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BCG 1st Round Interview Charts & Data

Luis asked on Sep 16, 2019 - 3 answers
Marketing student at The University of Texas at Austin - Red McCombs School of Business

When BCG presents charts, data, or any information with graphs, how is it presented to the interviewee? Are you verbally told to see how you digest and intrepret the information in your own way or will they physically hand you the charts, data, etc. on a paper.

Basically, will you have to be a quick writer and excellent organizer of that data or am I overthinking it and they actually give you that info?

Thanks

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Vlad
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replied on Sep 16, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
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Hi,

If it is a relativelt small piece of data (e.g. Rvenue, Price, etc) - they'll just tell you the number

If it is a large set of information they'll give you a printount (Chart or table)

You can use the following approach:

  1. Take a minute to look at the graph
  2. Read the graph title
  3. Look at the graph type and define the type (pie chart, line chart, etc)
  4. Look at the legend (ask for clarifying questions if necessary)
  5. Identify whats going on on the graph. Look for: Trends, % structures,
  6. Look for unusual things (consultants love to integrate these traps in charts) - correlations, outliers, etc
  7. Make 3-4 conclusions from the graph. Think of potential hypothesis on what could be the root cause / what are the consequences
  8. Prioritize the most important for your current analysis and move forward with the case

Sources to learn from (prioritized):

  1. Study "Say it with Charts" book by Barbara Minto
  2. Learn basic statistics (Any GMAT or MBA prep guides)
  3. Check all available MBB presentations and publications. Practice to derive conclusions and check yourself with the actual ones from the article / presentation
  4. GMAT IR part (Official guide and Manhattan prep)
  5. "Consulting Bible" and "Vault guide for consulting" - check the chapters on cases with graphs in these books

Good luck!

Thank you, this definitely helps ease my nerves! — Luis on Sep 16, 2019

Marco-Alexander
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replied on Sep 16, 2019
Former BCG | Case author for efellows book | Experience in 6 consultancies (Stern Stewart, Capgemini, KPMG, VW Con., Horvath, zeb)
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Hi Luis,

I do not speak of BCG, but of the whole industry as such: If you get charts in an interview, then you "really" get the charts (on paper).

Best regards
Marco-Alexander

I appreciate the information, this definitely helps. Thank you! — Luis on Sep 16, 2019

Thorben replied on Sep 17, 2019

Hi Luis,

just had my second round interview at BCG. In the first interview we had a qualitative discussion (the interviewer showed me a deck on the his iPad) about the recent downturn in Germany and what influences the trend and what manufacturers can do to fight this trend.

The second interviewer showed me a table on his computer which I need to complete by doing rough calculations, the %-calculations need to be done by one decimal place.

In the first round I didn't get any tables. All relevant data was shared verbally.

Hope this helps?

Best,

Thorben

Yes, this definitely helps. Thank you for the information! — Luis on Sep 17, 2019

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