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Experte mit der besten Antwort

Nathaniel

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Frage gesperrt

Diese Frage ist schreibgeschützt, da sie mit folgender Frage zusammengefügt wurde: How to prepare a written case interview?.

8

Interview with case presentation

Hi,

I have an interview with HR consulting firm coming up with.

  • 60 minutes for case preparation
  • 15 minutes for presenting the case to senior consultants, following by Q&A

Could you kindly provide me any tips on

  • Time management,
  • Example or practices for this type of cases.

Thank you in advance,

Hi,

I have an interview with HR consulting firm coming up with.

  • 60 minutes for case preparation
  • 15 minutes for presenting the case to senior consultants, following by Q&A

Could you kindly provide me any tips on

  • Time management,
  • Example or practices for this type of cases.

Thank you in advance,

8 Antworten

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Beste Antwort
Coaching mit Nathaniel vereinbaren

3 Meetings

448 Q&A Upvotes

189 USD / Coaching

Hello there,

Adding to the comprehensive answers already given, for written cases, usually what is tested is the candidate's ability to shift through the abundant information given within a short time frame and able to organize it in a structured way, pulling out relevant insights using 80/20 rule.

One helpful tips for typical trick in this form of test is do not forget to look at the footnotes.
Sometimes, the relevant insight required does not located within the graphic or the primary content of the slide itself, but actually on the footnote.

This actually simulates real situation at consulting work, where at your early days in a project, there will be lots of documents to shift through and "get up to speed". In parallel, you will start meeting with you client counterpart who will expect some sort of familiarity with the topic at hand. Hence the time constraints.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Nathan

Hello there,

Adding to the comprehensive answers already given, for written cases, usually what is tested is the candidate's ability to shift through the abundant information given within a short time frame and able to organize it in a structured way, pulling out relevant insights using 80/20 rule.

One helpful tips for typical trick in this form of test is do not forget to look at the footnotes.
Sometimes, the relevant insight required does not located within the graphic or the primary content of the slide itself, but actually on the footnote.

This actually simulates real situation at consulting work, where at your early days in a project, there will be lots of documents to shift through and "get up to speed". In parallel, you will start meeting with you client counterpart who will expect some sort of familiarity with the topic at hand. Hence the time constraints.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Nathan

Coaching mit Clara vereinbaren

100% Empfehlungsrate

59 Meetings

16.242 Q&A Upvotes

229 USD / Coaching

Hello!

Agree wtih Antonello, the competencies that are tested in these "written czases" are basically the same. The key part is the ability to manage your time and to handle the large amount of information that you have, and organize it in a 80-20 way.

You can find examples on the website of tMBBs.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Agree wtih Antonello, the competencies that are tested in these "written czases" are basically the same. The key part is the ability to manage your time and to handle the large amount of information that you have, and organize it in a 80-20 way.

You can find examples on the website of tMBBs.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Coaching mit Luca vereinbaren

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189 USD / Coaching

Hello,

During written case you are usually provided with a pack of 20-30 slides that you need to analyse to answer questions using 4-5 slides and present them to your interviewer

In order to crack the interview you should consider the following points:

  • Define a plan of action according to the time given: one of the most important aspect of these cases is the ability to manage your time. You should consider the following steps: Initial reading, decide the approach, analysis, slides and final review.
  • Train quick reading skills and maths: there are a lot of good sources online, even the GMAT integrated reasoning section could be good.
  • Train slide-making skills: this is a crucial part because, as consultant, slides are your most important communication tool. Be aware that there are some "golden rules" that you have to consider for making slides as a consultat. You can find something online but feel free to contact me for a quick analysis.
  • Learn how to present slides in an effective and professional way

You can find some good examples of written cases online, but I could forward you what I have. Contact me if you are interested.

Luca

Hello,

During written case you are usually provided with a pack of 20-30 slides that you need to analyse to answer questions using 4-5 slides and present them to your interviewer

In order to crack the interview you should consider the following points:

  • Define a plan of action according to the time given: one of the most important aspect of these cases is the ability to manage your time. You should consider the following steps: Initial reading, decide the approach, analysis, slides and final review.
  • Train quick reading skills and maths: there are a lot of good sources online, even the GMAT integrated reasoning section could be good.
  • Train slide-making skills: this is a crucial part because, as consultant, slides are your most important communication tool. Be aware that there are some "golden rules" that you have to consider for making slides as a consultat. You can find something online but feel free to contact me for a quick analysis.
  • Learn how to present slides in an effective and professional way

You can find some good examples of written cases online, but I could forward you what I have. Contact me if you are interested.

Luca

Coaching mit Ian vereinbaren

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25.036 Q&A Upvotes

289 USD / Coaching

Hi,

Just to add to the rest, focus focus focus.

1) Quickly write down a) Key asks/needs and b) Key insights/context from the prompt

2) Quickly scan through the provided exihibits (i.e. title, quick chart understanding) and eliminate ones that aren't needed

3) In the subset, identify which tell your story the best...adjust as needed, but you should come up with the 3-4 things you need to state ASAP

This is all about taking a ton of information in a short amount of time, and determining what is most relevant.

Hi,

Just to add to the rest, focus focus focus.

1) Quickly write down a) Key asks/needs and b) Key insights/context from the prompt

2) Quickly scan through the provided exihibits (i.e. title, quick chart understanding) and eliminate ones that aren't needed

3) In the subset, identify which tell your story the best...adjust as needed, but you should come up with the 3-4 things you need to state ASAP

This is all about taking a ton of information in a short amount of time, and determining what is most relevant.

Coaching mit Vlad vereinbaren

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411 Meetings

11.455 Q&A Upvotes

239 USD / Coaching

Hi,

I've uploaded some samples here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zor4m49eyx5qxal/AABeUN6mtiGkWhEklRjszX2Oa?dl=0

(Message me for a password)

The best way to prepare is the following:

  1. Check if the calculator is allowed. So far it was. If not - you have to train mental math. I posted the main tips here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/tips-to-do-big-multiplications-in-my-mind-726#a1422
  2. Prepare for a regular case interview - it helps a lot. Basically, prep lounge website is about it
  3. Practice making slides. Look for publically available MBB presentations for reference. Good books are "Pyramid Principle" and "How to make it with charts"
  4. Practice reading cases fast and prioritizing the information. I found useful two sources:
  • Written cases you'll be able to find in google or in case books. I've seen a couple in "Vault Guide to the Case Interview" and "Insead Business Admission Test"
  • Harvard cases - either buy or try to find online. You can find a couple of MIT cases here for free: https://mitsloan.mit.edu/LearningEdge/Pages/Case-Studies.aspx Unfortunately free cases don't have the prep questions.

The appropriate structure for BCG written case is:

Slide 1: Context, Objective, Recommendations

Slide 2-4: Analysis (Usually 1 slide with a table, 1 slide with graphs and 1 slide with pros and cons)

Slide 5: Next steps or risks & mitigation

Good luck!

Hi,

I've uploaded some samples here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zor4m49eyx5qxal/AABeUN6mtiGkWhEklRjszX2Oa?dl=0

(Message me for a password)

The best way to prepare is the following:

  1. Check if the calculator is allowed. So far it was. If not - you have to train mental math. I posted the main tips here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/tips-to-do-big-multiplications-in-my-mind-726#a1422
  2. Prepare for a regular case interview - it helps a lot. Basically, prep lounge website is about it
  3. Practice making slides. Look for publically available MBB presentations for reference. Good books are "Pyramid Principle" and "How to make it with charts"
  4. Practice reading cases fast and prioritizing the information. I found useful two sources:
  • Written cases you'll be able to find in google or in case books. I've seen a couple in "Vault Guide to the Case Interview" and "Insead Business Admission Test"
  • Harvard cases - either buy or try to find online. You can find a couple of MIT cases here for free: https://mitsloan.mit.edu/LearningEdge/Pages/Case-Studies.aspx Unfortunately free cases don't have the prep questions.

The appropriate structure for BCG written case is:

Slide 1: Context, Objective, Recommendations

Slide 2-4: Analysis (Usually 1 slide with a table, 1 slide with graphs and 1 slide with pros and cons)

Slide 5: Next steps or risks & mitigation

Good luck!

I'd say four things for a presentation case:

1) Having a strong framework and structure to hang your argument on is the key for a presentation case. This is the same idea as for a verbal one, but as you're giving a longer monologue, it's easier for people to get lost. For OW, we had some profitability case, and so a number of people mapped out the profit chain and evaluated each bucket individually. Other people sketched out slides on paper ahead of time and brought them in.

2) Talking for a while. This is underrated, but simply going off for a while, if you're not used to public speaking, can be tough. This reinforces the importance of 1), where if you've sign-posted your talk for yourself well, you'll be able to go back to your key messages and keep calm. Similarly, they might interject and try to trip you up, so be ready for that, and ensure you're able to keep your place in your presentation.

3) Additional areas of analysis. If you've more time to think about how to solve the case, then you're expected to say more. I'd think about adding a couple points around data availability (e.g. how would you find the data needed to add this question, be it customer WTP or some random market size), resourcing (how many consultants, partners, and weeks do I need to solve this), and spend a bit more time on risks. But, this is a matter of prioritization, so depending on time might be things to keep in your back pocket in case they ask, rather than the focus of the whole presentation.

Honestly some TED talks might be a good place to look to see people crush out complex ideas in a small amount of time, or debates.

Happy to discuss more - I used to judge the OW presentation case portion.

I'd say four things for a presentation case:

1) Having a strong framework and structure to hang your argument on is the key for a presentation case. This is the same idea as for a verbal one, but as you're giving a longer monologue, it's easier for people to get lost. For OW, we had some profitability case, and so a number of people mapped out the profit chain and evaluated each bucket individually. Other people sketched out slides on paper ahead of time and brought them in.

2) Talking for a while. This is underrated, but simply going off for a while, if you're not used to public speaking, can be tough. This reinforces the importance of 1), where if you've sign-posted your talk for yourself well, you'll be able to go back to your key messages and keep calm. Similarly, they might interject and try to trip you up, so be ready for that, and ensure you're able to keep your place in your presentation.

3) Additional areas of analysis. If you've more time to think about how to solve the case, then you're expected to say more. I'd think about adding a couple points around data availability (e.g. how would you find the data needed to add this question, be it customer WTP or some random market size), resourcing (how many consultants, partners, and weeks do I need to solve this), and spend a bit more time on risks. But, this is a matter of prioritization, so depending on time might be things to keep in your back pocket in case they ask, rather than the focus of the whole presentation.

Honestly some TED talks might be a good place to look to see people crush out complex ideas in a small amount of time, or debates.

Happy to discuss more - I used to judge the OW presentation case portion.

Coaching mit Antonello vereinbaren

98% Empfehlungsrate

165 Meetings

6.600 Q&A Upvotes

219 USD / Coaching

Hi,

case preparation will be the classical one with 2 additional points to focus on:

  • 80-20 prioritization: quickly navigate an important amount of data to find what really matters to the case resolution;
  • Executive summary: develop 1-2 pages to present that sum-up the problem and your recommendations.

I have a couple of well done written cases, feel free to text me for sharing.

Best,

Antonello

Hi,

case preparation will be the classical one with 2 additional points to focus on:

  • 80-20 prioritization: quickly navigate an important amount of data to find what really matters to the case resolution;
  • Executive summary: develop 1-2 pages to present that sum-up the problem and your recommendations.

I have a couple of well done written cases, feel free to text me for sharing.

Best,

Antonello

Coaching mit Francesco vereinbaren

100% Empfehlungsrate

3.464 Meetings

16.846 Q&A Upvotes

449 USD / Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

I would recommend to focus on 5 areas to crack a written case; I have reported them below with some suggestions on how to prepare for each of them:

1. Learn how to define a plan of action and stick to that

The first thing you should do in a written case is to define a plan and allocate in the best possible way your time. Assuming 60 minutes for the analysis, a good approach would include:

  • initial quick reading – 10-20 min (this may depend on the amount of material)
  • structure the approach – 5 min
  • make slides/answer to the questions adding detailed analysis and math – 25-35 min
  • final review – 10 min

You should then practice to stick to the time allocated, in order to maximize your final performance.

2. Practice graph interpretation

You will normally have to analyse graphs in a written case. The best way to practice is to take graphs from online resources and use a timer to test in how much time you can understand the key message. McKinsey PST graphs could be good practice for that.

3. Work on quick reading and quick understanding of key information

You will not have time to read and prioritize everything, so you have to understand where to focus. The ideal way to practice is to use long cases such as HBS ones, and practice on reducing the time needed to absorb the key information that can answer a defined question. Quick reading techniques could also help.

4. Practice quick math

You will normally have some math to do in a written case. GMAT and McKinsey PST math should work well to prepare on this.

5. Learn how to communicate your slides/answers

If you have to present your findings at the end of the case, I would apply here the same structures of final sum up in a live interview case, that is:

  1. Sum up the main questions you have to answer
  2. Present your proposed answer and detail the motivation behind
  3. Propose next steps for the areas you have not covered

As you will not be able to double check hypothesis with the interviewer as in the live case before the presentation, you should clearly state when you are making hypotheses and that you will have to verify them with further analysis.

When you have to prepare slides I would also recommend to work on:

A) structure the order of the slides

Normally the structure for a 5-slide presentation is the following:

  • First slide sums up the question and provides the answer
  • Second, third and fourth slide have the supporting arguments for the first slide
  • Fifth slide has the next steps

B) structure the content of each slide

There are three basic components for slides:

  1. Title
  2. Chart or data
  3. Label for chart

Many people structure the title as the mere description of what the chart is telling. A great title, instead tells the implication of the graph. Eg say the graph is showing a cost structure for a division. A bad title would be: Cost structure from 2005 to 2015. A good title would be: Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable”. A great title would be Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable due to ABC, assuming you have insides on the cause. The rule of thumb for the title is that if you read all the titles of the slides together you should get a clear idea of what is going on.

C) present the slides

When you present, I would suggest the following steps for each slide:

  1. Introduce the slide: “Let’s move to slide 2, which will show us why we have an issue with this division”
  2. Present the main message of the slide: “As you can see, we have a cost structure which makes for us not feasible to be competitive in this market”
  3. Provide details: “The graph, indeed, shows how our fix cost is XYZ, while competitors can benefit from economies of scale. Indeed…”

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

I would recommend to focus on 5 areas to crack a written case; I have reported them below with some suggestions on how to prepare for each of them:

1. Learn how to define a plan of action and stick to that

The first thing you should do in a written case is to define a plan and allocate in the best possible way your time. Assuming 60 minutes for the analysis, a good approach would include:

  • initial quick reading – 10-20 min (this may depend on the amount of material)
  • structure the approach – 5 min
  • make slides/answer to the questions adding detailed analysis and math – 25-35 min
  • final review – 10 min

You should then practice to stick to the time allocated, in order to maximize your final performance.

2. Practice graph interpretation

You will normally have to analyse graphs in a written case. The best way to practice is to take graphs from online resources and use a timer to test in how much time you can understand the key message. McKinsey PST graphs could be good practice for that.

3. Work on quick reading and quick understanding of key information

You will not have time to read and prioritize everything, so you have to understand where to focus. The ideal way to practice is to use long cases such as HBS ones, and practice on reducing the time needed to absorb the key information that can answer a defined question. Quick reading techniques could also help.

4. Practice quick math

You will normally have some math to do in a written case. GMAT and McKinsey PST math should work well to prepare on this.

5. Learn how to communicate your slides/answers

If you have to present your findings at the end of the case, I would apply here the same structures of final sum up in a live interview case, that is:

  1. Sum up the main questions you have to answer
  2. Present your proposed answer and detail the motivation behind
  3. Propose next steps for the areas you have not covered

As you will not be able to double check hypothesis with the interviewer as in the live case before the presentation, you should clearly state when you are making hypotheses and that you will have to verify them with further analysis.

When you have to prepare slides I would also recommend to work on:

A) structure the order of the slides

Normally the structure for a 5-slide presentation is the following:

  • First slide sums up the question and provides the answer
  • Second, third and fourth slide have the supporting arguments for the first slide
  • Fifth slide has the next steps

B) structure the content of each slide

There are three basic components for slides:

  1. Title
  2. Chart or data
  3. Label for chart

Many people structure the title as the mere description of what the chart is telling. A great title, instead tells the implication of the graph. Eg say the graph is showing a cost structure for a division. A bad title would be: Cost structure from 2005 to 2015. A good title would be: Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable”. A great title would be Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable due to ABC, assuming you have insides on the cause. The rule of thumb for the title is that if you read all the titles of the slides together you should get a clear idea of what is going on.

C) present the slides

When you present, I would suggest the following steps for each slide:

  1. Introduce the slide: “Let’s move to slide 2, which will show us why we have an issue with this division”
  2. Present the main message of the slide: “As you can see, we have a cost structure which makes for us not feasible to be competitive in this market”
  3. Provide details: “The graph, indeed, shows how our fix cost is XYZ, while competitors can benefit from economies of scale. Indeed…”

Hope this helps,

Francesco