Dear all, preplounge has been my most important tool for my interview preparations. Thanks to my extensive preparations on preplounge and approximately 70 meetings, I achieved to receive offers from McKinsey&Company, Bain&Company, Roland Berger and Monitor Deloitte. In my opinion, there is no substitute to practicing actual interviews with peers. Books can only give you theoretical background knowledge that might be useful. Cheers, Florian
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Thanks to PrepLounge I landed job offers from both McKinsey and BCG. Before I was introduced to PrepLounge I read 2 Case Books in order to understand the interview and selection process better. But just with the help of PrepLounge I was able to transfer the theory into practise by doing live case interviews with different case partners and watching PrepLounge videos. What helped me most was the risk free coaching program (Prep4Success). Due to the individual feedback of the expert I was able to work on precise weaknesses and I gained confidence with every practise interview I did.
I first read Victor Cheng's book for some background and to get started. Then I came across PrepLounge videos on YouTube and decided to jump into the deep end and get real practical experience instead of theoretical and passive reading of cases. I can say with 100% conviction that I would not have even passed Round 1 let alone get an offer from BCG without PrepLounge.
As this is my 2nd time applying to Consulting, I know for sure that I was not prepared the first time and real-life practice and help from experts is the only reason I did well this time. While some people think that over-practising can make your analytical abilities go stale, I would argue that there is no such thing as too much practise and there are always mistakes and areas of improvement that you can address with each extra 45 minutes of a case interview. I would recommend using PrepLounge to anyone who is serious about getting a job in Consulting. Practise makes perfect!!
Last year (2012) I got interviews with two Firms (BCG and Bain) and bombed them because despite being well prepared in the theoretical aspects (I have used Case in Point, casebooks from Top10 universities and articles about specific subjects in a variety of sites) I hadn't practice enough real cases with partners.
However, 3 months ago, as I had never applied for McKinsey, I decided focus in this firm and for 1 month I used all spare time I had practicing cases on Preplounge. The theoretical knowledge I had obtained last year plus the experience practicing cases on Preplounge gave me enough knowledge and confidence to succeed in all McKinsey interviews I did.
I would say that the candidate does not need to understand a lot of business concepts in depth to succeed, but understanding this concepts will enrich your speech and make you more confident about what you are saying, so I would recommend doing this, at least for the most frequent concepts in business cases. Nevertheless, since it won't give you an offer in my opinion, the candidate needs to put the most effort in the next step, the practical business cases sessions, and at this point I can't see a better tool to use than Preplounge. It will definitely provide you with the inner skills that the candidate needs to succeed in case interviews.
I got into Mckinsey and will be starting soon.
I'm sending this email to thank you and underline how good your platform is.
I really made it thanks to Preplounge and I mean it. Coming from an IB background I did not know what cases were about and how to start. YouTube videos, being the interviewer and then doing back to backs with people all around the world was the best preparation I could possibly have.
I read case in point and followed the program of Victor Cheng. These sources gave a solid basis for practicing my cases in real life and on PrepLounge. PrepLounge offered me instant friends to practice cases with and discuss related topics of interviewing.
Besides doing cases I have benefited from the math section to train my math.
I am glad to write you my story.
I have started studying for case interviews in June during my last year of MSc and I have read the 3 best-known books for cases preparation.
By the way books are not enough to crack a case, so I failed my first interview with a MBB even though I have practiced with a couple of friends.
Using PrepLounge I have had the opportunity not only to refine my frameworks but also to apply them in tough cases, gaining insights from valuable candidates and skilled trainers.
Conclusion: I got 4 offers and I chose Bain.
Thank you for the support!
Step 1 (Understanding Case Interviews): Read the 'consulting bibles' such as Case in Point by Marc Cosentino and some guides by Victor Cheng to gain a flavour of what case interviews are like. Just a brief read-through should suffice to prevent rote memorising of their suggested frameworks.
Step 2 (Initial Practice for Case Interviews): Scoured for Consulting Case Books from MBA schools (any kind will do) and practice with a few friends who are in the same stages of applications as me (i.e. novice case interviewees). This is the stage where formulaic structures and frameworks are applied to analyse business situations and where the cases are very standard (i.e. profitability decline, what is the issue?) and uncreative.
Step 3 (Engagement with Case Interviews): Attended one of case workshops series held by Imperial Consultancy Society conducted by Dennis (one of the ex-McKinsey Premium experts). A five-week course to understand what McKinsey and other top consulting firms look out for in a case and personal interview with mock practices. Was recommended to try out PrepLounge with a discount code for premium membership. Also applied to more than 20+ consulting firms of all sizes and specialties for formal case interview experiences.
Step 4 (Full Force Practice for Case Interviews): Used PrepLounge and scheduled meetings almost once every two days with different candidates. Important to play both the roles of interviewers and interviewees to learn from others' strengths and mistakes and listen to their useful feedback. Also essential to find reliable and helpful practice candidates who are invested in helping you improve (or finding better cases than what PrepLounge offers). Did about 50+ interviews within two months till the point of being jaded / sick of cracking a case; this is where I became confident with my case skills even in a formal interview setting. The ease and comfort with case interviews will allow me to spend my energy on actually cracking the cases and building rapport with the interviewer instead of being anxious about calculation mistakes and memorising rigid frameworks.
Thanks PrepLounge for supporting a board to find interview practice partners and valuable cases! I finally got an offer at one of the top firms and I recommend everybody to use PrepLounge extremely intensive.
And do not forget: There is also a personal fit part next to the cases that needs a lot of preparation. Therefore, the PrepLounge advice on personal fit interview helped me a lot.
I've received an offer from a MBB in Canada after a short, intensive and ultimately successful prep session with PrepLounge.
After going through some theoretical material on my own, I knew I needed live case cracking sessions but didn't have the partners to practice with... PrepLounge gave me access to a fantastic network of qualified candidates that helped me get interview ready in a matter of weeks and land an offer.
Case partners not only fined tuned my case cracking skills but also shared their interview experience and tips. Some had already passed first rounds at the same firm I would be interviewing with!
Couldn't have made it without PrepLounge!
These partners - top ranked universities from around the world – trust PrepLounge
Case interview: What is that?
A case interview is a specific kind of job interview that is commonly used in consultancies. This interview type is used to assess the skill of applicants. Case interviews are well suited to evaluate a candidate’s quantitative and qualitative skills, which are necessary in consulting. A consulting case study usually contains a primary question, which can be categorized as one of three types:
- Business cases
- Estimating cases
- Brain teasers
A business case evolves around estimating a company’s profitability and opportunities of investment. An estimating case, also known as market sizing case, confronts the applicant with the challenge of estimating the potential of a certain market for a specific product. A brain teaser is usually a riddle which requires logic and out-of-the-box thinking to solve it. Overall, all three case types require applicants to thoroughly analyze the problem and find a well-structured approach to solve it. The way you deal with consulting cases reflects part of your later work as a consultant. Eventually, it comes down to two questions that the case helps answering:
- Do I trust the applicant to work independently with a client?
- Is the applicant personally and professionally suited for intensive teamwork?
Case interview solutions
A case interview has no "correct" or "standard" answer. Instead, you might just end up exploring issues and walking down several paths. There are always multiple answers or recommendations to give in a case interview. It might also be a completely different solution from what interviewers expect. In the end, what matters is solely how you get there.
Tackling a case is similar to a work day in consulting: You meet with the consultant and both of you work on solving a client’s problem. Act as if you are already working at the firm: Pretend this is a real case and you are solving it in a face-to-face conversation with your interviewer. The questions are usually quite general in nature and cannot be solved on your own, so you’ll need to initiate a dialogue, ask questions and present ideas and hypotheses.
Case interviews usually follow a similar framework: You’ll start off with a light conversation, involving a consultant who acts as interviewer. He will start with estimating whether you are a personal fit, followed by the actual case question. You have paper and pen available, so you should start taking notes at this point. Usually, your counterpart also collects them after the interview and uses them to judge the structuring of your method. Once you have received your question, repeat it and get clarification, to make sure you start off correctly. Ask for the objective of the case and take a moment to estimate a general approach. Afterwards, the interviewer will provide you with sufficient time to let you present your approach. The rest of the interview is intended to be a dialogue. Most of the questions have to be asked by you, in order to get closer to a solution. However, the consultant is willing to guide you through the case with his answers or by asking questions himself.
Depending on if you are aiming for an internship or a full time position, you’ll have to participate in up to six of these case interviews in two or more rounds. Each interview is set to take 30-60 minutes. However, do not rush through the case and concentrate on what the interviewer says. Usually, he provides you with important details that will help you solve the case. Try to be proactive and lead through the case in a steady pace, because you will be provided these details only for showing effort: The interviewer estimates whether you ask for the data yourself and if you focus on crucial information only.
Why practice case interviews?
Whether you aim for a career in consulting with one of the small firms or you want to work for one of the big players like McKinsey, BCG, Bain or Deloitte — case interviews prepare you for the daily reality of your future work as a consultant.
Join our case interview community today and practice case interviews with expert coaches or peers from all around the world. Prep for the various challenges that await you in the interview: Start preparing for a huge variety of brain teasers, market sizing cases and more. Exchange experiences with peers from around the world in our forum, or prep with mock-interviews. PrepLounge gives you the platform to successfully start your career in consulting.