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

Milan

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!

Milan

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Andrea
Expert
replied on 01/20/2018
Former BCG decision round interviewer with 300+ real interviews in 8 years at BCG

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,

andrea

Francesco replied on 01/21/2018
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for coaching sessions (1400+) with 100% recommendation rate

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:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/case-net-present-value-calculations-325

Best,

Francesco

Hemant
Expert
replied on 01/21/2018
Current partner @ Andreessen Horowitz (VC firm). Ex-Mckinsey, ex- strategy guy at Google.

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).

Mitchell
Expert
replied on 01/30/2018
BCG Consultant |Consulting Case Coach at London Business School

Hi Milan,

I agree with the others that it is unlikely.

People who do interviews usually have written their own case based on a real project that they worked on. This takes a lot of effort, and it's usual that if, for example, you interview with a Partner, they're probably using the same case that they have for the last 10 years.
So, the cases are based on the experience of the interviewer, and so will likely be random.

Best of luck!

Mitchell

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