A career in consulting is what a lot of people aim for. But this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. With the high-pressure environment, versatility and ambiguity of work that is given to consultants, it is no surprise that consulting is still one of the most in-demand industries.
Consultants are able to analyse what is best for their clients and this is without having much information about the field or the business.
While consultants learn discipline and become an expert in several areas, the job takes up all your time and nights.
But if this hasn’t deterred you, we’re here to help ensure your placement in a consulting firm is much smoother. Below we have the complete recruitment process of one of the biggest consulting firms, Boston Consulting Group.
BCG hires at mainly two levels- at a fresher level and at a more senior position. To be considered for the senior level position, you’ll have to have a few years of work experience.
Coming to fresher level, BCG sorts its candidates into the Associate level and Senior Associate level. At the Associate level, they take students right out of engineering colleges as well as Charted Accountants. And for the Senior Associate level, they recruit recent MBA graduates.
BCG focuses a lot on academics so the colleges or universities they hire from are extremely small in number and are limited to top colleges.
The engineering colleges they conduct their placement drive in are the IITs and B-schools they visit are the top IIMs (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Indore, and Lucknow) and the ISBs.
If you’re starting to worry that you’re not from any IIT, fret not. Try to get placed in one of the top B-schools and focus on attaining different types of internships.
If you’re worried that you’re not from one of the top B-schools, there’s still a way for you to get placed at BCG. Focus on attaining work experience and ensure that it isn’t any run-of-the-mill work that you’re doing.
B.Com graduates too have a shot getting placed at BCG. Pursue Charted Accountancy along with your B.Com.
Now that you’ve met the first prerequisite, the second one requires you to be different. BCG receives thousands of applications, so there must be something that should set you apart from the others. Here’s where your extra-curricular activities come to play.
Experts advise candidates to find a hobby and get better at it. Have proof of how good you are at the hobby.
For instance, if you enjoy scuba diving, why not become a trainer and have the certification as a proof of your interest?
But this is not the case for off-campus candidates. You should focus on your work experience and the impact you had on the organisation.
The recruitment process at BCG is a little different, though it is similar for both on-campus and off-campus recruitment.
The candidates are shortlisted through a résumé screening round. Off-campus candidates can apply through the BCG Careers page.
These shortlisted candidates are provided with a “Buddy”, who works at BCG. The Buddy helps the candidate prepare for the interview for a month.
After a month, the candidate has to appear for the interviews. The number of interviews conducted could be anywhere from 3–7 rounds. The interviewers are Senior Partners or Principals at BCG.
The questions asked in the interviews are only case studies. It is extremely crucial for you to get these right. If you’re not able to answer the case studies correctly, your other credentials won’t make a difference.
Pro-tip: Your interviewers will provide you information and help you work out the case study. Listen and try to read in between the lines. Don’t be hesitant to ask questions and clarify it with them.
Apart from how you answer the case studies, the other things that are focused on are:
- Business acumen
- Body language
- Attitude/ Interesting Personality
- Different opinions that you come up with
An interesting metric that the interviewers use to gauge you is the flight test. Since consultants travel a lot, interviewers try to see if you’re interesting enough to spend an entire flight journey with!
Since the interviews are on case studies, no two questions are alike. Practice as many cases as you can. Experts swear by Case Interview Secrets by Victor Cheng.
Internships also play an important role in your résumé. The more diverse your internships are, the better you impress your interviewers. BCG also provides internships to students.
BCG emphasizes having different experiences and internships, especially in various sectors.
Apart from having a good academic score, diversified experiences and extracurricular, these are the skills you should focus on:
- Analytical skills
- Communication skills
- Problem-solving skills
It is no surprise that these skills are given importance. Ensure you put these on display during the interviews.
Use these insights and get placed in one of the biggest consulting firms in the world.
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