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.
“You would be better off treating the business case as a conversation than simply trying to provide answers on the basis of what you already know.”
“Always structure the problem, but don't force fit any standard frameworks unless they really apply.”
“Tell us something we cannot learn from your resume. Highlight what is really important and what distinguishes you from the crowd.”