BCG's interview process is a dialogue, designed to help us get to know each other. Here's what to expect.
Our interview process for consulting positions varies by location. Typically, however, you can expect at least two rounds of interviews—each consisting of one or more interviews or assessments. These interviews are commonly divided into three parts:
We want to learn more about your background and personal experiences to see how and where you might fit in at BCG. We'd like to hear about your experience of leading and making an impact in any field.
Working with your interviewer, you’ll analyze a case study and develop solutions to the client challenge it poses. The case will typically be based on a real BCG project, giving you insight into what it’s like to work here. Often, there are no right or wrong answers; instead, we’re evaluating your thinking process, strategic skills, and ability to make a strong case for your recommendations.
This is your chance to ask questions about working at BCG, including your interviewer’s personal experiences. Come prepared. Our interviewers will evaluate your ability to listen and communicate effectively, and whether you present yourself positively and persuasively. We value intellectual curiosity and creative thinking. Sometimes, though, we just want to find out what it would be like to spend a week on the road with you—so it’s best to simply be yourself.
Prepare well for your interview, but try to stop before you sound mechanical and over-rehearsed. Value networking opportunities and ask insightful questions. Follow-up: some candidates that have reached out to me have been able to have more questions answered over coffee.
The key to performing well in interviews is constant practice and in this case, practice does make perfect! Get out there, get some case study buddies and go through as many cases as you can.
Your interviewer will explain a client’s situation. Listen carefully and take time to align your thinking. Ask clarifying questions and communicate how you’re approaching the opportunity or challenge. Your interviewer may also provide you with additional data and hints along the way, so be prepared to take notes.
During the discussion, the interviewer will work with you to organize your thoughts and steer you toward a solution. Don’t be afraid to ask questions that check your understanding.
Take a moment to think about the case and carefully define the problem being posed. Establish a relevant framework and identify the kinds of analysis you may want to perform to reach a solution.
Concentrate on the issues that will create value for your client, but make sure you explain the reasons behind your choices.
Take some time to organize your ideas; don’t jump to conclusions too quickly.
Make suggestions on how to solve the key issues you have identified. The interviewer will look for the same things a BCG client would expect when working with us—game-changing innovation that can create significant and lasting value.
Standard frameworks you have learned at school or in preparing for your interview may appear relevant, but they may not hold up after closer consideration.
Given that there is limited information available, the interviewer will ask you probing questions about your comments, hypotheses, or conclusions to test your capability to apply your business judgment.
At some point, the interviewer will ask you to make some simple calculations. Rather than testing your computational skills, this is meant to see if you can use numbers to swiftly form opinions and guide decisions. Your calculations should be accurate and integrated into what you have discovered so far.
At the end of the interview, you should summarize the key hypotheses and options you have developed. Then, conclude with your recommended solution to the client’s problem.
Often, there are no specific right or wrong answers in our interviews, and you are not expected to know everything about business. The objective of the interview is for us to learn about your approach to solving business problems, so remember to discuss your line of thought with the interviewer.
It’s important to stand up for what you believe, but if your interviewer challenges you, consider his or her perspective carefully before responding or becoming defensive.
The interview should be a dialogue between you and the interviewer, so make sure you communicate your logic and underlying assumptions.
We integrate fresh cases—and new data—frequently, so don’t assume that a case that sounds familiar, perhaps one discussed by a past candidate, would be best solved by the same approach. Think independently and draw your own conclusions.
If you find the conversation lively and stimulating, you'll likely enjoy being a consultant at BCG.