Application Strategy - Tier 1 or Tier 2 first?

Application
New answer on Jan 13, 2020
5 Answers
893 Views
Markus
Premium
Certified
asked on Jan 11, 2020

Hello community,

I have a question regarding the application order for applications for Tier 1 and Tier 2 consulting companies. The preference would be to work at a Tier 1 consulting company. However, would it be useful to first apply to Tier 2 to get a feeling of the real interviews and applications days and some "practice" before applying to Tier 1 companies.

Best regards

Markus

(edited)

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Jan 11, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Markus,

if you don't have a strict deadline to respect, I believe applying first to some Tier 2 (in particular those less interesting for you) is a good strategy for a couple of reasons:

  • It allows to do some practice, avoiding to have your top companies as first interviews (a regret many candidates share)
  • If you get an offer, it allows to shorten the process with Tier 1 (in my case having first an Oliver Wyman offer allowed to speed up the process significantly with MBB)
  • If you get an offer, it allows to have more confidence during the Tier 1 interviews, since you know you have a backup.

Best,
Francesco

(edited)

Was this answer helpful?
Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 12, 2020
BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score

Hello Markus,

I would suggest to apply for all of them as soon as you can. you should consider the following point:

  • Once that HR contacts you, you can ask to postpone the first round because you want to refine your preparation.
  • It's important, as you were suggesting, to practice with some real interviews before starting the process with Tier-1
  • You can negotiate the date of the 2nd round according to your needs. They will try to push you but you should not worry: first of all they want you to do interview, so you are in a position of strength
  • You can leverage on an offer from tier-2 to accelerate the process of a tier-1 company

The perfect agenda would be to have Round 1 of Tier-2 --> Round 1 of Tier-1 --> Round 2 of Tier-2 --> Round 2 of Tier-1.

Feel free to write me for any needs,
Luca

Was this answer helpful?
Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 11, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi Markus,
I would apply for every Tier1&2 now and when you get interviews scheduled you can think about the strategy. Unfortunately, every firm has different time of answers in this period, therefore the only risk to not apply is to wait for interviews already ready for cases.

Hope it helps,
Antonello

Was this answer helpful?
Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Jan 11, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

In theory Tier 2 is best to start with. However, in reality, you can not manage application turnaround time and it can play in any way. There are so many things under your control (response times, interview slots, etc) so that I would not overengineer

Best

(edited)

Was this answer helpful?
Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 13, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

If you feel you are about to be ready, I would apply to all of them asap -you never know how many weeks they can take to come back to you-.

Then, when they start coming back to you, I would try to push back the Tier1 ones you are most interested in, to get some real practice before those. HR will always pose problems, but interviews can really be pushed back (experience talking here)

Good luck!

Cheers,

Clara

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

Content Creator
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching
3,650
Meetings
20,665
Q&A Upvotes
237
Awards
1358 Reviews