Expert with best answer


100% Recommendation Rate

15 Meetings

6 Q&A Upvotes

USD 159 / Coaching

Question merged

This question is read-only because it has been merged with From Tier 2 to Top Tier Consulting Firm.

Joining a MBB after working at a top 20/50 consulting firm

Anonymous B asked on Sep 06, 2017 - 2 answers

Hello there,

I've recently graduated from a top-tier business school in Europe and, quite unfortunately, I failed to secure an internship during my gap year in one of the MBBs (due to not only a lack of practice but also a lot of conceit on my end). Following my conversation with HR, I was told that I needed to gain "a couple of years of experience" before applying again. Following graduation, I did manage to secure a job position at a top 20 consulting firm in France and I was wondering the following:

  • whether it was still possible for me to join a MBB after working for a few years, but not more than 2?;
  • what are the evaluation criteria used in the case of an experienced hire? Are they, at their core, identical to a junior applicant or are there additional criteria that are being used?

Thank you in advance for your response.

2 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
replied on Sep 06, 2017
Former BCG in Paris, Official BCG coach for more than 100 experienced / post-MBA candidates
Book a coaching with Anne

100% Recommendation Rate

15 Meetings

6 Q&A Upvotes

USD 159 / Coaching


I have known several people who joined a BCG Paris after having work for a few years in other consulting firms (either top 20 or boutique/specialized)
Evaluation criteria during cases interviews will remain roughly the same. Of course they will expect more maturity. They also keep track of previous interviews so they will expect to see significant progress on the weakness they have seen in your first interviews. HR are usually willing to help and explain what went wrong, so be sure to understand that thoroughly. Call back the HR if needed.

However, to make MBBs interested in your profile again in a few years, I would advise you to get experience on the sectors where MBBs have needs.
In BCG Paris, there are a lot of financial services / IT / digital cases. Bain Paris works a lot on M&A…
So, if you acquire experience on insurance or digital in banking while working at your top 20 consulting firm, BCG will be more interested in your future application, than if you work for the public sector for instance.

Also, when recruiting « lateral hires », MBBs tend to divide by 2 the experience you have. So if you work for 2 years in another consulting firm, you will be hired in the same position as someone who worked for 1 year in the MBB. Considering this, I think that 2 or 3 years may be a good time to re-apply, especially if you got promoted in your firm to prove your progress.

Hope this help!


replied on Sep 11, 2017
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

364 Meetings

5,245 Q&A Upvotes

USD 229 / Coaching


Chances may be the same or different depending on the following factors:

  • Economic cycle - is the company actively hiring or not?
  • Your expertise - i.e. they sold lots of retail projects and need a retail expert
  • Business school - in your case you'll get a post-business school role

Most probably you will get the same post-business school position (e.g. Associate at Mckinsey). Big 3 companies rarely hire for manager roles and 2 years in a different tier is definitely not a game-changer here

Related BootCamp article(s)

Case Studies

The case study is the most important element of the case interview, which you'll have to nail in order to get into strategic consulting. Here you can learn the specific skills and concepts necessary to solve them.

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

Getting Up to Speed

In order to repeatedly demonstrate prerequisite skills under the pressure of a real case interview, you need to learn the basics and practice cases.

Related case(s)

Bain case: Asian lubricants producer

Solved 101.9k times
4.7 5 27422
| 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 39.0k times
4.4 5 1018
| 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 32.9k times
4.5 5 834
| 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 22.6k times
4.5 5 193
| 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 21.9k times
4.6 5 275
| 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