What are the characteristics of top performer at MBB?

MBB performance
New answer on Nov 11, 2020
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 29, 2020

See the question above

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replied on Jun 30, 2020
FREE 1st session in November | From Lawyer to MBB | Top in FIT | 10x your structuring skills | Message to get Free Prep Checklist


It highly depends on a particular position.

For junior roles:

  • your hard skills with excel and power points
  • your ability to build strong rapport with your case team leaders
  • your attention to details in any type of work
  • your ability to quickly adopt to new teams/ leadership styles/ types of projects/ industries
  • your time management skills



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replied on Jul 01, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi Anonymous!

I believe the following set of abilities are very central to successfully perform the tasks of a management consultant at MBB firms:

1. Curiosity: Intrinsic drive to get to know root causes of visible effects and/or problems. The urge to understand the "Why?" and "How?" on top of the "What?"

2. Ability to listen and absorb: This is absolutely central! In daily interaction with clients, you should be listening at least 80% of the time! Being able to absorb and connect information from multiple sources and layers across the client organization is one of the essential success drivers for almost any consulting engagement.

3. Ability to analyze and synthesize: Disaggregating problems into their sub-components, addressing the corresponding sub-issues, and then integrating the insights into the big picture and larger frame is the bread and butter for a consultant. In short: rigorous problem solving skills.

4. Mental flexibility: Capability to quickly adapt to shifting priorities, swiftly re-focus on newly generated insights or refuted hypotheses. This goes hand in hand with a structured way of thinking about practically ANYTHING. Why? Well, in its operational core, strategy consulting is amongst the most chaotic and unstructured activities in the professional world. This is why the individual consultants need to be utterly structured in their thinking, hence leading to this flexibility and confidence that they can logically disaggregate practically ANY problem thrown their way.

All of these abilities will have a immense positive impact on almost any dimension of the consulting job: be it problem solving and insights generation, connecting and working with clients, codifying new IP for the firm, coaching younger colleagues, etc.

Cheers, Sidi

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Anonymous replied on Jun 29, 2020


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Please find a screenshot of the document

Please send me a PM should you like to be informed / get a discount code when the document will be published.


difference between standard and outstanding performance consulting

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Content Creator
replied on Jun 29, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


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Hope it helps!



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Content Creator
replied on Nov 11, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

I would say that the good performers have such characteristics as:

  • Structural thinking
  • Ability to interact with people
  • Ability to work with information
  • Time management and resource management
  • Ability to learn
  • Customer focus

Do you need any further help?

All the best,


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Anonymous replied on Jul 09, 2020

Hi A,

For me good consultant has the following abilities and skills:

1. Ability to analyze complex project and complex tasks, break them down into good structure and deliver results.

2. Good and sound communication with client, with project manager, with a partner, and with a team as well.

3. Ability to manage complexity.

4 Follows the principle under sell and over deliver (that means lower the expectations and always exceed them).

Hope it helps you further,



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Content Creator
replied on Jul 01, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Great question!

A top performer....

1) Gets work done effectively and efficiently

2) Always has a plan (workplan) and drives their own module

3) Frequently iterates and adapts quickly to feedback

4) Makes a strong impression in front of the client (by being personable and well-spoken)

5) Makes killer slides

6) Adds genuine insight to their module and to group discussions

7) Communicates clearly and pro-actively flags issues


How do you do this in practice you might ask?

There's a few ways to break this down.

First: Read the 25 tips in my consulting handbook here: https://www.spencertom.com/2018/01/14/consulting-survival-guide/


Second: In terms of things you can learn/do to prepare beforehand:

1) Daily Reading

  • The Economist, The Financial Times, BCG/Mskinsey Insights

2) Industry deep-dives

  • Learn, in-depth, how the industries/companies your office advises, work. (PM me for an industry overview template)

3) Analytics tools

  • Alteryx, Tableau, etc.

4) Excel

5) Powerpoint

  • Best practices/standards
  • Different layouts
  • Quickly editing/updating slides
  • Thinking in PowerPoint

6) Presentation skills / sharp communication

  • There are some online/virtual classes for this


Third: In terms of doing well in your role when you're there:

1) Understand the context/prompt (what role are you in, what company, who's watching, etc.)

2) Understand the objective (what, specifically, is expected from you...both day to day, and in your overall career progression)

3) Quickly process information, and focus on what's important - Take a lot of information and the unknown, find the most logical path, and focus on that.

4) Be comfortable with the unknown, and learn to brainstorm - think/speak like an expert without being one

In summary, there will always be a flood of information, expectations, competition etc. and not enough time. Find out which ones matter when. (i.e. be visibile and focus efforts on the things that people care about)

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Content Creator
replied on Jun 30, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

That depends mainly on the rank you are looking at - while for entry-level consultants it's much more focused on hard-skills and execution, partner/director level is mostly a management and sales position. So a wide spectrum in between...

What level you are looking for specifically?


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Anton gave the best answer


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