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Break from preparation

BCG Bain McKinsey
New answer on Aug 03, 2020
7 Answers
1.4 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Jul 30, 2020

Dear Community,

I have been practicing for the last 2 months and plan to practice for several other months (interviewing early 2021).

I plan to take a 2 weeks-1 month "break"

1. What activities do I need to do during the break so I wont forget my casing skills ?

2.What are the forms of increasing case performance while not practicing or drillling structure ?

Thank you.

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Best answer
Sidi
Expert
replied on Jul 30, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi!

You have more than enough time to become offer ready. If you are planning preparation for more than, say,, 4 months, you are doing something terribly wrong anyway. So I believe you don't need to do anything!

My view: In the optimal scenario, you receive coaching by an experienced former interviewer, and you complement this with a hand-picked set of determined high-quality practice partners (e.g., other candidates that are applying to the same firms).

You then have to distinguish between coaching sessions and practice sessions.

  • The coaching sessions are used to get an understanding of what is tested in the interview, how you need to think, how to craft bullet-proof logic, and how to navigate through this logic.
  • The practice sessions are used to get additional repetitions under your belt to make it "second nature".

With this approach, it usually takes about 8-10 weeks to get from zero to a level that could be called "MBB offer-ready". Assuming that your intrinsic base capabilities in terms of articulation, raw intellect, and ability to focus meet a certain minimum standard.

Cheers, Sidi

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Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 30, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Great to see you are planning well in advance. Better safe than sorry ;)

On Q1. Given you have plenty of time after the break, if you want to keep in shape during it I would recommend the following:

  • 1 case read every 2/3 days
  • 1 or 2 live cases per week

That’s it. That should be enough.

I don’t think you need to work on market sizing or fit at this stage as the prep for that is easier and can be done later.

On Q2. To answer this, you would need to share your areas of improvement.

In general, you may work on a specific area you feel you are weak (math, graphs, conclusions), without the need to do a full case.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

PS You probably won’t need more than 100-150 hours starting from zero for a great prep. Most likely way less if you follow the right plan and/or get a coach. So according to how much practice you plan to do per day, you may even extend the break

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 30, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Don´t worry, casing is like riding a bike!

You won´t forget it during 2 weeks, even more, you will even notice a huge improvement after a pause, since some concepts in a way "get interiorized".

I would not try to get homwork with me, try to enjoy the break and come back with extra strenght.

Hope it helps!

Best,

Clara

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Robert
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 03, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Based on your time-related information it's difficult to comment - quantity is not quality of interview prep.

In general I am fan of starting early and immersing yourself into the slightly artificial case interview world. If you did a reasonably good job over the last 2 months, you should already be a case pro and absolutely master the process of cracking case interviews anytime.

Taking a 2-weeks break - if the master the process, you can forget about that for 2 weeks completely and after 1 or 2 cases you should be on your top performance again.

Taking a 1-month break - well, at least read a few cases every now and then, just to keep your brain engaged with the subject, but no need to over-engineer that.

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 31, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

Hi, 1 month will not be a problem. I recommend to read the best cases you solved during this time + try to do 1 new case per week

Best,
Antonello

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Anonymous B replied on Jul 30, 2020

Personally I think you can take a break without doing anything

However if you are practicing with quality content and coaches - then you should not need more than 6 months. When it comes to practice - I have seen a lot of candidates prioritise quantity over quality and they just come across as rehearsed and not very imaginative in the interview. Be wary of that

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Anonymous replied on Jul 31, 2020

Dear A,

That's good that you start your preparation so many months ahead.

Actually for your break you can either take your time, while case solving skills will be raping in your mind, so while you will come back to it again you can find deeper levels of that.

Or you can keep repeating them every 2-3 days.

Also, in the middle of your preparation term I would recommend you to take couple of session with coach to get a structured feedback and the line on where to improve.

If you need any further help or insights, feel free to reach out.

Best,

André

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Sidi gave the best answer

Sidi

McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers
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