Time limits in BCG cases

BCG BCG Case Interview
New answer on Jan 24, 2023
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 23, 2023

Hi,

I‘be read that you’re not allowed to go over 20 minutes in a BCG case, and you need to keep the conclusion under 60 seconds.

Does this apply to all offices, and how important is it to go quickly for a successful outcome?

 

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Hagen
Expert
replied on Jan 24, 2023
Bain Project Leader and interviewer for 7+ years | >95% success rate | mentor and coach for 6+ years

Hi there,

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

  • Depending on the office and the specific case study, BCG case interviews may have different time constraints, but it is generally expected that interviewees can present their analysis and recommendations in a reasonable amount of time. Still, it is well known that BCG case studies are typically shorter and simpler than those from other strategy consulting companies, such as Bain, and that they typically last around 20 minutes, though no one will measure time precisely.
  • During the case interview, it's crucial to effectively manage your time, be able to articulate your most important insights and recommendations, and stay within the allocated time. It's crucial to keep in mind that while time management is crucial, it won't be the only aspect taken into account when assessing your performance. The quality of your analyses and recommendations is equally important.
  • I would advise you to ask about any time constraints the interviewer may have for you to look out for while working on the case study. The final recommendation should be done in a clear and concise manner, but it's not always necessary, so don't stress too much about it.

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

Best,

Hagen

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 24, 2023
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Hard and fast numbers are not the way to approach this….

You need to clearly, concisely, and articulately communicate throughout the case. You need to speak in a direct manner that does not waste time. You need to navigate the case in an effective manner with “right pathway choosing” and not going down rabbit holes. You should draw the right conclusions in a reasonably fast manner.

^If you do this, you have a successful outcome.

Some “cases” might be 10 minutes. Others might be 30.

It depends on the case itself, the interviewer, the day, etc.!

Focus on my first paragraph, not some abstract 60 second rule!

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Giacomo
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Jan 23, 2023
50% off multi-session booking | FREE intro call | Moved from econ consulting to BCG | 2022 MBB interview experience

If your conclusion is routinely over a minute or so, you need to speed things up. The goal is to be short and sharp. To do this, you need to take good notes on your structure as you go, underline/highlight key numbers and insights on your paper and take a few seconds before stating your recommendation. A normal case is 20-30 minutes so you just won't be allowed to go further and will be pushed for a recommendation.

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 24, 2023
Top McK Coach|Public & Verifiable success rates|Honest feedback: no sugar-coating|Success stories ➨ tinyurl.com/43rkxa8f

Hi there, 

These numbers are not written anywhere in an interviewer's handbook or part of their training. At most, they're guidelines. 

Basically, the interviewer is trying to assess some of your skills during the interview. They might need more or less than 20 minutes to do that. So just focus on doing the best that you can and worrying less about the time. 

Then, regarding the conclusion, 1 minute sounds about right, but a good conclusion (depending on the context of the case), could also be longer. Again, just make sure that your output is good, and then the timing matters less.

Best,

Cristian

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Jan 24, 2023
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

Ahhhh, it just doesn't work like that. You are supposed to be focused and able to keep moving forward, but time management is more an issue for the interviewer than you. 

Same thing on the conclusion - no one is supposed to be there with a timer.

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Hagen gave the best answer

Hagen

Bain Project Leader and interviewer for 7+ years | >95% success rate | mentor and coach for 6+ years
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