Monday, May 18, 2009

BCG Round 1 Interview - Part 2

Here is the shocking conclusion to my interview recap.

The first interviewer came out, introduced himself, and then asked me to follow him back to the conference room. As we walked through the halls, I noticed that offices were generally shared by either 2 or 4 people. I later learned that BCG likes to place senior and junior consultants in the same office to facilitate skills development and mentoring. It took us a moment to find the right conference room, and once we went inside, I was blown away by the view of downtown Dallas. In skyline pictures of Dallas, you typically see a building that has windows lit to form an X on it, a la http://www.flickr.com/photos/cyclochip/95613151/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/rikkyrikky/3326687176/. That building was right across from us.

We began with the "fit" portion of the interview, which was much more casual than expected. This was easily the strongest part of the interview for me, as I'm naturally very talkative, and it allowed me to relax my nerves. We discussed a few items from my resume, including my rugby experience, and then jumped into the case. Although I started out strong with the case, I felt myself getting scatterbrained as we progressed. At one point, I spent a few minutes on a table of data only to be told that I had misunderstood a bit of it. It was a simple mistake that didn't change my answer in any way, but it planted a small seed of doubt in my mind. That was enough to throw my concentration off. When it was time to present my recommendation via the "elevator pitch", I jumped right into it instead of taking a minute to organize my thoughts. Overall, I felt like I had given a "C" performance on the case. Afterward, I asked a few questions, and then we went over to the other conference room, where I swapped interviewers.

By this point, I was very relaxed. We breezed through the "fit" portion, again talking about a few items on the resume. It was very much like a conversation amongst friends. After 10 minutes or so, we went into the case. On this one, I was able to stick with the format that I described a few posts back, and it went swimmingly. I asked all of the right questions to get the necessary data, and this time, I analyzed it all correctly. At the end, I remembered to collect my thoughts and create a bullet list of key points before presenting my recommendations. We then went about 30 minutes over our time talking about miscellaneous grad school, consulting, and BCG topics.

I've asked all of the BCG folks that I've talked to if there are any classes that they recommend I take to prepare for consulting, and so far, I've gotten the same response from everyone. They've all said that there is no "standard template" for a good consultant, and that as long as you follow your interests, you should learn something valuable that can be applied to consulting.

2 comments:

  1. The thing about meetings is, they take place in real time among people with different communication styles. Whether you are physically seated across from someone or are meeting with them online, you can misinterpret what is being asked of you.

    When the pressure is on to perform, you are less likely to ask for clarification and that leads to the situation you found yourself in. I think the company has shown that it expects younger consultants to need mentoring so once you show that you have talent and are teachable, something like that won't weigh against you in the long term.

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