How to be a top performer as a junior consultant at MBB?

business analyst MBB performance
Neue Antwort am 11. Apr. 2023
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Anonym A fragte am 1. Apr. 2023

Hi everyone,

I'm a Junior Business Analyst at McKinsey (Asia office).

I just joined the Firm 2 months ago and am wondering, for such junior positions like myself, what do you think are the criteria/ commonly seen traits to become a top performer?

Thank you!!


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Content Creator
bearbeitete eine Antwort am 2. Apr. 2023
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

First of all, congratulations on starting at McKinsey!

I think this is an interesting question that may be relevant for many people. I would be happy to share my thoughts on it:

  • First of all, I think dividing the aspects into the areas of problem-solving, client, and team might be meaningful.
  • On the problem-solving dimension, I would highly advise you to focus on breaking down complex problems into smaller, manageable parts. Moreover, think and communicate in solutions, not in problems, and anticipate the next steps.
  • On the client dimension, I would advise you to focus on first establishing a smoothly working transactional relationship with your client counterparts. While most aim for establishing long-term, transformational client relationships right away, a lot of them forget that you first need to have a working transactional relationship before building upon it.
  • On the team dimension, I would highly advise you to wholeheartedly embrace teamwork, and show initiative and ownership. While the first ensures you properly connect within the whole team (i.e., including project managers and partners), the latter ensures you are seen as an expert on your work package, no matter how small it might be.
  • Lastly, please keep in mind that everyone has weaknesses and that it is the person who knows how to play his/her strengths, and not the person who eagerly tries to eliminate all weaknesses, that will be considered a high performer in the organization.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to address your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.




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Content Creator
antwortete am 2. Apr. 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Congratulations on the offer! In terms of your question:

Q: What do you think are the criteria/ commonly seen traits to become a top performer?

This is what I usually recommend for the initial months. You are probably already doing some of them but might be good to review:

  1. Take notes during meetings/discussions with your manager – this will help you to remember details and will show the team that you care.
  2. Always double-check. The first impression is very important when you join a new company: if you show you are reliable from the beginning, you will create a good reputation. Checks should be done on expectations for your job, your Excel analysis, your slides – basically everything.
  3. Define priorities before starting any set of tasks. You want to identify the most important activities and prioritize them, applying the 80-20 rule. Align with your manager to define them at the start of the project whenever possible.
  4. Socialize with your colleagues and start to build a network. A good start is key to develop good relationships long-term. Try to build connections in your first weeks with your peers to build a network.
  5. Align with your team on your private life activities. You might want to organize some space for personal activities (sport/ friends/ family). It is better to align with your manager/teammates from the beginning on your core needs so that there are no surprises later­ on.
  6. Ask for feedback every two-three weeks – this will show you are proactive and willing to learn.
  7. Ask for help when you don't know what to do – better to let know you are in trouble with meeting a deadline than missing the deadline.
  8. Be approachable and respectful to support staff – they are generally great people and influential in the company as well.



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Content Creator
antwortete am 4. Apr. 2023
#1 McKinsey Coach by rating & recommendation rate

Hi there, 

This is an excellent question!

And I love it because I almost got kicked out towards the end of my first year and then managed to turn things around and stay top quartile for the remaining four years at McKinsey. 

I distilled some of these learnings in two guides which you can read here:

But basically, I'd focus on the following:

  • Don’t stress about preparing for the job before actually starting it. At most, enroll in an Excel course. Otherwise, enjoy life, travel, and spend time with your friends and family. Your schedule is about to get packed really soon.
  • Take risks at the beginning. Nobody is going to fire you for the mistakes you make in the beginning. The first six-month evaluation usually does not matter by default, so your focus should be on trying to learn as much as possible about yourself, your work, and your firm.
  • Making everybody happy should not be your ultimate goal. To be able to do this work in the long run, identify your boundaries and preferences (e.g., working hours), make sure you stick to them, and politely communicate them to your team and manager.
  • Find people who can guide you. These can be more senior mentors – such as Partners and Senior Partners – but they can also be consultants that are two years more tenured than you. Aim to make these relationships as non-transactional as possible and try to think of them as a two-way street where you are both learning from each other.
  • Be open, flexible, and coachable. Show others that you are willing to learn, that you react to feedback and you are striving to get better. Compromise is an important element of progress in a corporate career, so your focus should be on things going your way most of the time, not all of the time.
  • Exercise critical thinking. At all times, strive to understand why you are doing what you are doing, why is the manager asking for a particular piece of work, how your work fits into the overall story of the project and do your conclusions make any sense considering the wider context of the engagement. The most successful entry-level consultants tend to be those that have the best understanding of the context of their workstream and beyond.

Best of luck!

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Content Creator
bearbeitete eine Antwort am 2. Apr. 2023
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Congrats for getting into such a competitive company!

First and foremost, please read this article!

This is my consulting survival guide and will help you succeed on the job.

IMPORTANTLY: Know that no-one can perfectly prepare for the job and that's the point: You will mess up, you will learn, you will be trained and supported. That's OK!

Here are some things you need to do/demonstrate:

Master technical skills: Develop strong analytical, problem-solving, and quantitative skills. Excel in using tools and software commonly used in consulting, such as Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and any relevant industry-specific software.

Be a fast learner: The consulting industry is fast-paced and ever-evolving. Be adaptable and willing to learn quickly to keep up with the latest trends, industry developments, and client needs.

Prioritize client focus: Always be attentive to the needs of your clients and strive to deliver exceptional value. Be proactive in identifying potential issues and provide well-thought-out solutions.

Develop strong communication skills: Effective communication is essential in consulting. Be clear, concise, and articulate in both written and verbal communication. Work on your presentation skills and practice active listening.

Build relationships: Foster strong relationships with your team members, managers, and clients. Be a team player and collaborate effectively with others. Networking within the firm and with clients will be invaluable for your career growth.

Time management and organization: Juggle multiple tasks and deadlines efficiently, and prioritize your workload effectively. Be proactive in managing your schedule and ensuring that you meet project deadlines without compromising quality.

Seek feedback and continuously improve: Actively seek feedback from your managers and team members, and use it to identify areas for improvement. Embrace a growth mindset, and continuously work on refining your skills and overcoming challenges.

Be resourceful and take initiative: Demonstrate the ability to think creatively and find innovative solutions to problems. Don't be afraid to take on new challenges and responsibilities, and always be ready to contribute beyond your assigned tasks.

Maintain a positive attitude: Be resilient and maintain a positive attitude, even when faced with setbacks or difficult situations. Stay professional and composed under pressure.

Demonstrate leadership potential: As you gain experience, show your potential for leadership by mentoring and supporting new team members, taking on additional responsibilities, and displaying confidence and competence in your work.

Be objective-driven: Always make sure that what you are proposing and/or doing is relevant to the case/project you are working on.

Leverage What You Learned When Casing to Thrive on the Job

Third: In terms of doing well in your role when you're there:

1) Understand the context/prompt (what role are you in, what company, who's watching, etc.)

2) Understand the objective (what, specifically, is expected from you...both day to day, and in your overall career progression)

3) Quickly process information, and focus on what's important - Take a lot of information and the unknown, find the most logical path, and focus on that.

4) Be comfortable with the unknown, and learn to brainstorm - think/speak like an expert without being one

In summary, there will always be a flood of information, expectations, competition etc. and not enough time. Find out which ones matter when. (i.e. be visibile and focus efforts on the things that people care about)


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antwortete am 1. Apr. 2023
FREE INTRO I exMcKinsey EM I exKearney consultant I High Success Rate I Official Coach for HEC (160 coachees in 2022/23)


First congratulations for your recent start at McKinsey.

As an EM at McKinsey, my expectations where the following :

1. Always make sure that you understand clearly what's expected from your EM/partner. Do not hesitate to ask clarification

2. Always raise you hand if you see that you are lost or you see that you won't be able to meet the deadline, it will allow your management to adapt / support you

3. Be proactive, propose solutions and not problems

4. Understand why your EM ask you to do something, it will help you to deliver a better work

5. Ask asap your EPR structure to understand what are the exact expectations

6. Ask for regular feedback, at least once every 2 weeks with your EM to correct your behavior

Hope this helps


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antwortete am 11. Apr. 2023
Former BCG Consultant | Startup Founder | Holistic approach to a successful application - cases & beyond | 10% discount


Congratulations on your new role!

To become a top performer, from my experience, it boils down to a few topics and traits: 

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills: Top performers are able to quickly analyze complex problems, break them down into smaller parts, and come up with creative solutions that address the root cause of the issue. If you have questions, go ahead and ask a colleague, but remember to always come with a few suggestions and not just ask for the answer.
  • Attention to detail: The ability to pay attention to the smallest details is critical in consulting, as even the smallest errors or omissions can have significant consequences for clients. Do your sanity and reality checks
  • Effective communication: Top performers are able to communicate their ideas and insights effectively and clearly to clients and team members, both verbally and in writing. 
  • Strong work ethic: Top performers are highly motivated and committed to delivering high-quality work on time, even under tight deadlines and pressure.
  • Continuous learning: Top performers are always looking for opportunities to learn and grow, whether it's through formal training programs or on-the-job experience.
  • Teamwork: Top performers are able to work effectively in a team environment, collaborating with colleagues from different backgrounds and skill sets to achieve common goals.
  • Client focus: Top performers prioritize the needs of their clients and are dedicated to delivering value and impact to their clients' organizations.

Remember, as a junior business analyst, it's important to seek out feedback and guidance from your more experienced colleagues to help you develop these traits and excel in your role. Good luck!

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antwortete am 2. Apr. 2023
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger |Former Head Recruiter | Market Sizing

Sense of ownership. Don't just do what you are told, but act as if you own the problem (i.e. be able to suggest how to solve problems, support other people, take initiative, communicate often when facing any issues, etc.)

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Content Creator
antwortete am 10. Apr. 2023
Ex McKinsey EM & interviewer (5 yrs) USA & UK| Coached / interviewed 300 +|Free 15 min intro| Stanford MBA|Non-trad

So as a JBA, the things that they're looking for are:

  1. Willing. Are you prepared to get stuck into things, give everything a go? 
  2. Reliability. Do you show up on time, deliver what you said that you'd deliver? Have you found out how to use the firm to bring in the support that you need when you need it? 
  3. Confidence. Will you give your ideas in the team room, challenge the thinking? 
  4. Problem solving. Are you able to deconstruct a problem and solve it? 
  5. Client relationships. Can you get on with clients and is the team able to leave you alone with them? 
  6. Analysis. Are you able to complete simple mathematical analyses? 

To begin with, focus on these. The rest will come later. 

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Content Creator
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years
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