Why BCG? How to Answer This Fit Interview Question

BCG Culture & How to Answer the Why BCG? Interview Question

Why BCG? How to Answer This Fit Interview Question
Erica Suesserman
Erica Suesserman

ex-BCG Recruiter

Do you have an answer to the “Why BCG” question? It’s basically guaranteed that you’ll be asked this question at least once during your interview process. 

Why does BCG ask this question and what are they looking for in your response?

We’ll tell you. 

But it’s not just important that you have an answer ready for your interview. It’s also important that you know the answer for yourself. Why do YOU want to work for BCG? Why is it the best place for you to start your consulting career?

My Consulting Offer has several coaches who are former BCG consultants. We’ll tell you about BCG’s culture and tell you how to create a great answer to the Why BCG? interview question. 

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • Why BCG asks the “Why BCG?” question, 
  • BCG’s Culture and what makes BCG unique,
  • How BCG’s culture compares to other MBB firms – McKinsey and Bain,
  • Some ways that BCG, Bain, and McKinsey are different,
  • Questions that will help you answer the “Why BCG?” question, and
  • What MCO’s coaches say when asked, “Why BCG?”

Let’s get started!

Why BCG Asks the “Why BCG?” Question

It’s typical for consulting firms to ask the question “Why Us?” during the interview phase. 

Imagine that you’re on a dating app and the person you’re interested in dating has several other people as options. If you were their main choice, wouldn’t one of your first thoughts be “Why Me?” Wouldn’t you want your date to have an authentic answer as to why they’re interested in you? The same goes with BCG when they ask the “Why BCG?” question.

The interview process can be much like dating in the sense that both parties need to agree that they’re a good “match” for the candidate to get an offer. The “Why BCG?” question is part of how BCG confirms there’s a match, so it’s a good idea to consider this beforehand. 

Think about what makes BCG desirable to you, what makes it stand out, and what piques your interest. When you have a genuine interest in a firm, you’ll have an authentic answer. 

The “Why BCG?” question is a great opportunity for candidates to expand on their excitement in the firm and also express their passion for consulting on a more personalized level.

 

BCG’s Culture & What Makes BCG Unique

Maintaining culture is a top priority for most consulting firms, but especially at BCG. 

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Investment in Candidates & Employees

BCG is able to showcase individuality and diversity in the workplace more than any other consulting firm. This starts right at the recruiting process, with dedicated recruiters and consulting staff who spend immense amounts of time with candidates. Once you join BCG, the firm dedicates time, money, and resources to you as an associate and beyond with their extensive mentorship program. 

The support you receive from BCG staff before you even join the firm should be reason enough to want to work there, but BCG has more to offer.

Creative Problem Solving

BCG has functional expertise, but it also boasts creative problem solving by offering its clients a fresh and unique framework with every case. It pushes consultants to think outside the box and to avoid fitting one client’s solutions to another client’s problems. This allows BCG teams to collaborate on new insights, gain a stronger sense of teamwork, and provides additional opportunities to strengthen relationships.

Great People

Despite their rigorous interview process, it’s typical to hear that BCG has some of the “nicest” and “brightest” in the industry. It’s truly what sets them apart from the rest, and in doing so they continue to hire exceptional people who make BCG one of the top consulting firms in the world. 

BCG Culture 

Why BCG? Consultants prefer it for various reasons.

BCG attracts top talent with its reputation alone, however, there are other things that set BCG’s culture apart from other top consulting firms.

Once you begin networking with consulting firms, you’ll find that the cultural differences between firms (and even office locations) are undeniable. Most of the time, candidates are making offer decisions based on the people they’ve met and how well they “fit” into the firm’s culture.

At the core of BCG are it’s people, and they are second to none.

BCG devotes a substantial amount of time and money into investing in the growth and development of all levels of its staff. It wouldn’t be unusual for an associate to have a personal mentorship with a partner that developed within their first weeks of work. BCG’s leadership is well-known for investing early on in their teams, and to most, this is a huge benefit to working at BCG.

BCG is also well-known for being a firm that works with integrity and is very involved in social justice and community service. A few times a year, BCG does firmwide community service days in order to give back. This creates a “oneness” within the firm while encouraging people to participate in something outside of work together that will benefit the community.

Collectively, these cultural connections outside of the traditional work environment are what give BCG it’s fun and collaborative reputation. It’s definitely a “work hard, play harder” kind of place.

How BCG, Bain, & McKinsey Are Different

Differences at the Firm Level

The perspectives that people have about the MBB consulting firms (McKinsey, Bain, and BCG), are typically established when people first start their career-search process in college. They shift as they learn more about the firms or even work for one of them.

Word of mouth is a key way that these perspectives or “reputations” develop on campus. Let’s say that a student attends a presentation and really connects with the consultants who speak at it. That student will most likely want to share his/her experience with the consulting club, friends, and family. That experience will positively reinforce their experience and overall view of the firm–just from a few conversations.

Similarly, a negative perception can be generated early on and spread by word of mouth. Although these perspectives are subjective and vary based on individual candidates’ experiences, there is still usually validity and consistency throughout the years. 

Typically, since McKinsey is the largest of the 3, it has the reputation of being the most prestigious. Bain is known as a “younger” firm, and able to boast more creativity and agility within the workplace. Although both of these might be true, BCG holds steadfast as a solid, reputable, and rigorous place to work

Differences at the Office Level

If you want to dig into the true differences between MBB consulting firms, it’s easier to compare the firms at an office level than at a firm level.

Each office at an MBB firm holds it’s own “mini” culture. To dig into the office-level culture, you must first decide where it is you want to live and work. At that point, you can start networking to research the types of industries that office works with most frequently and the types of business problems they address. 

Once you start meeting people from McKinsey, Bain, and BCG at the same office location, you can get a true picture of the differences. For instance, one firm’s Chicago office might have more clients in an industry you’d like to work in. One can have more in-town clients, leading to its consultants spending fewer nights on the road. Or they might have different expectations for socializing after work.

Focusing on the city where you want to live and comparing the consulting offices in that city is more effective than trying to compare the McKinsey LA office to the BCG Miami office to the Bain Dallas office. 

Sample Answers to the “Why BCG?” Question

Let’s refer back to the dating comparison here. If you were to ask someone “Why do you like me?”, what would you hope their response would be? It probably wouldn’t feel that great if your date gave you some generic answer they found on the internet that could potentially be said about anyone.

That’s basically what BCG is asking… “Why BCG?” Why us? What makes US special to YOU?

Your best bet in answering this question is to be as authentic as possible. Consider the following questions:

  • Is it the prestige of the name that appeals to you?
  • Did you meet a group of BCG consultants that you fit right into?
  • Is the industry work that BCG has done so impressive that you don’t want to work anywhere else?
  • Do you love the pro bono work they’ve done?

When you think about the real reason behind your answer to the “Why BCG?” question, your authenticity will truly shine, and that’s something that you can’t fake with a scripted answer. Authenticity is a huge part of what makes up BCG culture, so it’s really important that you show that in your interviews, especially when you get asked this question.

Interviewers are genuinely interested in hearing YOUR particular answer. They get curated answers all day, so something specific to you and your interests is what will connect you to your interviewer.

What My Consulting Offer’s Ex-BCG Coaches Say When asked “Why BCG?”

Cassie McLemore, ex-BCG recruiter and MCO recruiting coach

“For me, BCG always felt like family. It didn’t matter if you were in recruiting, a
consultant or a partner. It didn’t matter which BCG office you sat in.
What mattered was how you treated others, how you tackled challenging
problems and how you sought to make a difference. The BCG culture is one
of compassion, inclusion and forward thinking. Even as an alumni, I
still feel very connected to my BCG family, and I think I always will!”

In this article, we’ve covered:
  1. Why candidates are asked the “Why BCG?” question,
  2. What BCG’s corporate culture is like,
  3. How BCG is different from Bain and McKinsey,
  4. How you should answer the “Why BCG?” question, and
  5. How MCO’s coaches answer the “Why BCG?” question.
Still have questions? If you have more questions about why you’d want to work at BCG, leave them in the comments below. One of My Consulting Offer’s recruiters will answer them. Other people prepping for BCG interviews found the following pages helpful:

Help with Consulting Interview Prep

Thanks for turning to My Consulting Offer for advice on preparing for your BCG interview. My Consulting Offer has helped almost 85% of the people we’ve worked with get a job in management consulting. We want you to be successful in your consulting interviews too. For example, here is how Matt was able to get his offer from BCG.

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