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Is it more likely to get valuation cases if you have a finance background?

Milan asked on Jan 20, 2018 - 3 answers

Hi everybody,

I have studied Finance and Investment in my masters and went then on to work in consulting with a focus on finance/IT. I have an upcoming interview at BCG and was wondering whether because of that it is more likely that I will get cases or questions that focus on valuation of a company (or finance in general, so more math-based). Or are cases assigned randomly without any regard to the candidate's background?

Thanks for your answers!


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replied on Jan 21, 2018
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Hi Milan,

I agree with the previous comments:

  1. Cases are not usually given based on your previous knowledge. If personalization is done, is actually done on the areas you are supposed to lack, as mentioned by Hemant
  2. Your previous knowledge comes to play only in terms of expectation so far that you touch topics you should familiar (in your case: finance/IT). In case that happens (there is no guarantee) there will be less margin of error.

As additional point, in terms of valuation you can find most the necessary information for a review at the following link:



replied on Jan 20, 2018
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Not in BCG NAR nor in BCG EMEA unless you are applying as an experience candidate/lateral hire to work within CD practice. That said you might get a couple of off-case questions about financial knowledge (rare but might occur). If interviewer regular case is a valuation case and s/he noticed your background there might be an expectation on familiarity with valuation methods and ability to calculate financial metrics (e.g. FCF) without too much assistance.

hope it helps,


replied on Jan 21, 2018
Current partner @ Andreessen Horowitz (VC firm). Ex-Mckinsey, ex- strategy guy at Google.
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Short answer: No.

Long answer: typically they expect you to be good at valuations, so they'll test for other things. The stereotype for finance folks is that they are too numbers focused, so make sure your stories keep a human touch and while solving cases that may lead to layoffs, make sure to focus on the soft aspects (e.g. smooth workforce transition and retraining etc).

Related BootCamp article(s)


Valuation case studies require you to estimate how much a firm, patent, or service is worth. For these cases, use the Discounted Cash Flow method or the Industry multiple method.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Investments or single business cases need to be evaluated based on a certain set of criteria. Since financial performance is the key criterion in most cases you need to have an idea about future financial impacts. A key tool to asses this impact is the cost-benefit analysis which is used to determine the net effect of potential revenues and costs.

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Opportunity Costs

Opportunity costs are an economic concept to quantify benefits of (discarded) alternatives. They measure the lost benefits that occur if you choose the best alternative instead of the second best one.


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