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BCG First Round in 7 days, can I do it ?

Advice BCG Case Interview case coaching First Round
New answer on Feb 29, 2024
13 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 18, 2024

Hey preplounge community, 

 

I have a case in 7 days with BCG, I have been busy graduate applications and family obligations so I havent cased properly in 2 months. Am I going to be able to be prepped enough in 7 days. I have almost 20 cases done so far but this was a long time ago. If the best route is to go for a coach, should i go for one now or after I brushed up my fundamentals? 

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Richard
Expert
updated an answer on Jan 18, 2024
Ex-BCG Project Leader (Boston) | Seasoned strategy consultant, coach, mentor, and interviewer

The short answer is, yes. 

However, given the limited amount of time you have, I'd strongly recommend connecting with a coach, career mentor, or peer to practice casing. Just make sure whoever it is has significant experiencing conducting or participating in case interviews - ideally they'll have both. 

Practice a few cases with them and try to get a better understanding of where your development areas are. Their feedback will help you to prioritize your time over the remaining days most effectively. 

Perhaps you'll learn you need to brush up on your fast math, your knowledge of business fundamentals, strategic frameworks or something else. Whatever your area(s) for improvement is/are , focus your prep efforts there. 

Consulting cases are more about quality than quantity, so don't get too caught up in the total number you need to have done by X date. Doing 20 practice cases by yourself the week prior to your interview will help, but it will only get you so far. In fact, without feedback, you may find yourself overlooking better ways to do things or even reinforcing bad habits. 

Hope this helps. Good luck at your interview!

(edited)

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Gabriele
Expert
updated an answer on Jan 19, 2024
Business Dev. @Multiversity | MBA @ Columbia | Ex-Bain & VC Investor| MSc @ MIT, BSc @ Bocconi

A bit subjective imo. Personally, I’d try my best to do everything I could not to have regrets later, e.g. full immersion with friends / paid coach to max out my chances.

What I would recommend is “test yourself” with an objective 3rd party (e.g. consultant friend or connection, experienced case prep coach or simply a peer who’s been doing a lot of case prep too) and get their opinion on your preparation. Then take action accordingly (e.g defer or invest in prepping for last few days).

(edited)

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Adriane
Expert
replied on Jan 18, 2024
FIRST SESSION 50% OFF | Ex-McKinsey EM & Associate

Hi there, 

There is no ‘correct’ answer to this questions. It depends on so many variables (your intrinsicts, how comprehensive you prepared previously, previous consulting interview experience etc.). If I were you, I would do a case with a coach as soon as possible and let the coach give you an honest opinion on what he / she thinks where you are. I always think it is better to move the interview than to fail it because of a lack of time (I have asked to reschedule a case interview in the past myself). Usually consulting companies want you to succeed and they know that there is not much purpose (it's a waste of time for both sides) if you are not prepared to rock the interview. 

Good luck! 

Adriane 

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Gero
Expert
replied on Jan 18, 2024
Ex-BCG │200+ Interviews & Interview Coachings @ BCG │ 25+ candidates coached into MBB │WHU/LSE/Nova │ Teacher & Trainer

Hi there,

Before answering your question, let me say one thing: If you neglect preparation to such an extent, there is a real possibility that you are either not intrinsically motivated or not organized enough to enjoy the job and perform well, even if you land an offer. I don't mean that to sound bad; I believe that consulting is not for everyone, and, of course, I cannot know if that is the case without knowing you. However, I would advise you to use the opportunity for some self-investigation to clarify your preferences.

With regards to your question, here are my thoughts:

#1 - It is impossible to determine; it depends on how well you grasped the fundamentals and how effectively you practiced in the first place.

#2 - This is why I agree with Gabriele 100% that you should seek an honest perspective from a coach or active consultant. If you want to go for a coach, do it sooner rather than later.

#3 - I have seen successful reschedules of interviews on very short notice, but they were usually justified with a solid reason.

Hope that could help!

Best,

Gero

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Hagen
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 29, 2024
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

First of all, congratulations on the invitation from BCG!

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your question:

  • First of all, I would highly advise you to consider asking to postpone the interviews. While it is completely understandable how you ended up in a situation with only 7 days of preparation for the interviews, you normally do not want to have the odds against you.
  • Moreover, if you still want to give it a try with such a short preparation time, it's crucial to make the most of the time you have. For instance, revise the cases you've already done to refresh your memory.
  • Lastly, considering your time constraints and previous case experience, as you already mentioned, I would highly advise you to engage an experienced coach now.

You can find more on this topic here: How to succeed in the final interview round.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare for your upcoming interviews, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Brad
Expert
replied on Jan 18, 2024
Expert coach | Head of recruiting for Bain | 8+ years interviewing | Free intro call

Lots of good comments here, and in my opinion the important considerations are:

  1. Yes, you can do it but no its not a sure thing. If you're going to do it, you better lean into it aggressively. Book time off work/life and commit to it 100%.
  2. Get external help (e.g. a coach). You need to yield everything out of every practice case you can. You won't get as much from an inexperienced peer.
  3. Don't for get that its not only the case interview you need to prep for. There's the fit interview and frankly your overall approach/narrative/strategy.
  4. Learn about the firm and the office (strengths, prominent people, etc). There will be chances to weave this into 3. on the day.

Good luck!

B.

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Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 19, 2024
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hi there,

Without having seen you do a case, it is impossible to give you an accurate evaluation here. Any different answer would be the same as looking through a crystal ball.

If you want to maximize your chances, you need to raise your weaknesses to a robust level while improving your strengths to become spikes. This is the profile that will give you an offer. 

If you have any doubts or are not sure where you stand across all dimensions that BCG evaluates, I would hire a coach to avoid regrets.

A good coach should also get you away from the mentality of "doing X cases do pass an interview." If you have done 50 cases but have not learned a robust method to approach them like a consultant (quantity over quality), this means nothing in terms of being prepared or able to pass any MBB interview.

If you decide to go with a coach the sooner you work with a coach the better as every day you spent preparing before that is not as efficient as it could be after having your baseline score evaluated, after having been taught a proper method, and after having received a prep plan. 

All the best to you!

Cheers,

Florian

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Nikita
Expert
replied on Jan 18, 2024
MBB & Tier2 preparation | 90+ offers | 7 years coaching | 2000+ sessions | PDF reviews attached

Hey,

Agree with Gero here: you need to get your priorities straight.
Graduate and family matters are, of course, important. But they can not be used as an excuse for you subpar interview performance.

You don't get many shots in life at an MBB interview and approaching it in such a lax way leaving only 7 days to prepare is almost a surefire way to fail.

My opinion: postpone the interview and take proper 2-3 months too prepare. I suggest the following approach:

1. Getting coaching when you are a complete beginner to learn the basics;

2. After you've learned the basics, practice cases with peers to polish your case solving process and acquire understanding of a wide range of industries and problem types;

3. Before the interview, ask a few acting consultants to give you cases in a mock-interview format to assess your readiness.

P.S. Hope my response doesn't sound too harsh. It just pains me to see how many good opportunities are wasted because candidate don't take enough time to prepare.

Good luck!
Nick

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Cam
Expert
replied on Jan 18, 2024
Ex-McKinsey EM | 100+ interviews including final round | Cambridge Engineer | INSEAD MBA | London & Sydney Offices

First of all, congratulations on getting an interview, that is a great first step!

On can you do it, absolutely, but it will depend a little on the quality of your preparation to date and the actions you take over the next week. Bear in mind case interviews are about testing the way you think, and for some people that is intrinsic, for others it just needs a bit more coaching. I would suggest you try to do a couple of warm up cases first with a buddy if you can, and then a couple of coaching sessions. This will help you maximise the value of coaching as you will have a better indication on what is working well and what is a little rusty/needs work. 
 

Hope this helps!

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 19, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there!

Sorry to hear about the short timeline. 

If I were you, I would postpone the interview. Feel free to reach out and I can advise you on how to do that. 

Then, with a more generous timeline, I suggest getting a coach to make sense of the few additional weeks they might give you. 

If you do get a coach, I would strongly encourage you to get them early. You don't need to do more sessions, but it's important to get their perspective early on what you're strong in and what you're struggling with. Plus, they should be able to give you a clear indication of what to focus on with your prep and provide you with the materials for doing so. 

Best,
Cristian

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 19, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

1) Am I going to be able to be prepped enough in 7 days

This is difficult to comment as we don’t know your level. If you don’t feel ready, I would recommend to ask to postpone.

2) I have almost 20 cases done so far but this was a long time ago. If the best route is to go for a coach, should I go for one now or after I brushed up my fundamentals? 

If you want to get coaching, I would recommend getting a session early on, as most coaches will also help you to define a prep plan, thus also help with the practice you could do on your own.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 18, 2024
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Ok, luckily you've done 20 cases…that's really good!

Yes, you can do it.

Yes, you 100% should get a coach (ASAP).

Now, be careful, you can't cram 10 sessions in. You should do somewhere between 3 and 5 to get the right level of guidance/coaching.

I've managed to train people from 0 to 100 in just 1 week (not advised) so you definitely can with 20 cases under your belt!

But, move fast!

Some reading to help:

The Most Common Pitfalls in Case Interview Preparation

How to Shift Your Mindset to Ace the Case
 

Candidate-Led Cases: What to Expect With Example Cases

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Alberto
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 21, 2024
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Hi there,

Get a coach as soon as possible so he/she can help you focus on your weakest areas to be as efficient as possible.

Best,

Alberto

Check out my latest case based on a real MBB interview: Sierra Springs

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Richard gave the best answer

Richard

Ex-BCG Project Leader (Boston) | Seasoned strategy consultant, coach, mentor, and interviewer
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