Focus on the Core: Conduct Mock Interviews with Peers
How should your case interview practice differ between the stages?
The different scheduling functions on PrepLounge ensure that you can conduct mock interviews throughout all stages of your preparation phase.
Like with any skill, getting proficient at solving cases involves different stages, through which one progresses – usually from incompetence to competence. We have identified 3 main stages based on the testimonials of successful candidates:
- Onboarding (<10 cases, conscious incompetence): Candidates overcome the “inertia” to start practicing by getting a feel for live case interviews. Also, in this stage, candidates recognize their deficits and the need for regular practice.
- Ramp-up (10-30 cases, conscious competence): Candidates start forming good habits of practicing regularly. In this stage, candidates know how to go about solving the case but require a lot of concentration.
- Internalization (>30 cases, unconscious competence): Candidates are starting to structure cases with customized frameworks (e.g. issue tree) and have time to build rapport with the interviewer. In this final stage, candidates can almost solve the case effortlessly and therefore go beyond the case.
It’s important to bear in mind that there is no magic number of cases that one has to reach. This depends from candidate to candidate and can range anywhere from 15 to 100. It’s better to focus on the progression through the stages and to keep pushing until the skills are internalized. Quitting before this stage or getting stuck in the previous stage tends to be the difference between almost getting the offer and actually getting the offer.
Take on both interviewee and interviewer roles
Though it is crucial to get as much practice solving cases (as an interviewee), it is also helpful to play the role of an interviewer. Aside from it being fair to “give and take” cases, as an interviewer you get a different angle. For instance, you will see potential mistakes or best practices first-hand – both of which you can learn from.
If you are new to mock interviews with peers, here are a couple of guidelines to help you get started as an interviewer:
- In general, you should:
- Read and solve a case from our library for yourself before giving it
- Note that there may be different solutions to the case
- Feel free to help your practice partners if they are stuck
- Look out for the following during the case:
- Are they asking good questions?
- Are they laying out a logical structure?
- Are they quantifying their approach?
- Are they able to synthesize the case?
- Are they confident, professional, and/or pleasant?
How do I schedule meetings with peers?
PrepLounge is a case interview community that connects like-minded people for regular practice. There are two quick ways to schedule meetings for mock interviews with peers: make a proposal to the Meeting Board or send a private invitation.
- Meeting Board Proposal
On the Meeting Board (at your dashboard), you’ll see lots of proposals for back-to-back meetings. Add your own proposal to the list and wait for a candidate to confirm the meeting.
- Personal Invitation
On the Candidate Listing, you’ll have an overview of potential practice partners. Your best match is pre-selected (on the filter functions on the left). On the profile of a candidate, you can send an invitation with the Propose Meeting button.
Optional: Expert coachings to enhance your case interview skills
If you’re looking to take it to the next level, coaches on PrepLounge i.e. experienced (former) consultants can help you enhance your case prep with more realism and insightful feedback. Here are three ways for you to interact with our coaches:
1. Benefit from the CoachingPlus Package:
The CoachingPlus package offers you a combination of several coaching sessions plus a Premium Membership that gives you access to the most essential prep material on PrepLounge. You can choose among a list of about 15 coaches, so have a look and check whether they fulfill the specific needs of your application (e.g. target company, location, etc.). They are all experienced former management consultants at top firms. The CoachingPlus package would be your go-to all-in-one prep package, especially if you are on a lower budget.
2. Get Top of the Line Coaching Packages:
Some of our best coaches offer their very own coaching packages. This is a great investment, as they have the most experience and already helped hundreds of candidates land their dream job offer. The only disadvantage is the higher price and that you are tied to one single coach. However, if you complement your coaching sessions with high-quality peer2peer practice, these top-of-the-line coaching packages will be your top option.
3. Book an Individual Coaching Session:
In general, it makes sense to take advantage of coaching packages, as they always come with an overall discount compared to individually booked sessions. However, if you are in a very specific situation and the coach you are looking for is not included in a package, it makes sense to arrange individual sessions with the coaches of your choice. This also offers you a lot of flexibility, as you are not tied to specific coaches.
For further tips, don't miss out on our article: Case Interview Coaching: How to Make the Most out of Your Coaching Sessions in 6 Steps