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Principal vs Partner level interviews in BCG?

Anonymous A asked on Oct 18, 2018

Hi, I've recently made it to the final round of interviews at BCG. In order to prepare myself, I'd like some advice and insights on how the two rounds may differ.

Really appreciate it, thanks!

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Guennael replied on Oct 18, 2018
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2nd round will be a little less structured: In theory, you are supposed to get a case (harder) + some fit. On occasion, the partner decides to bypass the case altogether and just have a conversation (this happened to me); other times, you will have a very minimal case and then move to the fit / general discussion (also happened to me). I'd expect more of the unexpected with Partners ('they own the company so don't have to listen to HR' is how I rationalize it), the Principals will be more likely to stick to the standard format.

Francesco replied on Oct 19, 2018
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Hi Anonymous,

the structure of the final round is the same as the first one (fit + case+ your questions); however, there is far more emphasis on communication and fit.

Specifically, the main difference you will find in a final round with partners is that at that stage they:

  1. spend more time on fit questions and your alignment with the company
  2. check more closely your communication (eg how you react to challenging questions)
  3. may not have a “proper” structured case to present – during my final at BCG I had one interview from a Principal that was made by two market sizing questions and a brainteaser, without any business case. That's because at the final they know you can structure and crack a case (you passed 1 or 2 rounds already) and are more interested in your logic, personality and fit with the company

So in order to prepare I would concentrate on:

  • Review in details your fit stories – they will matter more than in the first round. In some finals I had almost exclusively behavioral questions
  • Work on your communication (reaction under pressure, how to gain time when you do not have a structure ready, connect with the interviewer, etc). This is something you can test almost exclusively in mocks with peers/experts.
  • Prepare on cases as you did for the first round. More market sizing practice could be useful to think out of the box if you get unusual questions.

Best,

Francesco

Vlad replied on Oct 18, 2018
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Hi,

The general structure is the same, however, at the final round, I would expect a way more demanding approach to the fit part. The partners in the last round are more experienced and they may challenge every single detail of your story.

Also, make sure that you've prepared the good questions to them

Best

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