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Does Boston Consulting Group Drug Test? The Truth

If you’ve been on the wacky-backy, but now got an interview or job offer from Boston Consulting Group, you might be a little bit fretful if they do drug testing?! Luckily, there’s some good news coming your way…

According to many employees and ex-employees of Boston Consulting Group, they currently do not drug test employees on entry to the company. The only time that employees might ever be drug tested would be at the request of a client.

It clearly is wise to stop taking recreational drugs if you are going to be working as a consultant, for a whole host of reasons! (more about them in a moment)

In this post, I’ll take a look at:

  • Boston Consulting Group’s normal policy on drug testing their employees
  • The pre-employment screening you might be likely to receive on entry to the company
  • The few times when you might actually be required to take a drug test while working at Boston Consulting Group
Do Boston Consulting Group drug test

Do Boston Consulting Group Drug Test Their Employees

Luckily for you, the answer to this seems to be a resounding ‘no’!

This certainly doesn’t seem to be the case in the United States or the United Kingdom.

I’m a big consultant forum geek, and I’m on there all the time! This question of drug testing at consultancy firms such as Boston Consulting Group has come up a few times.

Employees and ex-employees from Boston Consulting Group have always stated on these forums that drug testing is not a part of the BCG pre-employment screening.

However, I should say that Boston Consulting Group has offices in over 50 countries, and more than 100 offices in total (with multiple in the States). (Source)

There is no evidence of any drug testing taking place in the States or the UK, but I couldn’t categorically state that it doesn’t happen in every single one of the countries in which they operate.

What Do Boston Consulting Group Employees Say?

As I said, I’m a huge consultancy forum nerd, and I’ve seen a few consultants over the years give their opinion on this whole issue.

A guy called Moritz, who states he is an ex-Big 3 coach, says on one forum that he hasn’t ‘ever heard of anyone getting drug tested as a standard part of the job but this may be highly dependent on the region.

As for specific projects, it may well happen. I once got tested as part of a full medical that was required to enter a client’s mining site at high altitude in the Peruvian mountains. 

I could think of more potential cases but they’re generally related to Ops/Implementation work in a dangerous environment e.g. mine, construction, oil platform, processing plant, etc.‘ (That was from the excellent PrepLounge forum by the way)

This response sums it all up, to be honest.

It’s a ‘no’ to drug testing as a pre-employment screening procedure. ‘Yes’ to occasional sporadic drug testing requests by clients.

But what sorts of clients would want to drug test you? Well, let’s take a look…

Boston Consulting Group May Require Drug Testing On Rare Occasions

So you’ve drawn the short straw somehow, you’re working at BSG, and suddenly one of your clients requests a drug test. Why on earth would this ever happen?

It’s normally because a drug test is part of the health and safety procedures of that company.

Here are a few examples of the kind of organization that may require a drug test:

  • A medical organization, where the employee may be on location in medical environments, like labs or similar
  • A scientific organization
  • Organizations that work in dangerous environments (see the comment from the forum above). This could be mines, oil rigs, processing plants, nuclear facilities, and the like
  • Some government agencies and institutions

It’s likely that a request for a drug test from one of these organizations might come at very late notice.

It might be literally on entry to a processing plant, for example.

This is just one of the reasons why it makes absolute sense to stop taking drugs when working as a consultant! Let’s dive into some more of the reasons.

5 Reasons Not To Take Drugs As A Consultant

Let’s really spell out some super obvious points now. Taking drugs while working as a consultant is dangerous for your career, your health, and even those who work with you.

The job is challenging enough without adding the fear of being caught in possession or taking drugs – not to mention all the mental and physical issues associated with taking them.

There are probably 5 key reasons why taking drugs as a consultant is not wise, which include:

1. Legal Issues

Let’s go into full Captain Obvious mode for a moment. Drugs are illegal!

You risk being caught either in possession of them or taking them. Then you would be open to a range of sanctions, from your employer, your client, and the authorities of the country you are in.

Some penalties include fines, or even imprisonment (depending on the details and country you are in).

2. Professional Reputation

Professional reputations are at stake for both yourself and those around you. You risk tarnishing the reputation of:

  • Yourself (obviously)
  • Your company
  • Potentially your old employers or educational institution

3. Physical And Mental Health

Drugs are not very good for you! You’ve probably heard about that I guess.

There is research that demonstrates the health impacts of drugs on both mental and physical health. (Source) You need both while working as a consultant – trust me!

4. Job Performance

Consultants work in high-intensity jobs, where cognition and being fully on the ball all the time are top requirements.

You want to do everything you can to keep your performance levels high, and drugs should not be a part of that.

5. Ethical Considerations

Clearly, drug taking is unethical. It is against all professional codes of conduct and will be viewed this way by employers and clients.

What Does Boston Consulting Group Include In Their Pre-Employment Screening?

So, we’ve worked out that they don’t normally do drug tests. But what sort of pre-employment screening does BCG do?

Tests are normally rigorous to verify all information given by candidates during the recruiting process, to check that candidates are honest and their credentials stack up.

Boston Consulting Group is a prestigious consulting firm and is of course looking to maintain its high regard in the industry.

Some features of their pre-employment screening will often include:

Type Of CheckReason
Reference check-Gather information about your work history
-Verify information about your work-related qualifications
Background check-To assess your criminal history
-To verify information on your resume
Educational verification-Verify your qualifications earned
-Verify educational background and colleges attended
Skills Assessment-Assess your professional capabilities
-Assess your technical skills

5 Reasons Boston Consulting Group Carries Out A Pre-Employment Screening?

Boston Consulting Group is at the forefront of the consulting industry, and so carries out rigorous checks on anyone that begins working there.

There are five key reasons why this happens:

1. Compliance With The Laws In Their Country

Many countries have employment laws that need to be fulfilled, especially in an industry that can have such an impact on public companies and investors.

2. Protect Their Reputation

Bain wants to hire the cream de la cream, the wheat, and not the chaff.

They want employees who will stick to their culture and working practices.

3. To Ensure The Safety Of Current Employees

They clearly don’t want anyone coming into the firm that may put everyone’s safety at risk!

4. To Verify Information

This is another Captain Obvious one! Of course, the checks are to make sure you are what you say on the tin.

5. To Assess An Applicant’s Character

Character is a big issue in consulting! BCG want to verify all factual information they have about you, to check you really are what you say you are.

Looking To Apply For Boston Consulting Group?

BCG is a really prestigious consulting firm, and there are multiple benefits to getting a job there. Some of the key ones include:

  1. The chance to work on a global scale. There is usually a fair amount of travel in most roles
  2. A competitive benefits package and compensation.
  3. The chance of rapid progression. Because it is such as large and diverse company, there is the opportunity to progress rapidly up the ladder in a range of different areas
  4. Work within an organization that simply oozes with prestige!

Of course, it’s competitive!

They’re looking to recruit the cream of the crop.

You can find information about their interview process here.


  • Will Bennett

    Will Bennett is a Cambridge graduate. He worked as a Consultant and Senior Consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in London. Will is the Founder of The Cambridge Consultant.