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Gaurav

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4

Difference in what Bain is looking for versus what McKinsey and BCG are looking for

Hello there,

I understand that in terms of cases, all 3 firms look for the same thing. For the fit part, I heard that Bain differs from the other 2 in 4 ways:

1. less focus on PEI-type questions, and when they are asked, there is a high probability that they are of the hypothetical kind ("What would you do if...?")
2. more focused on your motivation, not only for consulting and Bain, but also your motivation for pursuing previous experiences (candidates have to look at their CV and think 'why')
3. more conversational so answers should be shorter compared to BCG (with McK PEI obviously being longer)
4. more important to show off your personality such as what are your interests and hobbies, what drives you, what are your values

How true are these statements in reality?

Thank you!

Hello there,

I understand that in terms of cases, all 3 firms look for the same thing. For the fit part, I heard that Bain differs from the other 2 in 4 ways:

1. less focus on PEI-type questions, and when they are asked, there is a high probability that they are of the hypothetical kind ("What would you do if...?")
2. more focused on your motivation, not only for consulting and Bain, but also your motivation for pursuing previous experiences (candidates have to look at their CV and think 'why')
3. more conversational so answers should be shorter compared to BCG (with McK PEI obviously being longer)
4. more important to show off your personality such as what are your interests and hobbies, what drives you, what are your values

How true are these statements in reality?

Thank you!

(edited)

4 answers

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Book a coaching with Gaurav

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Hi there,

Generally speaking, they all are looking for all the same in a candidate:

  • solving the case that shows your thinking, problem-solving, logical skills
  • your FIT to the company, the kind of person you are that might do well in a team, be friendly but hardworking, work well under pressure, etc.

The small nuances you've mentioned are due to slightly different companies' culture and values - e.g., Mckinsey is considered to be more traditional in its approaches, whereas Bain's culture is more "buddy-like

These differences exist, but I would say that the MBB interview preparation is the same for each firm.

Regarding the differences between the companies, you can check this preplounge thread :

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/what-is-the-difference-between-mck-bcg-and-bain-so-called-mbb-firms-168

Hope that helps!

Cheers,

GB

Hi there,

Generally speaking, they all are looking for all the same in a candidate:

  • solving the case that shows your thinking, problem-solving, logical skills
  • your FIT to the company, the kind of person you are that might do well in a team, be friendly but hardworking, work well under pressure, etc.

The small nuances you've mentioned are due to slightly different companies' culture and values - e.g., Mckinsey is considered to be more traditional in its approaches, whereas Bain's culture is more "buddy-like

These differences exist, but I would say that the MBB interview preparation is the same for each firm.

Regarding the differences between the companies, you can check this preplounge thread :

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/what-is-the-difference-between-mck-bcg-and-bain-so-called-mbb-firms-168

Hope that helps!

Cheers,

GB

(edited)

Book a coaching with Florian

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Hey there,

While all three are looking for the same traits in a candidate, their evaluation works a bit differently.

The biggest difference is in McK vs. the other two. McKinsey uses

  • interviewer-led case format
  • the PEI

I would recommend preparing differently for both types of interviews (other than what is often recommended here...).

To your questions:

1. No high probability. Could be part of it since the format is much freer and the interviewer has more leeway, it would still be focused on things that actually happened.
2. Yes

3. Shorter compared to McK; still, when delivering your answer, tailor them and communicate them top-down

4. Yes!

Bain and BCG are relatively similar and the interviews there are much less standardized compared to McK (you can even experience the good cop, bad cop interviewer switch, etc...)

Fingers crossed!

Florian

Hey there,

While all three are looking for the same traits in a candidate, their evaluation works a bit differently.

The biggest difference is in McK vs. the other two. McKinsey uses

  • interviewer-led case format
  • the PEI

I would recommend preparing differently for both types of interviews (other than what is often recommended here...).

To your questions:

1. No high probability. Could be part of it since the format is much freer and the interviewer has more leeway, it would still be focused on things that actually happened.
2. Yes

3. Shorter compared to McK; still, when delivering your answer, tailor them and communicate them top-down

4. Yes!

Bain and BCG are relatively similar and the interviews there are much less standardized compared to McK (you can even experience the good cop, bad cop interviewer switch, etc...)

Fingers crossed!

Florian

(edited)

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Hi there,

I wouldn't overthink this too much. All 3 are fundamentally looking to see whether you can think+communicate in a clear+structured way, whether you can solve problems and make reasonable insights, whether you're coachable and likeable, etc. etc.

Fundamentally, are you smart + capable + driven + likeable.

Worrying about specifics tends to lead to sub-optimal allocation of time+energy. That said, Bain is known to be a bit more chart heavy, and, of course, more focused on the PE/VC/DD space.

Hi there,

I wouldn't overthink this too much. All 3 are fundamentally looking to see whether you can think+communicate in a clear+structured way, whether you can solve problems and make reasonable insights, whether you're coachable and likeable, etc. etc.

Fundamentally, are you smart + capable + driven + likeable.

Worrying about specifics tends to lead to sub-optimal allocation of time+energy. That said, Bain is known to be a bit more chart heavy, and, of course, more focused on the PE/VC/DD space.

Book a coaching with Clara

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Hello!

First of all, differences and nuances are very small, and also dependent on each interviewer. Once you are ready for one, you are ready for the 3 of them.

Furthermore, I don´t agree with your points. FIT is equally important in the 3 of them, while in Bain it can feel more "unstructured" than the other 2.

I would always recommend you to give it a shot and then post it here, this would help you the most.

If you want to deep dive, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Furthermore, you can find 3 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes for the Integrated FIT Guide, since we still have some left from the launch!

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

First of all, differences and nuances are very small, and also dependent on each interviewer. Once you are ready for one, you are ready for the 3 of them.

Furthermore, I don´t agree with your points. FIT is equally important in the 3 of them, while in Bain it can feel more "unstructured" than the other 2.

I would always recommend you to give it a shot and then post it here, this would help you the most.

If you want to deep dive, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Furthermore, you can find 3 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes for the Integrated FIT Guide, since we still have some left from the launch!

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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