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Udayan

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13

What should I answer if the interviewer asked about why changing from Big 4 to MBB firms?

So I have a major concern that I beleive it will come up during my interview at MBB firms. I currently have 1.5 years of experince at one the big four (Strategy consultanting department) and I am still not sure how can I convince MBB firms of my intentions to jump the ship.

I love consulting in general, the only answer I could think of is that MBB firms are the best when it comes to consulting and I would love to enchance my knowledge and increase my learning curve at MBB.

So I have a major concern that I beleive it will come up during my interview at MBB firms. I currently have 1.5 years of experince at one the big four (Strategy consultanting department) and I am still not sure how can I convince MBB firms of my intentions to jump the ship.

I love consulting in general, the only answer I could think of is that MBB firms are the best when it comes to consulting and I would love to enchance my knowledge and increase my learning curve at MBB.

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Book a coaching with Udayan

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It's always best to not avoid answering the question in your answer. Some things that make the most sense

  • Better opportunities - larger clients, more diverse work, greater opportunities to learn from both within MBB and clients
  • More learning and development (MBB spends a lot more per person on training that T2)
  • Expertize that you cant find in your current firm (need to be specific here)
  • Career progression related points
  • Culture, especially if you personally know people working in the firms
  • Bigger impact given the nature and scope of projects in MBB

Hope this helps.

Udayan

It's always best to not avoid answering the question in your answer. Some things that make the most sense

  • Better opportunities - larger clients, more diverse work, greater opportunities to learn from both within MBB and clients
  • More learning and development (MBB spends a lot more per person on training that T2)
  • Expertize that you cant find in your current firm (need to be specific here)
  • Career progression related points
  • Culture, especially if you personally know people working in the firms
  • Bigger impact given the nature and scope of projects in MBB

Hope this helps.

Udayan

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Hi,

A few points to note:

1) You want to be SPECIFC and talk about opportunities/interests/goals you want to explore at MBB that you're not getting in your current company. But please remember - there is a positive way to make that inference. Do not make disparaging statements about your current company. It is usually not received well

2) Do your homework. Are you applying as a Generalist or to a different service line (Implementation, Ops, M&S, Technology, etc.)? For example - McK has made some serious acquisitions in the last couple of years to strengthen their capabilities in Big Data and Analytics. Maybe that's a field you are interested in and are excited about. Do some digging around your field of interest and you will find an answer

3) One of the safest answers is role modeling. Talk about people you've met from MBB and how they have inspired you or influenced your life in someway. Avoid using colloquial language here and be very specific on what you skills you want to embody and how MBB will help

Hope this helps!

Nirmit

Hi,

A few points to note:

1) You want to be SPECIFC and talk about opportunities/interests/goals you want to explore at MBB that you're not getting in your current company. But please remember - there is a positive way to make that inference. Do not make disparaging statements about your current company. It is usually not received well

2) Do your homework. Are you applying as a Generalist or to a different service line (Implementation, Ops, M&S, Technology, etc.)? For example - McK has made some serious acquisitions in the last couple of years to strengthen their capabilities in Big Data and Analytics. Maybe that's a field you are interested in and are excited about. Do some digging around your field of interest and you will find an answer

3) One of the safest answers is role modeling. Talk about people you've met from MBB and how they have inspired you or influenced your life in someway. Avoid using colloquial language here and be very specific on what you skills you want to embody and how MBB will help

Hope this helps!

Nirmit

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Hi there,

I would say the key point you should articulate is that you want to get exposure to more strategic projects and clients. Other firms may staff consultants on operational or implementation projects and you could say MBB will offer you the opportunity to work on more strategy projects, working 'top of house' with the CEOs. For example: growth strategies, go-to-market entry projects, CEO support or 100 day plan for CEOs.

The differentiator of MBB vs. others is the scale and depth of relationships of the partners with clients globally, not to mention the brand. McKinsey alumni usually sit in influential positions as C-suite or on the Board of FTSE 100 companies and are able to leverage these to sell projects to these firms.

Hope that helps.

Asim

Hi there,

I would say the key point you should articulate is that you want to get exposure to more strategic projects and clients. Other firms may staff consultants on operational or implementation projects and you could say MBB will offer you the opportunity to work on more strategy projects, working 'top of house' with the CEOs. For example: growth strategies, go-to-market entry projects, CEO support or 100 day plan for CEOs.

The differentiator of MBB vs. others is the scale and depth of relationships of the partners with clients globally, not to mention the brand. McKinsey alumni usually sit in influential positions as C-suite or on the Board of FTSE 100 companies and are able to leverage these to sell projects to these firms.

Hope that helps.

Asim

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Hi there,

I have recently changed companies to join an MBB firm, and I can tell you for sure that you will surely be asked "why do you want to change and join us?"

Few tips:

1) Avoid cliches. Don't answer with politically correct generic answers that anyone can say because it will be hard to believe and it won't stick with the interviewer. The last thing you want is that the interviewer thinking (ah! just another Big4 " vanilla" applicant wanting to join MBB)

2) Give specific and engaging reasons. Don't be afraid of making a bit personal. Dig deep, why do you really want to move? Is it because after 1.5 years you feel that you want to specialize in a functional topic or an industry that your current office can't offer you? Is it because after entering consulting, you realized that the most interesting projects and clients are working with MBB? etc... Dip deep to find the reason why you want to move and find a way to say it passionately so the interviewer can really get to know what drives you.

Feel free to reach out for any additional and more specific tips prior to your interview.

Best of luck,

Khaled

Hi there,

I have recently changed companies to join an MBB firm, and I can tell you for sure that you will surely be asked "why do you want to change and join us?"

Few tips:

1) Avoid cliches. Don't answer with politically correct generic answers that anyone can say because it will be hard to believe and it won't stick with the interviewer. The last thing you want is that the interviewer thinking (ah! just another Big4 " vanilla" applicant wanting to join MBB)

2) Give specific and engaging reasons. Don't be afraid of making a bit personal. Dig deep, why do you really want to move? Is it because after 1.5 years you feel that you want to specialize in a functional topic or an industry that your current office can't offer you? Is it because after entering consulting, you realized that the most interesting projects and clients are working with MBB? etc... Dip deep to find the reason why you want to move and find a way to say it passionately so the interviewer can really get to know what drives you.

Feel free to reach out for any additional and more specific tips prior to your interview.

Best of luck,

Khaled

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Hi there,

since you are coming from the strategy department and not the auditing one, I agree with Emily that is totally normal for you to want to move to MBB since they are the most recognized companies in the sector; I doubt thus they will ask why you want to move to MBB from a big 4.

What they may ask you instead is:

  • Why company XYZ
    • You may choose the three points more relevant for you and structure your answer accordingly.
      • Sectors of interest: specific focus of the company in areas/products interesting for you
      • People you met and culture: specific people of the company you discussed with, and the things they shared on the company
      • Your growth opportunities: specific programs of the company you heard about to enhance your growth
      • Company potential: how much the company grew in the last year, which is a good guarantee for your future career as well
      • Size/reputation of the firm: smaller companies usually offer a more entrepreneurial culture, with higher growth potential internally. Bigger companies have more resources and support staff, and more prestige in terms of exit.
    • Whatever topic you choose, you should apply a simple rule of thumb: if you can substitute the name of the company with another and have the answer that still makes sense, it means your answer is not specific enough.
  • Why do you want to leave your current company
    • As mentioned by Vlad, start saying you had a positive experience
    • Mention one area that the MBB you are interviewing with can give you more exposure to

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

since you are coming from the strategy department and not the auditing one, I agree with Emily that is totally normal for you to want to move to MBB since they are the most recognized companies in the sector; I doubt thus they will ask why you want to move to MBB from a big 4.

What they may ask you instead is:

  • Why company XYZ
    • You may choose the three points more relevant for you and structure your answer accordingly.
      • Sectors of interest: specific focus of the company in areas/products interesting for you
      • People you met and culture: specific people of the company you discussed with, and the things they shared on the company
      • Your growth opportunities: specific programs of the company you heard about to enhance your growth
      • Company potential: how much the company grew in the last year, which is a good guarantee for your future career as well
      • Size/reputation of the firm: smaller companies usually offer a more entrepreneurial culture, with higher growth potential internally. Bigger companies have more resources and support staff, and more prestige in terms of exit.
    • Whatever topic you choose, you should apply a simple rule of thumb: if you can substitute the name of the company with another and have the answer that still makes sense, it means your answer is not specific enough.
  • Why do you want to leave your current company
    • As mentioned by Vlad, start saying you had a positive experience
    • Mention one area that the MBB you are interviewing with can give you more exposure to

Best,

Francesco

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I join Khaled and fully agree about what he advised.

But as you would already know, the basic difference between MBB and the Big 4 is that while MBB provide strategic management consulting, the Big 4 focus on accounting and operational consulting.

However, while the Big 4’s methodology involves giving specific, formulated solutions, examining each client problem individually, MBB detect problems, find out the best solutions to address them, and then provide customized solutions for their clients as a whole.

Therefore, based on your personality and your character, you would say that you learned a lot in different business scenarios within Big4 and now you would like to be part of the problem finders and not only apply the already found solutions.

But once again, you should first write down all your reasons that imply this change and you would be able to extract a good result to answer this question.

Good Luck :)

I join Khaled and fully agree about what he advised.

But as you would already know, the basic difference between MBB and the Big 4 is that while MBB provide strategic management consulting, the Big 4 focus on accounting and operational consulting.

However, while the Big 4’s methodology involves giving specific, formulated solutions, examining each client problem individually, MBB detect problems, find out the best solutions to address them, and then provide customized solutions for their clients as a whole.

Therefore, based on your personality and your character, you would say that you learned a lot in different business scenarios within Big4 and now you would like to be part of the problem finders and not only apply the already found solutions.

But once again, you should first write down all your reasons that imply this change and you would be able to extract a good result to answer this question.

Good Luck :)

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Hi there,

Actually I think it is pretty obvious why a consulant would want to move from Big 4 to MBB. Your intitial thoughts seem okay. Probably just articulate with a bit more specifics/details.

The questions in my mind as a past interviewer would be (1) "why do you think you are ready for MBB" (which would be assessed via the case, the fit questions etc.), and (2) "out of the 3 in MBB, why would you choose our firm particularly"?

Best,

Emily

Hi there,

Actually I think it is pretty obvious why a consulant would want to move from Big 4 to MBB. Your intitial thoughts seem okay. Probably just articulate with a bit more specifics/details.

The questions in my mind as a past interviewer would be (1) "why do you think you are ready for MBB" (which would be assessed via the case, the fit questions etc.), and (2) "out of the 3 in MBB, why would you choose our firm particularly"?

Best,

Emily

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Hi,

There are numerous possible ways to answer this question. But remember that you need to:

  • Avoid cliches
  • Focus on value you can deliver at MBB vs Big 4. This is the most important part. Demonstrate that at MBB you would have a higher impact

Best,

Anton

Hi,

There are numerous possible ways to answer this question. But remember that you need to:

  • Avoid cliches
  • Focus on value you can deliver at MBB vs Big 4. This is the most important part. Demonstrate that at MBB you would have a higher impact

Best,

Anton

Dear Ali,

As I've mentioned to you over the phone, just mention that the first two experiences are from your two internship and the third one is the full-time. And when the question comes up, you can provide the reasons that we've discussed over the phone as well as your own reasons.

If you still need help, we can discuss it later on.

Best,

André

Dear Ali,

As I've mentioned to you over the phone, just mention that the first two experiences are from your two internship and the third one is the full-time. And when the question comes up, you can provide the reasons that we've discussed over the phone as well as your own reasons.

If you still need help, we can discuss it later on.

Best,

André

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Hello!

My advise would be to be very very specific with each of the companies. No general arguments, get very deep.

Something obvious such as webpages have all the information you will need. Also, don´t hesitate to do name dropping.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

My advise would be to be very very specific with each of the companies. No general arguments, get very deep.

Something obvious such as webpages have all the information you will need. Also, don´t hesitate to do name dropping.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Hi,

"Why this company" is a more specific question and can include the following arguments:

  • The general marketing story the company is trying to sell (e.g. Bain is a small "Family" company)
  • Brand / positioning / market share in the region
  • More clients / projects / expertise in the industry you are interested in
  • More well-known stories of success in your city
  • Your friends working there
  • Your interactions with the other consultants before the interview
  • Your prior experience of working with the Firm on a client side
  • Office traditions
  • Work experience with firm alumni
  • etc

"Why are you leaving big 4" is a different question. There are two rules here:

  1. Never criticize your current company. On the opposite, you like everything about it.
  2. Point out the development needs. E.g. I love this job but would like to have even bigger challenge since a, b, c

Best!

Hi,

"Why this company" is a more specific question and can include the following arguments:

  • The general marketing story the company is trying to sell (e.g. Bain is a small "Family" company)
  • Brand / positioning / market share in the region
  • More clients / projects / expertise in the industry you are interested in
  • More well-known stories of success in your city
  • Your friends working there
  • Your interactions with the other consultants before the interview
  • Your prior experience of working with the Firm on a client side
  • Office traditions
  • Work experience with firm alumni
  • etc

"Why are you leaving big 4" is a different question. There are two rules here:

  1. Never criticize your current company. On the opposite, you like everything about it.
  2. Point out the development needs. E.g. I love this job but would like to have even bigger challenge since a, b, c

Best!

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Hi,

Forget about MBB, focus on the specific company.

Why Bain

Why McKinsey

Why BCG

Hi,

Forget about MBB, focus on the specific company.

Why Bain

Why McKinsey

Why BCG

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Good comments have been given and I want to reinforce that you should avoid the standard answers. Instead, pick a few very specific examples of learning objectives or experiences for which consulting/MBB would be the deal.

Good comments have been given and I want to reinforce that you should avoid the standard answers. Instead, pick a few very specific examples of learning objectives or experiences for which consulting/MBB would be the deal.

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