How to answer questions like why McKinsey, Bain or BCG in an interview?

behavioral interviews Real interview question
Recent activity on Nov 05, 2018
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 05, 2018

How to answer questions like why McKinsey, Bain or BCG in an interview? I want to be specific but usually, I think of responses shown below. I am not sure if this would be a good answer as my answers for McKinsey would not be different than Bain or BCG.

  • learning and development opportunities
  • working with smart people
  • proud of working for a global reputable firm

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Vlad
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replied on Nov 05, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

"Why this company" is a more specific question and can include the following arguments:

  • The general marketing story the company is trying to sell (e.g. Bain is a small "Family" company)
  • Brand / positioning / market share in the region
  • More clients / projects / expertise in the industry you are interested in
  • More well-known stories of success in your city
  • Your friends working there
  • Your interactions with the other consultants before the interview
  • Your prior experience of working with the Firm on a client side
  • Office traditions
  • Work experience with firm alumni
  • etc

Best!

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Anonymous replied on Nov 05, 2018

Hi there,

You are absolutely right - your example answers could be applied to any top consulting firm. While the answer won't necessarily be marked as "bad", it also likely won't impress the interviewer and show them that you've done your research and you really want to work for the firm. However, they are still relevant - the flip side of the coin is that at recruiting events, most of the marketing information given out by firms could also be applied to other top firms.

Some tips/examples of what you can talk about:

- Being impressed by specific people/events: attending recruiting events (or any other event) hosted by a firm is one of the best ways to give a good answer to this question. For example, "I attended the Women in Consulting event at my university and was super impressed by the partner who presented and all the people I met"

- Find firm specific differentiators: MBB are more similar than they are different, but they do have some differences which you should highlight. E.g. for a Bain, an easy one is strength in Private Equity.

Good luck!

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Vlad

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McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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