BCG Interactive Case: What is It?

The BCG Interactive Case is the most well-known step in the hiring process for all potential BCG consultants. If you have an interview set up with BCG, or if you’re hoping to interview for a position there, you’ll want to devote a significant amount of time preparing for the Interactive Case process. The Interactive Case is famously difficult, and it only gets more difficult with each stage of the interview process. But don’t be deterred—it’s possible to practice and educate yourself so you can walk into your case interview confident and prepared.

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What Is An Interactive Case?

Simply put, the Interactive Case is the way BCG simulates the kind of work applicants will be doing after being hired. That is, if they manage to make it through all the interviews! The BCG interviewer will give you a basic scenario consisting of a hypothetical client who has a specific issue for which they need your help. This may be, for instance, a pharmaceutical company trying to figure out how to price a new drug. Another example could be a car manufacturer trying to remain profitable in the face of new regulations. These scenarios are often based on real cases that BCG clients have faced in the past. During the interview you will be asked to develop an understanding of the problem and guide your interviewer to a potential solution.

BCG is known for asking its case interviewees to be extremely creative, yet still very data-driven.

How To Solve A BCG Interactive Case

While a high-quality business education will certainly be helpful in your BCG Interactive Case, it’s important to realize that the process is not designed to test your knowledge, per se. There are seldom any perfectly right or wrong answers. Its purpose is more to help the firm get a sense of your thinking and communication style, as well as your general approach to complex issues. With that said, there are some proven techniques for demonstrating clear and effective analysis in these kinds of scenarios.

Steps To Solving A BCG Interactive Case Interview

  1. Remember, It’s A Dialogue.

The interviewer isn’t just there to evaluate your response at the end of the allotted time period. They are there to evaluate the linearity of your thought process, the way you break down a problem, how you crunch data, and your business acumen. They care more about your process than your answer.

Remember to communicate along the way what it is you’re thinking. You can use the interviewer as a resource to help guide your focus onto specific facets of the scenario at hand. Your job isn’t just to solve the problem—it’s to demonstrate to BCG how you solve problems. You should also be ready for the interviewer to challenge your thinking with new facts or considerations. Be ready to defend your thinking where appropriate, but also demonstrate flexibility, responsiveness, and the ability to collaborate.

  1. Organize Your Thinking, But Don’t Force It.

While there is room for you to work with the interviewer, the BCG Interactive Case isn’t a brainstorming session. Organize your thoughts before you speak so you communicate effectively. First, you’ll want to make sure you decide clearly on an approach—there isn’t necessarily a right answer here. The interviewer wants to see that you can clearly prioritize what elements of the problem you’ll be focusing on and how you plan to study them. Remember that your approach is meant to be a response to the client’s situation. And remember not to get caught working within a rigid framework just because you learned it in school. Yes, it’s very important to think and communicate in a structured way. But part of the purpose of the BCG Interactive Case is to test your ability to innovate and to think on the fly. You might very well have to formulate a unique framework for understanding the problem, but you can still follow proven precepts.

  1. Formulate A Hypothesis To “Drive The Case” And Go From There.

Using a clearly defined hypothesis to guide your approach to the problem will help you to filter the information. It helps to organize your thinking, and to work toward an appropriate solution by focusing on the right data. BCG cases typically give you data and ask you to find a way to use it. Don’t attempt to cover a breadth of ideas, or even use all of the data. Identify an angle that you want to take and use the data to explore and test it. Drive the case.

A very effective way to lay out a hypothesis-driven approach to a problem is to use an issue tree. An issue tree starts by stating a hypothesis for understanding or responding to a problem—this acts as the ‘trunk’ of the tree. From there, the hypothesis splits into different branches, which represent the different conditions under which the hypothesis will be proven true. These branches further branch off into sub-conditions, which help you know when the main conditions themselves are fulfilled. Working with a well-organized issue tree will help you to organize your approach to the problem. It will also help you know where to circle back to in the event your hypothesis is contradicted by the facts.

Be MECE In Your BCG Case Interview

Be sure your issue tree follows the MECE principle, which will help keep it organized. This principle refers to a way of categorizing the multiple options that make up larger problems without overlooking anything. Your categories should be A) Mutually Exclusive, meaning every item can only fit into one category;

MECE- Mutually Exclusive

and B) Collectively Exhaustive, meaning all the items can fit into at least one of the categories.

MECE-Collectively Exhaustive

Management Consulted Has A BCG Interactive Case Library

One of the most important things you should be doing as part of your interview prep is working with real BCG Interactive Case Studies. BCG changes the cases they use regularly, so you are unlikely to find a case study repeated in a formal interview. But familiarizing yourself with a wide breadth of different Interactive Case Studies and Interactive Case Answers will familiarize you with the kinds of problems you’re going to encounter in your case interview with BCG. Luckily MC offers a library of roughly 100 BCG Interactive Cases.

Other Ways To Prepare For A BCG Interactive Case Study

If you really want to step up your preparation for the BCG Interactive Case, you can go beyond just reading over the BCG Interactive Case solutions. You can find alumni and ask them to practice case interviews with you, or you can simply practice with classmates. You can take our free case interview prep course. Or, you can work with an expert case interview coach. A coach helps you simulate the interview process and give you informed feedback to maximize your interview performance. Working with an expert coach, can often cut your prep time in half! Even if you work alone, don’t just read the BCG Interactive Case Answers. Be sure and time yourself as you practice talking yourself through your own responses out loud. Many candidates spend all their prep time reading and far too little of it simulating the dialogue process that will make up the actual interview. Don’t be caught off guard!


The prospect of working for a firm like BCG is a dream for many would-be consultants. But in order to make that dream a reality, you’re going to have to come prepared for the famous BCG Interactive Case that makes up such a large part of the interview process. While the Interactive Case portion of the interview can be seriously challenging, it can also be conquered. Make sure to familiarize yourself with what exactly BCG is looking for in its applicants. And above all, be sure to practice working with real BCG Interactive Case Studies, so you’re 100% ready when your interview finally comes.

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Filed Under: BCG, Case Interview