Why it is Important Not to Target Only the Best Consulting Firms


Why is it important not to target only the best consulting firms? One of the first questions I ask candidates during my coaching sessions and seminars is very simple: “What are your targeted firms?” When the response is limited to, “McKinsey, BCG and/or Bain,” I know that the process of preparation that I give will destabilize the candidate. Why?


success cabinet de conseil


The reason is simple: a recruitment process that would focus only on top-tier firms is not optimized, unrealistic, and even, if one may say so, very weak strategically. Then become a strategy consultant following a non-strategic approach … We’ve seen better!

The Success Rate in the Best Consulting Firms


It is no secret that the success rates in top firms are low. This applies worldwide; it is not limited to specific modes of recruitment consulting firms in France or Europe. When I was preparing to pass the interviews, I remember reading youth experience feedback from graduates in their consulting firm. I fell one day on testimony of a former MBA from Harvard, no less. He was hired by a firm positioned around the top 20 or top 30 in global strategy firm ranking. I was struck by his humility; he basically said he was very honored to enter into this consulting firm. I then looked at the success rate in Harvard on the board. Less than 5% of MBAs graduates manage to get an offer from the trio McKinsey, BCG, and Bain. Thus, for a given candidate, limiting his target to these three firms sends the signal, “I have more than 95% likely to fail in my botched project. Hire me!”


The Solution to Optimize Your Chances in Consulting Firms


But these figures should not alarm you, or worse, discourage you. I insist — before talking about the preparation process — on the crucial point of motivation. I have written several articles on the subject on management-consulting-formula.com. After reading these articles and taking the time to think, if you have decided to become a consultant, there are ways to optimize your recruiting process and to defy the statistics. The solution is to construct a panel of firms including top-tier institutions, but also less selective or less prestigious ones.


Not Only Focusing On the Prestigious Consulting Firms Is The Best Way to Join Them


The recruiting process in consulting is long and demanding. It is made of ups and downs. A candidate who will alternate interviews in different categories of firms will naturally decrease the level of pressure on his shoulders when he is in front of a McKinsey or BCG partner for an interview. After 10 interviews, it is human to go into “autopilot mode,” and advancement in the recruiting process of a given firm supplies the confidence for all other interviews. Sometimes, you will realize that consulting cases of the largest firms are not necessarily the most complicated. And receiving an offer from a small consulting firm will reinforce your confidence and competitiveness for the firms you really target.


Other Resources On Consulting Firms


Links of interest - Management Consulting Firms Overview in The US
Videos on this topic - Management Consulting Firms Association
Related conceptsstrategy consulting firms ranking
- bain and company careers
- bain & company
- boston consulting group
- booz allen hamilton
- at kearney
- mckinsey & company
- oliver wyman