Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is among the top three consultancy firms in the US including McKinsey, and Bain & Company. Securing a job here means going through big competition. Boston Consulting Group (BCG) hires employees after several rounds of testing. There are two rounds of interviews at BCG, for the selection of a perfect candidate. Candidates are called for an interview after several rounds of screening. In the interview, candidates face various behavioral, PIEs, potential testing, and case studies questions. Let us know ‘BCG Interview Process’.
BCG Interview Process
Getting a chance to appear for a BCG interview process is not an easy task. One has to go through several rounds of the hiring process. The interview is conducted in two rounds after checking the potential of candidates to work with the Boston Consulting Group. The interview at BCG is conducted in the following stages –
- Screening based on resume
- A screening interview with the HR
- BCG potential test
- 1st round interview (behavioral interview)
- 2nd round interview (case interview)
Screening based on Resume
The first screening for the interview round is done based on the resume and cover letter by the candidates. 80% of applications are rejected at this step only. Those who pass the first round of screening go for a screening interview. The interview is taken by the HR of the company.
A Screening Interview with the HR
The screening interview is normally conducted on the phone or via video conferencing. The Human Resource department of BCG conducts this interview. In this round, the interviewer will ask you general questions about your background, skills, qualifications, knowledge, and motivation to join the organization.
Sometimes this interview is conducted as one-way communication. In one way interviews, questions are provided to the job seekers, and they answer the questions continuously. There is no one on the other side of the interview. The candidate either sends the recorded interview to the company or delivers it live on Skype.
Following are the questions you could expect at BCG’s screening interview –
- Tell me something about yourself?
- What are your educational qualifications?
- Why do you want to work with BCG?
- Do you have any prior experience in consulting jobs?
The screening interview is a simple interview where you only need to answer the questions confidently and convince the interviewer that you are the perfect candidate for this role. There are no case questions in this round. Try to tell all your qualities, qualifications, skills, and experience to the interviewer properly.
BCG Potential Test
The BCG potential test is for undergraduates who apply either for a summer internship or a full-time job. These candidates will work as an associate and deal with the work of data analysis at large. Therefore the potential test round is conducted to check the efficiency and potential of candidates in doing their work.
How is the test?
In the potential test, questions related to reasoning and general math are asked. Your analyzing capacities are also tested through this round. This test is conducted online in which 23 questions are asked, and the candidates are given 45 minutes to solve the questions. One has to be quick and accurate in solving the paper because the wrong answer gives minus marking to the candidate. The good thing is that in this round only basic questions are asked to check the potential of candidates. Questions related to specific qualifications are not a part of this interview.
After completion of screening based on resume, interview, and potential test, the most crucial – interview rounds began. The interview process is conducted in two rounds. In the first round, the interviewer mainly asks PEIs and behavioral questions. Whereas in the second round, the focus is on the case questions. After completing these interviews, the Boston Consulting Group hires you.
1st Round Interview – The Behavioral Interview
The behavioral interviews are many times taken lightly by the candidates. But while applying for a big firm like Boston Consulting Group (BCG), you should prepare for every single step. As there are two rounds of interview, 50% chances of your selection for the job depends upon the behavioral interview.
This interview runs for 20 to 30 minutes. In the behavioral interview, questions like qualifications of the candidate, motivation for the role, and duties of the job position are asked. The interviewer could also ask about the reason for working with BCG, its history, and the experience of the candidate in the previous organization. Following are the questions you could expect in a behavioral interview round-
- Tell me about yourself.
This is the question every interviewer asks. This is your first chance to make an impression, and you should never miss this chance. The interviewer asks this question to know about your qualifications, skills, and experience. While answering this question, tell in brief your achievements in the university and workplace. Always remember that your answers should match your resume.
While answering this question, tell the interviewer about your qualifications and experience and the qualities that make you an eligible candidate for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). You can also tell the interviewer about the purpose of applying for this job.
- Why do you want the consulting job?
The second most obvious question in the interview is your purpose for doing the job. The interviewer wants to know about your knowledge and efficiency in the consulting field. He/She wants to assure that you are an ideal candidate and willing to do the job.
You can mention certain reasons to answer this question. The consultancy job gives you exposure and direct contact with managerial-level personnel of different firms at the start of your career. There is so much to learn in this job as the employer provides special training to consultants. This job also allows working at an international level. You can mention these reasons or any other appropriate reason while answering this question.
- Why did you choose BCG to do a consulting job and not our competitors?
By asking this question the interviewer wants to know how serious you are about doing this job. To answer this question, you should highlight the perks about BCG that are different and better from its competitors Bain & Company and McKinsey. The exposure and learning experiences you can get from all three organizations are almost the same. Therefore, to satisfy the interviewer, you have to point out the specialty of BCG.
Sample answer: “The Boston Consulting Group is different from its competitors in terms of diversity. The company promotes diversity among individual consultants and each office, which is not the case with its competitors. Additionally, here I can learn from experts and get good professional exposure.”
- The Personal Experience Interview
During the behavior interview round, there is one more section from which questions are asked. You will also face a PEI (Personal Experience Interview). In this part of the interview, questions related to your experience are asked. Here you have to assure the interviewer that you are well aware of the challenges of the job and ready for any type of problem-solving.
The interviewer always asks questions like – challenges you faced in the job, difficult situations you faced, how you deal with challenging situations, etc.
The behavior interview round is very important. Therefore, to impress your interviewer at this stage preparations are very important. Candidates should prepare the answers to these basic behavioral questions so that the interview goes smoothly.
2nd Round Interview
The best way to understand the potential of a candidate for a particular job is by experimenting with them in real-life situations. Therefore, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), takes a case study interview of the candidates who qualify all the above-mentioned interview processes. Here, the interviewer gives you real-life problems and you have to solve them. Your approaches to solving the problems are judged by the interviewer.
In the second round of the BCG interview process, a written case study question paper is also solved by the candidates in the USA. A question paper is given to the candidates to solve the problem. Candidates are given 2 hours to solve the case study questions and make slides of them. Then candidates also get the time to present slides of their answers in front of the interviewer.
- What does BCG look for?
The motive of taking a case study interview is to check the major qualities of a consultant in the candidate. BCG looks for math efficiency, good communication skills, and business creativity in the candidates while taking the case study interview.
To solve the case study problems you should be good at solving simple mental math problems. As a consultant, your communication skills matter a lot. Theodore during the interview problems is given to you. The interviewer checks how effectively you can explain the solutions to your clients. Lastly, business creativity is important for a candidate, so that he/she could come up with new and innovative ideas to solve the problem. All these qualities could be checked by a case interview.
- Practice case study questions from BCG’s website.
BCG provides a sample of case study questions on their website. From there you can prepare for different types of problem-solving questions. There is a case library on their website which is a great help for candidates applying for the post.
There are a range of questions an interviewer could ask you. The questions are of different types like situations based, creative questions, data analysis, framework development, recommendations, etc.
- Types of questions you face
- Situation based questions
- Framework Development and Exploration
- Quant questions
- Creative questions
Preparation for Case Questions
- Method to solve the question
To solve cases, you have to go through various approaches. At BCG, you will face several case questions. The approach to solving every question would be different. Therefore, you have to decide in what way you have to solve which case.
There are several ways of solving problems like – framework development and exploration, quant, recommendation, creative problems, etc.
- Good at math
In the case interview and the potential tests, you are required to be quick at math. In the interview, you need to crack only the basic calculations. Therefore, you should be fast and accurate in calculations for data analysis.
- Practice cases
To become efficient in problem-solving, you should prepare well for the case questions. There are various manuals and guides to aid you in this. The BCG official website also provides a case library to aid candidates in preparing for the interview process. Additionally, the personal experience of candidates in problem-solving is the best preparation for the case interview round.
- Time management
There are various approaches to solving problems. You need not waste your time finding the best approach. Rather choose a systematic way of problem-solving and stick to that.
- Learn effectively
Rather than rushing to practice more questions, be efficient in what you learn. It is important that whatever question you solve, you understand the approach properly.
BCG is a huge firm so there is also a high competition to get a job here. The company conducts two rounds of interviews after the screening test (which also includes an interview). In the behavior round basic questions related to skills, qualifications and experience are asked whereas in the second round written and oral case questions are asked.
- What attire should I wear for the BCG interview?
Answer: Candidates should follow a proper dress code for the BCG interview. Men should wear formal suits of neutral colors, light-colored shirts, and simple ties. The shoes should also be formal, black lesbians brown in color. Whereas women candidates should also wear formal clothes or pantsuits. Avoid shiny clothes and heavy jewelry as a part of the dress code.
- Does everybody at BCG give a potential test?
Answer: No, only the undergraduates usually have to give potential tests at BCG. The MBA applicants do not have to give a potential test.
- How long the interview process of BCG goes?
Answer: After applying for the job at Boston Consulting Group, within four to six months both rounds of the interview are conducted by the BCG. The interview is organized after clearing the screening test. On passing the interview process you will get the offer letter.