Cookie- und Privatsphäre-Einstellungen

Diese Webseite nutzt Cookies, um essenzielle Funktionen wie den User-Login und Sessions zur Verfügung zu stellen. Wir nutzen zudem Cookies und Software von Dritten, um Dein Surf-Erlebnis auf preplounge.com zu verbessern. Du kannst entweder nur essenzielle Cookies oder alle Cookies akzeptieren. Du kannst Deine Einstellungen jederzeit in unseren Cookie- und Privatsphäre-Einstellungen ändern. Dieser Link ist im Footer unserer Seit zu finden. Wenn Du mehr Informationen benötigst, besuche bitte unsere Datenschutz-Erklärung.

Datenverarbeitung in den USA: Indem Du auf "Ich akzeptiere" klickst, willigst Du zugleich gem. Art. 49 Abs. 1 S. 1 lit. a DSGVO ein, dass Deine Daten in den USA verarbeitet werden (von Google LLC, Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Inc., Stripe, Paypal).

Einstellungen individuell vornehmen Ich akzeptiere
expert
Experte mit der besten Antwort

Sidi

99% Empfehlungsrate

410 Meetings

3.800 Q&A Upvotes

389 USD / Coaching

4

Confused in the middle of cases

Dear Community!

I am preparing for MBB interviews in September, and I have practiced cases with peers for about 2 months now. My problem is that I tend to get confused at some point during the case if the information provided does not fit with my hypothesis or what I expect. From there on it usually gets very painful and I struggling to keep a clear view of what I need to do to crack the case. How can I overcome this weakness?

Thank you!

Dear Community!

I am preparing for MBB interviews in September, and I have practiced cases with peers for about 2 months now. My problem is that I tend to get confused at some point during the case if the information provided does not fit with my hypothesis or what I expect. From there on it usually gets very painful and I struggling to keep a clear view of what I need to do to crack the case. How can I overcome this weakness?

Thank you!

4 Antworten

  • Upvotes
  • Datum aufsteigend
  • Datum absteigend
Beste Antwort
Coaching mit Sidi vereinbaren

99% Empfehlungsrate

410 Meetings

3.800 Q&A Upvotes

389 USD / Coaching

Hi Anonymous!

If you get lost in the middle of cases, this is a surefire indicator that you are not structuring your cases very well. A good structure makes it practically impossible to get lost along the way, because it has an inherent logic such that you know exactly what tests/analyses/ideations you will have to do before having even started the analysis.

Structuring does not mean coming up with ideas, but devising a top down logic according to which you can answer the question that the client has asked. This is the big misunderstanding that has been planted into the heads of people by the "Bucket Approach" that is omnipresent in most books & guides out there.

Building up this skill will need some proper coaching, and it will not come over night (it usually takes several weeks to master this). But once it becomes second nature, it is by far the best weapon you could ever take into a case interview at an MBB firm.

That being said - in the meantime, there is nonetheless a process that you can fall back to when this situation of "confusion" emerges:

  • First, take a deep breath (and/or a sip of water if you have a glass nearby)
  • Then take a moment to recap what you have learned up to this point and what you still need to find out in order to adress the main question at hand (this helps you regaining clearness on the big picture and where you are on your "roadmap" as defined by your initial structure)
  • Outline how these sub questions can be answered, and what kind of data/information you will need to do that
  • Double check whether data or information provided by the interviewer at an earlier stage is now getting new relevance
  • Don't forget to take the interviewer along and let him participate in your thinking process - think out loud!
  • If you are puzzled by some obvious contradiction, actively discuss this with your interviewer! Oftentimes an interviewer will wait for you to explicitly verbalize what combination of findings is puzzling you before gently giving you guidance.

This process should allow you stay calm and composed while regaining a grip on the problem at hand.

Hope this helps!

Cheers, Sidi

Hi Anonymous!

If you get lost in the middle of cases, this is a surefire indicator that you are not structuring your cases very well. A good structure makes it practically impossible to get lost along the way, because it has an inherent logic such that you know exactly what tests/analyses/ideations you will have to do before having even started the analysis.

Structuring does not mean coming up with ideas, but devising a top down logic according to which you can answer the question that the client has asked. This is the big misunderstanding that has been planted into the heads of people by the "Bucket Approach" that is omnipresent in most books & guides out there.

Building up this skill will need some proper coaching, and it will not come over night (it usually takes several weeks to master this). But once it becomes second nature, it is by far the best weapon you could ever take into a case interview at an MBB firm.

That being said - in the meantime, there is nonetheless a process that you can fall back to when this situation of "confusion" emerges:

  • First, take a deep breath (and/or a sip of water if you have a glass nearby)
  • Then take a moment to recap what you have learned up to this point and what you still need to find out in order to adress the main question at hand (this helps you regaining clearness on the big picture and where you are on your "roadmap" as defined by your initial structure)
  • Outline how these sub questions can be answered, and what kind of data/information you will need to do that
  • Double check whether data or information provided by the interviewer at an earlier stage is now getting new relevance
  • Don't forget to take the interviewer along and let him participate in your thinking process - think out loud!
  • If you are puzzled by some obvious contradiction, actively discuss this with your interviewer! Oftentimes an interviewer will wait for you to explicitly verbalize what combination of findings is puzzling you before gently giving you guidance.

This process should allow you stay calm and composed while regaining a grip on the problem at hand.

Hope this helps!

Cheers, Sidi

Coaching mit Andre vereinbaren

100% Empfehlungsrate

87 Meetings

4.232 Q&A Upvotes

239 USD / Coaching

Dear A,

When you get lost in the middle of the case, then I would recommend you to go back to your structure and look at it again. If you're still not confident about right direction where your structure brings you, then I recommend you to put your efforts in creating clear and understandable structure.

If you need any help or advice on how to make it, feel free to reach out.

Best,
André

Dear A,

When you get lost in the middle of the case, then I would recommend you to go back to your structure and look at it again. If you're still not confident about right direction where your structure brings you, then I recommend you to put your efforts in creating clear and understandable structure.

If you need any help or advice on how to make it, feel free to reach out.

Best,
André

Coaching mit Robert vereinbaren

96% Empfehlungsrate

305 Meetings

2.224 Q&A Upvotes

219 USD / Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

I am afraid you are looking at the symptom here, and not at the root cause.

From what you describe briefly in the summary, it looks to me as if you do a wrong job in the first place building your hypothesis in the very beginning of the case and afterwards wondering why you did not guess that one right.

Many candidates I meet are somewhat too much influenced by Victor Cheng. Although he offers a lot of excellent advice, including a strong focus on the hypothesis-driven approach (which really helps many candidates sharpening and focusing their thinking along the case!), stating a hypothesis at the very beginning of the case usually turns out to be more counterproductive than helpful.

Unless you are an experienced hire with a strong focus on exactly that one case question to discuss, stating a hypothesis right at the beginning of the case interview is essentially nothing else than poaching with a stick in the dark and guessing around. And here you are: you are perfectly set for a highly unstructured and confusing start into your case! (Please note that even as experienced hire, you might be completely wrong with your hypothesis, especially in the slightly artificial case interview world - so I would not even strongly recommend the early hypothesis there)

However, at the same time it's also a matter of defining 'hypothesis'. If you look at your structure at the beginning of the case interview, it is basically the connection between the current client situation and a specific goal you want to achieve. In other words, this initial structure is also a kind of hypothesis which elements you need to consider and analyze in order to clearly understand the root cause and develop a solution for that. So essentially you can also consider your structure as some kind of hypothesis.

Apart from that technicality, the correct time to explicitly state a hypothesis during your analysis phase is when you have collected some initial data and you start 'connecting the dots'. Once some distinct pieces of your analysis guide you into one specific direction, then it's the correct time to explicitly state your hypothesis and focus in on 'verifying' (in the non-scientific way) your hypothesis!

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Hi Anonymous,

I am afraid you are looking at the symptom here, and not at the root cause.

From what you describe briefly in the summary, it looks to me as if you do a wrong job in the first place building your hypothesis in the very beginning of the case and afterwards wondering why you did not guess that one right.

Many candidates I meet are somewhat too much influenced by Victor Cheng. Although he offers a lot of excellent advice, including a strong focus on the hypothesis-driven approach (which really helps many candidates sharpening and focusing their thinking along the case!), stating a hypothesis at the very beginning of the case usually turns out to be more counterproductive than helpful.

Unless you are an experienced hire with a strong focus on exactly that one case question to discuss, stating a hypothesis right at the beginning of the case interview is essentially nothing else than poaching with a stick in the dark and guessing around. And here you are: you are perfectly set for a highly unstructured and confusing start into your case! (Please note that even as experienced hire, you might be completely wrong with your hypothesis, especially in the slightly artificial case interview world - so I would not even strongly recommend the early hypothesis there)

However, at the same time it's also a matter of defining 'hypothesis'. If you look at your structure at the beginning of the case interview, it is basically the connection between the current client situation and a specific goal you want to achieve. In other words, this initial structure is also a kind of hypothesis which elements you need to consider and analyze in order to clearly understand the root cause and develop a solution for that. So essentially you can also consider your structure as some kind of hypothesis.

Apart from that technicality, the correct time to explicitly state a hypothesis during your analysis phase is when you have collected some initial data and you start 'connecting the dots'. Once some distinct pieces of your analysis guide you into one specific direction, then it's the correct time to explicitly state your hypothesis and focus in on 'verifying' (in the non-scientific way) your hypothesis!

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Coaching mit Ian vereinbaren

100% Empfehlungsrate

90 Meetings

5.635 Q&A Upvotes

239 USD / Coaching

Hi there,

This is a very very common problem! I see it all the time.

Ultimately, expect to see the unexpected. In all aspects of your interview (and your future job), take on a mindset of: "I will not expect what is coming. I will adapt continuously based on new information as it comes through"

Here are some tips for you.

How to better brainstorm when stuck

  1. Practice/Prepare - The more you practice cases, read case studies and articles (The Economist, The FT, etc), the more "example" you'll have, as you just have more base knowledge to work with.
  2. Repivot and Frame - Pause. And look at the ideas you've come up with. Talk to the interview with you frame/group them. This 1) Shows them you can organise your thoughts 2) Helps you gain some time AND identify potential holes yourself 3) Gives them a window to point you in the right direction (they might say "Ok, that's a good bucket, but it's missing something" or " You're missing a bucket that relates to what you';ve said here")
  3. Ask for Help - This is a tricky one to navigate, but you can ask questions or make statements that try to glean more information from them. For example, "I'm out of ideas, but have any competitors excelled in any areas"..."Do we have any analysis on this?"..."etc. etc.

How to "Ask for Help" or "Buy Time" When Stuck

1) State that you're now figuring out where to take this next (that's fine)

2) Recap the objective and the pieces of information you need (and have) to answer the question/hypothesis.

a) Hopefully this triggers something or b) You get a signal from the interviewer on a particular segment (they might probe you and say "is that all we need from bucket x?"

2) If this doesn't work, start to probe in different areas (i.e. do we know x? To double-check you already said y doesn't apply, correct?) etc. etc.

3) If really desperate, you can say something like "Has the client experienced this before or have any ideas they've come up with?" or "Have we observed something similar to this problem in the past that we can leverage?"

How to Ask Good Questions When Stuck

You need to picture yourself at the client site, in front of a whiteboard, with your team, figuring out what you need to do next on this project.

Truly reflect on what you need, what you're missing, or what you don't currently understand about the situation. Then, ask questions to fill this in.

This is super hard to learn, and impossible to teach through some written tips/techniques. I'd be happy to give you a crash course in this - 1 hour is all you need to have a complete mindset shift in this area!

Hi there,

This is a very very common problem! I see it all the time.

Ultimately, expect to see the unexpected. In all aspects of your interview (and your future job), take on a mindset of: "I will not expect what is coming. I will adapt continuously based on new information as it comes through"

Here are some tips for you.

How to better brainstorm when stuck

  1. Practice/Prepare - The more you practice cases, read case studies and articles (The Economist, The FT, etc), the more "example" you'll have, as you just have more base knowledge to work with.
  2. Repivot and Frame - Pause. And look at the ideas you've come up with. Talk to the interview with you frame/group them. This 1) Shows them you can organise your thoughts 2) Helps you gain some time AND identify potential holes yourself 3) Gives them a window to point you in the right direction (they might say "Ok, that's a good bucket, but it's missing something" or " You're missing a bucket that relates to what you';ve said here")
  3. Ask for Help - This is a tricky one to navigate, but you can ask questions or make statements that try to glean more information from them. For example, "I'm out of ideas, but have any competitors excelled in any areas"..."Do we have any analysis on this?"..."etc. etc.

How to "Ask for Help" or "Buy Time" When Stuck

1) State that you're now figuring out where to take this next (that's fine)

2) Recap the objective and the pieces of information you need (and have) to answer the question/hypothesis.

a) Hopefully this triggers something or b) You get a signal from the interviewer on a particular segment (they might probe you and say "is that all we need from bucket x?"

2) If this doesn't work, start to probe in different areas (i.e. do we know x? To double-check you already said y doesn't apply, correct?) etc. etc.

3) If really desperate, you can say something like "Has the client experienced this before or have any ideas they've come up with?" or "Have we observed something similar to this problem in the past that we can leverage?"

How to Ask Good Questions When Stuck

You need to picture yourself at the client site, in front of a whiteboard, with your team, figuring out what you need to do next on this project.

Truly reflect on what you need, what you're missing, or what you don't currently understand about the situation. Then, ask questions to fill this in.

This is super hard to learn, and impossible to teach through some written tips/techniques. I'd be happy to give you a crash course in this - 1 hour is all you need to have a complete mindset shift in this area!

Verwandte BootCamp-Artikel

Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases

Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly

Getting Up to Speed

In order to repeatedly demonstrate prerequisite skills under the pressure of a real case interview, you need to learn the basics and practice cases.

1 Q&A

Verwandte Cases

Bain Case: Asiatische Schmierstoffe

134,5 Tsd. mal gelöst
Bain Case: Asiatische Schmierstoffe Der in seiner Heimatregion äußerst erfolgreiche asiatische Premiumhersteller von Schmierstoffen, LubricantsCo, möchte seinen Umsatz und Gewinn weiter steigern. Die Produktpalette erstreckt sich von Schmierstoffen im automobilen Umfeld (z. B. Motor- und Getriebeöl) bis zu Industrieanwendungen (z. B. Fette, Hochleistungsöle). Da nach ersten Untersuchungen weitere Wachstumspotenziale im asiatischen Kernmarkt eher limitiert sind, will LubricantsCo Optionen zur Internationalisierung im Pkw-Geschäft untersuchen – auch außerhalb des aktuell vorrangig bedienten Premiumsegments. Ihre Beratung wurde daher beauftragt, eine Markteintrittsstrategie für den europäischen Markt auszuarbeiten.
4.6 5 28573
| Bewertung: (4.6 / 5.0)

Der in seiner Heimatregion äußerst erfolgreiche asiatische Premiumhersteller von Schmierstoffen, LubricantsCo, möchte seinen Umsatz und Gewinn weiter steigern. Die Produktpalette erstreckt sich von Schmierstoffen im automobilen Umfeld (z. B. Motor- und Getriebeöl) bis zu Industrieanwendungen (z. B. ... Ganzen Case öffnen

Bain Case: Altes Weingut

56,8 Tsd. mal gelöst
Bain Case: Altes Weingut Sie erben von Ihrem Großvater ein Weingut, die Old Winery, welche sich seit fünf Generationen in Familienbesitz befindet und bis ins 16. Jahrhundert datiert werden kann. Auf den elf Hektar der Old Winery werden konventionell, d.h. nicht biologisch betrieben und zertifiziert, je zur Hälfte weiße und rote Trauben angebaut, wobei der Rebbestand bezüglich Alter und Pflege in gutem Zustand ist. Insgesamt werden nur ¼ der Ernte selbst zu Wein gekeltert; der Rest wird weiterverkauft. Ihr Großvater, der selbst am Image des Weinguts nichts verändern wollte, überließ die Bewirtschaftung und Verwaltung einem jungen dynamischen Winzer. Auf Grund des wenig bekannten Images des Weinguts ist die aktuelle Nachfrage nach dem eigenproduzierten Wein nicht besonders hoch. Da Sie sich mit Weinanbau wenig auskennen, wollen Sie das Weingut nicht operativ leiten, aber finden die Idee spannend, ein Weingut zu besitzen. Ihr Plan ist es jedoch, dem Weingut einen frischen Wind einzuhauchen.
4.4 5 1496
| Bewertung: (4.4 / 5.0)

Sie erben von Ihrem Großvater ein Weingut, die Old Winery, welche sich seit fünf Generationen in Familienbesitz befindet und bis ins 16. Jahrhundert datiert werden kann. Auf den elf Hektar der Old Winery werden konventionell, d.h. nicht biologisch betrieben und zertifiziert, je zur Hälfte weiße und ... Ganzen Case öffnen

McKinsey Questions

37,5 Tsd. mal gelöst
McKinsey Questions Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you achieving it? What is your typical way of dealing with conflict?
4.5 5 859
| Bewertung: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Schwierigkeit: Fortgeschritten | Stil: Fit-Interview | Themen: Personal Fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you ... Ganzen Case öffnen

BCG Questions

25,7 Tsd. mal gelöst
BCG Questions What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation where you were not the official leader.
4.5 5 207
| Bewertung: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Schwierigkeit: Fortgeschritten | Stil: Fit-Interview | Themen: Personal Fit

What arouses your interest when you are working / studying / doing another activity (from the CV)? Tell me of a time where you had no idea what you were doing. When did you use an uncommon approach to do something? Have you ever had responsibility for other people? Tell me of a situation where ... Ganzen Case öffnen

Bain Questions

23,9 Tsd. mal gelöst
Bain Questions Tell me about a difficult situation you had to cope with. Tell me of a task which you didn’t like doing and explain why you performed it nevertheless. Why do you do things? What do you like doing most / What is your favorite hobby? Walk me through a situation where you showed leadership skills.
4.6 5 293
| Bewertung: (4.6 / 5.0) |
Schwierigkeit: Fortgeschritten | Stil: Fit-Interview | Themen: Personal Fit

Tell me about a difficult situation you had to cope with. Tell me of a task which you didn’t like doing and explain why you performed it nevertheless. Why do you do things? What do you like doing most / What is your favorite hobby? Walk me through a situation where you showed leadership skills ... Ganzen Case öffnen