Boston Consulting Group Consultant Interview Questions

Updated Jul 28, 2014
Updated Jul 28, 2014
122 Interview Reviews

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Consultant Interview

Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Philadelphia, PA
Anonymous Interview Candidate in Philadelphia, PA
Application Details

I applied through college or university. The process took a day - interviewed at Boston Consulting Group.

Interview Details

It was an interview on campus and there were 2 case studies, 45 mins/ ea. They asked me to analysis the business of a coffee shop providing the background of the market as well as the details of the shop and give a solution after the calculation. The following case study interview is given by a guy who had been in BCG for 1 year. We chatted a little bit football (he is from Europe) and finished the case. It went very smoothly. The second interview was easier for me. Whether or not the recruiter led you in the case analysis is important.

Interview Questions
No Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Boston Consulting Group

  1.  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Washington, DC
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Application Details

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4+ weeks - interviewed at Boston Consulting Group in August 2009.

    Interview Details

    Standard consulting case interview process. 2 rounds of interviews, 2 interviews in the first round, 3 interviews in the second round. All interviews with consulting staff, 2nd round with more senior staff. In both rounds decisions came the same day. Practice case offered between rounds. Interviews each took about 45 min.

    Interview Questions
    • All the interviews had business cases, exactly as expected. All the cases were interesting problems to solve.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    I did not negotiate, which is typical for top consulting firms under normal circumstances.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2. 8 people found this helpful  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeks - interviewed at Boston Consulting Group.

    Interview Details

    There were two back to back 45 minute interviews. To give some background, I had more work experience and a more advanced (and higher ranked) education than both of my interviewers. I only say this since this firm cares a lot about school names (I don’t). The first interviewer was very friendly, laid back, and asked normal behavioral questions that were easy to answer. He also gave the case interview properly. The only problem was the poorly made graphs. I have created many dual axis graphs in my life – but I don’t create a jumble of numbers within those graphs – that’s what the Excel option to put a table *below* the graph is for. Also, I haven’t done math without Excel or a calculator since I was in grammar school. I practiced for a week beforehand, but I still made mistakes with very easy numbers. Since they adamantly believe that clients will entrap you in situations where you have to immediately spit out numbers from thin air without hesitation, it is imperative that you do not make a mistake with anything mathematical.

    My second interview was worse. The consultant asked much more lengthy behavioral questions that she hadn't bothered to sort out ahead of time. Every time I answered one, there was a long delay as she fumbled through her papers to find the next interview questions to ask. She had a very cold demeanor, and she could barely fake any interest in my background or experiences. When she asked me about a setback in my life, she checked out while I was answering it - and then asked a follow up question that I already answered ("what did you learn from it").

    Her case delivery was a mess too. Again, she did not pay attention to half of the things I said. She did not know a basic term about the industry she supposedly worked in (that the case was about). I would state hypotheses and information I needed, and she ignored anything I said that did not fit the precisely predetermined case structure and wording that she expected. It was the end of a day, so maybe this was part of the problem. However, if you are going to be a case interviewer (as I have been) you have to flexibly adapt to the areas that the interviewee goes. You can’t stonewall them if they don’t go in your exact order and vocabulary. You CAN say “let’s ignore this part of the issue for the case” or “can you describe what you mean?” to guide them without giving away answers. I had far more direct work experience and exposure to the exact problem I was asked than the interviewer had. I knew how these issues worked in reality, and parts of the case were so absurdly outside of reality, I couldn’t arrive at the logic they had embedded in the case (e.g., obtaining 100% market share in an industry with massive established competitors - that was the goal!).

    She also kept demanding that I ask her questions during the case, even though I stated the information I needed. I used this approach with the first interviewer, and he simply gave me the information. I said “I would need the market share” but unless I ASKED her “what is the market share?” – she would virtually yell at me “if you ask a question, I can answer it!” Huh? Alex Trebek? If people state what they need (and it is not in “question format”) I give them the information. It was very disruptive to have to keep rephrasing everything.

    I had to read two charts (and I have read thousands of charts in my life) – and one had no clear label on the Y axis. I asked what that axis was supposed to be and she literally yelled “it’s a histogram!” This was the second time I got a badly designed chart, and part of the problem was my own confusion about why BGG would give such awful charts (was I missing something or was the mess deliberate). If they said “the client gave us this data” it would make a little more sense. Instead, she just said “here".

    Also, since I made some mistakes early on (within the first 5 minutes) and once I did this, she was checked out. She could barely fake it for the other 25 minutes once I misread the first chart.

    BGG recruiters: If you just want someone who can crunch numbers (which appears to be the sole criteria despite technological advancements called calculators and excel), don’t interview people who have the backgrounds like mine. It wastes everyone’s time and just causes ill will and frustration for everyone involved. Use a test like McKinsey and you won’t have to do this. Also, train your staff to give case interviews properly. I wouldn't have posted all of this if it wasn't such a mess. I interviewed at another strategy firm, but that interviewer was extremely experienced. He explained, in depth, why the theories and ideas I put forth would (or would not) work. He knew how to give a case. The BCG people did not and should not be doing it. I had no issues with the other firm rejecting me based on my poor case performance since it was very reasonable and professional. This was another story.

    Interview Questions
    • Interviewer 1 basically wanted a history of my working life since undergrad, and then he asked a few follow up questions. He wanted to know why I wanted to go into consulting and why I wanted to work for BGG. His case started as a basic profit = revenue – cost case with some deeper issues that involved further calculations and poorly made graphs.

      Interviewer 2 asked when I led people and had an impact – and what that impact was. I answered that, though it was impossible to gauge if it was sufficient. She also asked about a time when I had to redo work or take another approach because my first approach didn’t work (or something like that) – which was sort of odd because she also asked about a major setback which is in a similar realm of questioning.
        Answer Question
    No Offer
    Negative Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3.  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    The process was very professionally managed with clear expectations and numerous follow ups. First round consisted of two back-to-back case interviews and second round was similar but took into account feedback from the first.

    Interview Questions
    • Case where the client's had an unrealistic plan to expand into a particular market. Need to deliver that by doing calculations and guiding clients to the conclusion in a friendly way.   Answer Question
    No Offer
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Washington, DC
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Washington, DC
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 5 weeks - interviewed at Boston Consulting Group in October 2012.

    Interview Details

    First round interview in Chicago. Second round interview in DC. The recruiting staff does a good job ensuring that the trips and office visits are pleasant and go smoothly.

    5 interviews total between the 2 rounds. Each interview was 1 on 1 for about 45min and consisted of 10min of fit questions about leadership, teamwork, and interest in consulting followed by 30min of a business case and ending with time for me to ask questions. In each case interview the interviewers defaulted to having me pick which parts of my framework to investigate, but they intervened for the sake of time if I went too far off track or made serious math mistakes.

    First round interviews consisted of 2 interviews by current Consultants. Both were friendly. One was open and easy to read, the other was not. Both cases were pretty straightforward, with a problem statement, a question about how to proceed, analysis of charts, some calculations, and recommendations. At the end they gave some good insights into the job and lifestyle when I asked.

    Second round interviews consisted of 3 interviews by current Partners. The partners definitely came across as having high standards but were friendly, professional, and pretty easy to read. The business cases they used each seemed to be pet cases that were relevant to their own experience and that they'd used many times before. Two of these cases put extra emphasis on brainstorming and hypothesizing compared to the first round interviews. They very clearly appreciated creative and insightful answers and were clearly unimpressed by poor analysis and getting flustered by mistakes. The partners provided good insights into the company when I asked at the end.

    Overall, the interviews were a positive experience. I like the case format's ability to convey analytical abilities, but it's tough to expand meaningfully on a resume in 10 minutes of fit questions.

    Interview Questions
    • One of the interviewers gave me a blank graph and asked me to speculate what it should look like based on our previous discussion.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  6.  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Philadelphia, PA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Philadelphia, PA
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 2+ weeks - interviewed at Boston Consulting Group.

    Interview Details

    I applied for the consultant position at an office overseas via MBA on-campus recruiting. I was interviewed by an international recruiting team (not from the office I was applying for.) Round one had two interviews. Each interview lasted 45 minutes and included a few fit questions and a case. One interviewer was a Project Leader and the other was an Associate Principal. (Both men.)

    Interview Questions
    • Unexpected fit question: "If I took your resume and removed the name at the top, what line on your resume would make your friends read it and recognize you?"   View Answer
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  7.  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  New York, NY
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in New York, NY
    Application Details

    The process took 4 weeks - interviewed at Boston Consulting Group.

    Interview Details

    First round interview was in Boston; two 45-minute interviews - one with a Consultant, and one with a Project Leader. Both interviews had a similar format - a little bit of chit chat, a couple of more formal fit questions, and then the case. The cases were reasonably tricky, requiring a structured approach and also some logic/insight.

    Moved on to a final round interview in New York. Nearly identical format, but this time with Principals/Partners. Fit questions were a bit less formal (no "tell me about a time when..." questions), and one of the cases was quite unconventional. I felt that the interview went pretty well, but got a rejection call a few days later. Main feedback point was that I didn't do a good enough job of highlighting why I was interested in consulting. I was disappointed by the outcome, but left with a very positive impression of the firm.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Chicago, IL
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Chicago, IL
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took a day - interviewed at Boston Consulting Group in October 2012.

    Interview Details

    Ph.D. , participated in Bridge to BCG was given first round interview. Overall had great experience at BCG. But realize one thing about BCG fit trumps all. I had two interviews one by Principal and a Project Leader.
    1) PL: Tell me about yourself? Why Consulting? Working in teams, what people you get along with? Strengths and weaknesses? The interviewer somehow didnt connect with me and kept interrupting me in between and didnt allow me to complete any single answer.
    2) Principal: Time when you solved difficult situation/ persuade a team? . Tell me about your research?

    Overall, i thought did well, but after three days got call from HR person giving new that i wont go to next round. Feedback was very deceptive and not true of what even happened in interview. Overall neutral experience.

    Interview Questions
    • Case 1: Simple case on shampoos where a chain had lower margins than competition becuase they didnt have store brand (higher margin product)
      Case 2: Difficult Case: Your client is cheese maker, they are seeing fluctuating milk prices, help them think if they should buy contract for milk at price below market for next 5 years.
        Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Boston, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 5 days - interviewed at Boston Consulting Group in October 2012.

    Interview Details

    First round consisted of two interviews, one with a Project Leader and one with a Principal. A few fit questions and then moved into the case. The cases have lots of exhibits and are usually very unstructured.

    The first case was a market entry and financial analysis with lots of exhibits to look through. The second case was a profitability analysis.

    Second round consisted of four interviews - 3 partners and 1 principal.

    One case just a bunch of confusing exhibits to sort through and talk about. Another case was about profitability and another was about growth strategy. The final case was written - they gave me an annual report for a company and an industry report and asked me to piece together a few talking points to brief the partner who was going to meet with the client CEO. They gave me half an hour to do it and walked in after 22 minutes to say wrap it up.

    Interview Questions
    • Most unexpected question was what I think about the European debt crisis!   Answer Question
    Reasons for Declining

    Not flexible on pay and position

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  Boston, MA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a day - interviewed at Boston Consulting Group in October 2012.

    Interview Details

    Pretty well structured, got an invite for a first round later in the week. Two interviews, back to back, with about 10 minutes of behavioral/background questions, 30 minutes for the case question, and then 5 minutes for questions about the firm.

    Overall relaxed, though it was tough to get a good read on the interviewer. Definitely brush up on basic math, especially multiplication and division and practice in front of someone as it simulates the pressure you'll have. It seems like even a simple math error can doom you, so practice.

    It was well run, everything was on time. Though they said that candidates could get feedback post-interview, though it hasn't been forthcoming which is somewhat disappointing. Overall a decent experience but hard to tell why one makes the cut or doesn't.

    Interview Questions
    • One question on dis-aggregating the impact of a change in profit margin and revenue change on net income. Not difficult, but just took a bit to understand what they were asking.

      Also, one behavioral question was to pick a topic I knew a lot about and just explain it in detail for five minutes. Others were typical, why do you want to do consulting, tell me about a time you were on a team, etc.
        Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview

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