Glassdoor is your free inside look at Boston Consulting Group interview questions and advice. All 326 interview reviews posted anonymously by Boston Consulting Group employees and interview candidates.
No Offer – Interviewed in Philadelphia, PA – Reviewed Jun 2, 2013
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 Question – Some details you may ignore in the case study Answer Question
Accepted Offer – Reviewed May 25, 2013
Interview Details – Applied to the job while in college and went through the normal university recruiting process in November of my senior year. This consisted of a strict application deadline, and set on-campus interview dates. Once you make it past the on-campus interview, you rank the offices you'd prefer, and are invited to a second-round interview at the office that you matched with.
Interview Question – Calculate the break-even cost given a set of parameters (in your head, without a calculator or pen/paper) Answer Question
Negotiation Details – No negotiation. Salaries were pretty much consistent across the entering class and across all offices.
Accepted Offer – Interviewed in Washington, DC Aug 2009 – Reviewed May 25, 2013
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 Question – 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.
No Offer – Interviewed in Apr 2013 – Reviewed May 4, 2013
Interview Details – Lean process, with less steps than the other consultancy firms. Could be more supportive by offering coach or trainning sessions for the candidates, as the other firms did. Also could give feedback to their candidates as a way to improve their chances to learn and grow for other opportunities. Great format of case interview by presenting data and graphics in paper as the case advance.
Interview Question – Business case with slides and printed data, not only verbal presented data. Answer Question
No Offer – Interviewed in Palo Alto, CA Oct 2012 – Reviewed Apr 17, 2013
Interview Details – Recruited at school, turned in application and was invited for on-campus interview.
Interview Question – Have to do some quick mental math, mostly multiplication of low double-digit numbers. Should understand unit conversion well. Answer Question
No Offer – Interviewed in Chicago, IL Oct 2011 – Reviewed Apr 16, 2013
Interview Details – Went through two rounds, one came directly to my university, the other, they flew me there. They sent their young graduates, so you felt like you were interviewing with peers. Each round guaranteed two interviewers, so it felt even. The whole process was very fun, including information sessions, congratulation and support emails and dinners.
Interview Question –
What is the revenue synergy of this company?
Describe 25 ways to sell a chocolate chip cookie. Answer Question
No Offer – Reviewed Apr 8, 2013
Interview Details – I've gone through several banking and consulting interviews, but people at BCG definitely seemed most friendly and yet also most intellectual. Although it is somewhat difficult to land an interview with them, once you receive an invitation for the first round interview, as long as you've been preparing for the case interviews, it should not be EXTREMELY difficult. My first round was back-to-back interviews, about 30 minutes each. Case portion took most of the time each session.
Interview Question – They use real cases... mine was both about increasing efficiency while maintaining profitability. Answer Question
No Offer – Interviewed in Chicago, IL Oct 2012 – Reviewed Apr 9, 2013
Interview Details – I applied for one of their international positions through my school's career development site. I initially applied and within one week, I received a phone screen from a recruiter. Afterwards, I was invited to an on-site interview in Chicago (that's where they did all the interviews for all international hires). In Chicago, I have 2 1:1 interviews with senior analysts. The first half of each interview was a case study and the later detailed our background and interests in BCG.
Interview Question – The CEO of the company in you case walks into the elevator. Make a 1 minute pitch on your answer to his problem. Answer Question
No Offer – Reviewed Mar 22, 2013
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 Question –
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 – Interviewed in Boston, MA – Reviewed Mar 25, 2013
Interview Details – Had one face-to-face interview on campus. Interviewer asked basic questions, mainly about myself and my qualifications. Then , the interviewer received a phone call as proceeded to have a conversation during our interview! After he hung up, he didn't even apologize.
Interview Question – Typical first-round interview questions. Answer Question
Growing faster than industry / Strong partner group
Steep learning curve / Great on the job training
Exposure to multiple industries and functions at senior management level
Meritocracy / Clear and well-developed career path – Full Review `
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