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Will previous applications to a company hurt my present chances?

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    Hi all,

    To start, I am applying to several consultancy firms this autumn and aside from not being a business grad/having a consulting internship, I think I'm otherwise a pretty good candidate. I have a first class degree from Oxford, an internship at Department of Business, and several university projects I've been involved in.

    However - I'm really worried that previous applications to certain firms will hurt my chances with them. My situation is a bit complicated - I basically applied to grad jobs/internships at firms last year (I just graduated) because I felt a lot of pressure from university and my social group to go into that career. At the time I had very little experience so wasn't really qualified, and also didn't have the motivation for it that I've now built up. So I applied anyway, but annoyingly the applications were wasted since I didn't have the credentials I do now and didn't really want the roles at the time - so all my applications were understandingly rejected or withdrawn by myself.

    I'm worried now that these failed applications are reflecting badly on my current applications. I have already been rejected by Deloitte, without invitation to online tests. I know there is so much competition and the reason may be that I'm not as good as I think I am, but I think objectively my qualifications and internship sounds quite good (please correct me if I'm wrong!!). The Oxford careers service was also very complimentary of my cover letter so I do feel as though I've got outside validation on my experiences being good enough? I've applied for a few other places last week and haven't been invited to tests yet - I know it's only a few days but I thought normally the invitations were pretty automatic once you'd passed basic criteria like degree?

    Would appreciate any advice! I've already applied to the big ones annoyingly so have less scope to offer an explanation for my previous applications in a cover letter etc.
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    I think companies will certainly factor in previous failed applications. A lot of Investment Banks demand that you apply using the same account as before, and even go as far as having algorithms that can detect duplicate accounts. I'm not sure if Big 4/Consulting is the same.

    That said, I don't think it would harm your chances unless you failed at the assessment centre or on the internship itself. If you got rejected based on your application then that's usually due to lack of preparation/experience, and both of these can easily be improved over a year.

    You should be fine.
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    The official line from HR always is that previous applications and interviews do not impact your next application and that it will be assessed independently. Whether this is true or not, I have no idea.

    Always find it suspicious though if they ask for dates you've previously interviewed on the application forms.

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