Market sizing at BCG

BCG estimation First Round Market sizing
New answer on Dec 31, 2021
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Mar 29, 2019

I have not focused a lot of time on classic market sizing questions so far. I'm wondering how much BCG focuses on sizing questions in its cases. From BCG mock cases / online material I have found, there is not a huge emphasis on market sizing. Any thoughts?

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replied on Apr 26, 2019
BCG | Kellogg MBA |82% Success rate| 450+ case interview| 5+ year consulting | 30+ projects in ~10 countries

The very simple answer to your question is "YES IT IS VERY IMPORTANT"

You even can face a market sizing question as your overall case interview at any round.



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Anonymous replied on Apr 01, 2019

Hi there,

I would definitely be prepared to answer a market sizing question. It depends by office, but many offices give their interviews pretty much "free reign" over what questions they ask. When I interviewed at BCG roughly 3 years ago, I received a market sizing question in my final round from a senior partner.

In addition to Vlad's distinction of "standalone" or "part of a broader case", I would further distinguish two types of market sizings you should be ready for:

1) Top-down market sizings - e.g. "what is the value of the total hamburger market in the US?" This question you typically target my starting from total population, segmenting, etc..

2) Bottom-up market sizings (common at Bain) - e.g. "what is the revenue of a typical Tennis club in London?". This question you will struggle to approach top-down, so should approach from a capacity and utilisation approach.

Hope this is helpful!

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Anonymous B updated the answer on Mar 29, 2019


for me, one of my first round cases was a simple market sizing case. Found it quite odd, but it was still hard, as BCG cases are shorter in time and the interview applied some pressure during the calculations.

Don't think it's that common but it can definitely happen.

Hope that helps :)


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Content Creator
replied on Mar 29, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


Yes, market sizing is super important. It can be:

  • A part of a case
  • A standalone case

So you need to prepare accordingly. Feel free to reach out if you need help on that


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Content Creator
replied on Dec 31, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Providing some market sizing thinking for anyone revisiting this Q&A:

Remember that there's rarely a "best" answer with market sizing. What's important is that you break down the problem the way it makes sense to you. Importantly, break it down so that the assumptions you make are the ones you're most comfortable in.

For example, do you know all the major brands? Great go with that. Do you understand all the segments of that country's population (either age or wealth or job breakdown)? Go with that. Do you know the total market size of the tourism (or hotel) industry? Then break it down that way.

Some tips:

  1. Just like in a case, make sure you understand the question - what are you really being asked to calculate
  2. Decide whether a top-down or bottom-up approach is best
  3. Figure out what you know you know, and what you know you don't know, but could estimate
    1. This helps you determine how to split out buckets
  4. Stay flexible - you can start with a "high-level" market sizing, but gauge your interviewers reaction....if it looks like they want you to do more...then go along level deeper in terms of your splits
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