Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Decision

As I left from my last BCG interview, I was told I would hear back by the end of the next week. It was a Friday so I figured that mean by the next Friday, I would have an answer...I was wrong. If you remember from an earlier post, I mentioned that I think one of the weaknesses of BCG is their failure to communicate in a timely fashion. This was again exemplified by this situation...2 weeks had gone by since my last interview without any word...at this point, I figured it wasn't out of line to make a phone call and send a few emails.

I left a few voice mails and an email with each of the recruiters I worked with...just to see if they had an idea when I might hear back and reminding them that I thought I was going to hear back a week earlier.

That night at 6 o'clock, I was on the way out the door with my wife and my in-laws (they had come to visit from North Carolina) when I got a call from a number I recognized as the BCG office. I answered the phone and the consultant who was in charge of the Boston office recruiting was on the other end. He cut right to the chase..."I'm afraid I don't have any good news for you at this point." (Does that mean he was going to have good news for me at any point?) He told me that it had been a tough decision...two partners gave me the thumbs up and one had given me the thumbs down (guess which one that was)...because they couldn't reach a concensus, they couldn't offer me the position. I was actually very impressed by the kind of feedback I received...he took somewhere around 45 minutes reading me the feedback from each of my interviewers.

At the end of the conversation he told me to be sure to reapply next year if I hadn't already accepted a position with another firm. He also told me that there wasn't anything I could do to improve my application between now and then....I guess that's good to hear (knowing I have done well to prepare myself), but at the same time you always wish there was something you could do to give yourself a better shot the next time around.

I guess I realize that getting an offer is just as much about having a good fit with your interviewer on a given day as it is nailing your case. It is all fairly random as to if you get a case you can really hit out of the park or whether you get a case that you'll struggle through. I think this is why it is important to interview with all the firms you can....this increases your odds of meeting the right people on the right day and getting cases that you are comfortable with. Unfortunately I realized that you can do well on 4 out of 5 cases and not get an offer....


  1. If it isn't too late to recall, I would be really interested to hear the feedback he gave you. I think this could be really enlightening for your readers.

  2. Sure...Feedback. Well, I kinda flubbed one case some, which definitely didn't help. The other comment I got was that I didn't always demonstrate how my personal experiences related to consulting. For example, they asked what I was most proud of on my resume...I told them something about being able to get three degrees at the same time and that hadn't been done before..blah, blah, blah. What they wanted was something that told them I would be a good consultant and not just an achievement. I think that's about it...most other comments were pretty positive. I was pretty close, but no cigar! In my personal opinion, had I rocked one more case, I would have gotten the offer. Again, the moral of the story is if you screw up once...you might as well call it a day.