Tuesday, October 13, 2009

BCG 2nd Round Interview (2)

So after the initial disappointment of a poor decision round interview, I tried to recover and prepare for my third interview. This interview was scheduled at the end of the week (4 days after my first 2 decision round interviews). My motivation was waning, as I really didn't believe I could recover from such a bad interview....despite these feelings I forced myself to continue to practice cases and to think about my fit interviews.

Thankfully, this last interview was scheduled for 1pm and not another 7:15am start time! At least I had that working in my favor. When I got to the office, I actually had the red carpet rolled out for me...one of the recruiters came up and wanted to make sure I had everything I needed and then the consultant who was in charge of recruiting came out to meet me and wanted to see how everything had gone...they both ensured me that I was going to do great in my next interview and that they were "sooooo glad" I had come back on a second day and they were "soooo sorry" I had to be inconvenienced like that. It was all very nice and very sincere...I've said before that I REALLY like the people at BCG!

So my last interview was with the head of global recruiting for the health care practice...of course, as a partner, he also only leads engagements in health care. He was a Eurpean MD who also got an MBA from INSEAD. He had done some operations work before business school and done some consulting with Deloitte prior to joining BCG. He originally joined BCG in the London office and then transferred to Boston around 2004ish.

He used to sail, fly planes, and windsurf as hobbies before he had kids...sounded like a pretty exciting guy!

We started talking about my resume. He looked it over and said, "Wow, you've really done a lot...there's a lot here to talk about...what are you most proud of out of all your accomplishments?" I thought that was a pretty interesting question and I hadn't ever really thought about it...I told him that I was most proud of completing all 3 of my graduate degrees simultaniously and that I learned stick-to-it-ness and time management skills that were crucial for a career in consulting. I also said that these experiences allowed me to learn a lot from different people in a number of different fields and that I thought a bredth of experience was important in consulting as well.

We then moved on to the case. This was more typical of what I think a partner case is like...kind of ambiguous without a clear answer. He started out, "Our client is a global travel agency...we have travel agencies in all major cities and sell typical travel agency type services. This isn't a growth market and we are looking to diversify and grow. We have developed a new business unit, but we don't know what business this unit should be in....can you develop some criteria you would use to screen business ideas for me?" I told him that I would 1) chose something that was at least "soft-aligned" with our core business, that is travel related 2) I would chose something with growth potential and 3) I would chose something that we could afford to develop

He then asked me based on the criteria I had developed what kind of business I would choose. I told him that I thought it might be worth acquiring a series of hotels and that way we could expand the hotel chain to new areas and as a travel agency we could steer people to our brand of hotels. Hotels would also cater to business travelers which was a group of people that we weren't targeting with our old services...this would be an opportunity for us to expand and grow into a new market segment.

He thought that was an OK idea, but said that what they had actually decided to do was to develop a travel insurance program. This program offered a service to travelers....if they were on a trip and needed a cab, or needed medical help, or needed a passport, or needed to get a reservation somewhere...they were allowed 1 free call to our call center where a representative would take care of their request for them. We then talked about what kinds of things we would need to consider with opening this type of business unit, who we would market it to, and what the costs associated with operation would be.

At the end of the interview, I felt it had gone pretty well....still the question remained...was it enough to overcome the interview a few days before.

The end tally:

Interview #1: B+
Interview #2: C-
Interview #3:A-/B+

In an industry where only A's are acceptable, I was afraid a B average wouldn't make the team.


  1. Do they provide grades of each interview to the candidates?

  2. Tks very much for your post.

    Avoid surprises — interviews need preparation. Some questions come up time and time again — usually about you, your experience and the job itself. We've gathered together the most common questions so you can get your preparation off to a flying start.

    You also find all interview questions at link at the end of this post.

    Source: Download Ebook: Ultimate Guide To Job Interview Questions Answers:

    Best rgs