Do you think inbetween the MBBs look for different kind of people?

McKinsey
New answer on Jan 25, 2023
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 24, 2023

Hey!

I've received an offer from McKinsey and Bain. 

I'm just curious on some experts' opinion: 

- I know a lot of people who got kicked out before screening or in the first round for McKinsey, whereas receiving invites or even offers from Bain/BCG. 

Since then I've witnessed a lot of talk that McKinsey looks for special type of qualities/people and thus even people who do case well get weeded out relatively quickly independent of whether they think they do cases very well or not. 

Can you elaborate on that? 

From my experience the McKinsey cases were much simpler, particularly in the quantitative part. I found Bain by far the toughest. 

Yet I know super strong casers who fell out at McKs first round and even though I wasn't there, I can't think how these people performed worse than I on the case (feedback was that e.g. brainstorming was not deep enough). 

So is it true that McK has different criteria than say Bain?

 

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Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 25, 2023
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hi there,

In the grand scheme of things, no. They all have the same criteria for screening and targeting applicants.

There are differences in the interviewing process. I have covered them in more detail here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/mckinsey-vs-bcgbains-framework-styles-10020

The observations you made during the screening stage could stem from a couple of factors (current demand/supply, time of the year, randomness,…).

Cheers,

Florian

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Hagen
Expert
updated an answer on Jan 25, 2023
Bain Project Leader and interviewer for 7+ years | >95% success rate | mentor and coach for 6+ years

Hi there,

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

  • It is true that all strategy consulting companies have slightly different assessment criteria, including cultural fit. However, this is not specific to McKinsey and applies to all firms.
  • It is possible that your impression is based on selective perception, as the people who were rejected after the first round at McKinsey may not have been completely honest about their flaws in the interviews. Additionally, it's important to keep in mind that the interview process is highly subjective and even the best candidates may not make it to the next round for various reasons.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare before your actual start of your strategy consulting career, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

(edited)

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 25, 2023
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

The short answer is yes.

The longer answer is don't worry about what these differences are. They change, they're fluid, they're different across countries, offices, years, recruiters, etc.

For context, I worked with lawyers, dentists, violinists, entrepreneurs, etc.

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Jan 24, 2023
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

Every firm has slightly different criteria and looks for different “cultural” traits. Bain in my opinion is the one that is the stricter regarding this. Can't say what exactly differentiates Mckinsey here, though. 

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Florian gave the best answer

Florian

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