Are risks and next step a must in case interview?

Case Interview
New answer on Apr 17, 2020
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 23, 2020

Are risks and next step a must in case interview? For next step, should we just follow the risk and propose next step accordingly?

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Vlad
Expert
replied on Feb 24, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

It really depends on whether you have anything else to explore, that is more important than risks. The typical structure is the following:

  1. What was the objective
  2. Your recommendation
  3. Arguments why the recommendation is valid (2-4 arguments) with the supporting numbers
  4. Additional things you would like to explore. In the order of priority:
  • Things you still need to explore / data you need to get in order to provide a valid recommendation (Very typical for McKinsey cases where the interviewer guides you and interrupts in the middle of the case to provide a conclusion
  • Things you've slightly covered during the case but have not come to a particular measurable solution or were not the part of the original objective (e.g. alternative growth options or some questions on creativity)
  • Risks
  • Next steps

In my view, the last part (4th) of your recommendation should not be bigger than the rest of the recommendation (1-3), thus I will talk about risks if I have perfectly covered everything else in the case.

Example:

  1. Our objectives were to understand why the profit is declining by X and how to bring the profit back within one year (Don't forget that your objective should be measurable in terms of money / other metric and time)
  2. According to the analysis we've done so far, my recommendation is to shut down the division A and to concentrate on the divisions b/c if we want to increase the profit, and there is a number of reasons for that.. (Remember that your arguments should include numbers).
  3. You provide the arguments a) First of all, problems in Division A are the major driver of the decline in profits - 90% of the decline in profits refer to Division A. b) Secondly, the decline is driven by the contracting market size that is shrinking at xx percent and is not expected to improve in the near future. c) Finally....
  4. Additionally, I would like to check the option of seeling the division A products abroad. We have discussed several potential markets to enter but still have to check whether it will be feasible for us financially

Best!

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Thomas
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Content Creator
replied on Apr 17, 2020
150+ interviews | 6+ years experience | Bain, Kearney & Accenture | Exited startup| London Business School

Absolutely and make sure you brainstorm a bit on how to overcome such issues as well!

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Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 26, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

I always suggest to mention risk&opportunities in your framework and to decide later in the case how much you want to explode that bucket, based on the time that is left and the importance for the specific case.

They are really important to be included in the final recommendation in order to mitigate your answer and to propose interesting "next step analysis".

Hope it helps,
Luca

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Udayan
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Content Creator
replied on Feb 24, 2020
Top rated Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

A strong interviewee would include both when they do the case summary

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 24, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

For me it´s an bsolute YES.

First, in the issue tree, and later, in the wrap up.

Cheers,

Clara

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 23, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

I recommend to always include them in the recommendation. As next steps, you can propose mitigation initiatives of the risks just mentioned or deep-dive of parts not well discussed during the case resolution.

Best,
Antonello

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Nathaniel
Expert
replied on Feb 23, 2020
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hello there,

Yes, it is advisable to includes both elements at every case,as it displays your comprehensive thinking trait and willingness to acknowledge that not evey single aspects have been taken into account due to time restrictions and scope constraints.

Next steps should include risks assessment process, additional analysis / steps needed to further support the recommendation, as well as implementation / execution steps.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Nathan

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Feb 23, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

I would always suggest to have risks and next steps as part of your approach. Next steps may not just be related to risks, but also to everything that was related to your initial structure that was not covered during the case – usually you never cover everything that was present there.

Best,
Francesco

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 23, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi,

In general, yes you should state your risks/concerns. This can also be additional considerations (i.e. things we haven't thought of/investigated properly yet). Make sure that next steps mitigate/address your risks. Also, feel free to use different terminology than just "risks/next steps". I.e. you can say "There are a few things that might pose some challenges/roadblocks".

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Vlad gave the best answer

Vlad

McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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