BCG Case Interview (First Round)

BCG BCG Case Interview
New answer on Sep 28, 2022
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 18, 2022

Hi, 

I was wondering how the BCG case interviews are typically structured. I know they are very short (20 min) and most often candidate-led, so I am wondering what the scope of the case is. 

 

The cases provided in the case library by BCG are long and interviewer-led. Can I expect 2-3 major questions during my BCG case interview (currently preparing for the first round)? Or will there be no questions at all, given it is most probably candidate-led?

 

Many thanks for your answers

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Lucie
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replied on Sep 26, 2022
10+yrs recruiting & top BCG trainer & BCG Project leader & experienced hire & ICF coach

Hi there, 

you will be given the prompt and you should:

1. Clarify and understand the client objective and the root cause of the problem/opportunity

2. Structure how would you approach the case (imagine it is like  a pitch, just lay down how would you solve it if you would gain the pitch)

3. Choose ONLY 1, the most relevant lever to solve the case and explore it. 

4. You can expect Interviewer to usually ask you to calculate something related to the case. 

5. Recommendation of the case and closing

Please feel free to reach out for more questions, I am BCG trainer and coach. 

Good luck!

Lucie

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Sofia
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replied on Sep 18, 2022
McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching| Free 15 min intro call | Personalized approach

Hello,

BCG interviews are typically candidate-led, but the interviewer will help guide you towards the appropriate branches for your framework, so in that sense it shouldn't feel very different from an interviewer-led case. You can expect some pointers and/or guiding questions to help make sure you are on the right path, but generally it is candidate-led. If you're still not super comfortable with the idea of a candidate-led case, I recommend practicing one live with a case partner or coach, and you should get the hang of it quite quickly. You will also likely get a behavioral question at the end, unless you have been specifically told otherwise.

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Francesco
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replied on Sep 19, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: I was wondering how the BCG case interviews are typically structured. Can I expect 2-3 major questions during my BCG case interview (currently preparing for the first round)? Or will there be no questions at all

The case interview is usually candidate-led. You may occasionally have interviewer-led cases as well – in that case they will naturally ask questions. You can find a few info below comparing BCG vs McK interviews:

▶ 4 Ways BCG Interviews are Different 

The 20 min case interview is present in some countries only (eg Germany). In others (eg US) first round is sometimes done by chatbot + fit only. So there could be regional differences as well.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Ian
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replied on Sep 19, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

BCG is candidate-led which means that you need to drive the case forward!

They are typically structured with 1st a prompt, then your clarifying Qs, then your framework, then you driving the case with questions (and them providing data + exhibits), and finally a final recommendation from you when you have a clear answer.

Sometimes they'll ask questions. This might be to prod you when you are stuck, or to challenge you to make sure you're clear on thinking.

Definitely get casing with partners ASAP so you can see what it really looks like!

Also, here's some reading for you: https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/how-to-shift-your-mindset-to-ace-the-case

 

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Dominik
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replied on Sep 18, 2022
Ex-Manager @Bain | 100+ Interviews | 100% 5-Star Reviews |Case designer | Former univ' recruiting captain

Hi Anonym A,

hope to some light on your question

  • style: candidate-led - typically you derive the Majors questions of the case together with the Interviewer, i.e. it is part of your value creation to understand the problem and come up with part or all of the questions to be adressed 
  • duration: the case length depends on the Interview- typically the first round is more focused on your CV / motivation and entails a rather short case (20-25min), further rounds will be rather case-heavy (~45min)

 

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Pedro
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replied on Sep 28, 2022
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

Just wanted to highlight one common mistake that people make. Being candidate-led does not mean that you won't have multiple questions during the case. You may have a large case and are leading, but you'll be interrupted with specific questions. The cases are rarely “pure” candidate-led, but usually the lines are a bit blurred.
 

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Emily
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replied on Sep 20, 2022
Ex McKinsey EM & interviewer (5 yrs) USA & UK| Coached / interviewed 200 +|Free 15 min intro| Stanford MBA|Non-trad

As others have said, the case is interviewee led and normally around 20 minutes, although this varies by region and round. 

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Cristian
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replied on Sep 26, 2022
#1 rated and most recommended McKinsey Coach | 97% success rate (tracked) | Honest feedback: no sugar-coating

Hi there, 

This is a big question!

The main point with candidate-led cases is to try and develop a hypothesis as early as you can (which means the earliest movement when you feel you've gathered sufficient evidence to support that hypothesis). Then you'd want to go deeper and validate and refine that hypothesis further by coming up with a structured approach and asking the interviewer hypothesis-driven questions. 

What the interviewer is most interested in seeing is:

- how structured you are

- how comfortable you are with ambiguity

- how comfortable you are with driving the case yourself

Best,

Cristian

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Lucie

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10+yrs recruiting & top BCG trainer & BCG Project leader & experienced hire & ICF coach
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