Case interview question - Public Sector

1stround BCG BCG Case Interview MBB Middle East
Neue Antwort am 29. Jul 2021
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Anonym A fragte am 28. Jul 2021

Hi All, 
I was wondering if you have any tips or insights in regards to preparing cases targeting the public sector/NGO's? anything specific/special there - other than following the building blocks of cracking cases? 
Interviwing with MBB firms in the Middle East, if it helps. 

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Content Creator
antwortete am 29. Jul 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Practice Cases

If you want some practice cases:

  • Tepper 2008's "NGO Effectiveness"
  • Colombia 2011's "MadeCasse"

Feel free to shoot me a message for more cases.

Approach / Case Types

Public sector cases are tricky because they can feasibly be any case type (Product Launch - new service for citizens; M&A - merging two departments; even Profitability - cost cutting mandate). For any public sector case, I recommend:

  1. First identifying the type of case it is.
  2. Second, leverage your knowledge of the public sector as constraints/considerations.


Regards #2, you know that public perception is particularly important to consider in any public sector move. Additionally, you can count on bureacracy/slowness in implementation. You should identify the goal/mission of the organisation as well and keep this top of mind (if it loses money, but achieves it's goal of helping the poor, no problem). Howvever, just because the government sector doesn't have profit as a target, doesn't mean you should ignore the profit tree altogether - governments are still obliged to take into costs (and sometimes revneues) in decisions (example: setting up a public transport initiative). Don't get tricked into thinking you can't consider the economics of the case!

Other items to consider include, but are not limited to:

  • Politlcal landscape (i.e. upcoming elections, special interest groups)
  • Sustainability
  • Private-public partnerships
  • International vs governmental vs state vs local partnerships/alignment
  • Income = taxes/budgetary landscape
  • Digitialization of government

Framework Resource

In terms of resources, the UPenn Wharton 2011 casebook has a framework for public sector. It's split into:

  1. Strategic rationale (Mission of organisation and stakeholder reactions)
  2. Deal economics (planned investment and returns, if any)
  3. Other (Required capabilities and risks)

Hope this helps, and please don't hesitate to ask any follow-up/clarifying questions!

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antwortete am 29. Jul 2021
ex-BCG Dubai PL | 100% Personalised Coaching | 2021 Real Cases only | 6+ years in Consulting

Many public sector interview cases can be classified back into the private sector-style cases - since they are eventually trying to solve a business/sectoral problem (e.g. education, sustainability, transport, infrastructure etc.). In such cases you mainly only need to consider additional case elements relevant for a public sector entity. Very rarely you will find a case that tackles a government problem.

That said - this is a case-by-case thing. Happy to discuss with you specific cases and give customized guidance. Let me know.

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Content Creator
antwortete am 28. Jul 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, I've helped tens of candidates in securing offers in ME offices, feel free to text me to know how I worked with them


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Content Creator
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep
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