Possible to interview at multiple MBB offices?

strategy90's picture
Rank: Chimp | 15

If you apply to MBB NJ/Connecticut/NYC/Boston northeast offices for FT do you only get interviews at your top choice? Not sure how that process works, does each location essentially look at resumes seperatly and then choose, so it's possible to interview at more than 1 location? Finally, are the NJ or Connecticut offices easier to get into than NYC/Boston?

Comments (15)

Mar 6, 2014

You have only one final round, unfortunately. Anecdotally, NYC and Boston are amongst the most competitive offices, so your chances will likely be higher at NJ/Connecticut (although recruiting staff will probably dispute this, this seems to be the off-the-books consensus).

Mar 6, 2014

You only get one final round in terms of offer/no offer but often sometimes if a candidate is interested in multiple offices and otherwise has the requisites for an offer they will allow him/her to interview with multiple offices. I can't imagine this happening with NYC being one of the offices, however.

The difficulty between offices is heavily disputed. What I have been told is that basically all offices have the same general bar for an offer but some offices may be oversubscribed with people who meet that bar. Because of oversubscription they are forced to choose between a number of people who are otherwise qualified. I've been told the degree this happens varies year-to-year but typical places are NYC, SF and maybe Chicago sometimes.

Mar 7, 2014
Tred1:

You only get one final round in terms of offer/no offer but often sometimes if a candidate is interested in multiple offices and otherwise has the requisites for an offer they will allow him/her to interview with multiple offices. I can't imagine this happening with NYC being one of the offices, however.

I've never heard of this happening at an MBB. For all MBB, your first round will be office agnostic (most likely on-campus), and your final round will be at one specific office. You do not get to interview final rounds at multiple offices, no matter how qualified you are.

Jun 23, 2020

This is true, if rare. I did a final round at an MBB NYC and the recruiter called and said they weren't able to take me on in NYC because more people than expected signed returns for that office iirc, but they'd be happy to have me interview somewhere else and that many other offices had openings. They sent me to the first office that responded to an email thread (it was a non-NA office), I interviewed, and the interview felt like a formality (they asked if I'd accept the offer before we started). I got the offer, but didn't like the location -- fortunately I got another NYC offer from another MBB. I think I only got that second shot in part because I did well in the final round, but also in part because I had developed a long-standing relationship with this recruiter over 2 years and he/she knew and liked me.

I think in 99% of cases, you just get one shot -- if you pass the first round you'll interview for your first choice that has any room to take someone and that's that.

Array

Mar 7, 2014

Thanks for the info! Does that mean the NJ/Connecticut offices are worse off in terms of exit opps/with MBA adcoms?

Mar 7, 2014

Here's the deal. You first choice office gets dibs on you. If they pass on you, your 2nd preferred office gets to decide, etc. If you're not an appealing candidate to one office, there is a strong chance that you're not appealing to any office. Trying to apply to "undersupplied" or "easy" offices is tricky. Apply to the places you actually want to be. You'll be happier and more successful in the long run.

Another consideration, if you're offered your top office by one firm and your 2nd choice office by another (among MBB), you may be able to move the 2nd offer to your preferred office. In my experience, MBB don't like losing offers based on geography alone.

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Mar 8, 2014
brj:

Another consideration, if you're offered your top office by one firm and your 2nd choice office by another (among MBB), you may be able to move the 2nd offer to your preferred office. In my experience, MBB don't like losing offers based on geography alone.

I personally know 3 people who landed in this situation. One person had an offer from McKinsey for a smaller regional office and a competing offer from one of the other two MBBs for a larger office (NY/SF/Chicago). After talking to McKinsey, he was able to get his offer switched from the smaller regional office to the same office as his other offer.

The other two people I know had BCG offers for a smaller regional office and a competing offer from one of the other two MBBs in a larger office (again NY/SF/Chicago). Both of these people asked BCG to switch their offers to the larger office in the same city as their other office, but BCG did NOT accommodate them.

I don't know if these situations are representative of a universal policy or if it's a case-by-case basis, but my guess is that McKinsey is a lot more flexible because they staff globally while BCG and Bain staff locally. It's also worth pointing out that this situation probably doesn't happen at Bain very often because Bain doesn't have many small regional offices like McKinsey and BCG. Bain has just 10 US offices, almost all of which are in larger US cities. On the other hand, McKinsey has 20 and BCG has 15.

Jun 23, 2020
brj:

Here's the deal. You first choice office gets dibs on you. If they pass on you, your 2nd preferred office gets to decide, etc. If you're not an appealing candidate to one office, there is a strong chance that you're not appealing to any office. Trying to apply to "undersupplied" or "easy" offices is tricky. Apply to the places you actually want to be. You'll be happier and more successful in the long run.

Another consideration, if you're offered your top office by one firm and your 2nd choice office by another (among MBB), you may be able to move the 2nd offer to your preferred office. In my experience, MBB don't like losing offers based on geography alone.

I tried this and it didn't work so YMMV

Array

Mar 9, 2014

@humblebot
It is definitely case-by-case for all of them. That said, I have friends who had offers moved around at all 3 MBB in the last few months. Demand definitely plays a part, but big offices can usually absorb a few extra bodies. Transferring to a small, highly desirable office (e.g. SF) seems like the biggest challenge. The only person I know who did that was asked by a firm to do a final round interview at his 2nd choice, but received another MBB from his top choice. Both offers ended up in his top location.

@Tred1
Yes, if you want to move an offer to somewhere where you didn't do a final round, there are usually phone calls, coffee chats, or office visits to do a final fit check. I'm not sure I'd categorize these as "interviews" though. They just don't want to drop you into an environment where no one knows you.

Quick clarification; According to each firm, BCG has regional staffing and Bain has local staffing. That means you work with people from your office or region, but not necessarily that projects are located within the region. There is still quite a bit of travel, but only for the clients' sake. Your team will be wherever you are (client or home office) regardless.

Jun 23, 2020

How would this work if you were looking at offices in two different countries - e.g. NY/London?

Jun 23, 2020

I did this and it worked the same except it splits off for round 1, since round 1s are differentiated by continent/broader region -- for two of the MBB I did a first round for my first choice (standard NA on-campus round 1), and for the third MBB they slotted me to do a round 1 specifically for the region of my second choice office (fair warning, I dont think it was because I "didn't make the cut" for my first choice based on convos with recruiters -- I think my second choice just needed applicants more so I'd be cautious about this).

Array

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Jun 24, 2020

that's super helpful, thanks!

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