Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 457,000 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!

How to prep 1st round of interviews with BCG in less than 1 week?

BCG BCG Case Interview Oliver Wyman Time-limit
New answer on May 03, 2024
9 Answers
342 Views
Anonymous A asked on May 02, 2024

Dear PrepLounge community,

I am an Oliver Wyman Associate in the EU (soon to be Engagement Manager). 

I was approached by a BCG Senior Partner who invited me to start the recruitment process - directly to interview, without having to do the case online.

I accepted the invitation and have the first round of interviews scheduled for next week - in 8 days from today.

I work c.14-16 hours per day (excl. weekends) therefore not much time to prepare.

Can you give me any recommendations / advice / resources / tips / etc. in order to best prepare with the time I have?

Does the fact of me being an Oliver Wyman associate put me in a privileged position for the interview or the opposite?

Thank you very much in advance.

Cheers

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Tiago
Expert
replied on May 02, 2024
ex-BCG Consultant & Interviewer | +150 interviews | Tackle any case w/o memorizing frameworks | Harvard MBA

Hi,

First, I want to tell you that I think you already have the right skill set, mindset, and experience to do well in the interview — it's very important that you trust your abilities and don't overthink this.

However, I do think you should prepare, so I'll try to structure an approach for each part of the interview:

  1. Personal/fit: this is a quick win that you can ace with little effort. I'm sure you have plenty of nice stories, so spend 3-4 hours preparing your best ones (prioritizing your projects at OW) that demonstrate leadership, teamwork, drive, and also that you really know what differentiates BCG from other consulting firms (definitely prepare for “Why transfer from OW to BCG”). You should be able to convey that you were a very strong asset at OW and, with that, prove you will also be at BCG. Very important: coming from consulting, they will be expecting a lot of structure and conciseness from you, so prepare conveniently for this
  2. Case: I honestly think the key is not overthinking it. You know how to tackle a problem in a structured way, how to MECE, how to build your hypotheses, prioritize your analysis, ask clarifying questions, and summarize your conclusions. You just know how to think and act like a consultant — because you are one (with a lot of experience)! Do a couple of mock interviews with senior colleagues from OW just to refresh the basics, and RELAX! Also, spend a couple of hours refreshing your mental math - BCG interviewers won't tolerate any math errors from an OW Associate soon-to-be EM.
  3. Final questions: prepare a couple of interesting and smart questions that demonstrate you know the industry very well but are really interested in learning more about how BCG works. Use ChatGPT to get some ideas.

Once again - don't overthink it. I'm sure you could do it tomorrow without any preparation and still ace it.

Good luck, you've got this!

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous A on May 15, 2024

Thank you very much Tiago! I followed your advice and both interviews went well - I passed to the 2nd round.

Sidi
Expert
replied on May 02, 2024
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi Anonymous A, 

Great answers already here. To add to that: 

Congrats on the invitation! Now, do not lose the chance to bring home an offer! Note that the only thing a referral from a partner ensures is that you actually enter the interviewing process instead of being weeded out at the screening stage. So if you feel you still need time to prepare, don't rush into the interview and try to reschedule it.

Let me repeat that: try to postpone the interview if you are not fully "ready"! Just give them a realistic time when you would be able to do the interview, so you don't need to postpone again. Your interviewers will not even know you postponed, since they have nothing to do with the management of the process.

My recommendation would be to allow enough time for your preparation and to find someone who REALLY understands MBB consulting—not someone who just had a 1-3 year stint—to coach and mentor you on how to properly think through such problems. 

In the optimal scenario, you receive coaching by an experienced former interviewer, and you complement this with a hand-picked set of determined high-quality practice partners (e.g., other candidates that are applying to the same firms).

You then have to distinguish between coaching sessions and practice sessions.

  • The coaching sessions are used to get an understanding of what is tested in the interview, how you need to think, how to craft bullet-proof logic, and how to navigate through this logic.
  • The practice sessions are used to get additional repetitions under your belt to make it "second nature".

We do offer an INTENSIVE VERSION of our program for mentees that are on a shorter deadline. From experience, my mentees in such intensive program need about 10 days to 4 weeks to get to a level that could be called "MBB offer-ready".

Cheers, Sidi

_______________________

Dr. Sidi Koné 

(🚀 Ex BCG & McKinsey Sr. Project Manager, now helping high potential individuals join the world's top Strategy Consulting firms (McKinsey | BCG | Bain))


 

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 02, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

1) Can you give me any recommendations / advice / resources / tips / etc. in order to best prepare with the time I have?

As a main recommendation, if you don’t feel you can be ready in 8 days (I don’t see it as likely if you work 14-16 hours per day, even if you are familiar with the interview process), you can ask to postpone. They might not allow it, but you have nothing to lose by asking.

In terms of general preparation, I would recommend the following:

How to Prepare for a Consulting Interview

2) Does the fact of me being an Oliver Wyman associate put me in a privileged position for the interview or the opposite?

This should have contributed to getting the interview in the first place. In theory, they should judge your performance in the interview exactly like all the other candidates. In practice, they might have a positive bias, given that you are already in the industry.

Good luck!

Francesco

Was this answer helpful?
Hagen
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 02, 2024
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

First of all, congratulations on the invitation from BCG!

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your questions:

  • First of all, I would highly advise you to get in touch with the recruiter and ask about rescheduling the interviews. While you can theoretically prepare for the interviews within a week, especially if you have some "case study memory" as I'm sure you do, your preparation will certainly benefit from additional time.
  • Moreover, if that is not possible, I would advise you to consider working with a coach to get the necessary acceleration in your preparation. As the most experienced coach in consulting, interviewing and coaching, I would be happy to help you with this.
  • Lastly, while working at Oliver Wyman has certainly helped you get the interview process underway, they will most certainly only be evaluating your performance in the interview without your current employer influencing you positively or negatively.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare for your upcoming interviews, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

 

You can find the consulting salaries report 2024 here!

Was this answer helpful?
Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 02, 2024
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hi there,

That's great and terrifying news at the same time ;D. One week is not a lot, especially with a consultant's schedule like yours.

Let's look at the situation:

If you are coming from OW and are a soon-to-be EM, you have the necessary skill set to perform well during the BCG interviews. You should be fine with

  • Communication
  • Problem-Solving
  • Analytics

I have worked with tons of current consultants who moved to MBB and they all had an edge.

However, regarding your last point, expectations are also high (on all elements in the case and leadership/impact during the fit).

The key challenges for you would be to 

a. find a replicable approach for cases that works every time and highlights your skill set (it's one thing to be a strong problem solver but its a learned skill to demonstrate that in the correct way during a case).

b. polish rusty skills such as mental math to become faster/smoother again.

c. create a list of strong fit interview stories that fit the BCG narrative.

Given your goal and timeframe (and financial means), the only sensible answer would be to hire a coach for a couple of intense sessions to work.

I would argue around 3 sessions with a coach and time spent alone to work on your weaknesses.

Reach out if you need help!

Cheers,

Florian

Was this answer helpful?
Pedro
Expert
replied on May 03, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

Let me give you an very direct answer:

  • You should not need a lot of preparation. As a consultant, thinking like a consultant is part of your day job.
  • However, you are right, this is not enough. You need to be up to speed on the recruiting format
  • My suggestion is to grab an experienced coach - avoid those that focus on mock interviews. You want want to do a case with you using a step-by-step approach and guiding you and, most importantly, who can understand where your strengths are and show you your blind spots and how to correct them
  • A good coach (someone with multiple years of consulting) using this approach should be your 1st step. The 2nd step is to focus on specific parts of the interview (e.g. market estimates, brainstorming questions, problem solving) depending on your weaknesses, and on cases overall.

Since in reality you only have two days, you need to start with a strong coach first, spend the weekend practicing, do a second session with the coach, and off you go. Since you have what it takes to be a consultant, this should be enough.

Was this answer helpful?
Dennis
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 03, 2024
Ex-Roland Berger|Project Manager and Recruiter|7+ years of consulting experience in USA and Europe

Hi there,

lots of good recommendations already. My thoughts on this in a condensed form:

  • Since you are already working as a consultant, you have successfully gone through the interview preparation process before so you don't have to reinvent the wheel
  • You now have real life experience so you can draw from how you actually solved client problems on the job rather than just try to think through theoretical interview cases like you likely did the first time around
  • Quick wins will be to practice mental math every day until the interview
  • Make sure you have compelling stories to tell for the typical fit dimensions (leadership, team player, conflict resolution, etc.) - you should now have plenty of relevant experience to draw from
  • The expectations regarding your interview performance will likely be higher compared to candidates who have not already worked in consulting - you are basically being tested on your current job skills
  • I don't see a whole lot of merit in postponing the interview - you will likely keep working 14-16 hours per day (there will always be a new project) - so unless you significantly kick the can down the road, I'm inclined to say that one or two weekends more will likely not make a huge difference
  • Get a coach for a case simulation interview so you can at least gauge where you currently stand

Best of luck

Was this answer helpful?
Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 02, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

I wouldn't accept the deadline as a given. I'd speak with the recruiter and push it to a time that is doable for you. 

In the meantime, I'd get an expert assessment to figure out what is the gap that you need to close and how long will it realistically take you to get there. This will then help you to align on a timeline with the recruiter for the interview. 

There is absolutely no rush to do it in a week. 

So don't put yourself in the impossible position of crunching everything in that space, especially with your schedule. 

Being an OW consultant helps because you know the industry and the typical application process, but that's about it. 

Do reach out if you have specific questions. 

Best,
Cristian

Was this answer helpful?
Gero
Expert
replied on May 02, 2024
Ex-BCG │200+ Interviews & Interview Coachings @ BCG │ 25+ candidates coached into MBB │WHU/LSE/Nova │ Teacher & Trainer

Hi there,

I see 2 key topics here:

  • Try re-scheduling.
  • At your level of experience, you will likely have a small number of specific topics to improve (e.g., in communication/structuring/analysis). You should find them very quickly. To this end, working with a coach or interviewer you know is most efficient.

Best,

Gero

Was this answer helpful?
Tiago gave the best answer

Tiago

ex-BCG Consultant & Interviewer | +150 interviews | Tackle any case w/o memorizing frameworks | Harvard MBA
3
Meetings
124
Q&A Upvotes
0
Awards
5.0
1 Review
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!
^