The BCG Online Case has emerged as a formidable force in the landscape of management consulting hiring. Many online forums devoted to aspiring consultants have begun paying a great deal of attention to the BCG Online Case because of its difficulty. It’s not hard to find horror stories about how insurmountable people found it to be. However, we’ve found that the online case’s perceived difficulty is directly proportional to the kind of prep the candidate has done, and their familiarity with the environment they’re “walking” into. So, what exactly is the BCG Online Case? And what can you do to prepare for the BCG Online Case? Read on to find out.
What Is the BCG Online Case/Assessment?
Let’s start with the obvious question: what is the BCG Online Case? The Online Case, also known as the BCG Online Assessment, is one step (often the first) in the interview process for Boston Consulting Group. The Online Case is essentially a case interview conducted online. Online/virtual case interviews are not new, and BCG has been conducting online case interviews for several years. However, the incorporation of digital interview techniques has accelerated due to the pandemic.
In addition to the normal version of the Online Case, there is also a new version of the BCG Online Assessment. In this version, candidates interact with a chatbot through a computer. It’s easy to see that there are some powerful differences between a conventional case interview and the BCG Online Case. Let’s dive into how the Online Case is structured.
BCG Online Case Format
The BCG Online Case follows a format that’s relatively similar to many other case interviews. In short, applicants are introduced to a specific business situation including a client dealing with a particular objective and/or obstacle. You are offered various forms of information about your client, their goals, and the broader marketplace. After being given some time to analyze the information, you design and present a proposed solution.
The primary difference between the BCG Online Case and a conventional case interview is that BCG applicants are conducting the online interview within the limitations of a computer program. This is especially noticeable in the component of the Online Case conducted with the chatbot. In the chatbot portion of the interview, three cases are offered with 8 to 10 questions each, with each case taking 25-30 minutes. Whereas, in the normal version, applicants have 45 minutes to answer 20+ questions. In the chatbot version, applicants provide a 1-minute final recommendation by video recording at the end of each case.
In most conventional, in-person case interviews, applicants have the chance to ask questions of their interviewers to help them better understand the situation. Now, applicants have some ability to interact with the chatbot, but this is more limited. This places extra importance on your ability to develop a strong initial structure.
BCG Online Case Questions
Many of the BCG Online Case questions resemble conventional case questions, at BCG and elsewhere. If you’ve been studying for case interviews in general, you don’t need to be alarmed that you have to learn a new discipline in order to ace the BCG Online Case. The main difference is that you’ll be interacting with a computer instead of a human interviewer and, of course, you’ll be doing it remotely.
The BCG Online Case questions resemble conventional case interviews in the skills and knowledge they draw on. There is a greater variety of question formats and structures, however, than a conventional case interview. In fact, BCG online case questions are a mixture of case interview and standardized test. Different sections of the test include a variety of multiple-choice style questions, short and long-form written response questions, recorded video responses, word problems, data analysis, and numerical problems.
BCG Online Assessment Similarity to GMAT
Some of the questions in the BCG Online Assessment resemble questions on the GMAT. The transferability of this competence may be good or bad, depending on how good you are at GMAT-style tests. You don’t need to run out and hire an expensive GMAT tutor just to prepare for the BCG Case Study Online. But doing some GMAT-style prep will help. As you’ll recall, the GMAT included a variety of question formats that tested your basic business acumen/judgment, logical reasoning, quant skills, and communications skills. The BCG Online Case, however, will be significantly different. It will draw on a deeper and wider breadth of business knowledge, will involve longer and deeper looks at specific scenarios, and will feel like an even more intense time crunch.
How to Prepare for the BCG Online Case
The good news about the BCG Online Case is that you likely already have most of the skills and knowledge needed to design an effective prep plan. First, assess where you’re at relative to where you want to be. Dust off some of your GMAT prep materials to see where you stand on a lot of the basic quant-heavy skills of a business aptitude test. Where you stand here will determine a lot about how you should devote your prep resources going forward. Remember, you don’t need to know every esoteric bit of economic theory in order to do well. But brushing up on your Econ 101 fundamentals will definitely help.
Furthermore, you should devote a good chunk of time to reviewing sample and past case interview questions across a variety of subjects. Be diligent about practicing and assessing yourself according to hard time constraints. Many people prepping for the BCG Online Case and similar interviews find it helpful to connect with study partners. Of course, one of the most powerful things you can do is to work one-on-one with an expert who knows this kind of test and can help you work to improve your responses.
The BCG Online Case is one of the latest hurdles aspiring consultants must clear on their path to a position with Boston Consulting Group. While the exact format of the BCG Online Case is new, the skills being tested are really no different from the skills BCG was looking for 10 and 20 years ago. If you have an upcoming BCG Online Case interview, consider buying an hour or more of interview coaching. You can work with an ex-BCG coach to refine your process and get ready for the interview of your life!