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BCG - Bad HR experience and is it a sign of bigger problems?

MBB Interviewing Scheduling
New answer on Oct 17, 2023
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Oct 24, 2017

Dear All

I am having a difficult time dealing with BCG's HR team and am wanting to hear if anyone else is having similar experiences and your thoughts on how this reflects on the firm?

By way of background I applied to one of their expert positions in a specialist practice 6 months ago. Approximately 4 months later BCG HR reached out to schedule an interview. I responded promptly but to date have still not been able to confirm an interview time.

I don't want to go into specifics for fear of outing myself but in short I have experienced the following from the BCG HR contact I am dealing with:

- Lack of business and service sense - not wanting to go into specifics here but the lady I am dealing with lacks basic judgment and ability on the candidate journey, the candidate experience and how to manage candidate expectations.

- Scheduling an interview for me but not actually emailing me to confirm the interview (I only found out about the interview on the morning of the interview when another HR member emailed me to say that the interview was cancelled). This was approximately 7 weeks ago now. I have been trying to reschedule an interview since then;

- Not scheduling an informational chat as she promised. To date she still hasn't been able to schedule an informational chat.

- Missed every promised deadline and promised action. e.g. not updating me or getting back to me when promised. This was both right from the get go and in response to me chasing her up over the last 7 weeks.

- She has now dropped off the face of the earth. I sent a final follow up (2 in total over the past 4 weeks) last week and she hasn't responded.

My experience with HR is a mixed bag. If I hear of things like the above from say a Big 4 or a Fortune 500 I'm not surprised. I have had experiences with McK, GS and JPM each of which was superlative. But to see this from a firm the stature of BCG is shocking to say the least and flys in the face of every value that BCG stands for (both their client and firm values).

Does anyone have any thoughts on this and whether this is symptomatic of greater problems at BCG? While I may have got a dud HR lady, this also reflects very poorly on the BCG partners and consultants who need to work with HR to ensure the candidate has an exceptional journey. They are operating an integrated organisation and need to communicate clearly to HR if there is any holdup.

Also, any strategies you can think of to get my interview or should I just move on?

PS - As I understand, according to my HR contact the reason for the scheduling challenge on BCG's end is that the Principal I am interviewing with is travelling and unable to commit to a time. I am assuming that given this is a specialist expert hire, it's only Principals in that specialist area (of which there are not many of in my region) who can do the interview.

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Content Creator
replied on Oct 24, 2017
FREE 15min call | #1 Bain Coach |10y+ experience helping candidates securing MBB offers| Tailored prep | 5 stars reviews

Hi Anonymous,

I am sorry to hear that you are having bad experience with BCG recruiting process. All the candidates I am in contact with which are currently undergoing a process at BCG did not share any particular concern. In my personal view this is an isolated case and does not reflect any firm-wide problems regarding HR, but it is more linked to the function or the specific person. While there might be several explanations behind the lady behaviour (but that for sure do not even partly justify the lack of candidate management or bad communication) I do tend to believe that the explanation provided in term of challenge to fit timings could be reasonable.
Therefore my suggestion would be to remain positive, and keep on providing your availability and flexibility (mention that you would be open also to a remote interview) and do keep regular contact with them.


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Content Creator
replied on Oct 17, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer


Shedding some light on this and similar challenges. This definitely seems like an outlier and not the norm, but based on my experience and knowledge (from chatting with people in different offices) this is definitely not unheard of. 

The one thing I will mention is that sometimes HR is ‘caught in the middle’ especially if the consultants are not being cooperative. But it does sound like HR did not follow up with your process like they should have.

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Anonymous B replied on Oct 25, 2017

Hey there,

I am ex-BCG and I would also think that is isolated. Potentially just a dud HR person, and the fact that she dropped of the face of the earth does imply that she was either removed or does do something completely different now.

I would just try to call the Recruiting team and ask to speak to the person responsible for experienced hires, and potentially have conversations with other people. My feeling is that they feel embarrased for what has happened so far and sort it out for you.

BCG knows that people need to be treated well. In internal training documents there is even a part about how turned down applications are potential future clients, therefore they need to be treated with the same respect as a steering committee on a project. In my interactions with them that was always reflected.

Good luck!

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Anonymous replied on Sep 27, 2020

Hi A,

This is really unpleasant experience.

I think this lady didn't stay at her job for a long time. The way she treated you was completely inappropriate, especially for MBB.

Best, André

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replied on Jan 23, 2018
Former BCG interviewer

I agree with others' opinion that you had a non-performing HR person. I would also add that the Principal that was supposed to interview you might have made her job extremely challanging and she didn't deal with it in a transparent way with you, the candidate

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Riccardo gave the best answer


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