Any sample case interview questions & answers?

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New answer on May 31, 2020
7 Answers
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Jae Hun asked on Feb 07, 2018

Hi,

I am an undergraduate looking to study and prep for case interviews especially in management consulting.

I would like some business case interview questions from the Big 3 or the Big 4 companies which has also a recommended or just an guideline answer for each of the questions. It would be great if anyone could

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Originally answered question:

Which resources are best?

An
Expert
replied on Jun 04, 2018
Google Product Manager | Ex- BCG Consultant | References Available

Hi Piers,

I think Vlad's answer is spot on. Just a short note on when you are practicing cases

1. Resources: Consulting case 101 (https://www.consultingcase101.com/) is a great resource for practice cases and written solutions. There are also great resources on PrepLounge in the practice case section

2. Approach: Depending on how much time you have, I would recommend starting with Market Sizing cases first and trying to become quite proficient at those.

  • It is a great way to practice thinking structured consistently throughout a case, as well as practicing mental maths. Both common pitfalls for candidates.

3. Make a schedule for live practice: Nothing beats doing practice live. Make a 2-4 week practice schedule and plan ahead to find peers as partners. I think it helps to have a professional mock interview after 5-10 practice sessions with friends or peers, then repeat the cycle. I think you get most of the relevant feedback and advice after 2-3 sessions, any more and the marginal benefit tapers out. Also, be sure towrite down the types of feedback you have been getting from your partners and make sure to ask your mock interviewer specific questions on the best way to address them.

Hope that is helpful!

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11
Originally answered question:

Which resources are best?

Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 04, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

I recommend the following approach:

1) Start with "Case in point" book - you can download this book for free everywhere. It's not the best guide on how you should approach the cases, however, it will give you the basic understanding.

2) Start practicing cases with partners here or find them locally

3) Practice fast math

  • Learn how to multiply double digit numbers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ndkkPZYJHo)
  • Learn the division table up to 1/11 (i.e. 5/6 = 83.3)
  • Learn how to work with zeros (Hint: 4000000 = 4*10ˆ6)
  • Use math tools (Mimir math for iOS), Math tool on Viktor Cheng website to practice

3) Purchase and read Viktor Cheng Book (Amazon Kindle store) and listen to LOMS (his website). I recommend to reread the book and listen to LOMS every 15 cases. Every time, having more experience, you’ll be finding something new.n

4) Every 10-15 cases revisit the previous cases and think how you would structure them differently now having the new experience and having solved the new types of cases

5) Build business judgment. Read about different industries and functions. I strongly recommend practice drawing structures for each industry - profitability, value chain, etc . Then I will switch to getting functional knowledge and key concepts in Marketing (Brand and trade marketing tools, etc), Supply chain (Ops metrics like cycle time and throughput time, distribution and delivery specifics, etc), Finance (Basic Accounting and Valuation). Good sources might be:

  • Books - one good book about airlines with numbers and industry analysis can give you all needed industry knowledge
  • Company reports, equity reports, etc - usually have a good overview of company and industries.One of the best sources to prepare
  • HBS cases - quite useful, but not sure if lot's of them available publically. Probably worth buying

! Important 1: practice the tests / written cases for the relevant companies. ( https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/ranking-available-mckinsey-pst-resources-1432#a3116

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/bcg-online-test-936#a1829

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/i-have-my-mckinsey-pst-in-another-3-days-i-have-a-basic-idea-of-the-test-please-anyone-help-me-how-to-crack-it-with-only-3-days-preparation-609#a1226

! Important 2: don't forget about the FIT interview part. Crafting you stories and backups stories will require a couple of weeks!

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/pei-interview-at-mckinsey-906#a1760

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/why-consulting-why-mckinseybcgbain-questions-770#a1762

Best!

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Piers on Jun 04, 2018
Hi Vlad, thank you so much for your detailed response. Your concise step-by-step process is exactly the direction I needed. Thanks again!

(edited)

Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 07, 2018
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.600+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Jae Hun,

you can find below some steps for the preparation and related resources to use that can offer case interview questions:

  1. General understanding of the process: get a general idea on what a consulting interview is about
    • Resources: Case in Point, Victor Cheng free videos, PrepLounge Resources section
  2. Learning structures and main fit questions + define preparation plan
    • Resources: Victor Cheng Look Over My Shoulder, MBA Handbooks, PrepLounge Resources section, Expert sessions
  3. Practicing with live partners to apply knowledge and improve communication
    • Resources: PrepLounge P2P interviews, friends preparing for consulting
  4. Final review to eliminate the last mistakes
    • Resources: PrepLounge P2P interviews (experienced users), friends working in consulting, Experts sessions

If you are interested in booking expert sessions, I would strongly recommend NOT to wait until the last few days before the interview to book them. Rather, it could be very useful to have a session after a minimum of 5-10 cases or 10-20h of preparation on your own (step 2 above), as a professional expert can also help you to refine your preparation plan. Once defined that, if feasible you can have additional sessions towards the end of your prep plan as a final review.

Best,

Francesco

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Andrea
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 07, 2018
Former BCG Principal and decision round interviewer

Would start with the "classic" prep books: case in point by cosentino, victor Chang and then all PDF books from consulting clubs of MBAs you can get your hands on (hint: look at previous questions here asking for materials to find useful links).

then I would use the websites of consultancies to get their case and test examples.

finally I would first ask mock interviews to current employee as a key step in your preparation (especially if you know any, but ok tocold write LinkedIn messages). And then for the ultimate real experience I would suggest to book a couple of sessions with experts here. I would look for and choose the ones who were interviewers of your consultancy of choice and that had the most recent experience.

hope it helps,

andrea

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B
Expert
replied on Feb 07, 2018
NOT AVAILABLE

Hey Jae,

Fully agree with Andrea's suggested steps!

Let me just add that you can also find solved cases in PrepLounge itself (some for free, some it seems you will need to go premium!): https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases

Good luck for your prep process

Best

Bruno

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Francisco
Expert
replied on Jan 08, 2016
Bain & Co Manager and interviewer / Former A.T. Kearney / INSEAD MBA

Hi Kevin,

You did not state exactly at what phase are you (newly hired, little experience, recruiting) nor your level (business analyst or associate). Given this I will just focus on what I believe are the critical basic skills for the job. If you master the first and feel comfortable with the second, you're already in a good position.

1. Analytical skills: mastering the problem structuring, the development of analysis within the structure and the building of conclusions and recommendations based on those analysis should be your focus. For this the Case interview secrets book from Victor Cheng is very good. It teaches you the problem solving process in a very practical and straightforward manner. In addition you should practice solving cases with partners. This may seem obvious but even after being hired if you sometimes feel uncomfortable or lost in projects this exercise is very valuable.

2. Analytical tools: learning the most commonly used tools to perform analysis is easy and will save you a lot of time. By basic tools I mean learning to use some features of Microsoft excel such as pivot tables and functions like vlookup, if, index, match, sumif,... Google is your friend here

Additional skills such as written communication or project management are also very important but easier to develop on the job and with multiple high quality trainings provided by those companies.

I hope this was a help, if you want to clarify your situation I can try to be more specific.

Regards,

Francisco

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 31, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

On top of the insights already shared in the post, the "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes, since we still have some left from the launch!

Hope you find it useful!

Best,

Clara

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