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Why BCG? Ideal interview answers for candidates

BCG BCG Interview Process germany Personal Fit
New answer on May 31, 2024
8 Answers
35.6 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jul 24, 2018

Hi there,

I have a very typical question that might have been answered already many times. However, I am thinking of an ideal answer for my case. I have an interview at BCG coming up. I hold a PhD in Chemistry and have no industry experience. Not too familiar with the different work areas and the different philosophies of the different companies, I am interested in some ideas. For instance, it is already hard for me to see the differences of the different offices of BCG within Germany. Are there any?

So far, I am thinking of mentioning these three points: 1) All chemists I know that went to consulting, went to BCG. I know one of them better, he likes his company a lot. I like him as a person (good to hang out with). Therefore, I am convinced that BCG is the right company for me. 2) Having a strong focus on chemistry, also means that I do not have profound experience in other areas. As generalist, I can develop myself the best. 3) BCG highly encourages people with a life science background to apply. Therefore, I feel adressed.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks in advance

(edited)

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 31, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

What always helps when you're trying to answer this question is to refer back to some conversations you've had with people from BCG. 

This shows that you've done your research and it can also help you mention something that is genuinely different and other people have not spoken about. 

Best,
Cristian

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Anonymous replied on Jul 25, 2018

Do not overthink this. It is important to have a solid answer, but your interviewer won't be looking to call you out - as long as you are sincere, you will be fine.

From every interviewer I have ever spoken to (including in my capacity as a junior interviewer at Bain), everyone agrees that the people element is generally the most powerful. Therefore, your example of friends that work at BCG and enjoy it is perfect. If possible, I would add some slightly more concrete examples of why he/she enjoys it, and why that resonates with you.

If you have had the chance to meet BCG people at recruiting events at your University, I would also mention this, and the impact it had on your perception of the firm.

Finally, if there's a particular sector you are interested in that you know the BCG office you are applying to is particularly strong in, this is something worth mentioning.

What I wouldn't mention or place particular emphasis on is the generalist model, or that you don't have expertise in other areas. Most global consulting firms use a generalist model, so this doesn't convince me as to "why BCG". Further, the way you frame it makes it seem like a weakness that you do not have expertise in other areas, which is generally not desirable.

Honestly, do not over worry about this. The "why office/company" question is critical only when you are applying to an office where you do not have a clear link to (e.g. an American applying to Dubai office), or if you are making a major career switch and need to justify why (e.g. switching between consulting firms).

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Frederic
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Content Creator
replied on Nov 10, 2023
ex Jr. Partner McKinsey |Senior Interviewer| Real Feedback & Free Homework between sessions|Harvard Coach|10+ Experience

You're already on the right track! Few thoughts:

Network and Personal Connection:

  • Highlight the positive experiences of chemists you know at BCG, emphasizing their satisfaction with the company.
  • Mention the personal connection you have with someone at BCG, indicating that you appreciate the company culture and find it enjoyable to work with like-minded individuals.

Strength in Generalization:

  • Emphasize your chemistry background as a unique strength, showcasing your ability to bring a specialized skill set to the consulting world.
  • Stress that, as a generalist, you can leverage your analytical and problem-solving skills across diverse industries, making you a versatile asset to BCG.

Alignment with BCG's Vision:

  • Highlight BCG's encouragement for life science backgrounds, reinforcing that your expertise aligns with their strategic focus.
  • Express your enthusiasm for contributing your scientific knowledge to BCG's dynamic and collaborative environment.

Research on BCG Offices:

  • Acknowledge that you're aware of the different offices within Germany and briefly mention any specific characteristics or projects that stand out to you.
  • Showcase that you've done your homework and are not only interested in BCG but also in how each office contributes uniquely to the company's overall mission.

Warm regards,

Frederic 

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Diana replied on Jul 24, 2018

Hy Anonymous

I am in a similar situation here in France and I think that one big asset of BCG is the fact that they communicate towards scientists, and particularly towards PhDs. Thus:

1) we can see that the firm values the skills that we developed during our scientific projects. As they are already used to recruitig scientists we can hope that once inside:

1.1 - our skills will fit to the firm's needs

1.2 - the firm will provide training in the areas that we lack knowledge

2) there is a big proportion of PhDs working at BCG, thus once we are recruited we know that we will easily integrate the team, and we will have many people to talk to if we need to seek advice, and thus we will work more efficiently

This is my point of view but maybe someone who works / has worked for them will argue differently

Good luck with your interview!

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Benjamin
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 09, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer & top performer

Hi,

I too faced a similar situation when applying to MBB when I was at at a T2.

I think the following principles worked for me:

  • Be genuine and authentic - the reasons that you like BCG would be strong if they are really what drives you/linked to your personal aspirations
  • The most compelling stories are typically the ones that are personal and substantiated - back up your rationale/logic with actual experiences engaging with consultants or quotes from consultants

Hope this helps anyone who will face a similar situation.

 

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Vlad
Expert
updated an answer on Jul 24, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

I would structure it a bit differently:

  1. BCG is strong in your industry (research some examples) but also provide the opportunities for you to diversify
  2. BCG opened for PHDs and you know may examples
  3. You have friends working at BCG (chemical industry is not important here) - all the great people and you are more than happy to join them

Here are some other ideas that you can use to structure your thoughts:

  • You can start with general facts about the local office. Something like “Sidney office is the fastest growing McKinsey office worldwide.”
  • If you have an interest in a particular industry or client this may also be a great reason. For example, BCG can be the only consulting firm working with airlines in your region.
  • You may address the different Global opportunities and office initiatives. E.g. international staffing can be a good opportunity to learn about business in a particular country
  • Try to combine professional and Non-business rational. If you have friends working in that company, don’t forget to mention them and what you’ve learned from their experience.
  • You may use your other personal experiences like working with this BCG, it's deliverables or as it's client
  • You can provide your personal experience of working with McKinsey Alums
  • McKinsey women / LGBT / etc. initiatives

Good luck!

(edited)

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Anonymous replied on Apr 30, 2020

Dear A,

“Why consulting?”, “Why McKinsey” or “Why BCG” questions are used to assess your motivation to be a consultant in general and to work in that particular firm. They will check how you have done your homework and what you’ve learned about them. They also want to make sure that you have a clear intention to work in consulting.

The answers to these questions are supposed to be short and take no more than 30 seconds each.
For each question, you should provide three bullets points with different reasons.
Make sure that you guide the interviewer through your reasoning. Words like “The first reason”, “Moreover”, “Finally” will help you.


Also, I would recommend you to fit your answer in this common framework:

1. Situation

2. Problem

3. Solving

4 Result

5. Your learnings.


Good luck!

Best,
André

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Marco-Alexander
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Sep 05, 2021
Former BCG | Case author for efellows book | Experience in 6 consultancies (Stern Stewart, Capgemini, KPMG, VW Con., Hor

(edited)

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Cristian gave the best answer

Cristian

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