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Get up to speed by learning the basics and preparing yourself mentally for intense practice

How do I prepare for this daunting task?

In tackling case interviews, it’s quite possible for bright candidates, who know exactly what to expect, to lose their composure. In order to repeatedly demonstrate prerequisite skills under the pressure of a real case interview, those skills almost have to become “second nature”. This can only be achieved with sufficient preparation.

Here is a two-fold approach that most successful candidates use:

  1. Self-study: Familiarize yourself with the basic concepts and frameworks. Don’t spend too much time on this to avoid rote memorization. Rather try going through cases yourself and think about how you can build on frameworks to come up with your own customized structure.
  2. Mock interviews: Actually put the theory into practice by solving a case with a peer. You will determine your base-line after experiencing the first live case. From this point you can continually work on improving yourself until casing almost starts feeling effortless.

In short, you need to learn the fundamentals and then PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! The latter naturally being the most important driver. You can think of case interviews as analogous to sports: Athletes spend some time learning the rules and best-practices / important plays, but at the end of the day, they need to practice intensely during training to be ready for the big game.

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