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Switching companies

Anonymous A

Hi!
I was wondering how easy/difficult it is to move from one consulting company to another (for example within Tier2, or from Tier2 to MBB)?

Is the recruiting process similar to that for entry levels (numerical tests + case interviews)?

Thanks!

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Jacopo
Expert
replied on 11/30/2017
Ex Bain and A.T. Kearney (7 years in consulting) / 200+ real interviews / Landed all Big 3 offers

Hi,

I agree with what Francesco wrote.

Transitions within consulting firms are quite common and occur in many directions. I know many people who have successfully switched from tier2 to MBB, from tier2 to tier2, and from MBB to tier2. I personally belong to both the last and first categories: I started at Bain, then switched to A.T. Kearney and very recently got an offer from another MBB (which I eventually declined because I decided not be a consultant anymore).

Regarding competition (based on my experience), I had found it easier to get invited to an actual interview as an experienced hire vs. when I was applying to an entry level position: that is probably because after some years in consulting you have proved that you can do the job and, starting from the Senior Consultant/Senior Associate grade, you probably have also developed a specific expertise on a specifi industry/function. Nevertheless, expectations (as Francesco correctly pointed out) were much higher: I was expected to go deeper on the tested skills (especially on structuring the approach, leading independently the case, and communication) and at the same time to show a higher degree of maturity.

A last point: starting from the Senior Consultant/Senior Associate level it is very unlikely that you will have to take the test part.

Cheers,

Jacopo

(edited)

Francesco replied on 11/30/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (1000+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

moving to different companies is definitely common (the average turnover in consulting companies is around 3 years, and some of those that leave move to other consulting companies). That doesn’t mean it is easy though – it could actually be more competitive than entry level as you will still have strong competition but less slots available.

The process is similar to the one for entry level with some differences in the following areas:

  • Test: You can sometimes skip the test part
  • Fit: There will be higher expectations on questions on leadership, impact and drive in an interview compared to new hires (using McKinsey as a benchmark for the fit part)
  • Case: Case expectations will be higher as well – there will be less mistakes allowed to pass
  • Communication: As an experienced hire, you will have more client interaction responsibilities than new hires, thus they will test more this side during the interview (eg checking how do you react to pressure, how clearly you communicate your thoughts and clarify information, etc)

Best,

Francesco

Anonymous B replied on 11/30/2017

HI,

Yes, it's possible to swtich. Many have done it within MBB and from Tier 2 to MBB.

Recruiting process differes from company to company and office to office, as you will be treated as an expierenced hire. However, the structure remains the same- case+fit.

Cheers!