Be prepared for partner interviews and their specialties even in the 1st round!

BCG Market sizing Partner Interview recommendation
New answer on May 11, 2020
6 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 10, 2020

Dear fellow interviewees,

I had 1st round interviews for an entry level position (Associate Consultant) with BCG a couple of months ago: 1 online case and 2 interviews. Both of my interviews were with partners.

The cases were alright, not too hard to structure and begin with. However, one of the partners didn't give me any time to briefly structure market sizing later in the case and my final recommendation. "just do it on the spot" - I definitely wasn't prepared for that and it took me by surprise.

Another time a director/principal played 'dumb' during the whole interview. I only know that he was playing this role, because he called me later to give me feedback and then talked completely normal with me.

Just a little heads up. It might help if you think constructively of all kinds of interview scenarios and how to best act normal, and of course practice structuring without taking time etc.

Good luck!

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Ian
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replied on May 10, 2020
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Really excellent example of why you should be prepared for almost anything.

When I coach people, I often use the "play dumb", and "the CEO has just arrived, you don't have time to brainstorm/write down your thoughts" techniques.

In practicing, you should always train your ability to respond to situations you weren't expecting...that's consulting after all!

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Emily
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updated an answer on May 11, 2020
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University

Hi there,

It is not common to have partners for the first round, but sometimes it can happen. Btw, just to add on - BCG partners are actually 3rd or 4th year principals in the past. The equity partners (real parters) are called MDP (Managing Director and Partner).

It is very generous and considerate of you sharing your experience to other candidates here. Thanks and good luck to your application process.

Best,

Emily

(edited)

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Anonymous replied on May 10, 2020

It's quite interesting that you got two partners in your first round - not very common.

And your tips are very spot on, the most crucial part of the interviews is to know how to open and close the case quickly and flexibly (i.e., ability to tailor your approach to the case and to explain it clearly). Additionally, as you said, the ability to stay composed and roll with the punches with a partner who is "acting uninterested" or "being unusually tough" is very important indeed.

Best of luck in your interview process, feel free to reach out for any additional tips.

Khaled

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Clara
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replied on May 10, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Thanks for sharing.

Few toughts here:

  • It´s very very weird that you get partners in the 1st round - are you sure about this?
  • It´s also very extrange that they don´t let you time to prep your structure in 1st round. In the 2nd one is a different story, and I experienced myself that in one of the interviews they did not let me write, but it was a think-on-your feet case

Which geography was this?

Cheers,

Clara

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Anonymous A on May 10, 2020
yes, it was written on their biographies that I got right before the interviews. on interview day one other person also had the same partners for her 1st round. It was a German speaking BCG office
Anonymous replied on May 11, 2020

Dear A,

Thanks for sharing your experience

Best,

André

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Vlad
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replied on May 11, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Thanks for this feedback! That's exactly I am coaching my candidates - they should be prepared for any situation. I'm really disappointed when I see candidates taking a narrow path in prep (e.g. preparing just for the interviewer - led cases). At the real case interview, it's always unpredictable. The whole case interview can become a brainstorming together with the consultant. Or the interviewer can be absolutely silent and you have to push him to get the data. It can easily become a stress interview. And you should always be prepared to handle these situations. Same as on the real project with a client

Best

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep
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