Thanks for the context. Sorry to hear you're leaving McK :(
Here are my answers to your questions:
1. What is the recruitment process like for each (BCG and Bain) in the Middle East (predominantly Dubai)? I.e., pre-interview steps (CV screening, online games, chat bot cases), and interview steps (# of rounds and interviews, fit vs case interviews, individual vs group, etc.)
It's super similar. They have the application round (CV, CL - not all require it, referral - not mandatory but it helps), then test, then 2 rounds of interviews - potentially a 3rd if you're a borderline candidate.
Connect though with the recruiter from each and ask them as well. They change the process once in a while so it's best to have fresh info from the source.
2. Are these interviews typically conducted online for non UAE applicants such as myself?
Yes. Pretty much all consulting interviews are not conducted online.
3. What is the SBA equivalent role I would apply to for each (BCG and Bain)?
So McK has BA > Associate > EM.
BCG has Associate > Consultant > PL
If you're going for SBA equivalent, that will be Junior Consultant or Senior Associate in BCG - the naming differs from region to region. Some regions also don't specifically offer intermediary roles. I don't remember from the top of my head how the situation is in the ME but I could ask some of my current applicants who are in touch with HR.
4. Can I apply for the equivalent role, do I have to apply one down, can I apply one role above?
If you're applying for other MBBs, apply for equivalent.
5. Is there a specific application time window for experienced hires e.g., apply in Nov or can this be done anytime during the year?
Theoretically it's open at all points. My recommendation would be to apply earlier rather than later. They sometimes push interview dates by quite a bit in Dubai (I've seen this with multiple candidates by now).
6. What is the typical end to end cycle time for the application from CV submission to offer?
Wow, this really differs. I've had candidates go through the entire process in 4-5 weeks and for others it took 4-5 months. It's a combination of how you manage and push for it, as well as how the situation is in the office at that time.
Once again, start early in order to have some buffer.
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