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Bain, BCG, McKinsey: How To Get Hired By The Big Three Consulting Firms

Looking for jobs in consulting? Here's what Bain, BCG, and McKinsey are looking for from their MBA hires

By  Matt Kefford

Tue Mar 7 2023

It’s hard to look past Bain, BCG, and McKinsey when it comes to consulting. Year after year, swathes of ambitious MBA graduates enter the ranks of the Big Three consulting firms, keen for career success and lucrative consultant salaries.

For those starting out on their MBA journey, the world of consulting can seem daunting. Entering it requires downing a stress cocktail of case interview prep, networking, and extracurriculars. 

Yet the Big Three continue to hire thousands of MBA consultants each year, with McKinsey, Bain, and BCG increasing MBA consulting salaries in 2023. 

BusinessBecause caught up with top MBA recruiters at each of the Big Three to find out what they’re looking for from their MBA hires, and how you can stand out from the crowd.

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How to become a McKinsey consultant?

McKinsey recently announced plans to cut up-to 2000 of its back-room staff, however the firm maintains that consultant demand is as strong as ever. 

While McKinsey has long hired from the world’s top business schools including the likes of Harvard and INSEAD, Sydney Streets, senior manager of North America recruitment, says McKinsey is increasingly hiring from a more diverse b-school talent pool. 

“We’re excited to hire stellar talent to all of our global offices. Across our campus recruiting efforts, we’re focused on ensuring we’re reaching and recruiting exceptional talent no matter their school or prior experiences,” she says. 

In 2023, McKinsey remains committed to inclusive leadership and is looking for people who value and practice it. Key to the firm’s hiring plans are individuals who bring and respect diverse thinking and different approaches. 

“We’re excited about candidates with a wide variety of experiences, not just experience related to business. This includes internships, research, volunteer work, part-time jobs, and military service,” Sydney explains. 

With the ever-advancing march of technology across all sectors, digital skills are vital in consulting and McKinsey is seeing increasing numbers of candidates with programming and coding skills. 

“Digitization is changing the consulting industry and therefore technology and digital skills are more necessary at McKinsey.” 

When screening candidates, the main attributes McKinsey looks for are:

→ Personal impact: The ability to interact effectively with people from various backgrounds, levels of experience, and ways of thinking is key to McKinsey’s ability to help its clients tackle their most challenging issues in a way that fosters sustainable,...

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