Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 458,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

Does your background matter in the Interview (1st round BCG)?

BCG Germany
New answer on Jan 25, 2020
4 Answers
1.6 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jan 23, 2020


I have my first round interiew at BCG in Düsseldorf coming up soon. I have practised a lot with different people (more than 50 cases), but of course I still feel not 100% confident. I have a PhD in Biomedical Sciences and no prior business experience. Will this be taken into account when I am interviewed?

Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
replied on Jan 24, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi! Your background is irrelevant regaring the "performance" you are expected to deliver. But this is fine. Please understand that BCG is NOT interested in any business knowledge. They are only interested in your raw analytical horsepower, your communication strength, and your personality traits. If this is given, the relevant knowledge will come very swiftly "on the job". When I recruited for BCG and McKinsey, I always (jokingly) said "I don't hire topic experts, I hire talent!".

Cheers, Sidi

Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Jan 23, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


You should not be worried about yuor profile not being 100% business, if you got the interview is because they find it interesting. However, don´t commit the mistake of thinking that this is going to make it somehow "easier" or more "merciful" if you make a mistake, for the fact that you have not worked in business before.

The bar is the same for all candidates, regardless of the background, and it´s always very high.

It´s totally normal to be nervous even if you feel you are well prepared, so don´t worry and just make the most out of the time you have left to polish whatever you are struggeling most with.

Good luck!



Was this answer helpful?
replied on Jan 25, 2020
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hello there,

It is completely normal to feel nervous right before interviews with these leading firms in the sector. Some might say that it is a sign of an over-achiever, whom often experiencing impostor syndrome, which on the bright side propelled them to always deliver their very best in every occassion.

Do take this anxiety in a positive note as it is one of the driving factor that kept you going to up to 50+ cases in your preparation, but don't let it consume you in the interview itself.

With regards to your academic background, it is rarely being taken into account especially if you are interviewing for a generalist role.
You wil be tested like any other candidates and resta ssured that your expertise will not be taken against you.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,

Was this answer helpful?
replied on Jan 23, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


No, the bar is standard and the background doesn't matter. So suggest to heavily invest your time in preparation.


Was this answer helpful?
Sidi gave the best answer


McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers
Q&A Upvotes
134 Reviews
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely
You are a true consultant! Thank you for consulting us on how to make PrepLounge even better!