Principal vs Partner level interviews in BCG?

BCG Case Interview
New answer on Oct 12, 2023
5 Answers
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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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Benjamin
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replied on Oct 12, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hi,

Formally, final round interviews follow the same structure as the first rounds.

However, partners sometimes don't always follow the structure. A few things might happen

  • They may focus less on math, with the thinking that someone has already tested you on that, so they don't need to do it as much
  • They may ignore the conventional case structure and just have a freeflowing discussion 
    • My final round interviewer drew a graph on the whiteboard and said “discuss”

Regardless of the format, you are still expected to demonstrate the same high level of skills and abilities - don't get thrown off :)

 

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Francesco
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replied on Oct 19, 2018
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

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

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Guennael
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replied on Oct 18, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

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.

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Vlad
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replied on Oct 18, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

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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Clara
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replied on Oct 31, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Congrats for moving to final round!

As it has been outlined, its very similar, but :

  • Cases you can expect are more "free riding" - less organized than the ones your found in the 1st round or most prep pages
  • Stronger emphasis in the FIT part, as outlined before by other coaches.

If you are interested in deepening your knowledge and preparation on the FIT part, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Furthermore, you can find 3 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

- Intro and CV questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/introduction-and-cv-questions-fit-interview-preparation-200

- Motivational questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/motivational-questions-fit-interview-preparation-201

- Behavioural questions (ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVE) >https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/behavioral-questions-entrepreneurial-drive-fit-interview-preparation-211

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes for the Integrated FIT Guide, since we still have some left from the launch!

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Benjamin

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