In this article, we discuss 3 things:
- Everything that is known about the format of the BCG one-way video
- What questions you have to expect and what answers you should prepare
- Effective ways of how to communicate the perfect answers
The format of the BCG one-way interview
The video interview is a new format introduced by BCG. This is interesting for several reasons, most importantly, when considering that top-tier consulting firms rarely change their recruiting strategy and operations.
Why did BCG introduce the video interview?
The reasons are similar for every remote assessment
1. It helps to filter a greater number of candidates with less HR resources
Similar to the Online Case or Pymetrics, BCG is able to score candidates’ performance remotely, not needing any resources related to administering the test in a BCG office on a BCG computer. This way, a greater number of candidates can be evaluated, who previously would not have made the cut with their resume alone.
2. The one-way video interview is generating more insights into candidates’ profiles
BCGs primary screening filter so far was the resume or CV, which can only ever provide hard data on each candidate. What have they done? How successful were they? With a test like this, recruiters get a completely new dimension of their candidates. It allows them to see behind the curtain on to the ‘softer’ personality and character factors.
Summing up, with the one-way interview, the evaluation process becomes more efficient, allowing for a greater number of candidates and an additional screening device for cultural fit.
The format of the video interview
The BCG one-way video interview is used to add a personal touch to your application. You will see three questions on your device screen (computer or smartphone), prepare an answer for each, and then respond one at a time via video.
You have unlimited time to prepare your answer and around 3 minutes for each recorded video.
The video interview is just another element in the recruiting process and will be considered in combination with all other elements of your application. Hiring decusions are not based solely on this type of assessment.
Regarding the process, BCG states the following:
You will receive a link via email 1-2 days after the online application deadline. Once you click that link, the Spark Hire video platform will open in your web browser. First, you will be asked to grant Spark Hire permission to access your webcam and microphone. Then you’ll be invited to watch a welcome video and in-depth tutorial, and to complete a practice video question. When you indicate you’re ready to start your BCG video interview, the first question will appear on the screen. The video interview will not be in the case interview format. Instead, we’ll ask you a few questions about experiences you’ve had and goals you’re pursuing to help us get to know you better.
The video interview process, including set-up and tutorials, should take no more than 45 minutes. You will have the option to pause the interview after each question and come back to it later. You will need to complete all the questions by designated due date (provided with video interview prompt) in order for your application to be considered complete. If you are in the middle of completing your video interview, and the deadline hits, your video will be deemed incomplete. You must submit your completed video BEFORE the deadline hits.Instructions for BCG one-way video interview candidates
Who has to go through this new assessment?
Candidates from Europe and Asian offices have reported their participation in the one-way interviews. For some, it was part of the first round interviews, for others it was in conjunction with the BCG Online Case or the Pymetrics Test. Similarly to the McKinsey Problem Solving Game approach, we expect a full global roll-out by mid-2021.
Ace the BCG one-way video interview
If you know what to expect and how to prepare, it is actually quite easy to make a good impression in this part of the BCG assessment.
First, let’s have a look at the type of questions, then provide some insights into preparation and proper answering techniques.
The questions you will be asked
BCG has a pool of questions. 3 will be randomly selected for your interview. Below are a few standard questions you should definitely think about and prepare an answer for.
- Guide me through your resume (Variations: Tell me about yourself. What characteristics do you have that will make you successful in consulting?)
- Why do you want to go into consulting (Variation: Why do you want to work for BCG)?
- Tell me about a personal or professional failure of yours (Variation: How did you cope with an error or failure?)
- What is your opinion on the current economy (Variation: What are the key economic challenges of our times)?
- Tell me about a time you lead a team (Variations: What constitutes a good team? How do you delegate tasks? Do you work rather alone or in a team setting?)
- Tell me about a time you faced a challenging situation or achieved a challenging goal? (Variation: when did you overcome an obstacle?)
- Tell me about a time when you persuaded someone (Variation: did you ever have to convince someone?)
In the next section, we tell you how to prepare these answers.
How should you prepare for this specific interview format
First, you need to prepare answers for all possible kinds of personal fit questions, then practice, and lastly create a proper environment for recording the videos.
How should you answer the questions?
Based on our McKinsey interviewer and personal coaching experience, we have developed the SCORE framework to be used to answer personal fit and behavioral interview questions. For more, please have a look at the following article, in which we discuss this framework in great detail.
How can you use this framework for the BCG video interview?
Let’s use a very common question as an example:
Why do you want to work in consulting?BCG video interview question
Situation: I want to work in consulting for 5 reasons. First, I enjoy working on challenging topics. Second, the impact I can have in a top-tier consulting firm is already very high early in my career. Third, I want to work with driven and smart colleagues on a global scale. Fourth, it is important for me to have a clear career trajectory and a steep learning curve. Fifth, to be fully transparent, I would enjoy the benefits and perks of the consulting life as well as the exit opportunities.
Complication: I did many internships in corporates and startups and found that the motivation, learning curve, everything I expected from a work environment was not there. It was just not as stimulating as I would have hoped
Expected outcome: Hence, I knew that I wanted something bigger in my career. Staying in such positions would not have fulfiled me in the long run.
Remedial action: As a result, I started talking to peers who went into consulting, reading up on research published by consulting firms, joined my local consulting club at university and participated in several pro-bono projects for clients in the public sector.
End result: Based on what I learned and the experiences I made my wish to get into a top-tier consulting firm has only become stronger and that is why I am here today.
Get used to preparing every personal fit and behavioral question along the SCORE framework for maximum clarity and impact of your answers.
More general tips (which are applicable for in-person interviews as well)
- Once you have drafted all answers to potential questions, rehearse them in front of the mirror and/or record yourself. Look at it and improve your presentation style accordingly. Alternatively, practice them in front of friends and get their feedback
- Focus on the SCORE framework and communicate top-down. Do not go off a tangent, rambling about some irrelevant things
- Demonstrate high energy and authenticity. Your presentation should sound natural and engaging and feel as if you are talking to someone rather personally
- Take time to prepare your answers. There is no time limit for the preparation of your answer. Ideally, you have prepared and printed all our drafts and just select based on the actual questions you get
- Speak loudly and clearly
Setup everything properly
- Make sure your computer, internet connection, audio, and video work properly before you do the interview
- Do not wait until the very last minute to go through the interview in case technical difficulties arise
- Clean up your video background and choose a quiet area. Just make sure everything is orderly for the recording and there are no distractions
- Remember this is a professional interview. Wear business attire, make eye contact with the camera, and ensure there are no items in the background that might cause glare (like windows or mirrors) or other distractions
How we can help you further
9 out of 10 candidates that go through our coaching program get their desired offer. If you want to make sure that your personal or behavior interview answers are spot on, consider booking one or several sessions with us.
We use our 9 years of combined McKinsey tenure, the latest consulting insights, and our experience of coaching 100s of candidates to receive an offer. For behavioral and story interviews, we can tell you exactly what to say and how to say it, using real-life examples of interview performances.
If you are interested, check out our private 1-on-1 coaching program. We offer both a structured 6-hour coaching program as well as individual coaching sessions or smaller packages.