how does a referral works at BCG?

BCG Referral
Edited on Sep 05, 2021
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Oct 30, 2018

I am an entry level candidate.

I connected with a project leader at BCG that offered to bring my candidacy forward.

I sent him my CV and cover letter a week ago asking him to explain me whether I should just wait or apply through the website in the meantime. No answer so far. I am planning to write him back next week.

a) how does this referral normally work?

b) how can I be nice and not pushy through my e-mail next week?what should I write him?

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replied on Oct 30, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


There are certain criteria for the referral:

  1. The consultant makes you a reference in the system and uploads your resume. Usually, he has to indicate why he thinks you are a good candidate
  2. You skip some steps in the recruiting process (CV screening at McK, Test at Bain)
  3. The consultant gets a referral bonus ($) if you get a job offer

As you can see simply mentioning a person in your CL does not change the process at all.

The conversion to reference will be higher among consultant / manager level people who are still interested in the referral bonus. The basic idea is to ask these people for a mock interview.

In your case - just gently remind him. It's totally fine since consultants are busy and it's easy to forget something.


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replied on Oct 30, 2018
x-BCG Dubai, x-Recruitment lead for BCG, Case Interview Expert (350+ interviews, 100% recommendation rate), Ops Manager @ Uber

Typically I just forwarded the application to HR and they noted down the referral. I don't think I have seen a system on a global level that allows employees to submit referrals.

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Anonymous replied on Apr 29, 2020


I would like to explain you the mechanics how referrals usually work:

My mentee sends me the documents (CV and cover letter) for a specific company.

I have a very wide network of friends, former colleagues and ex-mentees on high
positions in consulting (partners, principals and managers) across the world. I chat
with them individually praising your competences and skills. Afterwards, I ask them to
follow your documents on their behalf directly to their HR ladies while putting a word
for you.

In that way you may get your “partner referral” which normally brings you to the pole
position for the interview. You may compare it to “skipping the line for business
class” at the airport.

I am happy to answer your questions as well as to help to get interviews and convert them into offers.


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Anonymous replied on Oct 30, 2018

In answer to your question - the only way to know for sure is to follow up with your connection. However, I strongly suspect you will still have to apply on the website, since BCG will ask for more info beyond what is on your CV / CL - so more likely they will add it as a note to your profile.

Secondly, some companies have started introducing global referral systems / databases. If I refer someone, I mark their name down in the system, how I know them etc. and if someone with that name applies, my comments will show up as part of their app.

Good luck!

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Content Creator
updated an answer on Sep 05, 2021
Former BCG | Case author for efellows book | Experience in 6 consultancies (Stern Stewart, Capgemini, KPMG, VW Con., Hor


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Content Creator
replied on Feb 28, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

Don’t ask directly about a referral. I would recommend youto reach out on LinkedIn and try to get a call.

Try to find something in common and mention it correctly. Learning a LinkedIn profile will help you with this.

Do you need any further help?

All the best,


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Anonymous A replied on Oct 30, 2018

Vasilis, thank you for your answer, but what I meant is whether I should just waitt a call from a HR or I should apply also on the website

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Vlad gave the best answer


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