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How to move from Tier 2 to Tier 1 consulting group ?

Recent activity on Feb 15, 2018
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Anonymous E asked on Feb 14, 2018

Hi all

I am currently working in a tier 2 strategy consulting firm and I would like to reapply for MBB (only MBB)

what is the best strategy to adopt as I have applied a year ago and got rejected on my final rounds (except BCG where I had an offer abroad) ?



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Content Creator
replied on Feb 15, 2018
Former BCG Principal and decision round interviewer

I would suggest to short-circuit and make more personal what suggested in other answer. I would encourage to first reach out to the MBB people you interfaced with (both recruiting and consulting staff) during the process last year. Tell them that after a year you are still excited about the opportunity to join MBB and if it's ok for you to apply and how you should do it.

This approach will ensure that no one on recruiting side is blindsided by the fact that you are talking to people/reaching out without talking to natural contacts you built last year.

One add, in terms of expectations, after only one year no additional tenure will likely be recognized (vs what you agreed a year ago) from role you covered at another tier two consultancy.

hope it helps


Content Creator
replied on Feb 15, 2018
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

you should have a waiting period with both McK and Bain to respect. Usually, this is either 1 (good performance) or 2 years (standard). There are also rare cases of 6-month periods. Thus, as a first thing I would verify how much time you have to wait before reapplying for these two companies (ideally via an internal contact that could talk to HR, if available).

For BCG things should be different as, if I understood correctly, you rejected an offer abroad. In that case, I would try to find an internal contact, and have him/her to ask HR whether you could reapply now for the local offices. Chances are they would be happy to accommodate an interview. In case you are not able to find a referral, you can try to reach out HR directly or ask for help via an expert.

In terms of the process it should be equivalent to the previous you had, with the following add-ons for your cover letter and behavioural questions during the interview:

  • You should show how you worked on the areas which led to rejection one year ago for Bain/McK
  • You should emphasize why you did not accept BCG and are now willing to move there
  • Underline general grow/improvements in the traditional key areas (leadership, drive, impact, team work) in the last year

Thus to sum up I would recommend to:

  • Verify the waiting period with McK and Bain
  • Find an internal contact for all the firms. If you are unable to do so, contact HR or consider booking an expert to help you with that
  • Prepare stories on your improvement on both cover letter and fir questions



Oleksandr (Alex)
replied on Feb 15, 2018
Very experienced ex-McKinsey consultant with cross-country expertise

Hi there,

I would think about applying through your connections within the target company. Let's say you want to get to McKinsey. You definitely need to get some friends out there. This is going to be the shortest way.

But be aware, that MBB usually works on much higher scale of the project and directly deals with top-tier executives. Which is usually not your case. Thus, have a clear answer on why they shall get you onboard.



Andrea gave the best answer


Content Creator
Former BCG Principal and decision round interviewer
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