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BCG Real Life Interview

Hi there,

I just qualified to the 2nd round in my BCG Interview and wanted to ask if you guys have some information on the BCG Real Life-Interview customary in the German offices?

Thankful for any leads!

Hi there,

I just qualified to the 2nd round in my BCG Interview and wanted to ask if you guys have some information on the BCG Real Life-Interview customary in the German offices?

Thankful for any leads!

13 answers

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Hi Anonymous,

quoting a previous post I wrote, the answer depends on whether the second round is the final – the one with the partners – or just an intermediary step. In case it is an intermediary step, you will go through an interview similar to the one in the first round, that is, covering:

  1. Introduction: are you able to summarize the information and clarify the goal?
  2. Structure: can you present an appropriate structure for the case?
  3. Graph analysis (not always present at BCG): can you interpret tables/graphs and provide insides on them?
  4. Math: are you able to go through a math exercise under pressure, structuring it?
  5. Sum up: are you able to provide a concise recommendation for the CEO/client?

The main difference you will find in a final round with partners is that at that stage they (i) spend more time on fit questions and (ii) may not have a “proper” structured case to present – during my final at BCG I had one interview which was made by two market sizing questions and a brainteaser, without any business case. That's because at the final they know you can structure and crack a case (you passed 1 or 2 rounds already) and are more interested in your logic, personality and fit with the company.

Best,

Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

quoting a previous post I wrote, the answer depends on whether the second round is the final – the one with the partners – or just an intermediary step. In case it is an intermediary step, you will go through an interview similar to the one in the first round, that is, covering:

  1. Introduction: are you able to summarize the information and clarify the goal?
  2. Structure: can you present an appropriate structure for the case?
  3. Graph analysis (not always present at BCG): can you interpret tables/graphs and provide insides on them?
  4. Math: are you able to go through a math exercise under pressure, structuring it?
  5. Sum up: are you able to provide a concise recommendation for the CEO/client?

The main difference you will find in a final round with partners is that at that stage they (i) spend more time on fit questions and (ii) may not have a “proper” structured case to present – during my final at BCG I had one interview which was made by two market sizing questions and a brainteaser, without any business case. That's because at the final they know you can structure and crack a case (you passed 1 or 2 rounds already) and are more interested in your logic, personality and fit with the company.

Best,

Francesco

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Hi,

BCG Real Life cases are 3 very short cases / business situations that you have to solve. The key difference - they are very time constrained (±10 min) and you don't have to do the full structure and follow through it.

The best way to prepare - prepare in the same way you would prepare for the regular case interviews. Also, since these cases are less about the initial framework and more about business sense, I would recommend paying a lot of attention to practicing the cases in various industries / functions:

  1. Focus on the most common industries in the following priority(sorted by probability of getting a case): 1-retail and CPG; 2-airlines; 3-Telecom; 4-banking; 5-natural resources; 6-tech. I strongly recommend practice drawing structures for each industry - profitability, value chain, etc.
  2. Then I will switch to getting functional knowledge and key concepts in Marketing (Brand and trade marketing tools, etc), Supply chain (Ops metrics like cycle time and throughput time, distribution and delivery specifics, etc), Finance (Basic Accounting and Valuation).
  3. Every 10 cases revisit the previous cases and think how you would structure them differently now having the new experience and having solved the new types of cases

Good sources might be:

  • Books - one good book about airlines with numbers and industry analysis can give you all needed industry knowledge
  • Company reports, equity reports, etc - usually have a good overview of company and industries.One of the best sources to prepare
  • HBS cases - quite useful, but not sure if lot's of them available publically. Probably worth buying

Best!

Hi,

BCG Real Life cases are 3 very short cases / business situations that you have to solve. The key difference - they are very time constrained (±10 min) and you don't have to do the full structure and follow through it.

The best way to prepare - prepare in the same way you would prepare for the regular case interviews. Also, since these cases are less about the initial framework and more about business sense, I would recommend paying a lot of attention to practicing the cases in various industries / functions:

  1. Focus on the most common industries in the following priority(sorted by probability of getting a case): 1-retail and CPG; 2-airlines; 3-Telecom; 4-banking; 5-natural resources; 6-tech. I strongly recommend practice drawing structures for each industry - profitability, value chain, etc.
  2. Then I will switch to getting functional knowledge and key concepts in Marketing (Brand and trade marketing tools, etc), Supply chain (Ops metrics like cycle time and throughput time, distribution and delivery specifics, etc), Finance (Basic Accounting and Valuation).
  3. Every 10 cases revisit the previous cases and think how you would structure them differently now having the new experience and having solved the new types of cases

Good sources might be:

  • Books - one good book about airlines with numbers and industry analysis can give you all needed industry knowledge
  • Company reports, equity reports, etc - usually have a good overview of company and industries.One of the best sources to prepare
  • HBS cases - quite useful, but not sure if lot's of them available publically. Probably worth buying

Best!

s — Tim on Jul 04, 2018 (edited)

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One of my clients went through this in the Munich office just a few weeks ago (and yes, she got an offer). The real life portion of the interviews were 3 12-minutes live cases where you basically have to think on your feet and do these mini-cases in a very short amount of time. As far as I can tell, this is brand new since earlier clients (think 6 months ago) only told me of a written portion.

Without much specific intel on the live cases, I'd expect the scenarios and expected answers to be very similar to a normal case, just without the benefit of time to think and write down your framework on paper.

Congrats on getting a 2nd round - this indicates BCG already believes you can do the work. At this stage in the process, you are probably 1 in 20; the final round is just a way for additional BCGers to look at you again and decide among 3 or 4 people who the lucky candidate who receives an offer will be.

Good luck!

Guennael (ex-BCG Dallas)

One of my clients went through this in the Munich office just a few weeks ago (and yes, she got an offer). The real life portion of the interviews were 3 12-minutes live cases where you basically have to think on your feet and do these mini-cases in a very short amount of time. As far as I can tell, this is brand new since earlier clients (think 6 months ago) only told me of a written portion.

Without much specific intel on the live cases, I'd expect the scenarios and expected answers to be very similar to a normal case, just without the benefit of time to think and write down your framework on paper.

Congrats on getting a 2nd round - this indicates BCG already believes you can do the work. At this stage in the process, you are probably 1 in 20; the final round is just a way for additional BCGers to look at you again and decide among 3 or 4 people who the lucky candidate who receives an offer will be.

Good luck!

Guennael (ex-BCG Dallas)

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Hi,

Usually it depends on the office. During the 2nd (final) round, you will be interviewed by partners. Typically, the case will be a variation of their experience with a client. What they're looking for is not industry knowledge, typically; instead, they want to see if you are able to understand the ask of the problem, develop a structure that addresses the key points of the case, and come up with creative considerations for the conclusion of the problem.

This is why frameworks are not advised - they can see right through them and, often, they don't apply to the types of cases you get. In addition, make sure you understand the industry by asking any relevant questions on terms and concepts you may not understand.

Lastly, the behavioral component is still important here, so make sure to practice that, too.

Hope this helps!

Carlos

Hi,

Usually it depends on the office. During the 2nd (final) round, you will be interviewed by partners. Typically, the case will be a variation of their experience with a client. What they're looking for is not industry knowledge, typically; instead, they want to see if you are able to understand the ask of the problem, develop a structure that addresses the key points of the case, and come up with creative considerations for the conclusion of the problem.

This is why frameworks are not advised - they can see right through them and, often, they don't apply to the types of cases you get. In addition, make sure you understand the industry by asking any relevant questions on terms and concepts you may not understand.

Lastly, the behavioral component is still important here, so make sure to practice that, too.

Hope this helps!

Carlos

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Hi Anonym,

I worked at BCG until recently.

If you like, we can have a call on it? Feel free to write me.

Best regards

Marco-Alexander

Hi Anonym,

I worked at BCG until recently.

If you like, we can have a call on it? Feel free to write me.

Best regards

Marco-Alexander

Hi guys,

Any new experiences with the real life part of the second round?

Thank you for your help!

Hi guys,

Any new experiences with the real life part of the second round?

Thank you for your help!

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Hi!

Hope this e-mail finds you well! Second round should be more focused on if you have that special click. From my experience the first round is a filter to understand if you have the analytical skills and if you would fit in the culture of the company.In the second round the partner should be looking for what makes you diferent, he will test you anyway on analyticals but would be looking for the business sense, the different value you could add.

Let me know if I can help you on any other topic.

Daniel

Hi!

Hope this e-mail finds you well! Second round should be more focused on if you have that special click. From my experience the first round is a filter to understand if you have the analytical skills and if you would fit in the culture of the company.In the second round the partner should be looking for what makes you diferent, he will test you anyway on analyticals but would be looking for the business sense, the different value you could add.

Let me know if I can help you on any other topic.

Daniel

Hey - As far as I heard BCG Real Life really tests your everyday consulting qualities. Could be things like small talk to a client, preparing a presentation draft very quickly or persuading somebody of your opinion.

Best, Maren

Hey - As far as I heard BCG Real Life really tests your everyday consulting qualities. Could be things like small talk to a client, preparing a presentation draft very quickly or persuading somebody of your opinion.

Best, Maren

I am referring to the final round in Germany.

I am especially interested in the real life part. What kind of tasks to expect here and important things to keep in mind.

Thanks in advance!

I am referring to the final round in Germany.

I am especially interested in the real life part. What kind of tasks to expect here and important things to keep in mind.

Thanks in advance!

Hello,

could someone maybe share some experience of the second round at BCG?

Thanks in advance!

Hello,

could someone maybe share some experience of the second round at BCG?

Thanks in advance!

Hi to the original poster,

could you possibly share some of your experience in the second round at BCG?

Thank you!

Best,

Jakob

Hi to the original poster,

could you possibly share some of your experience in the second round at BCG?

Thank you!

Best,

Jakob

Thank you very much, Guennael!

Thank you very much, Guennael!

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