If you’re preparing for a BCG interview, a question you will almost certainly be asked is “Why BCG?”
While case interview preparation is important, the behavioral portion of the interview often sets good candidates apart from great ones, making it extremely important to have a unique and genuine response to the “Why BCG?” question.
This article will provide an overview of how to craft your response to the “Why BCG?” interview question, including tips on structuring your response, potential reasons to discuss, and preparation strategies.
What Is Really Important When Answering “Why BCG?”
Consulting firms ask the “Why X firm” question to understand if you:
- Know what makes the firm unique
- Have prepared through research and networking
- Can structure a crisp verbal answer with supporting evidence
Many applicants also find that preparing their answer to this question can be informative in understanding if the firm will be a good fit for them. Remember, consulting interviews are bi-directional and provide an opportunity to test whether you are right for the firm AND whether the firm is right for you.
How to Structure your Response
Like any other behavioral interview response, your talking points should be 1-2 minutes in total, clear and well-prepared. We recommend structuring your answer through 2-4 main reasons for “Why BCG?”, and then expanding upon each reason with supporting data.
Reasons to Work for BCG
Aside from the typical reasons you have for joining a prestigious consulting firm, here are some reasons why you may want to work at BCG specifically:
BCG is known for its social impact work through two practice areas: Social Impact and Climate & Sustainability. In addition, offices host regular social impact events and take on annual pro bono cases supporting local nonprofits.
Diverse Employee Base
While BCG certainly hires business majors and MBA graduates, they also hire from “non-traditional” backgrounds, including military veterans, PhDs, MDs, and non-business major graduates to bring various perspectives to its cases.
Emphasis on Innovation
As the pioneer of “business strategy,” BCG maintains innovation as core to its DNA. This can be seen through its day-to-day consulting efforts, thought leadership, and its spinoffs, including The BCG Henderson Institute and BCG X.
Collaborative Working Model
While working in teams is common across consulting firms, BCG is known for an especially collaborative culture. BCG works with clients at all levels, not only with executives, and co-locates with clients and within teams to encourage increased co-creation.
As you conduct your due diligence, you may find a host of other reasons that resonate with you for “Why BCG?”, which may fall into following categories:
- Specific industry or functional areas of focus in your selected office / region
- Specific areas of thought leadership
Sample Answers to the “Why BCG?” Question
There are 3 primary reasons why I believe BCG is the perfect firm for me:
The Houston Office’s Work in the Oil & Gas Space
With a background in petroleum engineering, I am very excited about exploring the work done in the Houston office across the oil & gas space. Specifically, I want to support oil companies’ transition to more sustainable practices. Through reading some of BCG’s articles, including “How Energy Companies Can Organize for the Low-Carbon Era”, I can see that BCG is focused on exactly the type of cutting-edge work I want to be doing within this space.
Throughout the recruiting process, I’ve been able to meet a number of BCGers, all of whom have been incredibly smart, genuine, and supportive. Despite their busy schedules, everyone I have spoken to has reached out to me separately to ask if they can candidly answer any questions I have about working at BCG. These are exactly the type of people I hope to be surrounded by and collaborate with every day.
BCG’s Emphasis on Social Impact
BCG’s unique emphasis on social impact is strongly aligned with my values. This is clear to me through BCG’s social impact work, the articles BCG shares that can be utilized by small businesses, and BCG’s Social Impact Days. As providing business support to non-profits has been a focus of mine, I would be thrilled to work at a firm that places a similar importance on societal impact.
What Not To Do
The most common mistake people make in answering this question is to give generic reasons that can be given by any interviewee and apply to any firm, including:
- Challenging work
- Smart people
- Learning opportunities
- Alumni networks
- Opportunity to create impact
Another common mistake is under preparing for the “Why BCG” question. Your response should be clear and well-structured. You also should also be able to recite your answer enthusiastically and without hesitation.
Finally, there are certain topics that we recommend avoiding completely in your interview, including:
- Pay / lifestyle
- Exit options
Prep Help Tips
Now that we’ve discussed how to answer the “Why BCG?” question, you may be wondering, “How do I gather the information needed to craft my response?” Here are a few suggestions:
Talk to Current Employees
Talk to current employees that you know from your own rolodex or have met through the recruiting process to understand their experience
Do your Research
Do your research by flipping through BCG’s website and reading through some of their research in areas of work you are passionate about
Reach Out to our Expert Coaches
Reach out to our expert coaches to help you craft the perfect response to the “Why BCG” question and support your broader interview preparation
Ultimately, the way you respond to the “Why BCG?” question can make or break your chances of receiving a BCG offer. When preparing your answer, remember to select 2-3 evidence-backed reasons that are relevant to you and are unique to BCG, and deliver them in a clear and structured manner.
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