Brainstorming 'risks' in case interviews

Case Interview
New answer on Jan 12, 2021
5 Answers
2.7 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jan 10, 2021

Hi, are there some classic risks that come up in lots of cases that can be used as a starting point to brainstorm ideas in the middle or towards the end of a case?

Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Content Creator
updated an answer on Jan 11, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Risks are anything that could go wrong. They are anything that the company would need to consider in moving forward with the recommendation.

As an example, with a merger, risks could be culture clash, regulatory approval, integration costs, merger synergies aren't realized etc.

As another example, any process/operational change comes with risks that your employees will be upset, that the changes cause more disruption than good, that the changes are not successful etc.

Always think about your company, the competition, and the environment in which you operate when considering risks :)

Super important final point: You need next steps. These next steps need to mitigate (i.e. manage/resolve) your risks.


  • Cultural issues
  • Political risks
  • Economic risks
  • Labor issues
  • Implementation
  • Delays
  • Extra costs
  • Competition
  • Result not meeting expectations


Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Jan 10, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Heres a list to use but adapt it to case as relevant.

1. lack of buy-in/ownership within the firm- specially leadership

2. data quality & availability poor leading to questionable insights

3. Missed deadlines and budgets

4. lack of adoption within the firm, poor change management & training

5. competitive response

6. expensive legal/regulation to deal with

7. Local language/cultural nuances

8. threat of newer/digital technologies-AI, ML etc

Was this answer helpful?
replied on Jan 10, 2021
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Any risks that you want to discuss in a case should be specific to the case. To start the ideation process, begin with things that come directly out of your case solution:

  • What are the key assumptions that you have made in your recommendation or in the quant part of the case? These assumptions are always a risk and you might add them as part of the recommendation that warrants further substantiation.
  • Do you see any risks coming out of the recommendations you have made? How will competitors or regulators react to the decisions made? Generally and form of change in the organization or outside is a good starting point to think about push back from any stakeholder.

These questions should be sifficient to find 2-3 reasonable risks to recommend further assessment for in your case conclusion.

Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Jan 12, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Jan 11, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

If you can think of the company, its structure, its approach, its workers, its role on the market, the market itself, the industry we're talking about, the current economy, you can come up with many possible risks, just need to apply them to your case.

Don't worry, It comes easy with practice.



Was this answer helpful?
Ian gave the best answer


Content Creator
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep
Q&A Upvotes
105 Reviews
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely