If at first you don't succeed, try again? But what if you fail again?

BluesHill's picture
Rank: Baboon | 139

Last year, after my sophomore year of college (I had junior standing and could have graduated this year), I interviewed with a BB for an SA position, made it to the superday, and due to inadequate prep on my part, really screwed up, and didn't get the offer.

This year (I decided to stay in college for 4 years instead of 3), I made it to the same BB's superday via the same first round recruiter, spoke to the same set of people at the superday (pretty much), was far better prepared, and still didn't get an offer.

I ended up getting an offer from another BB, which is arguably better in the field, but I am still really curious about why this may have happened - i.e. being invited to the superday twice, and being twice rejected, despite having a much stronger resume (VC work experience this year, versus virtually nothing last year, plus a solid year's worth of preparation for the interview process), nailing pretty much every technical question (except for one...but I was humble enough to ask for how to approach it). To top it off, many of the bankers really liked me (many came up to me personally and said they were really happy to see me again etc), plus a close friend analyst at the bank was strongly recommending me.

Any opinions from people who have been on the other side of the table? Also, given the double rejection, coupled with "we had a really strong pool of applicants this year", does this mar my chances of ever potentially working for this banking team in the future? I would prefer minimal to no opinions from high school students/college kids without real insight into IB recruitment...

Comments (15)

Apr 6, 2009
PoBoy:

Last year, after my sophomore year of college (I had junior standing and could have graduated this year), I interviewed with a BB for an SA position, made it to the superday, and due to inadequate prep on my part, really screwed up, and didn't get the offer.

This year (I decided to stay in college for 4 years instead of 3), I made it to the same BB's superday via the same first round recruiter, spoke to the same set of people at the superday (pretty much), was far better prepared, and still didn't get an offer.

I ended up getting an offer from another BB, which is arguably better in the field, but I am still really curious about why this may have happened - i.e. being invited to the superday twice, and being twice rejected, despite having a much stronger resume (VC work experience this year, versus virtually nothing last year, plus a solid year's worth of preparation for the interview process), nailing pretty much every technical question (except for one...but I was humble enough to ask for how to approach it). To top it off, many of the bankers really liked me (many came up to me personally and said they were really happy to see me again etc), plus a close friend analyst at the bank was strongly recommending me.

Any opinions from people who have been on the other side of the table? Also, given the double rejection, coupled with "we had a really strong pool of applicants this year", does this mar my chances of ever potentially working for this banking team in the future? I would prefer minimal to no opinions from high school students/college kids without real insight into IB recruitment...

Dude... not to be a dick or anything, but they rejected you twice over now. Why would you want to work for these people??? On another note, I get that they came up to you and said they were happy to see you, but isn't it obvious that they really didn't care??? That maybe, just maybe, they didn't really like you at all? I'm sorry dude, but just look forward to the offer you have now and be done with said bank/group. GL this summer!

Apr 6, 2009

Limited offer spots. Maybe they liked you this time around, but they didn't like you as much as they liked the people they offered the job to.

Whether it marred your future opportunities will depend on whether they actually liked you or not.

Apr 6, 2009

If you have an offer from another BB, what's the problem ? Maybe the other BB just liked the other candidates better and/or they were more qualified than you.

Apr 6, 2009

If you got an offer then you didn't actually "fail." What's the issue here?

The interview job hunt process is pretty random, don't read too deeply into it.

Apr 6, 2009

On one of my superdays, I met a guy from my school who was doing the same thing as you. This kid didn't get an offer last year and he didn't get one this year either. I don't know if they look upon it too favorably. They said hi and recognized him and acted like they were happy to see him again but it seemed incredibly fake to me. He might have sucked but I think if you get a no, trying again doesn't help even if you are better prepared.

Anyways, congrats on your offer. You are one of the lucky ones.

Apr 6, 2009

You weren't the 1 or 2 people they hired from your school. Big deal.

It's a lot of luck anyway. Here's a real-world recruiting story to illustrate that point:

At prestigious bank in NY (think GS, BX, Moco, etc.), an MD has a stack of resumes of potential candidates to interview. The analyst comes into the office to go over the list. He sees the MD take the first half of the resume stack and throw it into the trashcan. When asked why he did that, the MD responds: "I don't want unlucky motherf*ckers working here."

Apr 6, 2009
Classic:

At prestigious bank in NY (think GS, BX, Moco, etc.), an MD has a stack of resumes of potential candidates to interview. The analyst comes into the office to go over the list. He sees the MD take the first half of the resume stack and throw it into the trashcan. When asked why he did that, the MD responds: "I don't want unlucky motherf*ckers working here."

^Good Stuff

Apr 6, 2009

I had the same thing @ Accenture, interviewed for SA and then their FT programme! Got rejected twice but then it was always my backup!

Apr 6, 2009

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it." W.C. Fields

Apr 6, 2009

I wouldn't think too deeply into it. Recruiting isn't a science (it's far from it, especially now), so if you didn't get an offer from them, it could be for so many other reasons that you had no control over. Fortunately, you did get an offer, so go out and celebrate! You got what many people would kill for.

Apr 7, 2009

Classic - I heard the same exact story from a colleague.

Are you still an undergrad?

Apr 7, 2009

Thanks for the feedback, people. I'm not too concerned about the rejection - just curious. If there is something I could correct in the future, I am ever willing to learn. Anyway, I am pretty sure I fit in better with the group that gave me the offer.

LMG - Yes, I am. Why do you ask?

Apr 7, 2009

If you wanna know if you did something in the interview that screwed you, do you think we'll be able to answer it for you? You're probably better off asking your interviewers for feedback, not us.

Apr 7, 2009
jimbrowngoU:

If you wanna know if you did something in the interview that screwed you, do you think we'll be able to answer it for you? You're probably better off asking your interviewers for feedback, not us.

jim - sorry, that was bad phrasing on my part. My question was essentially answered in the previous posts, but to clarify: I was just polling WSO to see what the bank's general reasoning could have been. The feedback I got from the interviewer was that the applicant pool was "really competitive this year", that I should "keep in touch", and that he hoped to "see me at FT recruiting in the fall".

Apr 7, 2009
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