The BCG One Way Interview: What It Is & How to Prepare


Are you trying to learn about the BCG one way interview?

You’re in the right place. 

This past recruiting cycle, we helped 100% of our clients get through the BCG one way interview questions and land in-person interviews and offers. 

In this article, we’ll tell you what the BCG one way interview is and how to prepare for it. We’ll also give you our 10 tips on acing the one way interview.

Let’s get started!

What Is the BCG One Way Interview?

The BCG one way interview is a series of 3 interview questions asked and answered via the video interview website, Spark Hire. 

You won’t be speaking with a live interviewer. Instead, you’ll receive the interview questions when you log onto the site from your laptop. (You can also do it on your smartphone, but we don’t recommend that.) Spark Hire will record a video of your answers for a BCG recruiter to review at a later time.

These will be Consulting Behavioral Interview Questions, not case interview questions

If BCG selects you to do a one way interview, you’ll receive an email with a link to click on when you’re ready to do your interview. You’ll also have a deadline for completing the interview. 

The BCG one way interview lasts about 45 minutes, including set-up and a tutorial.

When you log onto the interview portal,  you’ll be given a prompt such as “Why do you want to work in consulting?” or  “Tell me about the best team you worked on and why it was the best?” and given time to prepare an answer. Then you go live and answer the question. 

Candidates are not timed as they prepare, but the video of their answer is limited to 2-3 minutes.

It’s similar to the interviews you see done on reality TV shows where the person is answering to the camera except in this case, there’s no one behind the camera.

Why Did BCG Start Doing One Way Interviews?

The one way interview questions provide a fast and easy way to complete an early screening of applicants. A BCG consultant doesn’t need to come to campus and you don’t need to go to a BCG office to complete this interview. You don’t even need to coordinate schedules. 

Spark Hire has found that for a lot of companies, this makes the interviewing process more efficient than traditional interviews. Recruiters can screen a lot of potential candidates all at once, letting them consider more applicants. 

This is a plus if you’re not a top candidate in terms of grades or leadership experience because if you happen to fall in the middle of the pack, BCG might just give you an opportunity to interview. And if you get an invite for a one way interview, you’re only one step away from an actual interview. 

For BCG, the one way interview also provides an early screen to test how well candidates fit with the firm’s culture and whether the company would feel comfortable putting them in front of clients. Many candidates can solve case study questions but not everyone is as strong on the behavioral side.

In short, Spark Hire makes the one way interview a win-win for you and BCG.

BCG notes that it does not make the decision to advance solely based on your one way interview.

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Which BCG Offices Use the One Way Interview?

BCG one way interviews were first rolled out to the European and Southeast Asian offices as part of their first round of interviews. Many offices now use them as a screening tool.

What Happens During a BCG One Way Interview?

You will receive an email invitation from your recruiter or one of the interview platforms like Spark Hire. Once you log in to the platform, you will be asked to add or confirm your personal information. 

The platform will provide a tutorial on how it works and it should also evaluate your camera and microphone settings to make sure they work. 

Before you start, you should also have a chance to do a practice question. Take the opportunity to do the practice question so you can be sure everything is working properly. It won’t be recorded or shared with BCG. 

Once you’re ready, you can hit “Start” and the platform will guide you through the series of questions. 

Be sure to complete your one way interview before the deadline you’ve been provided in the email. If you haven’t completed the interview by that time, it may be marked incomplete. 

Have a pen and paper handy to keep track of any information, like how many questions you’ve answered or maybe even which examples you’ve given in various questions. 

BCG also notes that if you have technical difficulties during your interview and you can’t resolve them, you can reach out to the host platform for technical support.

Common BCG One Way Interview Questions

Behavioral interview definition

The BCG one way interview focuses on behavioral interview questions. Topics include:

  • Teamwork skills (“What makes a great team?”)
  • Your ability to identify creative solutions to solving problems or achieving goals (“Tell us about a challenge you had to face and how you changed an existing approach to deal with the challenge?”)
  • Your interests. (“Why do you want to be in strategic consulting? Why BCG?”)
BCG interview questions

Other questions include:

  • Tell me about an ambitious goal you worked toward. What steps did you take to give yourself the best possible chance of achieving this goal?
  • What are the most important personal traits for succeeding in consulting?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Pro tip 1! Be sure to describe YOUR actions and motivations. Avoid saying “we” even if you acted as part of a team. In a live interview, most interviewers will correct you and ask what you personally did. In a recorded interview, you won’t get that help

Pro tip 2! When you describe a weakness, choose something that is not core to the job of a consultant (e.g., avoid math, problem-solving), and be sure to highlight what you are doing or have done to improve in that area.  

Some companies are using the one way interview to ask about your response to specific business situations or to evaluate your situational feedback. It’s a good idea to ask your recruiter what kinds of questions you should be prepared to answer. 

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of common Consulting Behavioral Interview Questions.

How Should I Prepare for the BCG One Way Interview Questions?

The best way to prepare for any fit or behavioral interview is to prepare stories that demonstrate the skills and characteristics that interviewers are looking for in common questions. To prepare stories, use the ASTAR(E) format:

Behavioral or Fit Interview - How to Answer

Yes, you’ll need several stories and preparing them will take some time. But the good news is that preparing for the one way interview will give you a head start preparing for fit/ behavioral interviews that will come later in the management consulting recruiting process. The time you spend developing your answers to common questions now will save time in the end.

Learn more about the ASTAR(E) framework in our article on Consulting Behavioral Interviews.

Focus on major themes such:

  • Why you want to work in consulting and for BCG in particular,
  • Overcoming problems and achieving results in your professional and personal life,
  • Working and communicating in teams.

Ace Your BCG One Way Interview – 10 Tips

    • Outline your answers to common behavioral questions. You don’t need to memorize your answers, just know what story you want to tell and have your main points ready in advance so that you don’t trip over your answer.
    • Practice presenting your answers. You can use Loom or just record yourself using your phone. Watch the video (Yes, this is painful.) Look for ways you can improve your answers. All our clients used Loom before their actual one-way interview. By the time they opened Spark Hire, they already felt confident about what they were doing.
    • Be succinct. Just because you’re not in person doesn’t mean you should ramble on and on. 
    • Be genuine and enthusiastic. Imagine for a second that you’re an interviewer watching dozens of these videos. Putting a little energy and personality in your answers will make you stand out from the crowd. Recording yourself on Loom beforehand will help you see if your energy level is low and practice increasing it.
    • Choose a quiet area for the interview and let roommates, family and friends know you’ll be interviewing so they don’t accidentally interrupt.
    • Make sure the space is well lit. The background of your recording location should be neutral and uncluttered. Think a white wall or office space.
    • Check your microphone ahead of time to ensure you have good audio quality. There are websites you can use to do this. Get a microphone if you don’t have one. 
    • Dress for success. Just because you’re not meeting in-person at your school’s recruiting department or a BCG office doesn’t mean you should show up in jeans and a hoodie.
    • Don’t rush – you will have time to craft your answers before you have to record so make sure you are ready and not a second earlier. In addition, you do have the option to re-record once more, but don’t let that option be what you rely on. Assume you don’t have that option. 
    • Pretend there is a person you are speaking to – it is hard to be doing an interview to a camera, so to make sure you sound natural, pretend you are speaking to someone on the other end. We’ve even had clients who printed a photo of a family member and placed it next to their webcam so it felt more natural. This will help you sound natural.

Other Resources

Spark Hire, the company BCG uses to manage its one way interviews, has its own tips on recording good video interviews. Check them out here. 

After reading this article, we’re sure you’re well on your way to passing your first screening interview with BCG. You’ve learned:  what the BCG one way interview is, how to prepare, and our 10 tips for acing the one way interview.

Still Have Questions?

If you have more questions about BCG’s one way interviews, leave them in the comments below. One of My Consulting Offer’s case coaches will answer them.

Other people preparing for screening interviews found the following pages helpful:

Schedule a Mock Practice Before Your BCG One-Way Interview

Thanks for turning to My Consulting Offer for advice on case study interview prep. My Consulting Offer has helped almost 89.6% of the people we’ve worked with get a job in management consulting. For example, here is how Conor went on to get a BCG offer.

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