The Chatbot Interview and the previous BCG Potential Test are both called the BCG Online Case. While the BCG Potential Test has mostly been replaced, it is still in use in certain countries/offices; therefore, it is good to be clear on which test you have to take and avoid preparing for the wrong one. Additionally, the Chatbot Interview is sometimes given together with the first-round interviews, instead of being used as a pre-interview screening tool. If any of these elements are unclear, it is best that you clarify with HR before preparing.
You will often receive an invitation to the Online Case right after your applications, and the Online Case usually needs to be performed within 3 days after receiving the link. Each of the key skills assessed can be developed to maximize the chances of passing the Online Case; however, this is only possible if you have sufficient time to prepare. Ideally, I would recommend starting the preparation as soon as you know that you have to take the test.
Graphs and charts are a key part of the BCG Online Case, and you can expect to face at least a few during the Case. Sometimes, you might even need to analyze multiple graphs at the same time to answer a question. Hence, building up your graph interpretation muscles will prove very beneficial. When facing a graph question, you should follow 3 steps:
- Understand the objective. The goal of the analysis is often very specific; be sure that you are going to answer the right question to avoid losing time later on
- Analyze the graph. Read the graph, identifying the key elements represented
- Define a formula to answer the question. Identify a structure or equation to derive the answer to the question based on the information provided
While the new BCG Online Case differs from traditional tests such as the McKinsey PST and the BCG Potential Test, there is still significant overlap between the skills tested. Hence, it is still beneficial to practice these tests.
If you want to prepare with the material really resembling the new BCG Online Case, you can find 2 full Casey-style tests included in the guide I created, together with several PSTs and BCG Potential Tests examples.
To succeed in the BCG Online Case final recommendation, you need to be able to communicate your thoughts in a concise and understandable manner. This is critical as you need to summarise your findings in 1 minute.
I would recommend structuring your thoughts as follows:
- Briefly repeat the goal of the case provided in the initial prompt
- Present a direct answer to the question first and only then back it up with distinct supporting points
- Structure your supporting point (eg labeling them with “First,.. Second, Third…”) to make them more clear
- End by presenting your next steps and/or risks
Given that the new BCG Online Case mimics an actual case interview, practicing cases is one of the best ways to prepare for the Online Case. Since the Online Case can be administered very early in the process, you should build up a case practice routine early.
Cases can be prepared with both top Casebooks and P2P platforms such as PrepLounge. Casebooks allow you to practice in your own free time, and those from top Business Schools such as INSEAD tend to offer high-quality cases, however, you won’t be able to test your communication skills. Meanwhile, live interviews on P2P platforms tend to be more effective in terms of communication but require more time from your end as you need to both give and receive cases, and your partners may or may not provide good feedback.
I would recommend a combination of both to prepare effectively.
The questions in the Online Case are not particularly difficult; however, unlike a test like the McKinsey PST, you cannot proceed “at your own pace”. Instead, you have to follow the evolution of the test as questions are revealed one by one. The implication of this is that you will feel time constraints as you won’t know how difficult the next questions will be and how much time they may require. Moreover, Casey will give you reminders every 5 minutes, which may add additional pressure.
To mitigate these issues, I would recommend paying attention to how much time you are spending on a question and to provide a best-guess answer if you have already spent a substantial amount of time (i.e., 4+ minutes) on a single question.
In order to mimic the real conditions of the Online Case, I would recommend practicing on the McKinsey PST and/or BCG Potentials Test with a strict time limit. This means spending approximately 2 minutes per question. This is especially critical for the math questions as candidates often find the math in the Online Case to be particularly challenging given the time constraints. Additionally, you should attempt these tests on a computer to mimic the Online Case experience as closely as possible.
During the Online Case, you will be presented with several multiple-choice questions. These questions may provide a lot of options and you may have to pick either the best one or select all those that are applicable/relevant. Hence, it is critical that you don’t get confused by all the options that are available to you.
To avoid this, I would recommend eliminating the options that are not applicable whenever you don’t know the right answer right away. This is often much easier than trying to identify the correct answer(s) upfront. Once you have restricted your options to a reasonable number, it will be easier to narrow them down to the best ones.
A great environment will help you to increase concentration and be totally focused on the questions. Some tips that may help you to have the right setup for the test are:
- Take the test in a silent room with a pen, paper, and a calculator ready, so that you can fully focus on the Online Case and have everything in place to perform well
- Check your Internet connection, webcam, and microphone beforehand
- Dress formally for the video interview