer on Feb 28, 2021
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Anonymous A asked on May 05, 2020

I'm curious about how consulting firms decide who to interview. Is it purely the HR department, or is it senior managers? I have applied to multiple companies without a referral, and were rejected by a few. Does it help if I reapply through referrals after getting a reject letter? Or, will I have to wait 1-2 years due to the ban? Thanks.

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Emily
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updated an answer on May 06, 2020
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University

Hi,

The process is: HR initial CV screening --> Recruiting team CV screening by senior consultant / project leaders (after this step, invitation for interviews are to be sent out) --> 1st round interview by project leader or principals --> 2nd round interview by principals or partners --> final round by partners (some office doesn't this, in which case 2nd round would be the final round).

Referral is always better. Esp if you can get a senior personal e.g. partner to refer you then very likely you would get interviewed. That said, be frank and tell the person about your prior rejection and see how he/she can best help you to proceed. There is usually a ban for up to 2 year for reapplication. Don't let him/her get caught by surprise.

Best,

Emily

(edited)

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Clara
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replied on May 05, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

It depends:

  • The "usual" recruiting (i.e., screening the CVs that come over the webpage, etc.) is done by HR. Particularly, HR in MBBs is split between:
    • Recruiting: precisely these people, in charge of screening the CVs, organizing career events, orchestrating interviews, etc.
    • Staffing: for hired consultants already, deciding/helping in projects allocation, etc.
  • There are some exceptions, such as:
    • Recruiting events: where consultants go themselves. Sometimes they do the screening.
    • Referrals: that consist basically in one of the consultants passing the CV to HR -there are different mechanisms for this- to be considered for interviewing.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Anton
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replied on May 07, 2020
FREE 1st session in November | From Lawyer to MBB | Top in FIT | 10x your structuring skills | Message to get Free Prep Checklist

Hi,

Depends on the firm/ office. I know a few cases, when candidates could reapply within 3 months after rejection. These candidates were referred by head of practice (partner).

Though usually you would still need time to acquire the right skills and it takes time.

Best,

Anton

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Anonymous replied on May 06, 2020

Dear A,

Applying again through the referral doesn't make sense within the next 12-18 months, when your profile is frozen. However, afterwards, I would recommend you to re-apply only through the referral. As for now, just focus on the other firms.


Best,

André

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Thomas
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replied on May 05, 2020
150+ interviews | 5+ years experience | Kearney & Accenture | Sold consulting startup| London Business School

Screening can either be done HR or, in case of campus recruitment, by consultants and senior leaders. Reapplying to a referral is possible, but it will come up in the system. The firms usually follow a ban, but it nothing prevents you from trying.

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Ian
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replied on May 06, 2020
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Ideally you would have applied the first time with a referral, but in this case I would say try and get senior-level referrals. If you can't, then wait a year.

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Luca
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replied on May 05, 2020
BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score

Hello,

Consulting firms delegate the CV screening and interviews invitation to HR staff. There are specific criteria agreed with senior management but they are not actively involved in that phase. On the opposite, once that you start the process, only interviewers will be responsible of your outcome.
If you got rejected during the CV screening your BAN should be shorter, but it would be really difficult (and not coherent) to be reconsidered before getting new experiences. Of course a referral could help, and the more senior is the consultant doing the referral, the more increase your chances of being reconsidered.

Best,
Luca

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Anonymous replied on May 05, 2020

Hi there,

Consulting companies typically have an HR department that does an initial screening based on a pre-selected criteria (target school, grades, previous relevant experience). Then, some companies will apply another screening by project managers and senior consultant based on the CV content and relevant experience. (e.g. HR might fitler in a CV that has good grades, however the PM might reject it is not tailored to consulting)

Regarding the rejection, highly unlikely to reapply before another 1 to 1.5 years - Very difficult to get a referral to bypass this rule, unless it is from a partner.

In case you have any questions regarding specific CV tips, feel free to reach out.

Best regards,

Khaled

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Francesco
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replied on May 06, 2020
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Hi there,

normally after a rejection you have a ban of 1 or 2 years. The only case where a referral could help in your situation is if it comes from a senior position (eg partner); however there are no guarantees also in this case and as mentioned by Emily you should explain upfront you have already been rejected before.

Best,

Francesco

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Vlad
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replied on May 06, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Usually no, since you have a reject in the system. In those cases, even referral will not help. However, as usual, there might be exceptions:

  • The person referring you talks to HR
  • You are invited via case competition, recruiting events, etc
  • Partner refers you

Best

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Gaurav
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replied on Feb 28, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there!

Sorry to hear about that! However, rejection is also an experience. Use the time given to significantly upgrade your profile and to maximize your chances next year!

- Relevant work experience. Have you applied somewhere else? Tier 2 consulting firms could be a great start and give you the needed experience that would be of great advantage in the future and make you a better fit for the desired company.

- Preparation. Solve different types of cases, prepare for the fit part carefully, improve your feeling of confidence.

- Networking. I would strongly recommend finding some contacts within the targeted firm to understand how it is from the inside, have a better idea of your position here in the future.

Maybe even think of the guidance of an experienced coach.

Do you need any further help?

​Good luck!

​GB

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Emily gave the best answer

Emily

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BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University
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