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Preparing from the basics

1stround BCG Case Interview BCG McKinsey and Bain fast math Framework hypothesis mental math numerical Structure
New answer on Mar 10, 2023
5 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Mar 07, 2023

Last year I got an opportunity with McKinsey but I didn't make through the rounds. Now I have been presented with a new opportunity at BCG and they have sent me  a link to a case interview prep course. 

However, I do not have a background in business and I struggle with math. Although I work with a team to solve problems in my daily work, I am unsure how to structure, frame, and build hypotheses in different industries. 

I am looking for advice on how to prepare especially in math from basics and for my first case practice and whether I should choose a case, practice it and then do it with a partner. 

Any advice is appreciated since I am uncertain of what is the next step in term of preparation as they also did not inform me about interview date after the course invitation link.

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Content Creator
replied on Mar 08, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: I am looking for advice on how to prepare. 

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

  1. Define a calendar for your preparation. Identify how many hours you have before your interview and allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the points below. Many candidates need 100+ hours to be ready before the interview starting from zero so you can keep that as a benchmark.
  2. Start reading good MBA Consulting Casebooks – you can find several for free online (INSEAD is a good one to start). Read the cases and try to apply your structure to solve them. Whenever you see there is something missing, upgrade your structure with the new insights. Try to read a new case per day – in this way you will absorb better the information with constant learning.
  3. After the first 5-10 cases in books/casebooks and basic theory, start to practice live. PrepLounge can be helpful to connect with other candidates for that. There is a relevant part of the interview score that is based on your communication, which you cannot practice at all if you read cases only.
  4. Keep track of your mistakes and see which ones you are repeating. This is very important, as otherwise you may do a ton of cases without fixing the real issues. If you find common mistakes, try to identify the reason for them (feedback from experienced partners would be particularly useful for this). Be sure to focus on both the behavioral part and the case part during the mocks. The case part should also cover market sizing, math and graph analysis.
  5. Before the interviews, be sure to prepare your questions for the interviewer – a great way to show you prepared in advance and to connect with the interviewer for a good final impression. Ideally, try to get information on who they are and study their profile to have good questions to ask.
  6. If you have to take the BCG Online Case (also called Casey Chatbot), you can find some info on how to prepare here and a full simulation at the following link: BCG Online Case Software Simulation

If you want to spend a few hours only instead of 100+ and cover everything mentioned above, I developed a program precisely for that. 

I can also share with you real questions for your target office (I have a db with 1.500+ questions asked in 60+ offices you won't find anywhere else - you can check on my profile if I cover your particular office).

You can check the program at the following link to learn more:

▶ GYM Program

If you have any questions please feel free to PM me.



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Content Creator
replied on Mar 08, 2023
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

First of all, I am sorry to hear about the rejection with McKinsey!

I think this is an interesting question that may be relevant for many people. I would be happy to share my thoughts on it:

  • First of all, I feel that you may not have properly prepared both for your previous interviews with McKinsey and for your upcoming ones thus far. As such, I would highly advise you to reach out to a coach to help you draft a preparation plan and assist you with your preparation.
  • In case you still want to prepare on your own - which I would highly advise against in your specific situation - you can use any type of math drills (e.g., the one from PrepLounge) and start practicing case studies with peers as soon as possible. However, depending on the date of your first-round interviews with BCG, you may again not be properly prepared for them.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to address your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.



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replied on Mar 09, 2023
BCG 1st & Final Round interviewer | Personalized prep with >95% success rate | 7yrs coaching | #1 for Experienced Hires

Hi there,

I agree with the other coaches here - the most efficient way to develop and execute on a tailored prep plan that fits your situation is to involve a coach who can guide you along the way.

In terms of interviews - BCG is typically flexible with the scheduling. In your particular case, suggest you push back proposed slots to a date at least 6-8 weeks away from now, so you can take sufficient time to build your foundations from the ground up.

If you're interested in getting a tailored plan, feel free to reach out to me or any of the other coaches - we'll be happy to help.

Hope this helps.

Regards, Andi

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updated an answer on Mar 10, 2023
Former BCG Consultant | Startup Founder | Holistic approach to a successful application - cases & beyond | 10% discount


preparation is key in order to get into consulting but the fact that you are here is already the right first step. A couple of things to help you prepare:

  • Plan for several weeks of preparation ahead of the interview
  • Try to get a few more interviews ahead of the BCG interview as “practice interviews"
  • Practice math especially mental arithmetic with one of the many apps out there (helped me :-) )
  • Get your hands on a case study book with practice cases, frameworks, etc.
  • Find a partner to practice cases in a realistic setting
  • Prepare your personal fit interview

You can do all of those things by yourself if you think that you have the structure and discipline. It definitely helps to have a coach guide you through the process or at least to practice case interviews that are as realistic as it gets. 

Let me know if you have any questions.



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Content Creator
replied on Mar 07, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

It sounds like you need a coach…

If you failed McKinsey last year, and you have an interview fast approaching where you're starting at the basics, you're unlikely to be ready in time. 

You're basically trying to compete in the Olympics without a personal trainer.

If you do want to go it alone, you should use preplounge drills and rocketblocks for math/charts. For business background you should do daily reading and industry deep-dives. For frameworking/hypotheses you should read this (but, ultimately, many need coaching to learn this properly).

You should be doing case practice with partners yesterday, while simultaneously doing your other prep.

If you can, get your interview date pushed back months.

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Francesco gave the best answer


Content Creator
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching
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