Cookie and Privacy Settings

This website uses cookies to enable essential functions like the user login and sessions. We also use cookies and third-party tools to improve your surfing experience on preplounge.com. You can choose to activate only essential cookies or all cookies. You can always change your preference in the cookie and privacy settings. This link can also be found in the footer of the site. If you need more information, please visit our privacy policy.

Data processing in the USA: By clicking on "I accept", you also consent, in accordance with article 49 paragraph 1 sentence 1 lit. GDPR, to your data being processed in the USA (by Google LLC, Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Inc., Stripe, Paypal).

Manage settings individually I accept
expert
Expert with best answer

Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

406 Meetings

11,395 Q&A Upvotes

USD 239 / Coaching

6

Are candidates penalized for not getting through the whole (interviewer-led) case?

I am mainly asking with regard to McKinsey-style cases, but perhaps this could apply to the candidate-led format as well.

Despite being told that I quickly solved the portions of the case I was given, there were still other sections and analyses remaining that we did not get to. Since the interviewer is primarily leading McKinsey-syle cases, is it my fault if we don't finish the entire thing and will I be penalized for not getting all the way through?

I am mainly asking with regard to McKinsey-style cases, but perhaps this could apply to the candidate-led format as well.

Despite being told that I quickly solved the portions of the case I was given, there were still other sections and analyses remaining that we did not get to. Since the interviewer is primarily leading McKinsey-syle cases, is it my fault if we don't finish the entire thing and will I be penalized for not getting all the way through?

6 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

406 Meetings

11,395 Q&A Upvotes

USD 239 / Coaching

Hi,

Out of all MBB companies, only Bain expects you to crack the case and get the final number in 70% of the cases. At McKinsey (especially with the interviewer-led cases) and BCG very often it's just about discussing various topics and demonstrating the right skills (Structured thinking, Business Judgement, Etc).

So don't worry too much about the final answer. However, always try to have a good pace, since you never know what the interviewer has in mind.

Best!

Hi,

Out of all MBB companies, only Bain expects you to crack the case and get the final number in 70% of the cases. At McKinsey (especially with the interviewer-led cases) and BCG very often it's just about discussing various topics and demonstrating the right skills (Structured thinking, Business Judgement, Etc).

So don't worry too much about the final answer. However, always try to have a good pace, since you never know what the interviewer has in mind.

Best!

Hi Kay,

It is generally not required that the candidate "cracks" the case. This also varies widely by case, and interviewer. Some interviewers like to give very long, difficult cases, where completely solving it is very, very difficult, and the vast majority of candidates (including those who get offers) won't solve - this was the case with one of the partners I worked with at Bain.

Other interviewers will give more simple cases, and in this instance it is more of an expectation that the candidate with "solve" the case. In these cases, clients are more differentiated through the additional "gold dust" they provided in the case - for example, not just having a structured recommendation at the end, but going deeper by proposing next steps.

Finally, I am not sure what Vlad is basing his statement about "bain expects you to crack the case in 70% of cases". This is definitely not true, and I don't believe there is any specific expectation about candidates being able to come up with a specific answer.

Hope that helps!

Alessandro

Hi Kay,

It is generally not required that the candidate "cracks" the case. This also varies widely by case, and interviewer. Some interviewers like to give very long, difficult cases, where completely solving it is very, very difficult, and the vast majority of candidates (including those who get offers) won't solve - this was the case with one of the partners I worked with at Bain.

Other interviewers will give more simple cases, and in this instance it is more of an expectation that the candidate with "solve" the case. In these cases, clients are more differentiated through the additional "gold dust" they provided in the case - for example, not just having a structured recommendation at the end, but going deeper by proposing next steps.

Finally, I am not sure what Vlad is basing his statement about "bain expects you to crack the case in 70% of cases". This is definitely not true, and I don't believe there is any specific expectation about candidates being able to come up with a specific answer.

Hope that helps!

Alessandro

Book a coaching with Guennael

99% Recommendation Rate

284 Meetings

1,393 Q&A Upvotes

USD 319 / Coaching

Remember what the objective is: we want you to show that you can follow a structured (and MECE) approach, so that we know you will crack today's case, and the one tomorrow, and the one after.... if given enough time.

I can't speak to the percentages, but would agree the method is more important than the answer

PS: if you dont find the answer, it will hopefully be for lack of time, not for lack of creative ideas

Remember what the objective is: we want you to show that you can follow a structured (and MECE) approach, so that we know you will crack today's case, and the one tomorrow, and the one after.... if given enough time.

I can't speak to the percentages, but would agree the method is more important than the answer

PS: if you dont find the answer, it will hopefully be for lack of time, not for lack of creative ideas

Hey,

Agree with others - you will be penalized if you run the case too slow and then the interviews can not run you through all of his prepared questions (you just need to think that the case is prepared so that an outstanding candidate, the ones who got offers, can do all pieces, not just part).

however, I’m quite intriged with the feedback you referred - if you are able to quickly and accurately solve all the pieces you’re given.. I don’t see any reason why you weren’t given the full case, so if this was just a practice with other candidate be careful calibrating for it!

Best

Bruno

Hey,

Agree with others - you will be penalized if you run the case too slow and then the interviews can not run you through all of his prepared questions (you just need to think that the case is prepared so that an outstanding candidate, the ones who got offers, can do all pieces, not just part).

however, I’m quite intriged with the feedback you referred - if you are able to quickly and accurately solve all the pieces you’re given.. I don’t see any reason why you weren’t given the full case, so if this was just a practice with other candidate be careful calibrating for it!

Best

Bruno

Hi Bruno, I suspect this particular cases I'm referring to were just longer than what would be normally given in a case interview. I've noticed that many of the prep lounge cases have one or two optional or extra sections attached, which I assume are there for extra practice and would not be included in a normal 30-35 min case interview. — Dave on Apr 05, 2018

Book a coaching with Andrea

99% Recommendation Rate

145 Meetings

853 Q&A Upvotes

USD 269 / Coaching

Yes you would be penalized if you aren't able to go through all the key components of the case. Less penalized if the elements you didn't get through were not "core" elements but you highlighted them as potential follow-up analyses.

Hope it helps,

Andrea

Yes you would be penalized if you aren't able to go through all the key components of the case. Less penalized if the elements you didn't get through were not "core" elements but you highlighted them as potential follow-up analyses.

Hope it helps,

Andrea

Related BootCamp article(s)

Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases

Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly

Case Studies

The case study is the most important element of the case interview, which you'll have to nail in order to get into strategic consulting. Here you can learn the specific skills and concepts necessary to solve them.

1 Q&A

Related case(s)

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 16.4k times
MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.6 5 561
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvant ... Open whole case

Espresso, Whatelse?

Solved 9.7k times
Espresso, Whatelse? Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand the root causes of this 2019 trend and how to increase its profit margin again.  
4.6 5 483
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand ... Open whole case

Hot Wheels

Solved 5.2k times
Hot Wheels Problem definition: Our client is Korean Car Parts (KCP), a multi-national original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of car parts based in Korea. They've recently seen a decline in profits and have brought us in to understand how to address this falling profitability.
4.6 5 289
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Problem definition: Our client is Korean Car Parts (KCP), a multi-national original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of car parts based in Korea. They've recently seen a decline in profits and have brought us in to understand how to address this falling profitability. Open whole case

MBB Case: COVID-19 Vaccine

Solved 4.6k times
MBB Case: COVID-19 Vaccine The COVID-19 pandemic has killed millions of people worldwide and led to devastating economic impact. A vaccine is one of the biggest hopes for stopping the pandemic.  The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with multiple stakeholders to ensure groups at higher risk of becoming infected and dying (e.g. elderly people and healthcare workers) receive a safe an effective COVID-19 vaccine in the next six months. The WHO’s Director-General asked your help to build a plan to achieve this goal. What should be included in this plan?
4.6 5 242
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed millions of people worldwide and led to devastating economic impact. A vaccine is one of the biggest hopes for stopping the pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with multiple stakeholders to ensure groups at higher risk of becoming infected and ... Open whole case

Chinese Chess - Airline Business During COVID-19

Solved 3.7k times
Chinese Chess - Airline Business During COVID-19 Sky China, a government-backed Chinese airline, has recently seen profits plummet due to COVID-19. Profits are down 80% in the months of February and March, but are showing early signs of a rebound in April.  They've brought you in to first investigate what can be done immediatedly to prevent hemorrhaging cash and surive in the short-term. They are also looking to see how the current situation can be viewed as an opportunity, and what can be done to prepare for the future. 
4.3 5 108
| Rating: (4.3 / 5.0)

Sky China, a government-backed Chinese airline, has recently seen profits plummet due to COVID-19. Profits are down 80% in the months of February and March, but are showing early signs of a rebound in April. They've brought you in to first investigate what can be done immediatedly to prevent hemor ... Open whole case