Boston Consulting Group Consultant Interview Questions

Updated Sep 23, 2014
Updated Sep 23, 2014
126 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

64%
24%
11%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

40%
16%
10%

Interview Difficulty

3.8
Average

Interview Difficulty

Hard

Average

Easy

126 Candidate Interview Reviews Back to all interviews

Sort: Popular Date Difficulty

1 person found this helpful  

Consultant Interview

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

Applied through the Advanced degree route. BCG came to campus for a presentation. Case practice workshop was conducted for first round interviewees. First round was in Chicago. Interviewed by two projects leaders. Each interview consisted of a 10 min fit component, a 30 minute case and 5 min Q&A. Fit and case were both pretty standard.

Interview Questions
  • Heavy on data analysis from graphs/tables. Need to be quick/thorough with math.   View Answer
No Offer
Positive Experience
Difficult Interview

Other Interview Reviews for Boston Consulting Group

  1. 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
  2.  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through a staffing agency - interviewed at Boston Consulting Group.

    Interview Details

    The cordination of the interview process was very professional and everything was nicely set up during the interview. For successful candidates I was told there would be 5 interview rounds and after each there would be an evaluation if the process should continue.
    The interview started with a brief review of my CV and fit questionaires and the questions were fairly straight foreward.
    The main part was a case from an industry I was unfamiliar with and the data was very old. I received the case description and a supporting graph for a market entry study. Then I had some time to decide my approach. Finally we discussed the case over abt. 30 min where gradually new data was presented. I felt my logic of entering less developped markets was accepted but I was not able to pull out the correct economic terms during the discussion though I had an OK approach. I felt my recommendations though were a bit untraditional. I thought the interviewer was fairly easy to read and I did leave with a big question on whether I had passed or not.
    One week later I received a polite rejection.

    Interview Questions
    • There were no very difficult or unexpected questions as I believe one of the points is to have cases the candidate is unfamiliar with.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  3. 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
  4. We want your feedback – Is this interview information helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5.  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Boston Consulting Group.

    Interview Details

    College campus initiated process with a resume drop. First round: 3 separate 30 minute interviews (resume and business case). Second round: 4 separate 30 minute interviews (resume and business case).

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Difficult Interview
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    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 2 weeks - interviewed at Boston Consulting Group in August 2011.

    Interview Details

    Great interview experience. Two rounds of interview - a case interview on the phone and followed by three case interviews at the office. The process was smooth. One of the case interviews was hard. However the importance is more on your thought process rather than getting the answer.

    Declined Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate  in  San Francisco, CA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in San Francisco, CA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks - interviewed at Boston Consulting Group in February 2012.

    Interview Details

    Applied online, flown to SF office, passed 1st round but did not make it past final round.

    Interview Questions
    No Offer
    Difficult Interview
  8.  

    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 3 months - interviewed at Boston Consulting Group.

    Interview Details

    Networking is key to get a interview slot. Very important to identify the office of choice and have a strong reason as to why that office suits you well. Half the battle is behavioral, so trying to "crack" only the case interview may not be sufficient. Need to front load the networking and get into the list of interviews and then focus on working on the case interview. BCG case interviews are usually open ended unlike other consulting firms. You are expected to drive the process by yourself.

    Interview Questions
    • No bouncers, straight forward questions. The case can be tricky at time, esp. the second round ones which are with the partners   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    Not much room for negotiation on salary - potentially joining date etc are negotiable
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult 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 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
  10.  

    Consultant Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took 3 months - interviewed at Boston Consulting Group.

    Interview Details

    On campus recruiting (full-time MBA) including information sessions, optional 'coffee chats' and first round interviews by invitation. The two on-campus interviews were with consultants of various BCG offices (typically 2-4 yr post-MBA BCG experience). Applicants also rank office preferences (e.g., NY, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Houston, etc.). Second round interview were held in the specific office I would potentially work in. There were several interviews at the office, including partners.

    Interview Questions
    • Interviews were quick (45 min), a short fit interview ("tell me about a time when..." or "walk me through your resume"), but the focus was a case interview. Hardest question was a complicated mathematical brainteaser.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    Negotiated start date. No negotiation of salary, benefits or vacation.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

See What Boston Consulting Group Employees Are Saying

3 people found this helpful

 Current Consultant in New York, NY

Pros: “+Good salary +Great colleagues +Challenging work +Broad exposure to topics and industries +Culture of feedback” Full Review

Worked for Boston Consulting Group? Contribute to the Community!

The difficulty rating is the average interview difficulty rating across all interview candidates.

The interview experience is the percentage of all interview candidates that said their interview experience was positive, neutral, or negative.

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.