6 Months Preparation

and Bain BCG Case Interview case interview preparation MBB McKinsey
New answer on Jun 15, 2020
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 13, 2020

Dear Community,

I am finishing my graduate study. I will finish my program in December in a US University and will have very light research/work on my last semester. I am planning to do my actual case interview with the company early next year so I will have around 6 months of preparation. I know some people will say it might be too long but I just like the long time preparation as I will feel more preparared. My questions are

1. I have a chance to take MBA-level class for my last semester. What classes should I take ? I am thinking about Strategy Class. What Else ?

2.How should I structure my preparation time line ? So far, I dedicate my early time to learn basic theory about business (I have got already some business related knowledge before as well). Then, I will split my time between Case Interview preparion and Fit Interview.

Added Question:

2B. If you can give monthly basis schedule advice that would be great.

3. What are good resources from University should I capitalize ?

4. Let me know if you have any advice/experience to share.

Note: currently, I am little bit tight on budget. So, I would really appreciate it if you can give tips that not emphasizing professional coaching (At least for the early stage). I know this is very useful but I would prefer to have this session on my later part of preparation since I want to get (most of those) those "Low-Hanging out fruits" by myself. Thank you

Thanks for all the answers and I wish you the best of luck

(edited)

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Ian
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replied on Jun 13, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

1. Yes to strategy. Accounting, Finance, anything about business are all very helpful.

2-4: The most important thing here is narrowing down the noise. There is a lot of content flying around, and you need to work hard to focus on what's important (much like when solving a case).

I recommend the following:

1) An initial planning session with a coach: 1 hour with a coach now will have a productivity multiplier effect on all your efforts moving forward. They will figure out what materials are best for you, guide you towards the best ways to learn, and come up with a preparation plan with you.

2) Leverage free resources first: PrepLounge Q&A and case library, Poets and Quants, SpencerTom, Google, etc.). Leverage these options, read-up, and over time you'll get a feel for what you really need and where you really need to invest your hard-earned $

3) Case with other PrepLoungers: Casing with other PrepLoungers is free. Not only do you get to practice casing, but you get direct feedback. Additionally, you learn a lot just from casing others. Finally, from other PrepLoungers you'll learn which materials/coaches are helpful.

In summary, while free options don't beat paid options, you can use them for a while to get a feel for what works for you. Have an initial coaching session to get you on the right track, then go the paid route when it's clear either 1) You are stuck or 2) It's clear the paid route will improve your productivity/progress

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Robert
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replied on Jun 13, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Looking at your question 2, the following is what worked for most of my coaching candidates. Don't worry about the 6 months time-frame - I don't remember a single candidate over the last 10 years of coaching who complained that he had too much time to prepare, that he was too well prepared and the interviews were all too easy for him! (Side note: make sure you are not getting too robotic in your approach and don't loose motivation to solve cases over that longer period of time though!)

  • Starting off with basic case interview books like Marc Cosentino's "Case in Point" or Victor Cheng's "Case Interview Secrets"
  • At the same time watching Victor Cheng's youtube videos
  • Getting a professional case interview coaching, like here on PrepLoungequite early in the process, as a professional case interview coach will help you get things right immediately, so that you can focus on your weak spots and at the same time reinforce your positive habits during your further prep
  • Start having interactive mock interviews with peers, which you can find in masses also on PrepLounge - there is a strong correlation between number of interactive cases solved and interview success; I occasionally also do professional case interview coachings myself (Case Interview Coaching)
  • Once you feel you make progress in your case interview performance, start having some professional coaching sessions again to get some real-life benchmark and feedback for further improvement; what works best is approx. 1 professional coaching per week as there is enough time to improve weak spots with peer mock interviews until the next coaching, and at the same time this timeframe is short enough so that you keep up with you prep and do not lose track
  • Once you start feeling comfortable with solving cases in general, focus on being as structured as possible in every sentence you say and every answer you give ("ABS - always be structured"). For this, I wrote a distinct book with the most important frameworks and business concepts for case interviews (you can find it at http://cif.consulting-case-interviews.com/). This book not only gives you a short description and basic idea of the frameworks and concepts, but also a step-by-step guide on how to actually use and implement them (you would be surprised how many candidates don't have a clue about that!).
  • As soon as you master the case interview basics, start preparing the behavioural part of the interviews; this is especially important for McKinsey as this is the part where most candidates really fail. Recently I have added a blog with free expert advice on the McKinsey PEI where I am sharing some answers on the most common PEI questions that I receive from candidates (https://pei.consulting-case-interviews.com/blog/); I also wrote a distinct ebook for "The Ultimate McKinsey PEI Prep" (https://pei.consulting-case-interviews.com/).
  • If time permits, read some general books about consulting to get a good understanding how the industry works, like "The Firm" by Duff McDonald, "Managing the Professional Service Firm" by David Maister and "The McKinsey Way" by Ethan Rasiel

Hope that helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Anonymous A on Jun 13, 2020

Thanks for your answer. How about question 1 and 3 ?

Francesco
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replied on Jun 13, 2020
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Hi there,

please find my answers below:

  1. You mean to help you with the preparation? Any strategy, microeconomics or industrial organization class could help. However, it won’t have a major impact compared to the case preparation, you could actually focus on subjects interesting for you
  2. I would recommend what listed at the following link: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/mckinsey-first-round-in-1-week-5092
  3. The most important thing would be the alumni network to find referrals; you can find more on that here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176
  4. As for point 3, be sure to dedicate time to find referrals, as this is critical to receive invitations

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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Anonymous A on Jun 13, 2020

I am currently in US and will apply Mckinsey in developing countries. I personally dont know anyone that I can have my refer myself. So, I dont have opportunity to work on referrals. So, I will just apply through the web application But, it is a great advice. Would you share the best study plan for me in terms of monthly basis ?

Francesco on Jun 14, 2020

Hi there, you should be able to define a study plan based on the link at point 2, if you have doubts please PM me. In terms of referral I do a session on how to find them even if you don't know anyone now, please feel free to PM me in case you are interested. Best

Anonymous updated the answer on Jun 13, 2020

Dear A,

As for your preparation, basically it's very good that you have 6 months and can stretch the preparation on this timeline.

1. You can take classes in Strategy, Operations and Finance, which would also help you to get a better business judgement. Also Management and Marketing could be recommended here.

2. In terms of your preparation line, I would recommend you to start with reading Case in Point by Cosentino and MBA books.

3. What do you think about career service? If they have a good one.

4. Also, I would like to add some words on your preparation process. Advance your quantitative and math skills, do the cases with peers or take an expert coach for the better guidance. Also prepare for the personal fit part of the interview and then simply practice-practice-practice!

If you need any advice or supervision on how to better structure your process and application strategy, feel free to reach out. I'm happy to help you to get your offers.

Good luck,

André

(edited)

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Anonymous A on Jun 13, 2020

Thanks for your answer. Would you add some on my 2B questions. Also, what do you mean by The MBA book ? Is it like the personal MBA ?

Axel
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replied on Jun 13, 2020
Bain Consultant | Interviewer for 3 years at Bain |Passionate about coaching |I will make you a case interview Rockstar

Hi!

As you probably expected me to say 6 months is a very long time to prepare so you will need to pace yourself to not get bored with casing in my view. With that being said, there are definitely ways you can leverage the time productively.

1. A strategy course is most relevant, otherwise, you can look at microeconomics, financial analysis, project management, or similar if it's available.

2. You will need to prepare for the cases themselves (structuring, maths, communication), FIT interview, and building general business knowledge (incl. basic knowledge of various industries). Since you have so much time you will need to develop a schedule for when you start tackling the various areas and how much time you want to spend on each.

3. Check if you have free access to the economist and HBS case studies as you can leverage these as part of your business knowledge prep

4. Have you considered getting an internship if your workload is very light?

-A

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Anonymous A on Jun 13, 2020

Thanks for your answer. Would you add some comment on my 2B questions. I will consider internship. Great point

Antonello
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replied on Jun 13, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi,
1. Finance, Marketing & Sales are 2 other great classes for consulting
2. 2-3 months will be more than enough. I would start by reading Cosentino and then practicing 40/50 live cases with former consultants/other candidates
3. Casebook form consulting groups
4. Maintain updated on the latest trends of post covid transformation in every industry and other major trends

For any tips or suggestions about how to set up your prep plan feel free to text me. I have supported tens of MBA graduates in securing their offers to MBB

Best,
Antonello

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Anonymous replied on Jun 13, 2020

Hi,

Please find a slide I've done on the case study preparation.

You can spend ~1,5 month on first step and parallelize steps 2 & 3 on the remaining time.

Best,

David

case interview preparation steps

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Clara
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replied on Jun 14, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

To add on top, since most ideas have been shared, there is one key thing regarding point 1. More important than the classes is the network that you are able to build in that time, precisely from the people either comin from COnsulting or targeting consulting after the MBA.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Luca
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replied on Jun 15, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

In order to prepare for case interview, I suggest the following approach:

  • Read the Case in Point (Cosentino) in order to get a first approach with the Case interviews
  • When you have read most of it, start doing cases on yourself practicing with frameworks, math and structure of the interview.
  • Practice with other people (candidates/coaches)
  • Read some chapters of the Case Interview Secrets
  • Listen to the recordings of the LOMS program

While you are practicing for your cases, you have to consider also some time to prepare your CV/Cover Letter and the Fit Interview that is a fundamental part of the interview. Consider that you will need around 1.5/2 months to prepare and at least 40/50 cases.

Feel free to contact me if you want to have some help to stucture your workplan.

Best,
Luca

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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