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BCG written case + 45 min presentation

Anonymous A

I have a BCG interview coming up where they are giving me 2 hours to answer questions on information they give and create 3-5 slides. I then have 45 minutes to present.

I have two questions I hope you can answer:

1) Has anyone gone through this process who can give some insight on their experience?

2) What are your suggestions on how best to prepare for this format?

Thanks

(edited)

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Anonymous B replied on 10/03/2017

Hi,

I had a written interview at BCG in the decision round just a couple of weeks back.

They put you into a room and give you a memo along with a bundle of papers. The memo is an e-mail from your senior colleague, basically saying that a new client has appeared who wants data presented tomorrow. The senior colleague is a bit too busy and needs you to summarise the data and send it to him/her asap.

The bundle is a body of around 30 slides that has a lot of info about the client. Some useful, some not.

Your goal is to distil what is important from all of this and use it to formulate an executive summary.

You won't have to 'present' in front of an audience but will discuss it with the Partner/Principal along with your rationale.

Look out for quant - if you're not calculating, you're doing something wrong.

My advice would be to begin writing the executive summary first, and fill it out as you find relevant data. WRITE DOWN YOUR RATIONALE cos under pressure you won't remember it.

Out of the 30 slides, only around 10 of mine were useful. The Principal then scrutinised my decision-making process and rationale.

It won't be easy so be sure to budget your time and keep an eye on the clock!

Good luck.

(edited)

Vlad replied on 10/08/2017
McKinsey / Accenture / More than 300 real MBB cases / Collected all Big 3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Here I've uploaded some written case samples (incl BCG)

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zor4m49eyx5qxal/AABeUN6mtiGkWhEklRjszX2Oa?dl=0

The best way to prepare is the following:

  1. Check if the calculator is allowed. So far it was. If not - you have to train mental math. I posted the main tips here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/tips-to-do-big-multiplications-in-my-mind-726#a1422
  2. Prepare for a regular case interview - it helps a lot. Basically, prep lounge website is about it
  3. Practice reading cases fast and prioritizing the information. I found useful two sources:
  • Written cases you'll be able to find in google or in case books. I've seen a couple in "Vault Guide to the Case Interview" and "Insead Business Admission Test"
  • Harvard cases - either buy or try to find online. You can find a couple of MIT cases here for free: https://mitsloan.mit.edu/LearningEdge/Pages/Case-Studies.aspx Unfortunately free cases don't have the prep questions.

Good luck!

(edited)

Francesco replied on 10/31/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (1000+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

answering to your question number 2, quoting a previous answer, this is what I would suggest for a written case:

Step 1: allocate the time

The first thing you should do in a presentation case is to define a plan and allocate in the best possible way your time. With 2h for the analysis, a good approach would include:

  • initial quick reading – 10-20m
  • structure the approach – 10m
  • make slides/answer to the questions adding detailed analysis and math – 1h20m-1h30m
  • final review – 20 min

You should then practice to stick to the time allocated, in order to maximize your final performance.

Step 2: structure the slides

There are three basic components for slides:

  1. Title
  2. Chart or data
  3. Label for chart

Many people structure the title as the mere description of what the chart is telling. A great title, instead tells the implication of the graph. Eg say the graph is showing a cost structure for a division. A bad title would be: Cost structure from 2005 to 2015. A good title would be: Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable”. A great title would be Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable due to ABC, assuming you have insides on the cause. The rule of thumb for the title is that if you read all the titles of the slides together you should get a clear idea of what is going on.

Step 3: present the slides

When you present, I would suggest the following steps for each slide:

  1. Introduce the slide: “Let’s move to slide 2, which will show us why we have an issue with this division”
  2. Present the main message of the slide: “As you can see, we have a cost structure which makes for us not feasible to be competitive in this market”
  3. Provide details: “The graph, indeed, shows how our fix cost is XYZ, while competitors can benefit from economies of scale. Indeed…”

Below you can find additional tips to prepare on the presentation:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hi-guys-who-has-experience-with-doing-a-bcg-written-case-any-ideas-on-how-to-prepare-for-this-suggestionskey-takeawaysexamples-are-more-than-welcome-thanks-a-lot-for-your-help-569#a1136

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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