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Are MBA Case Interviews / Cases Different? If so, how do they differ?

Bain BCG MBA McKinsey
New answer on Nov 20, 2020
3 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Dec 31, 2018

Dear Experts / Preplounge,

Materials I have read so far do not note / discuss if there is a difference between undergraduate and MBA interviews.

I would expert that there is in terms of the hurdle / bar you need to pass to be considered somone they want to offer i.e. an MBA needs to perform more stongly across all areas because they are typically older / more experianced.

But are there any other differences of note for MBA level interviews for MBB? e.g. harder cases, shorter time periods to complete a case, no room for math errors, more difficult qualitative questions.

Many thanks for the assistance

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replied on Dec 31, 2018
BCG | Kellogg MBA |82% Success rate| 450+ case interview| 5+ year consulting | 30+ projects in ~10 countries

Hi there,

It's a good question. A quick answer to your question is NO, many times cases are similar.

However, it is important to note that MBA students are interviewing for upper-level positions. Within the same case, performance expectation can be different.

For example, not knowing how to calculate perpetuity while doing valuation may be acceptable for an undergrad student with a psychology background, but it definitely hurts MBA student.

Hope it helps. Serhat

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Content Creator
replied on Nov 20, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Mostly is what you have said. The skillsets that will be tested are the same for both, but the bar will be much higher for MBAs



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replied on Dec 31, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

By and large, the expectations during a case are very similar no matter where you come from: undergrad, grad, experienced hire... or which school you went to. There is a slightly higher expectation for MBAs of course (you better have developed some solid business sense by now), but if you rely on this to get into MBB, I'd argue you are in trouble already.

PS: An obvious exception is if you come from a non-business degree (liberal arts, medicine, STEM/PhD), where interviewers will not expect you to have as much background knowledge. Then again, actual knowledge is often nearly irrelevant, we look for people who know how to think.

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