Master Your Consulting Career: Overcome Your Weaknesses with ChatGPT

This is a follow-up article about your job interview preparation with ChatGPT that was particularly well received. Today, we want to start before your big day and dig deeper into the things you should excel at, before you have the case interview.

Since the introduction of ChatGPT, you have many opportunities to learn new practices or to deepen your knowledge. Like our mental math tool for basic mathematical operations or our numerical reasoning drills, you can use ChatGPT to get better at a certain topic.

What Must Be in My Consulting Toolkit?
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1. How to Start Your Case Interview Preparation with ChatGPT?

Our case interview basics and other resources on PrepLounge give you a broad understanding of the most important things that happen during a case interview. When you start your preparation, you will see in your self-studies that there are certain topics where you’ll need help from others. Here are a few examples of the Resources that you can access when you use PrepLounge for your case preparation:

Master your Consulting Career with ChatGPT

If perhaps our first article dove too deeply into the topic of case interview preparation, you'll be happy to stay on board as we get started with your first step into case interview preparation, and perhaps you'll have a nice chat with Casey. In fact, in addition to your case preparation with PrepLounge, you can use ChatGPT for a private learning session.

2. What Must Be in My Consulting Toolkit?

PrepLounge and other career platforms usually concentrate on the cases that you will encounter during your job interview process. This is why we gave you an overview of your overall preparation in the first article. There you’ll find preparation for interview questions, how to write cases for yourself, and how you can train for a personal fit interview. Now we want to give you more ideas on how to leverage ChatGPT of your daily life.

For example: How are you with Excel, Google Sheets, R, or Python? Can you do a big data analysis when someone asks for it? Do you know how to structure it and how to apply the different formulas? Or how can you provide convincing arguments in your interview? How will you react when your interview partner tells you that you shouldn’t use an “argumentum ad misericordiam” while presenting? Or why is an analogizing argument not the right way to speak when discussing a market entry?

3. The Start of Your Journey: The Selection Process

Consultancies usually start the application process with an assessment of your cognitive, problem-solving, or analytics skills. These tests come in many forms, colors, and ways, depending on the consulting firm you are applying to. There are, for example, the McKinsey Imbellus Game, the Bain Sova Test, or the Pymetrics Game, as well as the already introduced ChatBot Casey from BCG. But what do they test, and why should you prepare for these tests when getting started with the case interview learning process?

Let’s ask ChatGPT again.

Author:
“What can you tell me about consulting tests like the McKinsey Imbellus Game, The Bain Sova Test, or the Pymetrics Game?”

ChatGPT: 

“Consulting tests, such as the McKinsey Imbellus Game, the Bain Sova Test, and the Pymetrics Game, are increasingly being used by top consulting firms as part of their recruitment and selection processes. These tests are designed to assess a candidate's critical thinking abilities, problem-solving skills, and decision-making capabilities in a simulated business environment. Here's a brief overview of each test:

  1. McKinsey Imbellus Game:
    The McKinsey Imbellus Game is a cognitive assessment tool that aims to measure a candidate's problem-solving skills and behavioral traits in a game-based format. It consists of interactive scenarios where candidates must navigate complex challenges and make decisions based on various criteria. The game focuses on evaluating cognitive processes rather than traditional knowledge-based assessments.

  2. Bain Sova Test:
    The Bain Sova Test assesses a candidate's problem-solving and analytical skills in a business context. It typically consists of a case study or business scenario with accompanying data. Candidates are required to analyze the information, draw insights, and provide recommendations. The test assesses the candidate's ability to structure their thoughts, analyze data, and present a coherent and logical solution.

  3. Pymetrics Game:
    Pymetrics is a platform that uses neuroscience-based games to assess candidates' cognitive and behavioral traits. The games are designed to measure qualities such as attention to detail, risk tolerance, problem-solving skills, and collaboration skills. Through a series of game-based tasks, Pymetrics evaluates candidates' cognitive abilities and behavioral preferences, helping companies identify individuals who align with their desired profiles.

These tests aim to provide consulting firms with a standardized and objective way to evaluate candidates' skills and capabilities. They complement traditional case interviews and allow firms to assess a broader range of competencies, including critical thinking, adaptability, and decision-making under uncertainty. It's important for candidates to familiarize themselves with the format and requirements of each test to maximize their performance.”

Author:
“How should I prepare to pass any of these tests?”

ChatGPT: 

“To prepare for consulting tests like the McKinsey Imbellus Game, the Bain Sova Test, or the Pymetrics Game, it's essential to focus on developing and sharpening specific skills and competencies. Here are some tips to help you prepare effectively:

  1. Understand the test format:
    Research and gather information about the specific test you will be taking. Understand the structure, time constraints, and skills being assessed. This will give you a clear idea of what to expect and how to approach the test.

  2. Practice cognitive games:
    Since these tests often involve game-like scenarios or cognitive challenges, practice similar games and puzzles to improve your critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. Online platforms, brain-training apps, or consulting-specific preparation materials can be valuable resources for practice.

  3. Enhance data analysis skills:
    Many consulting tests involve analyzing data and drawing insights. Strengthen your data analysis skills by practicing with business cases, working on quantitative problems, and learning to interpret charts, graphs, and tables effectively.

  4. Develop structured problem-solving techniques:
    Consulting firms value candidates who can break down complex problems into manageable parts. Learn and practice frameworks, such as the MECE (Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive) approach, hypothesis-driven problem-solving, or issue trees, to structure your analysis and solutions.

  5. Refine time management skills:
    Consulting tests are often timed, so it's crucial to practice managing your time effectively. Train yourself to work efficiently under pressure by setting time limits for practice sessions and prioritizing tasks.

  6. Seek feedback and review:
    If possible, seek feedback from individuals who have already taken the tests or consult with current or former consultants. Review your performance, identify areas for improvement, and adjust your preparation accordingly.

  7. Familiarize yourself with the company:
    Understand the values, culture, and problem-solving approach of the consulting firm you are applying to. This will help you align your thinking and responses with their expectations.

  8. Stay updated on industry trends:
    Follow industry news, trends, and business case studies to enhance your business acumen and demonstrate a genuine interest in the consulting field.

  9. Simulate test conditions:
    Practice under conditions that simulate the actual test environment as closely as possible. This will help you get used to the time pressure and mental demands of the test.

  10. Stay calm and confident:
    Remember to stay calm, composed, and confident during the test. Approach each question or scenario systematically and focus on providing well-structured and thoughtful responses.

Preparing for consulting tests requires dedicated effort and practice. By focusing on the specific skills being assessed, practicing relevant tasks, and understanding the expectations of the consulting firms, you can increase your chances of success in these assessments.”

How does that sound? Did you know about the differences between these tests and what they want to achieve? When applying for such a demand job, it helps to understand what consulting firms are looking for. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to these tests? 

Your goal should be to excel at any of the tasks you can encounter during a case interview. So you should know beforehand what the interviewer will be looking for.

Land your dream job!

Join the world’s leading case interview community today and get everything you need to prepare for your upcoming case interviews!

4. What are the Most Important Skills in a Case Interview?

Depending on the case at hand, you will need to present different skills to the interviewer when solving the story of the case. There is a huge difference if you need to compare data or if you need to analyze it and have a deep understanding of the interdependencies between the different metrics.

Let’s find out what you should be able to do when being presented with a chart or different data points and variables:

Author:
“What is the focal point when analyzing and interpreting charts and data?”

ChatGPT: 

“When analyzing and interpreting charts and data, the focal point should be on extracting meaningful insights and understanding the story that the data is telling. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Purpose and Context:
    Understand the purpose of the chart or data set and the context in which it is presented. What is the main objective or message conveyed by the data? Consider the background information, the source of the data, and any accompanying explanations or captions.

  2. Data Accuracy and Reliability:
    Assess the quality and reliability of the data. Look for potential biases, errors, or missing information that could impact the interpretation. Consider the sample size, data collection methods, and potential sources of variability.

  3. Identify Key Variables:
    Identify the key variables or data points being represented in the chart. Determine what each axis represents, what the different data series or categories signify, and any relevant units of measurement.

  4. Patterns and Trends:
    Look for patterns, trends, or relationships within the data. Identify any significant changes, variations, or anomalies. Consider the direction (e.g., increasing or decreasing), magnitude, and consistency of the data points.

  5. Comparisons and Contrasts:
    Compare different data sets, categories, or time periods to uncover similarities, differences, or relative performance. Look for rankings, proportions, or ratios that provide insights into the relationships between variables.

  6. Visualization Techniques:
    Assess the effectiveness of the visualization techniques used in the chart or data presentation. Consider the choice of chart type (e.g., bar chart, line graph, pie chart) and whether it enhances or hinders the interpretation of the data.

  7. Contextual Interpretation:
    Relate the findings to the broader context, such as industry benchmarks, historical data, or relevant external factors. Consider how the data aligns with expectations, goals, or objectives.

  8. Drawing Insights and Implications:
    Draw insights and implications from the data analysis. Identify key takeaways, relationships, causal factors, or potential future scenarios based on the data. Use the data to support your conclusions and recommendations.

  9. Communicate Clearly:
    Clearly communicate your interpretation of the data, making sure your analysis is logical, concise, and easy to understand. Use visual aids or annotations to highlight important points or trends.

By focusing on these aspects when analyzing and interpreting charts and data, you can gain a deeper understanding of the information presented and effectively communicate your insights and findings.”

If you can check every one of these nine points, congratulations. It seems that you are prepared for this part of the case interview. But what about identifying the case type before you can analyze the data? 

Author:
“How can I identify the type of case interview when being presented with a study? Are there certain key elements that help me to categorize and solve them?”

ChatGPT:

“Yes, there are certain key elements that can help you identify and categorize the type of case interview you are presented with. Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Listen to the prompt:
    Pay close attention to the case prompt provided by the interviewer. They may give you clues about the nature of the case, such as mentioning a specific industry, problem, or decision-making context.

  2. Identify the Objective:
    Determine the main objective of the case. Is it to solve a business problem, assess a potential opportunity, analyze a market, optimize operations, or make a strategic decision? Understanding the objective can give you insights into the type of case you are dealing with.

  3. Analyze the Key Question:
    Look for the core question or problem that needs to be addressed in the case. Is it focused on profitability, market entry, product development, cost reduction, pricing, growth strategy, or another specific area? Identifying the key question can help you categorize the case.

  4. Recognize Case Structures:
    Familiarize yourself with common case structures or frameworks used in consulting. Examples include profitability analysis, market sizing, market entry, pricing strategy, competitive analysis, operations optimization, and M&A analysis. If you can recognize elements of these structures in the case, it can guide your approach.

  5. Consider Industry Context:
    Evaluate the industry or sector mentioned in the case. Different industries may have distinct challenges and dynamics. For example, a case related to healthcare may involve considerations such as regulatory compliance, patient outcomes, or cost efficiency, while a case related to retail may focus on store operations, customer segmentation, or e-commerce.

  6. Look for Quantitative or Qualitative Emphasis:
    Determine if the case is more quantitative or qualitative in nature. Quantitative cases may involve heavy data analysis, financial calculations, or numerical reasoning, while qualitative cases may focus on strategic thinking, problem-solving, or decision-making without extensive data analysis.

  7. Assess Time Horizon:
    Consider the time frame or scope of the case. Is it short-term or long-term? Are you evaluating immediate actions or long-term strategies? Understanding the time horizon can help you frame your analysis and recommendations appropriately.

  8. Seek Clarity:
    If you are unsure about the type of case or how to approach it, don't hesitate to ask clarifying questions to the interviewer. Seek additional information or guidance to ensure you have a clear understanding of the case.

By applying these strategies, you can identify key elements of a case interview and categorize it accordingly, which will help you approach and solve the case more effectively. Remember to practice different types of cases beforehand to familiarize yourself with various scenarios and improve your problem-solving skills.”

How does that sound? Are you closer to solving the case at hand? Do you feel better prepared? What else would you ask now in your preparation?

For me, the next strategic step would be to structure my thoughts for the solution to the case interview I am looking at. I mean, I need to find out in which way I can present my findings to seasoned Consultants who have probably done it a million times, so what is most important to them?

5. Present Like a Consultant: What Are You Looking For?

You have probably heard of all the ways to structure your thoughts and how to present a case while using an issue tree, or the MECE framework, or the Stacey Matrix. These are typical frameworks, models, and concepts to structure your way of thinking and presenting.

Author:
"Structuring my Thoughts is essential when presenting the case to the interviewers. What is the most important aspect when presenting a case?

ChatGPT:

"When presenting a case in to interviewers, the most important aspect is clarity and logical structure. Your presentation should be organized and easy to follow, allowing the interviewers to understand your thought process and conclusions clearly. To achieve this, consider the following key aspects: 

  1. Introduction:
    Begin by providing a concise overview of the case, including the key problem or question you are addressing. Clearly state the objective and any assumptions you are making.
  2. Framework:
    Develop a structured framework to analyze the problem systematically. This framework should be tailored to a specific case and demonstrate your ability to break down complex problems into manageable components. It should cover all relevant aspects and provide a logical flow for your analysis.
  3. Analysis:
    Apply your framework to the case data and analyze the information provided. Be thorough and systematic in your analysis, using appropriate tools and techniques. Clearly explain the rationale behind each step and use visual aids, such as charts or graphs, to support your findings.
  4. Recommendations:
    Based on your analysis, draw insightful conclusions and propose actionable recommendations. Be clear, concise, and provide supporting evidence for your recommendations. Consider potential risks, trade-offs and alternative solutions when presenting your recommendations.
  5. Communication and Engagement:
    Throughout your presentation, maintain effective communication with the interviewers. Speak clearly, maintain eye contact, and use confident body language. Engage the interviewers by actively seeking their input, asking for clarification when needed, and addressing any potential concerns they may have.
  6. Flexibility and Adaptability:
    Be prepared to adapt your presentation based on the interviewer's feedback or additional information provided during the case discussion. Demonstrate your ability to think on your feet and adjust your approach as necessary.

Remember, while presenting the case, it's not all about the content but also your ability to effectively communicate and engage with the interviewers. Practice structuring your thoughts and delivering your presentation in a clear, concise, and confident manner to make a strong impression."

As the answer suggests, you should train the answers to these questions and structure the way you think and approach the solution to a case study. Remember, that there is more to a case interview than the case. The Personal Fit, the way you act and react as well as the impression you give are essential parts of a consulting job interview.

6. Broaden your Skills and Learn New Abilities

Another thing that I find very helpful with ChatGPT is the possibility to work faster and more efficiently. Let’s take for example the analytics skills that get mentioned a lot when preparing. I like to get code snippets and other solutions directly from ChatGPT to work faster myself. 

These are mostly Python scripts when combining or extracting data and Excel formulas when Python isn’t really necessary.

Here are two examples:

Author:

“I want to do an exploratory data analysis for an ecommerce giant called "Big Furniture". The aim is to provide an in-depth analysis of: 

  • the best-selling categories in the store that you can extract via Universal Analytics by the URL folders: 

    • seats 

    • tables 

    • chairs 

    • cushions 

  • the most profitable products that I can identify via product-ID (xxx.xxx.x) 

  • the least profitable Products that I can identify via Product-ID (xxx.xxx.x) 

  • the most sold product of the last 12 months 

I downloaded all data from Universal Analytics and typically use Python for these things. Can you get me a wireframe of code, that would give me these data in Python? Do you need more information?”

ChatGPT:

“Certainly! I can provide you with a wireframe of code in Python to perform the analysis you mentioned. Here's an outline of the code structure:

ChatGPT Code

Make sure to replace "path_to_data_file.csv" with the actual file path where you have downloaded the Universal Analytics data. Also, replace 'xxx.xxx.x' with the actual product IDs for the most profitable and least profitable products.

Please note that this is a general wireframe, and you may need to adapt it to match the structure and format of your data file.”

How do you like this? Especially, when you want to get into IT Consulting, it always helps to be able to analyze the data directly from the online sources to get a better grip on the data.

The second example is something that I always use to be even faster when working with excel or sheets. 

Author:

“I need to create a summary export that shows the total sales for each product in a specific region. What excel function do I have to use to retrieve the aisles figures from the dataset based on product name and region?”

ChatGPT:

“By using INDEX-MATCH, you can search for the product name in the dataset and match it with the corresponding region, allowing you to extract the sales data accurately. This function enables you to retrieve specific values from a large dataset based on multiple criteria, making it a powerful tool for data manipulation and analysis in consulting scenarios.

Or you can retrieve the total sales for each product in a specific region from the dataset with the SUMIFS function in Excel. The SUMIFS function allows you to sum values that meet multiple criteria.

Here's an example of how you can use the SUMIFS function:

Assuming you have the following columns in your dataset:

  • Column A: Product Name

  • Column B: Region

  • Column C: Sales

To retrieve the total sales for each product in a specific region, you can use the following formula:

=SUMIFS(C:C, A:A, "Product Name", B:B, "Region")

Replace "Product Name" with the specific product name you want to filter, and replace "Region" with the specific region you want to filter.

For example, if you want to retrieve the total sales for a product named "Chair" in the region "North America", the formula would be:

=SUMIFS(C:C, A:A, "Chair", B:B, "North America")

This formula will sum the values in column C (Sales) where column A (Product Name) matches "Chair" and column B (Region) matches "North America". Adjust the column references and criteria to match your actual dataset.

By using multiple SUMIFS functions, you can retrieve the desired data for different combinations of product names and regions in a single formula.”

Nice. As you see, there are many ways, where ChatGPT can help you to jumpstart your analytical skills and help you with writing code or giving you the right functions and solutions for everything.

7. We are just getting started: ChatGPT and Consulting

ChatGPT changed the world in little time. People who already know about it and are using ChatGPT will probably rise in the near future, and it will be a great benefit for you when you already know how to prompt or how to get the data from ChatGPT that you want and need.

The tool will help you to automate tasks or to get a better understanding of certain things that don’t need live data. You can outsource your daily tasks to the AI and you can get valuable and fast insights in new or emerging markets, best practices or mathematical models, when you use ChatGPT in your daily life as a consultant.

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