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Help re BCG interview

#1 Help re BCG interview
18/06/2002 00:00


Have a first round interview coming up with BCG and would appreciate any help in regards to what I should be expecting. Any resources which would be useful would also be extremely useful. Thanking you in advance


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#2 Re: Help re BCG interview
20/06/2002 00:00

Dependent on your level - have a look at

provide details on company profile/culture/process etc

These other details might help: good luck!

From the beginning of April 2001, here is a new format for their 'Industry' Consultant Interview process.

a) 1st Round 2 x 30 minute case study interviews + 20 minute GMAT style numerical reasoning test. We will still have the same time slots - 1.00pm, 2.30pm or 4.00pm and will still need an hour an half of the candidates time. Practice for the test can be found on

b) 2nd Round 2 x 45 minute case study interviews - different industries - we will be flexible in the scheduling

c) Final Round 3 x 45 minute interviews - with our decision team of partners. Some element of case study but also general business judgement discussion/background, experience to date - again we will be flexible in the scheduling

I also enclose an update 'Dos & Don'ts at Interview' to send to our 1st round candidates.

Case study...

What to do and what not to do during a case interview


1. Listen to the interviewer and interact with him/her

2. Structure the problem by developing a customised


3. Focus on issues where most impact can be brought

4. Explore a variety of options with creative thinking

5. Demonstrate business judgment

6. Make quick and accurate calculations

7. Synthesise your thoughts and conclude your analysis


1. Jump immediately into the analysis without the

proper level of understanding

2. Panic if the answer isn’t readily apparent

3. Defend your own solution at all costs

4. Internalise your thought process

5. Stick to an artificial framework (3 C’s, 4 P’s, …)

6. Rely on circulated cases or use advanced knowledge

Case Interview Dos

Do listen and interact

The interviewer starts by laying out the problem or the question. Regularly during the cases, s/he makes comments to orientate the discussion and drive you to a solution. You should carefully listen to him/her and ask questions to clarify any point. You should also adapt your thoughts, hypotheses and options according to the information communicated to you throughout the case.

Do structure the problem around a customised framework

The interviewer will then ask you how you would approach the question. This is the time to quickly structure the problem and highlight the major areas that you will want to explore. You will even be more convincing if you are able to capture your structure in a simple, yet to the point framework. Do not hesitate to pause for a couple of moments after the interviewer asks the question in order to define your high-level structure.

Do focus on issues where most impact can be brought

The interviewer will potentially let you choose the key issues to explore further. Focus on the ones where you think your recommendations can potentially create the most value. Also explain the logic that drove you to your choice of key issues.

Do explore a variety of options with creative thinking

Once you have chosen the key issues to focus on (e.g. how to increase revenues from new products), you should come up with a couple of hypotheses on how to do this. You will definitely make a good impression by going beyond standard answers, conventional wisdom or generally accepted rules.

Do demonstrate business judgment

The interviewer will ask you probing questions about your comments, hypotheses or conclusions. This is so s/he can test your ability to use your own judgment given – the sometimes limited – information available to you.

Do perform quickly and accurately simple calculations

At some point, the interviewer will ask you to make some simple calculations. Besides the calculation itself, which should be accurate, the interviewer looks at how you integrate what you have discovered so far about the problem into the calculation.

Do synthesise your thoughts and conclude the analysis

At the end of the interview or when the analysis comes to an end, you should go back to the original question. It is then time to summarise, in a few words, your key hypothesis and the options developed and conclude with the most relevant recommendations you would make to the client.

Case Interview Don’ts

Don’t jump too quickly into the analysis

Before starting the analysis, make sure that you understand the question and its main components. Ask further questions if some elements are unclear to you.

Don’t panic if the answer isn’t readily apparent

You are not expected to know everything about every business situation. Therefore, don’t panic if you don’t seem to get ahead or if you are stuck in a dead end. The objective of the entire interview is to discuss your thoughts, present your hypothesis, imagine options, and finally, develop a solution through your interaction with the interviewer.

Don’t defend your own solution at all costs

It might be that the solution you develop is wrong or inappropriate. In this case, the interviewer will make it clear to you so that you can adapt your solution. Do not defend your solution at all cost. On the other hand, you should be ready to defend your approach if you believe it is a good one. The interviewer might just want to test whether you actually firmly believe what you are saying. Be critical and flexible to follow the road which looks most promising to you, even if this means changing course.

Don’t internalise your thought process

The interview is set up as a discussion. Therefore make your logic and hypotheses explicit. A good case interview is not limited to answers and solutions.

Don’t stick to an artificial framework

Some standard frameworks are not always applicable to the business situation discussed. Make sure that you keep it simple and that the framework actually helps you to go straight to the key issues.

Don’t rely on circulated cases or use advanced knowledge

The case presented might be familiar to you: a friend might have told you about it or you might have a specific knowledge in the same area. Most often, this has a negative impact on your performance. We therefore advise you to mention this to the interviewer who will choose another business situation.

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#3 Re: Help re BCG interview
20/06/2002 00:00

I interviewed once with BCG in the US. The interview comprised 2 interview cases, each one with a different person. I am sure if they are into business cases here in Europe, but if they are, it is certainly worth practicing some in advance.

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#4 Re: Help re BCG interview
20/06/2002 00:00

Elizabeth Stocks

the BCG web site has examples of what they expect you to be able to do.

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