Cookie and Privacy Settings

This website uses cookies to enable essential functions like the user login and sessions. We also use cookies and third-party tools to improve your surfing experience on preplounge.com. You can choose to activate only essential cookies or all cookies. You can always change your preference in the cookie and privacy settings. This link can also be found in the footer of the site. If you need more information, please visit our privacy policy.

Data processing in the USA: By clicking on "I accept", you also consent, in accordance with article 49 paragraph 1 sentence 1 lit. GDPR, to your data being processed in the USA (by Google LLC, Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Inc., Stripe, Paypal).

Manage settings individually I accept

Question merged

This question is read-only because it has been merged with Clarifying questions.

2

How to ask open questions

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.)?

Cheers,

Jerry Zhang

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.)?

Cheers,

Jerry Zhang

(edited)

2 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer

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 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

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

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

Related case(s)

BCG Questions

Solved 27.4k times
BCG Questions What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation where you were not the official leader.
4.5 5 212
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit Interview | Topics: Personal fit

What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation where ... Open whole case

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 17.7k times
MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.6 5 630
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvant ... Open whole case

Espresso, Whatelse?

Solved 10.3k times
Espresso, Whatelse? Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand the root causes of this 2019 trend and how to increase its profit margin again.  
4.6 5 510
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand ... Open whole case

Hot Wheels

Solved 5.5k times
Hot Wheels Problem definition: Our client is Korean Car Parts (KCP), a multi-national original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of car parts based in Korea. They've recently seen a decline in profits and have brought us in to understand how to address this falling profitability.
4.6 5 297
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Problem definition: Our client is Korean Car Parts (KCP), a multi-national original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of car parts based in Korea. They've recently seen a decline in profits and have brought us in to understand how to address this falling profitability. Open whole case

MBB Case – Consulting a Government

Solved 4.6k times
MBB Case – Consulting a Government Our client is the government of an imaginary country which is suffering from strong protests and riots by its own population. The client would like to understand the reason for these protests. In a second step, the client wants you to make suggestions for improvement to end these protests. In answering those two questions, what factors would you consider in making your potential recommendation?  
4.5 5 208
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)

Our client is the government of an imaginary country which is suffering from strong protests and riots by its own population. The client would like to understand the reason for these protests. In a second step, the client wants you to make suggestions for improvement to end these protests. In answer ... Open whole case