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MBB Personal fit interview - differences

Bain BCG MBB McKinsey PEI Personal Fit Personalfit
New answer on Mar 12, 2021
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Anonymous asked on Jul 29, 2017

Hi all,

I am currently preparing for MBB interviews. And although case part is covered quite well, I am still trying to improve my personal fit part. There are lots of lists of possible fit questions, but I am wondering whether there is a difference in personal fit part depending on a firm.

What should be my focus for McKinsey? BCG? Bain? Are they the same?

Could someone who interviewed for multiple companies share his or her experience?

Thank you in advance!

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replied on Jul 30, 2017
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi Tadeus,

First of all, fit interview has 2 parts: a set of questions to you in the beginning of an interview and then your questions to the interviewer after you solve a case

Interviewer usually asks 3 sets of questions:

  1. “Tell me about yourself” or “walk me through your resume”- this is how Consultants usually begin the interview. It's an opportunity for them to learn about you and to pick some interesting facts.
  2. “Why consulting?”, “Why McKinsey” or “Why BCG” questions are used to assess your motivation to be a consultant in general and to work in that particular firm.
  3. Next the interviewer will also ask you to provide examples from your background to assess how good you are as a leader or a team player; how you can create impact and persuade people; or how you can achieve your goals.

Fit interview length and depth may also vary by a company:

  • Mckinsey is a bit more structured and demanding in its approach with fit part, taking up to 30 minutes. They will ask all sets of questions including a story on 1 of 3 competencies: Leadership, Achievement, Personal Impact
  • BCG interviews are a bit shorter, a bit less structured and detailed. They will also test competencies like leadership, Impact, Teamwork
  • On the contrary, Bain consultants will be less concerned about your stories and will not have strict guidelines. They will mostly check your background and motivation

Good luck!

Anonymous on Apr 16, 2018

Hi Vlad -- thanks for that excellent answer. Quick question w.r.t. the three McKinsey-specific topics. Sometimes the 'Achievement' element is labelled as 'Drive' instead (c.f. the website). Is this to be understood as a question addressing your pursuit of a specific goal, incl. your motivation to act and the challenges you overcame in the process? Thank you for your help! Best, -L.

Anonymous replied on Jul 29, 2017

Hi Tadeus,

I think there's a few great posts out there that I can attach re: the fit interview. So, in order to avoid not giving credit to others for their posts, please find attach some sources that I recommend viewing. The main takeaway is that the interview process for firms becomes more personalized the further you are into the recruiting process.

On MBB firms in general and their recruiting process


On McKinsey

On Bain (vs McKinsey PEI)

*Additional Resources*

How not to answer behavioral questions

Anonymous replied on Apr 30, 2020


Well, most of these companies have pretty common personal fit questions. There are all about your leadership, conflict solving skills, team skills, as well as analytical excellence. I would say that McKinsey put great emphasis on your personality and ability to convince others even if they disagree with you, while BCG is more precise on your collaborative approach and creativity. Bain values tough mathematic and analytical skills. But most of the questions are pretty common and universal for all three companies.

Hope, it helps.


Content Creator
replied on Mar 12, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

Basically, the goal when answering these questions is to show the interviewers your critical thinking and problem-solving skills and how suitable you are for the job.

Behavioral questions might be like:
• Why consulting? / Why company XX? / Why are you the perfect fit for this position?
• Describe a time when you disagreed with a team member
• Tell me about your biggest mistake at the workplace
• Name three improvements you made in your most recent position
• Entrepreneurial drive
You can find other questions online; just pick some of them and start answering them in a way that makes sense:

• Keep it short (1.5 minutes max)
• Use storytelling techniques (Structure your speech!)
• Try to get the interviewer to participate, e.g., while telling about your experience in place XX, ask them whether he has been there
The more questions you practice, the easier it becomes for you to come up with a friendly and suitable answer.

Hope it was helpful,

Content Creator
replied on May 01, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


On top of the insights already shared in the post, next week will be pusblished in PrepLounge´s Shop material related.

In concrete, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB". It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Hope you find it useful!

Vlad gave the best answer


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