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How to ask open questions

Jiesheng asked on Feb 06, 2017 - 2 answers
Looking for Case partners. Currently BCG PTA, seeking for consulting summer internship.

Hi there,

It's my first post at PL, really excited to get thoughts from such a helpful society.

Recently after I had several mock cases with partners where the cases are real interiew cases at BCG China rather than those on casebooks, I am confused about raising open questions:

1. I understand the function of open questions is narrowing down the case scope into 1-2 major areas. After hearing the case background, how many open questions (or how many minutes )should I ask before I start drawing my structure?

2. What kind of open questions are deemed to be really "sharp" and helpful? Does the answer to this question change by the case topic (Profitability, M&A, Market Entry, etc.)?


Jerry Zhang


2 answers

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Best Answer
Anonymous replied on Feb 16, 2017

Hi Jiesheng,

I guess you mean questions to the interviewer after he/she presented the case setting.

In general, these questions should be very focused on defining the scope of the case. As a rule-of-thumb, I would not recommend asking more than 2-3 questions / 1-2 minutes.

In my experience, the most common mistakes that candidates make during this phase are

  1. Not being focused on the case setting just described
  2. Going into detail at this stage already
  3. Not asking (the right) questions

Hope that helps!

Hi Chris! Thanks for the reply! I am curious about the 3rd point you've mentioned: What kind of questions are THE RIGHT QUESTIONS? Could you pls elaborate a little bit more? — Jiesheng on Feb 22, 2017

Anonymous D replied on Feb 16, 2017

Hey Jerry.

Sorry that I am not answering your questions, I just wonder what type of BCG cases you had?could you share it with me?e*************@g****.com

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