Tips on BCG Europe Interviews from a New Hire

What follows is a report from a recent BCG Hire in Europe about the differences she saw in the BCG Europe offices recruiting and interviewing process.

Student Report:

I am a recent M.S. graduate from Eastern Europe and received an offer from the local BCG office this week. I almost exclusively relied on your videos and other materials for preparations.

I have a fulltime job so was only able to practice one week prior to my first interview and 2 weeks prior to my subsequent interviews. I wanted to thank you very much for offering these great materials which are not just useful but also much fun to watch.

Another reason for me writing you, besides sharing another success story, is that I found slight differences between what is available on your website (and other case interview preparation sites) and what BCG is looking for in Europe. I thought I would like to give back something more to the community and share my experience.

For clarification, this report is about inexperienced hiring practices of BCG in Eastern and Western Europe. (I had one of the 3 rounds at a W-European office). I have no formal business education, which might have affected the interviews.

Only two out of five cases were really data driven the others were absolutely qualitative. During the data driven cases I was never given segments, I always had to develop them myself.

The 3 qualitative cases were very high level. In one case only did I have to develop a hypothesis and organize them without any data to support or contradict them.

They did not mind if I started an analysis on a wrong abstraction level (too detailed) or in a wrong direction as long as I immediately reacted when they dropped information. Many times, after setting up a framework they asked me what I expected the outcome of the analysis would be without actually doing the analysis.

My guess is that they wanted to probe my common/business sense as I have no business education but have a strong story in quantitative skills.

The negative part of the detailed feedback I received was that I should be more independent (I interpreted it as build the structure (e.g. segments) myself).

Overall my impression was that BCG in Europe is not looking for ready to go consultants (at least not among inexperienced applicants) but rather for people with high potential. They are looking more for creativity, flexibility and common sense than for predefined frameworks or getting the case right from the beginning.

They were also less keen on analytical skills, I got no estimation questions, and only 2 very simple calculations. (Though this might be due to my engineering and science background.)

I hope my experiences can be useful for others. You can of course, edit and publish this e-mail or parts of it on your page if you think it worth.

Thank you once again for the materials and great insights you share on your page.

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