2 Questions about Case interview

Case in Point caseinterview caseinterview secrets First Round
New answer on Nov 13, 2022
4 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Nov 11, 2022

I got 2 questions reading books “Case interview secret” and “Case in point”

1. In case interview secret, the writer says that if I find some disproving facts regarding initial hypothesis during the interview, then I should revise my hypothesis and the issue tree for that hypothesis.

it that happens Does it mean that I have to ask for time out and restructure the issue tree? or Do I have to come up with the issue tree without time out?

if the former is right, it feels unnatural because it would take another 1~2 min in the middle of the interview.

if the latter is the case, it feels impossible for me to come up with new issue tree or revise it without time to think.

How should I deal with the situation like that in real interview?


2. I'm in recruiting process for experienced hire(mck), so honestly I know I'm able to be prepared  as much as the undergraduates or MBA students do. However, I'm doing the best I could reading some books (including the ones I mentioned) and studying them.

But some of the cases I read from the “Case in point” seem too difficult and I don't think I can ask questions like that or analyze like the interviewee in that book.

So my question is 

Do most of the candidates who got offer do the interview like that?

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Content Creator
replied on Nov 13, 2022
Ex McKinsey EM & interviewer (5 yrs) USA & UK| Coached / interviewed 200 +|Free 15 min intro| Stanford MBA|Non-trad

These are great questions! A few thoughts:

1. I don't recommend learning frameworks, but I do recommend learning a series of ‘buckets’ that you can scan through in your head when you're setting up your initial structure to inform your structure. The structure that you put forward should reflect the prompt that you've been given - therefore anything that you've learnt should inform it. 

2. I personally find Case in Point can be quite confusing as it gives you a lot of frameworks and is quite prescriptive in how you approach the cases. I recommend that as a starting point you look at the case examples on the websites of each of the consulting firms as that will give you a sense of what the cases are like. Then as I said above you want to learn a few high level frameworks with a lot of buckets which you can then use to help to inform your structures. There are loads of cases in the resources section of the preplounge website which you can then use to practice with - as well as obviously doing peer practice and coaching. 

Good luck!

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replied on Nov 12, 2022
Ex-Mckinsey (analyst->associate->manager) and now in tech (Bytedance) + Part time interview coach and mentor

Hi there,

Here are my thoughts regarding both questions:

1- The key is having a framework that is solid yet flexible enough for you to adapt. For instance, if you're dealing with a profitability case, you will need to break down profits into revenues and costs, and then each into their components, but you do not need to put in the structure itself your hypothesis around costs being too high. Keep the structure as a structure, and do not pollute it with your own take on what the answer is. That way, if your hypothesis changes during the case, you would still have a clean generic structure where you can run the same calculations, with different numbers and assumptions though.

2- Preparing for consulting interviews is 20% theory (learning the basics) and 80% practice (practice, practice, practice! with coaches, with peers, with friends, with family, with whoever can practice with you!!). This is how you learn what your weaknesses are and this is how you start adapting to different styles of interviewers. If you stick to books, you're only getting used to 1 rhythm and style, which is yours. 



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Content Creator
updated an answer on Nov 12, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

For Q#1 you should ideally do this in the moment. You should be able to adjust your viewpoint as you go. There may be periods in a case where you are “stuck” or disorganized and need to take time…but, where possible, you want to move forward “live”

For Q#2 Please stop reading books. This gets you like 5% of the way there…

You need to get cased by people and case people. I don't like saying absolutes, but there's like a 0% chance you succeed if all you do is passively read some books. You need to case. A lot.

Based on your post, I greatly worry for your prep. Please read the following to make sure you don't make key mistakes in your prep:





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Anonymous B replied on Nov 11, 2022


As a recent McK offered fellow I strongly recommend you to do as much one-on-one cases with partners and/ or coaches. This will allow for your greatly better understanding of how to conduct than these readings. These books can be read but couldn't be the main basis for your prep.

Good luck!

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Emily gave the best answer


Content Creator
Ex McKinsey EM & interviewer (5 yrs) USA & UK| Coached / interviewed 200 +|Free 15 min intro| Stanford MBA|Non-trad
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