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What should you expect from the background checks at consulting companies? The answer will vary depending on the business.

“Consulting firm,” “consulting company,” and “consultancy” are all broad terms that don’t refer to one specific industry. A consulting firm is a business with an area of expertise that provides feedback or advice related to that expertise to individuals or organizations for a fee. There are consulting companies that focus on political campaigns, regulatory compliance, marketing and public relations, architecture and engineering, management, and financial services.

In most cases, you should expect detailed background checks at consulting companies. Consulting firms are not only hiring for themselves but also on behalf of their clients. They need to pick people who they trust to work closely with valued client accounts—both with expertise and overall trustworthiness. As such, they typically conduct criminal history checks, verification checks for education and work history, reference checks, professional license verifications (if professional licensing is required for the job), civil history checks, and more. Someone applying for a job with a financial consulting firm, for instance, should assume that credit history checks and bankruptcy background checks will factor into the screening process.

The “Big Three” consulting companies in the world are McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain & Company. These companies fall into the sub-category of “management consultancies,” or companies that work with organizations to analyze internal practices and processes, implement new technologies, coach staff or leadership, and more. We have explored the background check policies at each of the Big Three: 

  • McKinsey & Company
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Bain & Company

In addition to explaining the background checks at these consulting companies, each article provides other relevant details about what candidates might encounter in the job interview process. For instance, Bain & Company is well-known for its “case interview,” which gives the applicant a case study of a scenario that he or she might encounter in the course of the job. The applicant must then work through the scenario as if it were real.

Ultimately, every consulting company will have its own unique policies and procedures for new employee screening. Sometimes, businesses post details about their processes on their “Careers” pages. Other times, you can learn about what other applicants have experienced by exploring sites such as Glassdoor or Indeed. In most cases, the safest thing to do is assume that the consulting firm will vet your background comprehensively.