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Best solo prep for case studies

Anonym A fragte am 6. Aug 2019 - 5 Antworten

What is the best way to prepare for case studies on your own?

I'm currently the primary carer of our baby son and so normally get two quality study sessions of around one hour each. The timings depend on naps, so they are unpredictable.

I have found the case study interviews on PrepLounge great, but it's very hard to guarantee the 90 minute slot in advance. I would like to use these hours productively, so what else could I do?

I'm not able to pay hundreds of dollars for training packages but I could manage smaller items such as case study books and converting my PrepLounge account to premium. Any advice would be welcome!

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Sidi
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antwortete am 8. Aug 2019
McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 100+ candidates secure MBB offers
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Solo prep can only work for very specific aspects of case solving, and only after having received appropriate coaching. It can NEVER work for the entire skillset that is needed to ace case interviews - so don't waste your time trying to prepare over books etc. You have to find someone who knows what he is talking about to give you feedback and guidance.

Cheers, Sidi

Francesco
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antwortete am 7. Aug 2019
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Hi Anonymous,

I agree with Vlad and Leif on the importance of live preparation.

I would strongly recommend to find some time for p2p practice – it will drastically increase the productivity of the time spent to prepare.

You will learn not only when you do a case but also when you give it to someone else, since you will notice mistakes made by the other person and avoid to do them yourself.

In terms of general preparation, I would recommend the following:

  1. Define a calendar for your preparation. Identify how many hours you have before your expected interviews, then allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the following points.
  2. Read Case In Point or Case Interview Secrets for a general understanding of what a consulting interview is. Don’t focus on the structures proposed in the books though, as they are not good enough nowadays.
  3. Start reading good MBA Consulting Handbooks – you can find several for free online (Insead is a good one to start). Read the cases and try to apply your structure. Whenever you see there is something missing, upgrade your structure with the new insides. Try to read at least a new case per day – in this way you will absorb a lot better the information with constant learning. Structure your remaining daily preparation with at least 5-10 minutes per day for each of the following: market sizing, fit questions and mental math.
  4. After you have read the first 10 cases in books/handbooks and basic theory, start to practice live. There is a relevant part of the interview score that is based on your communication, which you cannot practice at all if you read cases only. Keep track of your mistakes and see if you repeat them. If so, try to identify the source of the mistake (feedback of experienced partners would be particularly useful for this). Be sure to focus on both fit and case. Although I understand it could be difficult to find time in your case, it would be really important to optimize your prep.
  5. Once you feel you are not improving anymore, if you have a tight time constraint or if you want a realistic assessment of your level, consider using support from experts to strengthen your performance
  6. Before the interview, be sure to prepare your questions for the interviewer – great way to show you prepare in advance and to connect more with the interviewer for a good final impression.

Best,

Francesco

Vlad
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Hi,

Sorry for not giving an answer you would expect but I would strongly not recommend solo prep. Why would you invest your time in something that does not work? I would recommend finding the time slots for practicing with partners in your city / online.

Best!

Deniz
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antwortete am 6. Aug 2019
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Hi,

As a good introduction, most people find Victor Cheng's Case Interview Secrets, or Cosentino's Case in Point quite useful, to better understand the frameworks, type of questions etc.

After you familiarize yourself with the basics, you can have a look at casebooks, which have a good number of cases. You can browse them, and go through the cases by yourself. Below is the link you can find all casebooks:

https://masterthecase.com/case-interview-casebooks-top-mba/

Best of luck with your preparation.

Regards,

Deniz

Leif
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There are several resources that you can use:

  • Victor Cheng's website and its LOMS program
  • case interview tutorial videos on YouTube (e.g. MConsultingPrep)
  • MBA casebooks
  • PrepLounge's cases

When you are doing these cases by yourself, make sure that you are not just reading through them. Take the time to answer every single question in the case as if you are in an actual interview. It might also be helpful to record and then listen to yourself giving the answers.

However, doing cases only by yourself is not gonna lead you anywhere. If your goal is to get into consulting, unfortunately, you will have to find a way to practice with a human partner.