Case Interview Prep - realistic?

casepractice caseprep
Neue Antwort am 17. März 2022
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Paulina Noëlle
Erfahren
fragte am 16. März 2022

Good morning everyone,

I got invited for a first round interview in just 20 days. I'm really excited but did not think I would actually stand a chance. So now I will have to case prep as much and as efficient as possible. 

I have read some materials and have watched case interviews online to just get a feel of how an interview would look like. However, I am unsure as to what my best next step would be - try solving some further cases on my own (did around 3 cases so far by myself) or trying to schedule interviews with peers here on Preplounge? 

I'd appreciate any input on what you think is the best way to move forward!

Thanks :)

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Cristian
Experte
Content Creator
antwortete am 16. März 2022
#1 rated and most recommended McKinsey Coach | 97% success rate (tracked) | Honest feedback: no sugar-coating

Hi Paulina, 

Based on your description, your best bet would be to postpone the interview. There's nothing wrong with that. Firms prefer candidates postponing the interviews instead of showing unprepared, thus wasting their time and the candidate themselves losing an opportunity. 

Once you have more time on your hands, get in as much practice as you can:

1. Individual practice. Read cases on your on actively - meaning, read the prompt, answer yourself, check the correct answer, understand how the answer is better and more sophisticated, and then move on. Aim for about 100 of these.

2. Practice with other candidates. Aim for quality in each sessions. Reflect on your learnings from each case. Try to log in  20-50 of these.

3. Expert practice. Once you have significant case experience consider getting expert guidance to help get you from 80% to 100% and ready for the interview. 

IF NONE OF THIS WORKS and you don't want to postpone the interview and you can afford a coach, cram as many expert sessions that you can (they are 5-10x more effective than practicing with another candidate). 

Hope this helps! 

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Lucie
Experte
Content Creator
antwortete am 16. März 2022
10+yrs recruiting & top BCG trainer & BCG Project leader & experienced hire & ICF coach

Hi there, 

congrats on getting interview. I think with 20 days you can get ready, but remember you can also delay your interview (either telling any story that this week, you cant make it because of work or any other story you make up or just being honest and ask for 1-2 weeks more because you would like to prepare). 

For your preparation, I would recommend you:

1. familiar yourself with the type of cases you can get https://www.preplounge.com/en/bootcamp.php and check cases published on PrepLounge

2. Practice math!

3. Dont learn any framework by hard, understand rather how to structure a problem and form a hypothesis to prove/disprove with an analysis

4. Practice with peers and take a few sessions with a coach

Feel free to reach out if you need a coach to support you, I am rewarded as a top BCG trainer, training new hires all the consulting skills (including how we create frameworks), as well as experienced coach. 

Good luck!

Lucie

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Charlotte
Experte
antwortete am 16. März 2022
Empathic coach, former McKinsey Engagement Manager |Secure offers from top consulting firms

Hi Paulina,

it depends on your strenghts of course, but a generic quick prep  plan could include;

- several cases with peers (important to practise live cases, practise how to give structured answers and come up with mini frameworks for qualitative questions)

- framework drills and quantitative drills on your own (eg using preplounge cases practise making frameworks and practise the quant parts of cases or do calculation exercises using the preplounge tool)

- assessment preparation (depending on the firms you will interview with)

best regards

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Ian
Experte
Content Creator
antwortete am 17. März 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi Paulina,

Congrats on getting the interview! I hope my resume edits helped move the needle there :)

So, the honest answer is that if you want to maximize your odds in just 20 days, a nothing beats a (good) coach.

If you're going it alone then you need to figure out how to allocate your time optimally. This depends on you (your background, weaknesses, etc.). Different resources are of different help, so just be careful studying the wrong things (for example, RocketBlocks is awesome for charts/exhibits but horrible for frameworking). Again, having a coach tell you where and how to allocate your time and learning is really the best option.

That said, here's a start for your prep:

Casing: https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/how-to-shift-your-mindset-to-ace-the-case

Fit: https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/tell-me-about-yourself-interview-question

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Adi
Experte
Content Creator
antwortete am 16. März 2022
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hi Paulina,

You can do it if you make a plan & commit to it. Make sure to get going in the right way for the firm you are interviewing for and not be too generic in your preparation given time is short.

By all means, spend some time getting to grips with the case interview process through self study and doing some peer interviews. But consider engaging a coach of your choice to speed things up.

Please search the Q&A forum broadly as there are many discussion threads on prep advice, making a plan etc.

Feel free to write to me directly if you wish to have a quick informal chat to discuss your preparation requirements.

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Pedro
Experte
antwortete am 16. März 2022
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

After you've done ~5-10 cases by yourself its time to start doing some cases with peers (so you should start booking those right away) to get more used to having to come up with an answer on the spot, and to the real live mechanics of a case interview. Make sure you try to pick candidates that are a bit experienced, though.

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Moritz
Experte
Content Creator
antwortete am 16. März 2022
Unearth your spike & get the offer |ex-McKinsey | 120+ coachings & interviews @ McKinsey | ESADE MBA | Transition Expert

Hi Paulina,

A couple of clarifying points to begin with:

  • What firm is the interview with? If McKinsey, make sure you don't do “generic” preparation!
  • Can you dedicate 100% of your time to preparation in the next 20 days? If not, clear your calendar or postpone the interview!

It's generally possible, depending on your intrinsic skill level, your learning aptitude, your willingness to put in the work, and the time you can actually dedicate to preparing. 

My strong advice would be an initial expert coaching, so you can develop a targeted preparation plan. Otherwise, there's a risk you're spending time on the wrong things, which you can't afford.

Also, have a look at this: https://www.preplounge.com/en/bootcamp.php

Let me know if you'd like to discuss more! Best of luck!

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Moritz am 16. März 2022

My advice is generally to reschedule when time is short, unless you're in a rush and willing to take the risk. But why would you? In all likeliness, Kearney will have no problem at all to move the interview a few weeks. Recruiting works on a rolling basis and it makes no difference to them. My advice: give yourself a couple of months to be sure!

Maikol
Experte
antwortete am 17. März 2022
Incoming BCG Principal | Former Bain, AlixPartner, and Private Equity | INSEAD MBA | GMAT 780

My suggestion is to schedule cases with both peers and with coaches.
Cases with peers can be fine but with coaches, you speed up your learning and you have a much higher likelihood that you follow the right path.

Over 20 days you can have 15 cases and review your cases in-depth (which is as important as having two new cases, in my view). 
From now on, you also have to be mindful of the three most important things in a case:

  • Structure: be MECE, show your plan, and have an answer first approach
  • Business acumen: your solutions should be practical, insightful, impactful and you have to show that you understand the basics of business
  • Communication and presence:  you have to prove you are ready for a real project, that you communicate with clarity and precision, and that you can manage relationships in the work setting

If you want to speed up the process, feel free to book a session with me.

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Angelina
Experte
antwortete am 17. März 2022
Digital Health start-up founder; ex-BCG; SDA Bocconi. Youtube: Angelina's Business World

Hi Paulina, congrats on your interview!

Even though I always tell candidates I talk to in real life not to sit around and wait too long but to go for it and proceed with the interviews, I still think that 10-15 cases under one's belt is a bare minimum to pass the first round. 

If you want, I would be happy to conduct a free coaching session for you - to share with you the application process tips and practice a case. I am starting out as a coach these days and am actively looking to get some feedback from applicants as to how I could be of most assistance. 

Just DM me if you want to chat,

Angelina 

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