Current partner @ Andreessen Horowitz (VC firm). Ex-Mckinsey, ex- strategy guy at Google.
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My interviews don't align - what to do?

Anonymous A

Hiya, I have both a BCG and a Bain interview coming up. I would be happy to receive offers from either but would much prefer BCG as:

1) I would be able to enter in a more senior role,

2) There is significantly more flexibility with start dates, meaning I could finish the current projects I'm working on at work, move to London in a calm manner and also go travelling for a month before starting at BCG.

However, if I got a Bain offer and joined Bain, I will have to hand in my notice at work straight away, leave mid-projects and and start at Bain with only a few days spare and also in a lower position.

The problem is that my interviews at Bain are much sooner than those at BCG (last round Bain happens 3 weeks before first round BCG), so if I get Bain I doubt I will be able to delay them long enough to find out about BCG.

In the amazing situation that I do get Bain, what should I do? Take the job and not attend the BCG interviews, or is there another reasonable option?

(edited)

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Hemant
Expert
replied on 05/04/2018
Current partner @ Andreessen Horowitz (VC firm). Ex-Mckinsey, ex- strategy guy at Google.

Career is a long game so I won't worry, at least, about starting one level lower, as long as you feel Bain would be a great fit for you and is a right place to kick start where you see yourself in 5yrs time. BCG is less heavy on finance and venture / PE investing (e.g. bain capital), so if that's your goal, Bain is a great brand to have.

Worst case scenario is that you join bain, and defer BCG by a year if you get it - you should look into that option / talk to some friends at BCG if you have any.

Francesco replied on 05/04/2018
#1 Expert for coaching sessions (1800+) | Ex BCG | 900+ reviews with 100% recommendation rate

Hi Anonymous,

if BCG works better for you there is no reason you should not interview with them. I think you could consider the following strategies, not necessarily mutually exclusive:

  1. Delay the final round with Bain
  2. Ask to anticipate the interview with BCG, given you received an offer (I did that when I interviewed with BCG – they organize in 4 days all rounds and got the offer straight after, thus have been able to join them)
  3. Sign with Bain and complete the process with BCG – you have to see if that works for you from an ethical point of view. Also, if you join BCG in this way, it will be unlikely you will be considered from Bain in the future.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Vlad replied on 05/04/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

I think it's too early to panic, and your interviews align perfectly:

  1. You can always reschedule the interview at Bain - there is no penalty for it
  2. There is always a time lag between the rounds at it can be significant
  3. You can always expedite the process at BCG if you get an offer from Bain
  4. You can ask for some time to consider the offer before you sign at Bain

I think you should concentrate on prep and get at least one offer first. The problem you've described is nice to have:)

Best!

Andrea
Expert
replied on 05/04/2018
Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years

To answer your follow up. Once you have an offer in hand, it is for you to consider - do not worry too much about the artificial deadlines set by the company, if they really want you they will be accomodating. This is the most stressful lever to pull probably. The more immediate lever you can pull is to move your BCG interview and that's what I would suggest to do.

Hope this helps,

Andrea

Anonymous A replied on 05/04/2018

To confirm:

The interview dates for both Bain and BCG are standard interview dates with multiple experienced hires interviewing on the same day.

Bain has also sent many emails confirming that this intake would be for a start date on a very specific day (which is soon), otherwise it will be a year before applications open again, which I think is quite strange.

I don't get the impression either of these are very negotiable, although I could enquire if I find myself in this position.

For now, I will concentrate on getting an offer :)

Thanks

Andrea
Expert
replied on 05/04/2018
Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years

As other mentioned, this is a non-issue. Just ask BCG to move the interviews sooner or tell Bain you need more time to leave your job/make a decisions.

Andrea