So you had your first round of interviews with BCG. You think you did pretty well and are very excited. After the case interview, you decided to spend the rest of your day to celebrate, play a little bit of sports, have a great dinner and why not have a couple of beers after. Happy and content, you wake up late the next morning, feeling especially good about your chances of getting to the second round.
But let me tell you something, by the time you wake up happily the next morning, your chances of getting to the next round actually have significantly decreased. You forgot one crucial procedure that might have cost you your chances: sending a follow up email.
So why is sending a follow up email very important?
The reason goes deep into consulting as a business. Notice that consulting is a communication business. In an actual consulting project, relationships are very important. Managers and partners of a consulting firm would constantly email and update potential clients before, during and after each project, and send clients follow up emails as leads to sell more projects. Because of this behavior, interviewers in a case interview, who themselves are most likely managers of the company, also like it when the candidate exhibit the same attribute of sending follow up emails. It shows that the candidate is aware of consulting as a business, and has already developed a very good habit that is easily transferable to an actual consulting project. So that is why it is very important to send a follow up email after your consulting interview. You are doing yourself a disservice to the excellent case performance you’ve had during the interview if you fail to do so.
Now, when do you send this follow up email?
Here at CasePrep Master, we don’t recommend you to follow up immediately within an hour after your case interview, because the interviewer might still be interviewing other candidates. Even if you are the last candidate of the day, you want to give the interviewer a little bit of cushion to rest before you interrupt her thought process. But you also don’t want to send the follow up email at 10:00 a.m. the next morning, because the interviewer might have already decided who to offer an opportunity to the second round and your late email will not help you at all. Our recommendation is to send a follow up email between the late afternoon to late night of your interview day, or between around 6:00 p.m. to later that night around 11:00 p.m. This is a time when the interviewer will have concluded all the interviews of the day, will have had some time to rest and reflect while still deciding on who to offer a chance to the second round.
So how do you phrase your follow up email to have the best effect?
Many candidates also have a problem with the email’s content. This is what they would write:” Hello interviewer, This is Tom from the consulting interview with BCG today. I would like to send you an email to thank you for your time today interviewing me. I learned a lot from this conversation with you and from the case interview and I hope to have the opportunity to work for BCG.” This is vastly insufficient and ineffective. The problem with phrasing your follow up email this way is that it is probably the same way that all of your competitor candidates are sending their follow up emails as well. It does not remind the interviewer who YOU are and help the interviewer connect that email to your face and your case performance.
So a better content to write in the follow up email will be to remind the interviewer details of exactly what your conversation with the interviewer was, as specific to your particular interview as possible. It could be a very particular way that you solved the case that the other candidates did not use. It could be a detail during the behavioral interview part where you discussed a very unique experience of yours that no one else has. If the interviewer was impressed with your unique experience biking around Europe for two months last summer, then mention that! Mentioning specific events or specific conversations within the interview would immediately remind the interviewer exactly who you are and give the interviewer a second impression of you, which will help you get to the second round.
Here we included a sample exemplary follow up email that you could follow or apply on your consulting case interview.
Now. Good luck, get the interview, do the interview, follow up and get that offer.