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Category: Case Interview Mastery for McKinsey, BCG, Bain
How to ensure success in job interviews with top Strategy Consulting firms
Written by Dr. Sidi S. Koné
What a job as a strategy consultant at McKinsey, BCG, or Bain entails, which skills are needed, and how the interview process works
Working for a reputable Strategy Consulting firm is not only lucrative from a financial point of view – it also offers attractive opportunities and great future career prospects. Hence, it hardly comes as a surprise that jobs in this sector are in such high demand.
Accordingly, it is not easy to stand out versus other applicants and secure the job of your dreams. After all, in addition to basic qualifications, exceptional personal qualities are also required to convince recruiters and interviewers at these firms. 

Applicants must show that they are capable of cutting through problems in an efficient manner and creating innovative solutions to these. The large majority of applicants are failing at this and, consequently, receive a rejection.

What a strategy consultant's job looks like at McKinsey, BCG, Bain

The core task in Strategy Consulting is to address unforeseen problems and unexpected challenges with innovative approaches. The difficulty here is that these challenges are oftentimes completely new, and there are usually no proven solutions yet. Thus, strategy consultants are usually confronted with obstacles that are initially new for them as well as for their clients.
By working closely with their clients, consultants try to address any given problem in an impactful and sustainable way. To do this, they have to carefully analyze the situation in order to recognize all the complexities and interrelationships – thus avoiding possible stumbling blocks. Thereby, a consultant constantly gains new insights into a wide variety of industries and corporate functions.

Applicants should have a rich set of skills

There are many inaccuracies and plain untruths circulating on the Internet, particularly with regard to the educational requirements for a job in strategy consulting. For example, it is not mandatory to old a business or a finance degree. It is rather the overall picture of personal qualities and qualifications that counts. It also helps if applicants are resilient to stress and enjoy taking on new challenges.

In addition, the McKinsey, BCG, and Bain like to see a results-oriented work approach by candidates. After all, what matters to them is finding workable solutions and answers for their clients. Recognizing correlations quickly and identifying the principle levers of impact in various problem settings is key.

The interview process in Strategy Consulting

A special feature of the consulting industry is that interviews with candidates are often not conducted by traditional recruiters. Instead, applicants interact with experienced consultants. These consultants have a comprehensive insight into the job. Hence, they are best suited to assess whether a candidate brings the required mix of qualities to the table or not.
Finding out whether the applicant has what it takes is the principal goal of the interviewer. Similar to traditional job interviews, applicants are usually asked about their personal wishes and professional goals. However, the essential foundation for the decision-making process is an individual case study. During this case study, a concrete business problem and its potential solution is discussed between the interviewer and the applicant.

A career in Strategy Consulting offers a wide range of opportunities

The consulting industry attracts the interest of many people, also due to its comparatively high salaries. The salary level depends primarily on the applicant’s seniority in terms of academic degree and professional experience. In Germany, Master's graduates earn up to € 80.000 in the first year, especially at the large MBB firms (McKinsey, BCG, Bain). Applicants with a doctorate or MBA from a renowned international business school start with well above € 100.000. (to learn more about salaries at McKinsey, BCG and Bain, please click here.)
Moreover, working in Strategy Consulting opens up a large variety of opportunities for the future. This profession allows to gain extensive experience across a wide range of industries. As consultants progress through their career, this expertise is typically deepened by specializing in a particular industry sector or functional area. Thanks to the experience and knowledge gained in this job, consultants will almost inevitably draw the attention of attractive employers.

How we can help you break you into McKinsey, BCG, or Bain

If you, as an applicant at one of the big strategy consulting firms, would like to learn how to ensure success in your interviews with McKinsey, BCG, or Bain, then feel free to apply for a free initial consultation with us. In this free session we will find out whether we can help you, and if so, how we can help you to reach your goal of joining a firm like McKinsey, BCG, or Bain & Company. 

Within the last years, we have helped more than 350 people to receive job offers from the three MBB companies! On average, every single week, two of our clients are signing an employment contract with either McKinsey, BCG, or Bain.

About the author: 
Dr. Sidi S. Koné

Former Senior Engagement Manager and Interviewer at McKinsey & Company | Former Senior Consultant at BCG

About The MBB Offer Machine™

We help aspiring graduates, young professionals, and seasoned topic experts to ensure success in their job interviews with the world's most reputable Strategy Consulting Firms.

We place a special emphasis on "MBB":
  • McKinsey & Company
  • ​Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
  • ​Bain & Company

About the author: 
Dr. Sidi S. Koné

Former Senior Engagement Manager and Interviewer at McKinsey & Company | Former Senior Consultant at BCG

About the author: 
Dr. Sidi S. Koné

Former Senior Engagement Manager and Interviewer at McKinsey & Company | Former Senior Consultant at BCG
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