Expert with best answer


100% Recommendation Rate

16 Meetings

51 Q&A Upvotes

USD 249 / Coaching

Is it more stressful to work for top companies like google, facebook, apple etc. or for top consulting firms like McKinsey, BCG or Bain?

Anonymous A asked on May 16, 2017 - 3 answers

I am at the beginning of my studies and considering both, but have no experience so far. My plan is to apply for internships, but I'm already curious if somebody can compare the stress level at both type of firms including work-life-balance.

I would appreciate any input! Thanks :)

3 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
updated his answer on May 16, 2017
Ex-Bain consultant, got offers from McK, BCG, Bain. Now a startup strategist
Book a coaching with Michal

100% Recommendation Rate

16 Meetings

51 Q&A Upvotes

USD 249 / Coaching

Hi there,

I was a consultant at Bain, so I certainly know the consulting side of the story. I also have friends at Facebook and Google, so even though I don't have direct experience from these companies, I can tell you what I feel is the case.

In general, I think it's more stressful at the McK, BCG and Bain because:

1. You work for a client. The client has paid a lot for your services, your project has a deadline, and the client is determined to extract as much value from you in the given timeframe.

2. You are rarely an expert at the start of whatever project you are working on, so the learning curve is very steep in each project. You often feel like an impostor if you are working in a highly specific area (say, avionics systems) for people with 25 years of experience. The ever-lasting newness can be exhilarating at the beginning, but it can wear you down with time.

3. Projects are often of a stressful nature - transformation, cost-cutting, due dilligence. At major tech companies you often work on more organic things.

On the other hand, it can sometimes be stressful at Google and Facebook because:

1. In some departments, especially sales, you have very strict targets (e.g. monthly sales), so it's stressful if you are not on track to meet those

2. You work with the same people constantly, which can be a double-edged sword. If your boss/colleague is generating stress, you are less likely than in consulting to break free from them in the short term

Hope it's helpful!




replied on May 16, 2017
Current partner @ Andreessen Horowitz (VC firm). Ex-Mckinsey, ex- strategy guy at Google.
Book a coaching with Hemant

100% Recommendation Rate

68 Meetings

324 Q&A Upvotes

USD 249 / Coaching

I worked at McKinsey, and now work at Google. Here's my take on this:

1. Salary at M > @ G.
2. Salary per hour at G > 2 M
3. Weekends are sacred at G; not at M.
4. Things are more top-down at M, not at G - a bad partner can screw up your life at M, but a bad manager can't do the same (for too long) at G.
5. General work-life balance and other perks at G are WAY > than those at M.
6. Depending on where you land up, prestige and visibility to execs at M is WAY > than at G.

I general, I'd pick M over G if I am <28-30yrs of age. After 30, I prefer G over M with the following notes:
1. You love consulting and want to make partner, then stay at M.
2. You want to startup, leave M asap and move to G.
3. You enjoy owning P&L, find a good exit from M and move to G or elsewhere as a general manager.


updated her answer on May 23, 2017
Ex-Accenture Strategy Consultant, Career Coach (5yrs)
Book a coaching with Victoria

3 Meetings

44 Q&A Upvotes

USD 279 / Coaching


I worked in Strategy Consulting for 3 years with clients from companies. Strategy Consulting is usually longer hours and more stressful. We would be working 14-16 hour days, when the guys working in industry leave at 6pm.

Saying this, it does depend on project, client and deadlines. If you are a management consultant your hours can be a lot more relaxed to 9-5 for Programme Manager and if you work in Google Strategy a lot more stressful.

In terms of experience - I would apply to both and see which one you get interviews for. People move around between so either experience would be awesome to have and after if you are not happy with work-life balance you can switch with a better CV.


Related BootCamp article(s)

Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases

Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly

Related case(s)

Bain case: Asian lubricants producer

Solved 103.5k times
4.7 5 27486
| Rating: (4.7 / 5.0)

LubricantsCo, a very successful Asian premium producer of lubricants in their native region, would like to further increase their revenue and profit. The product range ranges from lubricants in the automotive sector (e.g. motor and gear oil) to industrial applications (e.g. fats, heavy-duty oils). ... Open whole case

Bain Case: Old Winery

Solved 40.2k times
4.4 5 1047
| Rating: (4.4 / 5.0)

You have inherited the “Old Winery” from your grandfather, a winery which has been family owned for five generations and can be dated back to the 16th century. Half of the eleven hectares are used to grow white grapes, the other half to grow red grapes. They are grown in the conventional way, i.e. ... Open whole case

McKinsey Questions

Solved 33.1k times
4.5 5 835
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you a ... Open whole case

BCG Questions

Solved 22.8k times
4.5 5 199
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation where y ... Open whole case

Bain Questions

Solved 22.0k times
4.6 5 278
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me about a difficult situation you had to cope with. Tell me of a task which you didn’t like doing and explain why you performed it nevertheless. Why do you do things? What do you like doing most / What is your favorite hobby? Walk me through a situation where you showed leadership skills. Open whole case