BCG - Unusual 2nd Round Interview

LordCommander's picture
Rank: Chimp | 6

I recently completed my 2nd round interviews with BCG, and I'm now at a complete loss as to what to expect based on the HIGHKY unusual flow of the process.

Here is the summary of my interview process to date to help inform your opinions of what could be happening. Group speculation is a lovely antidote to the agony of the waiting game. ;-)

CV Selection: invited to apply by HR, and immediately confirmed for First Round interviews.

First Round interviews: standard - 2 interviews, 2 consultants (good cop, bad cop), 2 cases, each with fit portions.
Had a great feel on Good Cop Case, had a mixed feel on Bad Cop Case.
Called back that same day around 11:00 PM by Bad Cop to warmly congratulate me on my fantastic performance (his words) which he wanted to see replicated in Round 2 with minor adjustments. I asked for clarification and was quoted a variety of metrics (structuring, communication, business judgement, case arithmetic) I was tested on and had excelled in splendidly. Minor adjustment was to slow the pace to make sure interviewer could interject with approval of thesis or dissent on synthesis as needed.

Decision Round interviews: only one partner shows up. Seems immensely displeased to see me and be in the same room with me. Drills down into Fit for about 20 minutes while demonstrating a clear lack of interest unhelpful lay served with a side of mild irritation.
Then we proceed to the case: a minicase with partner essentially demanding my opinions on strategy, and then asking me to defend them.
The case ends abruptly and partner, in resignation, asks me what questions I have for him. I try to engage him, and he responds in detail, albeit noncommitally.
On the dot of the 40th minute, he stops speaking, informs me we are out of time, and gets up and leaves the room (door left hanging open, and I left stunned and remaining seated).

I left the room, thanked HR, and was escorted out by a new HR contact (never met her before) who simply says "Pleasure to meet you. Thank you for you for coming in."

Boston Consulting Group - Bad Second Round Interview

When interviewing with consulting firms or investment banks, you need to expect that your interviews will attempt to test your reaction to weird or stressful situations and that your interviewer might simply not want to be there.

BreakingOutOfPWM:

This shit happens in consulting recruiting. As mentioned earlier one of two things was happening:

  • You were part of a planned stress test routine. If so, hope you kept your cool and handled it well. These situations come up all the time in consulting interviews.
  • Your partner did not want to be there. Someone else could have cancelled and they got called in last minute, there may have been two people slotted but only one showed and had to double duty, they might have just lost a big prospect or client, their kid could have been a shit that morning, etc, etc. These things happen too and can negatively impact your interview but are out of your control.

Either way, sit tight. BCG is pretty good about reaching out fairly promptly but I'd suggest you give them 1-2 weeks before you start pushing. They will almost definitely reach out either way; not all firms do this but MBB takes pride in their professionalism in this regard.

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Comments (7)

Apr 4, 2017

Who knows, just wait. The partner could just be playing a role to see how you will react or he could just be an ass, but reliving every moment in your head won't really help. It also won't change whether or not you are going to get an offer.

If you haven't heard anything by Friday, send a courteous note to the main HR contact asking for an update.

Best Response
Apr 4, 2017

This shit happens in consulting recruiting. As mentioned earlier one of two things was happening:

  1. You were part of a planned stress test routine. If so, hope you kept your cool and handled it well. These situations come up all the time in consulting interviews.
  2. Your partner did not want to be there. Someone else could have cancelled and they got called in last minute, there may have been two people slotted but only one showed and had to double duty, they might have just lost a big prospect or client, their kid could have been a shit that morning, etc, etc. These things happen too and can negatively impact your interview but are out of your control.

Either way, sit tight. BCG is pretty good about reaching out fairly promptly but I'd suggest you give them 1-2 weeks before you start pushing. They will almost definitely reach out either way; not all firms do this but MBB takes pride in their professionalism in this regard.

    • 2
Apr 4, 2017

^This. I was going to say this isn't too out of the ordinary. (My personal bet is #2, but it doesn't matter either way)

Sep 7, 2017

The inevitable follow-up question: why are there if they don't want to be there? Presumably as a partner you have some say in how things are done at your firm.

Something very similar happened to me in the past and to this day I scratch my head about it.

Apr 4, 2017

Dear BreakingoutofPWM,

Thanks for your insights! Very helpful context. :-)
I was cool about it, but I somehow doubt it was planned as a stress test. The tone was just...off.
Either way, I can confirm that this partner was not called in at the last minute. I had him confirmed via e-mail a full 72 hours in advance of the interview and there was no double duty since he only interviewed in his slot and then left.

Apr 4, 2017

What Breakingout and I are saying is that there are a million things that could have affected this guy's mood. Even if he knows he is interviewing you, a client fire drill could have just come up that morning, he may have just had to can someone, fill in the blank.

Sep 6, 2017
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