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BCG waiting list

New answer on Oct 31, 2020
3 Answers
6.3 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jul 08, 2018


A few weeks ago I have finished the final round in BCG and recieved an odd answer (one of the partners who interviewed me called with the answer):

He said they put me in "THE WAITING LIST". when I asked what that means, he said something like this:

"Your Interviews went relatevly well (especially the case solving part), PEI was a bit weak, so we are not sure weather we can put you infront of a client, your performance is not a clear-cut, and might not be as professional as we would have wanted. Nevertheless, we realy liked you and your thinking so what we suggest is put you on THE WAITING LIST untill the next recrutment cycle in 4 months time, which means we want to compare you with that final round candidates of the next cycle and give you a final answer. When you get an offer at any other firm, please talk to us before accepting it, and we will figure out together what to do in that situtation."

When I asked for some statictics he said that there are currently several people in the office who got an offer after being on THE WAITING LIST as me. so I guess there is still hope.

Another piece of information: before the last round they said they onle except ONE candidate. could it be that in case he takes an offer from another firm, am I the backup?

Are you farmilier with this situation? Is there something I'm missing here? what are the recommanded steps I could take now/later to get get that offer sooner/at all?


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Best answer
replied on Jul 08, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


I would try to get the offer from another MBB firm and either go there directly or use the offer to negotiate the role at BCG.

Taking into account the feedback I would pay special attention to the following areas while intervieweing:

  • Your "look and feel"
  • Your energy level and being friendly, smiling and cheerful
  • Your ability to listen to the interviewer
  • Your ability to ask questions
  • Your interests besides career and consulting

1) Look and feel. Try to eliminate the personal root-causes: if there is something more than just case and fit. Maybe it's the way you are dressed, the way you behave, body movement, etc. Do you look mature enough? Do you behave professionally? It may sound obvious, but many candidates miss that. Make a video of your interview and show to your friends or even random people. Ask them if they would personally hire you.

2) Your energy level and being friendly, smiling and cheerful. In many cultures, it is not natural to always smile and you really have to develop that skill. Also, sometimes, when the case is hard, it is really easy to stop get deep into a thought process and get tired. When you get tired your pose and gestures are different and others can easily see that. The only recommendation here is to always control it.

3) Your ability to listen to the interviewer - don't ever interrupt an interview. Listen to him demonstrating your genuine interest

4) Your ability to ask questions. The main objective is to have a good conversation and highlight your intellectual capacity and curiosity.

It is ok to ask:

  • Questions that cause positive emotions and highlight consulting pros (e.g. Mck people)
  • Questions on the topics you are excited about (e.g. data science)
  • Non-business questions (e.g. team retreats)

It's not ok to ask:

  • Questions that can cause negative emotions (e.g. work hours)
  • Information you should learn before the interview (e.g. typical career path)
  • Questions that may show that you are unfamiliar with consulting work (Like are you specialized in strategy or operations?)

5) Your interests besides career and consulting. Talk about your interests. Tell the interviewer what motivates you besides career and money. Don't be too rational. Talk about your friends who work in consulting and their experience that motivates you. Talk about your professors / entrepreneurs / CEOs whom you admire and who were consultants before. Talk about your personal experience of working with consultants. Or about your experience in participating in consulting events. It's always good to have some personal stories that can demonstrate your passion for a particular industry or function.



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Anonymous replied on Oct 31, 2020

Very little you can do, sorry.

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Content Creator
replied on Oct 31, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Ideally, I would try to increase my negotiation power by getting an offer from another MBB firm and either go there directly or use the offer to negotiate the role at BCG

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Vlad gave the best answer


McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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