Roland Berger case interview: The only post you'll need to read

Roland Berger's interview process is quite challenging and evaluates potential candidates using case interviews, behavioural interviews, and sometimes a reasoning test and group case presentation.

This might sound intimidating, but don't worry! If you prepare well, you can crack your Roland Berger interviews, and maximise your chances of earning a job offer. 

We've helped over 40,000 consulting candidates prepare for their interviews, and this post is our ultimate guide for Roland Berger's interview process. Let's start off with a little background information on Roland Berger, and then we'll cover the details you'll need to know for your interviews.

  1. Roland Berger has offices in over 30 countries
  2. Roland Berger interview process overview
  3. Roland Berger case interviews
  4. Top behavioural interview questions
  5. Additional evaluations at Roland Berger
  6. Preparation tips for Roland Berger case interviews
    1. Roland Berger has offices in over 30 countries 

    Roland Berger (the consultancy) was founded in 1967, by an ambitious 29-year-old with the same name. The firm was started in Munich, Germany. And just 20 years after it began, Roland Berger became the largest Consultancy in Germany in 1987.

    The firm is still headquartered in Munich, but it now has offices in over 30 countries and is engaged in every major international market. The international presence of Roland Berger is one of the reasons that it was ranked #6 in Vault's 2020 Best Consulting Firms for International Opportunities.

    The firm is not as large as McKinsey (~$10bn annual revenue), BCG (~$7.5bn annual revenue), or Bain (~$4.3bn annual revenue). However, Roland Berger is still considered one of the world's leading consultancies and has annual revenues of ~$670 million. Between 2010 and 2013, Roland Berger was considering a potential merger with Deloitte or sale to EY. Neither of these deals were successful, and so Roland Berger continues to operate independently and is wholly owned by the firm's partners. 

    Next, let's turn our attention to an overview of Roland Berger's interview process.

    2. Roland Berger interview process overview

    The specific process that you'll encounter when interviewing with Roland Berger will vary based on the role you're applying for and your geographic location. As a result, it can be helpful to ask your contact at Roland Berger for some specific details on the evaluations you'll encounter, once you've been invited to interview.

    With that said, there is a typical process for Roland Berger, which looks like this:

    1. Resume and cover letter screening
    2. Assessment centre (e.g super day)
      • Company presentation and Q&A
      • Online reasoning test
      • 2 case interviews
      • 1 behavioural interview
      • Group case presentation

    Your first step for your Roland Berger application will be nailing your resume and cover letter. The recruiter will be looking for specific things on your application, including problem-solving and leadership skills. To optimise your documents, check out our free guides for consulting resumes and cover letters.

    Once you've passed the resume and cover letter screening, you'll typically be invited to a full day of interviews at one of Roland Berger's offices. These interview days are usually called an "assessment centre" or "super day". During your assessment centre, you (and a group of other candidates) will encounter a series of evaluations. 

    The assessment centre usually begins with a company presentation from current Roland Berger employees, followed by a Q&A session where you can ask the presenters questions. To help you come up with quality questions to ask, check out our guide about asking good questions in your consulting interviews. After the initial presentation, you will generally face case and behavioural interviews, and an aptitude test (not necessarily in that order). 

    Depending on the role and office location where you're applying, you may also face an individual or group presentation. This type of interview will require you to analyse a set of provided case materials, prepare a presentation, and present your findings to a panel of interviewers. 

    That's the high-level overview of the interview process you can expect at Roland Berger. For some offices, candidates will have multiple rounds of interviews, rather than it all being packed into a single assessment centre day. However, the types of interviews, and how to prepare for them, should be similar.

    In the following few sections, we'll provide more details on these recruitment steps for Roland Berger, including our best tips for how to get prepared to crush your interviews.

    3. Roland Berger case interviews

    Case interviews at Roland Berger are candidate-led, which is the same style used in a BCG or Bain case interview. This is different than firms like McKinsey that use interviewer-led cases. 

    For a candidate-led case interview, there are 7 types of questions you need to prepare for:

    • Situation
    • Framework development
    • Framework exploration
    • Quant question – Data provided
    • Quant question – No data provided
    • Creativity question
    • Recommendation

    In addition to the question types mentioned above, you should also expect to see market sizing questions during your Roland Berger interviews. As you prepare, it can be really helpful to practice with realistic sample cases. There are a few free case examples available on Roland Berger's website.

    You can also get a sense of what candidate-led case interviews are like, using the video below. As we mentioned, case interviews at Roland Berger tend to be candidate-led and therefore use a format similar to BCG and Bain interviews.

    4. Top behavioural interview questions 

    To prepare for behavioural interviews at Roland Berger, you should try to anticipate the types of questions you'll encounter, and prepare answers for them in advance. You can expect to encounter two main categories of behavioural interview questions at Roland Berger:

    1. Fit questions. These are generic questions such as “Why consulting?” or “Why Roland Berger?
    2. Personal Experience Interview (PEI) questions. These are questions such as “Tell me about a time when you led a team through a difficult situation.” Or “Tell me about a time where you had to manage a team conflict”

      We've written extensively about consulting fit / PEI questions in the past. But in summary here are the top 5 fit and PEI questions you should prepare for at Roland Berger.

      Top 5 fit questions:

      • Why Roland Berger?
      • Why consulting?
      • Walk me through your resume
      • Tell me about something not on your resume
      • Tell me about your greatest accomplishment

      Top 5 PEI questions. Tell me about a time when ...

      • You led a team through a difficult situation
      • You worked in a team and had to manage a conflict
      • You had a disagreement with a colleague / boss
      • You had to change someone's / a group's mind
      • You overcame a really difficult challenge

      Now that we've covered case interviews and behavioural interviews, which are the core of consulting interviews, let's turn our attention the other types of evaluations used by Roland Berger.

      5. Additional evaluations at Roland Berger 
      5.1 Roland Berger online reasoning test

      In order to land an offer at Roland Berger, many candidates will have to pass a reasoning test. This test is typically one of the evaluations you will take at Roland Berger's office during an assessment centre day. However, some candidates may have to take the test before they are invited to interview. 

      The test is about 90-minutes long and is made up of a series of questions that are similar to those used on the McKinsey PST, BCG Potential Test, or GMAT. Roland Berger's test is split into the following 3 sections:

      1. Numerical reasoning - Mathematics and quantitative reasoning questions.
      2. Verbal reasoning - Language comprehension questions.
      3. Abstract reasoning - Pattern recognition and logic questions.

      To help you prepare for this test, you can review the question types and tips mentioned in our free McKinsey PST and BCG Potential Test guides. You should expect there to be differences between these examples and Roland Berger's test, but this should give you a helpful start-point. 

      5.2 Roland Berger group case presentation

      Finally, Roland Berger will also sometimes ask candidates to perform a group case presentation. For this type of interview, you will be assigned to a small team with other candidates. Then you will have to work together to analyse case materials, prepare a PowerPoint, and deliver your presentation to a panel of interviewers.

      Your interviewers will probably ask you some follow-up questions or challenge your findings. As a result, you will also need to be prepared to respond to their points. To learn how to prepare for this type of interview, you can check out our free group case interview guide.

      In certain situations, you may have to do a case presentation individually, instead of with a group. Regardless of whether you will need to prepare the presentation individually or in a team, you should also review our free written case interview guide. That guide is written with BCG and Bain in mind, but the tips and preparation plan in sections 2 and 3 should still be a great resource for your Roland Berger preparation.

      Finally, let's cover four essential tips for your Roland Berger case interview preparation.

      6. Preparation tips for Roland Berger case interviews
      6.1 Become really confident at maths

      You don't have to have a perfect GPA or GMAT score to succeed at case interview maths. However, during your Roland Berger interview, you will be expected to quickly perform accurate mental maths. 

      With some time and intentional effort, you can develop impressive maths skills, and learn to confidently solve questions with a structured approach. In our experience, the most successful applicants begin their interview preparation by practising maths skills.

      If you want to learn more about the type of maths problems used in Roland Berger case interviews, check out our free guide to case interview maths.

      6.2 Develop a consistent method to crack cases

      One of the biggest challenges of interviewing with Roland Berger is the case interviews. Not only can each case be difficult, but you'll need to perform well across multiple case interviews to receive an offer.

      As a result, it’s critical for you to have a consistent approach for solving cases. As we mentioned above, Roland Berger uses candidate-led case interviews, which can be broken down into the following seven types of questions:

      1. Situation
      2. Framework development
      3. Framework exploration
      4. Quant question – Data provided
      5. Quant question – No data provided
      6. Creativity question
      7. Recommendation

      If you can crack each type of question (within a case), then you can crack the overall case.

      When we prepared for our case interviews, one of the most frustrating things was the lack of a consistent approach for solving each of the case questions. That's exactly why we created the step-by-step method for solving cases that we teach in our case interview training programme.

      6.3 Practice cases out loud

      The analysis you bring to each case is important, but your interviewers will also be evaluating how you COMMUNICATE your answers. It's important to speak in a structured way that makes it easy to clearly understand your points.

      One of the best ways to hone your communication skills is to practice with friends and former consultants. However, this isn’t always possible.

      A great alternative is to simply practice by yourself (out loud). Play the role of both the candidate and the interviewer. That means you should ask questions and answer them, just like two people would in an interview.

      This will probably seem strange at first. But trust us, in our experience candidates who use this approach are much more likely to get an offer.

      6.4 Learn from every mistake you make

      During case interview preparation, the quality of your preparation is just as important as the quantity of time that you dedicate. It's better to do 20 cases thoughtfully than to rush through 40 cases. We recommend that you keep a notebook where you record improvement opportunities and specific things you did well for each case. 

      The notebook and self-evaluation will help you to be more strategic (and efficient) with your preparation. It's also a good idea to go back and re-do old cases. For example, after you have done case #20, you could go back to case #1, to make sure you are not repeating the same mistakes.

      The minimum preparation time required to succeed in case interviews is probably around 30 hours. However, if you don't prepare thoughtfully, it may take much longer. So take notes, be strategic, and start practicing today!

      Additional resources

      If you would like to fast track your case interview preparation and maximise your chances of getting an offer at Roland Berger, come and train with us. More than 80% of the candidates training with our case interview programmes end up getting an offer at their target firm. We know this because we give half of their money back to people who don't.

      You can find a link to our BCG & Bain Case Interview Training Programme below. As mentioned previously, Roland Berger uses the same type of case interviews as BCG and Bain. So you can therefore use that programme to prepare.

      BCG & Bain Case Interview Training Programme

      BCG & Bain case interview training programme

      Any questions about Roland Berger case interviews?

      If you have any questions about case interviews, do not hesitate to ask them below and we will be more than happy to answer them. All questions are good questions, so go ahead!

      The IGotAnOffer team