Are there differences between BA/Associate and A/C interviews?

Case Interview Prep MBB
New answer on May 12, 2020
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Apr 10, 2020

For some context, last year I went through an MBB interview process (experienced hire). I was considered for a BA/A position and interviewed that way (in the end, did not succeed). I've reached out again this year and was able to secure an interview, this time for the A/C position (at a weird spot with 3.5 years of work experience).

Are there material differences in the interview process between the two positions (e.g. harder cases, different material/questions, higher bar)? Would be great to know, such that I can adjust my preparation process this time around.

Thank you!

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Luca
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replied on Apr 10, 2020
BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score

Hello,

The interviews are substantially the same but the bar will be higher. The only significant differences that you could face are the following:

  • Focus on the fit interview: applying as an experienced hire they expect that you are ready to deal with clientsand to represent the company in the right way. They will spend more time on the fit part, trying to challenge you a bit.
  • Business knowledge expectations: be careful to be informed on the key figures of the industry/practice you will apply for. As experienced hire, they will expect that you have a wide knowledge of the specific business that you worked for.

Feel free to tect me if you want to discuss this further,

Luca

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Iman
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replied on Apr 12, 2020
BCG | Strategy& |Roland Berger | Interviewed >100 candidates in formal hiring process

The questions are essentially the same but the standard to pass will be higher. You will also expected to demonstrate stronger busines acumen, communication skill and leadership as an experienced candidate.

So I suggest to put enough time on your fit interview preparation on top of your case interview preparation.

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Clara
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updated an answer on Apr 10, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Congrats on the interview, it´s not so easy to obtain these days!

To your question:

  • Operationally, both interviews are the same:
    • Interviews: 2 rounds of 2 people, 1h long each approx
    • Structure:
      • FIT
      • Business Case
      • Q&A
    • Interviewers: sernior associates or engagement managers
  • However, it´s true that they will be looking for differen things between BAs and Associates:
    • FIT part will be more relevant for associates, since they have more and more relevant work experience to share, in which they need to demostrate more
    • Bar will be higher for associates

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

(edited)

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Emily
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replied on Apr 11, 2020
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University

Hi there,

Speaking from my own experience as BCG interviewer, I used the same case materials for BA/A and A/C interviews. The evaluation dimensions set by the firm are the same also.

What is different are the bars I would hold for BA/A vs A/C. For sure with A/C my bar is higher. For some small mistakes BA/A candidates make I might still pass them to the next round if they did well in other parts of the interview, given their lack of real work experience; but I would be less tolerant with A/C candidates making the same mistakes. I would also expect better business acumen from A/C compared to BA/A.

Hope that helps to clarify.

Best,

Emily

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Francesco
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replied on May 01, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi there,

the interview process is exactly the same. The main difference is that the bar will be higher. The interviewer will expect for example:

  • Fit stories related to your work experience showing more clearly leadership / teamwork / drive / impact
  • Less mistakes in general in solving the case

If you are applying for a specific practice they will also check you knowledge in that field.

Best,

Francesco

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Anonymous replied on May 12, 2020

Dear A,

Yes, there are some differences, while the formats stays the same. Most probably you will have more experience, more senior counterparts, who are your interviewers, and the cases might become more difficult.

In addition to that, the overall bar be higher for a BA/A position. Lastly, I have helped multiple experience hires getting into MBB and other top consulting firms.

If you need any help, just drop me a line.

Good luck,

André

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Ian
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replied on May 12, 2020
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

It's the same but different :)

You absolutely should be preparing the same way regardless - no need to change anything.

However, you are tested against higher standards, and you are expected to do better. The table stakes are higher (i.e. for an Associate they might be lenient in you actually knowing how to completely structure a case, but as a Consultant you need to know what's happening).

Additionally, you have a lot more experience than and Associate, so there's a higher level of expectations in this regard! You should have compelling "stories" for your FIT questions. You should be able to talk like an expert about your field. You should generally know how to handle yourself professionally.

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Antonello
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replied on Apr 30, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, the process is comparable. The valuation grid instead will be slightly different. From more experienced candidates they expect more maturity in top-down communication and problem solving structuring and they will highly stress the fit interview

Best,
Antonello

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Luca gave the best answer

Luca

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BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score
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