When to schedule an interview? How much prep time? (BCG Germany)

BCG Case Interview BCG preparation
New answer on Apr 17, 2021
3 Answers
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Hi,

I just started to prepare a few days ago and I can choose interview dates up until in one month from now (1st round). I am a scientist and not a business graduate so I might want to take some extra time to prepare.

Do I need 2,3 or 4 weeks? Should I just take the latest possible date?

How should I split the time between case practise and presenting myself in an interview?

I heard that BCG likes to talk about data, tables and math, which isnt a problem for me. I think I should focus on how to present myself and just a bigger volume of cases because I do not have business background.

(edited)

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In my experience, practicing 15-20 cases is sufficient, if you do it strategically. My recommendation is as follows:

  • Read up on the typical approaches and standard frameworks to get the concept.
  • Then, do 5-6 cases to get a practical feeling for what a case is like. Start with easier ones - e.g. market size mini cases, simple profit tree cases, etc. This will help you develop a rudimentary sense for how cases work
  • The next 5-6 cases should cover cases from all major types and help you gain the experience and comfort with standard frameworks and the thinking required for solving the cases.
  • Lastly, you will want to do 6-7 cases to hone your skills. Practice with people who understand what they are doing - experienced interviewers, coaches, etc. that can give you 1-2 main items of feedback after each case that you can then practice to apply and improve on in the next case. During this time, you should also practice to move away from off-the-shelf frameworks and tailor, or - even better - develop your frameworks specifically during the case.

The further you move towards the final interview, the more important it is to practice with experienced interviewers. While you can easily ask any friend or practice with peers for the first few cases, you should aim for qualified, professional feedback as you approach the finishing line.

However, keep in mind, that this requires a strong plan and strategic approach to the preparation. I regularly see people doing 30-40 or even more cases. While this can also lead to success, in my eyes, it is a bit of a waste of time, especially for experienced hires that often also have a regular job to do while preparing for the consulting interviews.

Depending on your time delivery, you can then calculate the time you'll need. I don't recommend doing more than 1-2 cases a day, so if you can do 1 a day, you might be looking at ~4 weeks.

Let me know if this helps. I'm also happy to elaborate any of the above in more detail. DM me if you like.

Was this answer helpful? 21

Hi Vincent,

It depends on your current level. Many people need 100+ hours when they start from zero to prepare, so 4 weeks would be the safest option out of those you listed.

In terms of how to prepare, I recommend the following:

  1. Define a calendar for your preparation. Identify how many hours you have before the interview and allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the points below. Many people need 100+ hours to be ready before the interview so you can keep that as a benchmark. If you are very new to case interviews, you may want to postpone it since it is in one week.
  2. Read Case In Point or Case Interview Secrets for a general understanding of what a consulting interview is. Don’t focus on the structures proposed in the books, as they are not good enough nowadays.
  3. Start reading good MBA Consulting Handbooks – 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 insides. Try to read at least a new case per day – in this way you will absorb better the information with constant learning.
  4. After the first 5-10 cases in books/handbooks 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. Keep track of your mistakes and see if you repeat them. If so, try to identify the source of the mistake (feedback of experienced partners would be particularly useful for this). Be sure to focus on both the behavioural and the case part. The latter should also cover math and graph analysis.
  5. Before the interviews, be sure to prepare your questions for the interviewer –great way to show you prepared in advance and to connect with the interviewer for a good final impression.

If you want to spend few hours only instead of 100+ and cover everything mentioned above, I developed a program precisely for that. Plus, I can share with you 30+ real questions asked at BCG in Germany specifically during interviews.

You can click on the following link to learn more:

https://u.preplounge.com/63phuq

Please feel free to PM me if you need more information.

Best,

Francesco

Was this answer helpful? 15

Hi Vincent,

I strongly recommend you take the latest interview date possible.

1 month is about the minimum comfortable amount of time I recommend people give themselves to prepare. There is a lot to learn.

To maximize your odds, hire a coach immediatedly! You don't need to commit to a ton of sessions. Simply get that initial session to get you setup right (preparation plan, mindset foundations, casing intro, etc.)

Good luck and feel free to reach out for help!

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Henning gave the best answer

Henning

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