When it comes to landing a job at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), preparation is key. And while most candidates are familiar with case interviews and behavioral questions, there is a unique format used predominantly in the German and Austrian offices of BCG called the BCG Real Life interview.
In the BCG Real Life interview, your interviewer plays a role and presents you with a hypothetical situation involving a client, colleague, or partner in the firm, and must complete a typical consulting task, such as convincing a client or presenting the information. Some tasks may also involve drawing slides and presenting them to the interviewer. In that sense, it is part of the typical fit interview that precedes a case interview in all top-tier consulting firms.
Let’s look at it in more detail.
What is the BCG Real Life Interview?
The BCG Real Life interview is a role-play format designed to simulate real-life situations that consultants may encounter in their day-to-day work. During this interview, candidates are given a prompt that presents a hypothetical scenario similar to those faced by BCG consultants on the job. The goal is to see how the candidate handles the situation, from communicating with clients and colleagues at different hierarchy levels.
The BCG Real Life interview consists of two 15-minute conversations with different interviewers. The interviewers will present candidates with a range of situations, such as a taxi ride with a senior partner, meeting the CEO of a client company in an elevator, or dealing with a difficult client who is resistant to cooperation. You might be asked to influence a key client stakeholder during a final presentation, request data from a difficult working-level client, or persuade a colleague to change the storyline of a slide deck.
The focus is on spontaneity and the ability to think on one’s feet, which can be challenging to prepare for.
How to Prepare for the BCG Real Life Interview?
Unlike other interview formats, the BCG Real Life interview is difficult to prepare for in a conventional sense. There are no pre-determined questions or cases to study. Instead, the best way to prepare is to speak with individuals who have been through the process or who have experience in real-life consulting situations. This may include former consultants or other professionals in the industry.
Additionally, working with a coach who has actual interview experience in this area is a targeted and effective way to prepare for the BCG Real Life interview. These coaches can provide insight into the format and potential scenarios that may be presented during the interview.
It is important to note that the specific scenarios and questions presented during the BCG Real Life interview can vary widely. The interview format is constantly evolving, so it is difficult to predict which questions will be asked. However, the skills and qualities that BCG values in its consultants have not fundamentally changed since the format was first introduced.
What to expect during the BCG Real Life Interview?
In conclusion, the BCG Real Life interview is a unique interview format used predominantly in the German and Austrian offices of BCG. This interview format is designed to simulate real-life situations that consultants may encounter on a daily basis. While it can be difficult to prepare for, speaking with individuals who have been through the process or who have experience in real-life consulting situations can be helpful. Additionally, working with a coach is a targeted and effective way to prepare for the BCG Real Life interview. Ultimately, the best way to succeed in the BCG Real Life interview is to showcase strong communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills, as well as an ability to think on one’s feet and adapt to unexpected and uncomfortable situations.
Play along, stay calm and collected, and you will succeed!
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