Case Interview Coaching vs Mock Interview

Anonymous A asked on Aug 04, 2018 - 7 answers

Hi,

i just want to ask what’s your opinion on case interview coaching and mock interview? I feel that a lot of people give feedbacks on the particular case that you did but not teach you how to do case interview consulting from the beginning. What are your thoughts on this?

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Anonymous C replied on Sep 25, 2018

I am a PhD student, so not much business background, and I am pretty strapped on cash. But, I asked myself, how upset would I be if I didn't spend a few hundred dollars and that was the difference between getting and offer or not at my dream job?

I did two sessions with a case coach after my first round at BCG, and before the final round, and received an offer. I would say it was definately worth it, since I think it was the small, advanced tweaks that helped put me over the edge to get an offer.

I think booking a case coach before you practice on your own to the point of being very advanced would be a waste of money, since you can learn the basics for free. I think the value of a case coach is helping you go from good/great to exceptional. There are certain aspects of casing that our peers just can't help us with because they lack the experience, expertise, etc.

Great response, I have been thinking along these same lines...especially considering the salary of the very first year in a firm I would quickly recoup the investment. Congrats on the BCG offer!! Which country are you in? BCG is my goal, do you have any tips? — Anonymous on Sep 25, 2018

I am in the US. My advice would be to do Bridge2BCG (if you can), and to network. Talk to as many people as you can in the firm/office you want and build rapport with them. This will not only get people vouching for you, but it will also make you feel more comfortable going into your interviews, knowing you feel like you fit in/already have a sense of community. Good luck! — Anonymous on Sep 25, 2018

Vlad
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replied on Aug 04, 2018
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Hi,

Completely agree with that. The mock interview is good in several cases:

  • When you need to assess your current level and understand where you are standing. I've seen the candidates even with 100+ cases who didn't get the offers and required a dedicated interview coaching. Thus the number of cases is not the best predictor of your level.
  • When you are already good with cases and need to polish the skill right before the interview
  • When you want to improve the FIT part. In that case, I recommend dedicating the full session to the Fit interview. You can get a tremendous improvement in just one session

If you need to prepare from a scratch (which happens even after 50+ cases) you need a program and a dedicated interview coaching.

Best,

Astrid replied on Aug 06, 2018
PrepLounge Community & Marketing Manager

Hi Anonymous A,

thanks for asking your question in our Consulting Q&A!

In a former thread, a similar topic has already been discussed.

Vlad stated the following:

I believe YOU NEED BOTH good partners and coaches to increase your odds of success. Partners give you quantity and build your muscle memory.Coaches specifically:

  • Can save you tens if not hundreds of hours. I know many candidates who have done 100+ cases with the poor partners and got no offer.
  • May have a program covering all possible types of the cases (pls check in my profile)
  • Can assess you using the real case interview criteria
  • Can work on your fit interview since they heard hundreds of stories and know how to make them perfect
  • Give you a professional feedback since they have seen hundreds of candidates and can calibrate your performance
  • [...]

For the full Q&A, check the following link: What are the benefits of coaching compared to having a good partner to practice?

We believe that case coaching is very helpful and will be worth your investment. Experienced coaches usually know exactly what interviewers want and can turn you into the perfect candidate. Plus, after having landed the job, the amount you have spent on the coaching sessions won't seem like much to you anymore ;)

In case you decide to give case coaching a shot, you might want to check out our Prep4Success coaching package. This is a bundle of 3, 5 or 10 coaching sessions that gives you an overall discount and includes additional benefits like a one-year premium membership, an individually tailored training plan, a McKinsey Practice PST and all the prep material you need.

If you have any further question, don't hesitate to contact us.

Hope this helps and best of luck for your case prep and upcoming case interviews!

Astrid

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Francesco
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updated his answer on Jul 07, 2018
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Hi Anonymous,

as for many other activities, a coach for consulting interviews can help you to achieve faster the results you want to get, which means you can get to your top level performance in a lower amount of time AND increase the likelihood of getting in your desired company. There are several reasons for that, including as main ones the following:

  • More experience. A good partner may have done tens of cases. A great coach has hundred or thousands of cases and coaching sessions under his/her belt, a network of current consultants to help with networking, and has gone through most of the consulting prep material out there . This means that you will work with someone with exponentially more experience. Which means that in the end you can get to your desired results 10X faster or more than working without a coach. As an example, when I help with coaching, I not only provide the best cases based on an experience of 1400+ coaching sessions, but also a network of hundred of current consultants worldwide to help you with referrals, constant support after the class and a selection of the best prep material for free, to boost your preparation in the minimum possible amount of time.
  • Teaching skills. A good partner can provide challenging cases. But are you really looking for a partner just to get a well-delivered case? The goal when doing cases should not be to do cases per se, but to improve, and for that you need someone who is able not only to deliver a case, but also to teach you how to get better. A great coach can help you to spot your mistakes, and teach you the exact steps to improve for each of them. When I help with coaching, I usually provide a 2-page minimum feedback report, detailing all the mistakes you are doing and the specific ways you can correct them, plus providing the material to start to work on the different areas.
  • Stronger commitment. It is clear that coaching requires an investment while good partners are usually free. Although it may sound counterintuitive, putting money in your learning is one of the best ways to self-commit to success. Once you have invested in something, studies show you have a lot more commitment to deliver your maximum results, at the bare minimum to justify your investment. I have experimented this first-hand with my own investment: at the beginning of this year I committed $1000 in coaching program for self-improvement. Although the program overall was good, it also required a lot of work from my side. I can guarantee you I would have never gone through the whole amount of work required if the course was free. But since I paid for it, and thus committed, I put effort to deliver the maximum I could from the program. And in this way I got the results I wanted. Of course, you want to invest wisely when choosing a coach – I would recommend you carefully select your choice on the basis of the success rate and reviews.

The most successful people in the world - from Warren Buffet to Michael Jordan - had coaches helping them to achieve their goals. The reason is simple: investing in the stock market can give you a 8% return in one year. Investing in yourself can give you a 10X return in one year. And getting a great coach is one of the easiest ways to invest in yourself, whatever part of your life you want to improve.

Hope this helps,
Francesco

(edited)

Benjamin replied on Aug 05, 2018
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Hi,

I am not sure weither you mean Mock interview practiced with a coach or another candidate.

In any cases, teaching case resolution requires of course more than a mock interview. But keep in mind the mock interview is really usefull for you to experience the real situation pressure and level of expectation.

I case your initial messag was asking about difference betwen practicing mock with coach vs. pair candidates :

- Practicing with pairs is a good way to cover a high volume of cases. Unfortunately, the idea is not to cover the max number of case, but to understand how it works with real expecation.

- One of the limitation of practicing candidates, is that the other candidates may not have the real experience neither, so this will be difficult to create realistic condition of pressure and level of expectation : candidates tends to be to soft with each others

- In addition to real situation, a coach will bring detailed feedback on the dimensions that he knows are evalueted during the interview. This will be critical info for your to keep working on your prep.

Hope this helps

Best

Benjamin

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