Case interview preparation trends

Case Interview case interview preparation
New answer on Nov 30, 2021
7 Answers
209 Views
Anonymous A asked on Nov 16, 2021

Hi all
I was wondering how would you rate the interview preparation in consulting?

In the meanwhile, there are these gamified games like at McKinsey, for example, which are basically standardized tests that are supposed to test the candidates well in advance. Do you think the interviews in consulting will continue to develop in some way? Do you see any trends that I should pay particular attention to?

Thanks in advance!

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 17, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (3.800+) | 1.300+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (www.case.tools/results) | Ex BCG | 8Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

1) I was wondering how would you rate the interview preparation in consulting?

Not sure I understood your question. Are you referring to a specific website or prep material?

2) In the meanwhile, there are these gamified games like at McKinsey, for example, which are basically standardized tests that are supposed to test the candidates well in advance. Do you think the interviews in consulting will continue to develop in some way? Do you see any trends that I should pay particular attention to?

I would expect more companies to adopt tests online as they have a lot of scalability benefits. In the end consulting companies “rent” brains to other companies to fix problems and their product/service is really…the people they hire. The company able to recruit the best people will have an important competitive advantage and improvements in the initial test are an important element to streamline the process.

Best,

Francesco

Was this answer helpful?
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 17, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I'd recommend you work on precision in your articulation - this was hard to parse :)

That said, absolutely firms are moving towards standardized tests as screening tools.

The main lever/incentive here is cost. The more “bad” candidates they can filter for “free” the better. However, they are being very careful as the cost of false negatives (a great candidate they cut) is quite high. So, my hypothesis is that their target variable to screen for is true negatives (bad candidates) while minimizing false negatives (good candidates they think are bad), all in the name of reducing costs (Principal/Partner interview time).

That said, interviews should still exist for a long time to come (robots can't do everything, particular match you on culture fit).

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Nov 17, 2021

On that scalability point..

As many consulting firms are rapidly growing and analytical capability is increasing, there is a definitely a trend of testing new assessment formats (e.g. see McK and BCG’s gamified testing) happening to reduce the # of case interviews required to arrive at a robust, reliable candidate assessment. 

Expecting also non-MBB firms to jump on that train rather sooner than later.

Was this answer helpful?
5
Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 16, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Interesting question. Furthermore, it seems that you are formulating it as a part of study or so, that is interesting, can you share more?

My personal opinion is that test and 1st initial filters will continue to evolve (as we have seen with the test, for instance, McK imbellus). They need something standardized since it´s a first filter (fundamental, you cannot interview all promising CVs), and it will continue to be sophisticated with time. 

However, the part that I don´t see changing are the interviews. It´s not scalable, but it´s the only way to get a quality 1on1 assessment. 

Hope it helps!

Cheers, 

Clara

Was this answer helpful?
Pedro
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Nov 17, 2021
# 1 Rated Bain Coach | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Former Head Recruiter | Principal

Yes, the more they can use initial filters to “weed out” less promising candidates, they will do it. 

Regarding the case interview itself, it won't change, as the whole point it the assess the ability to perform when faced with a non-standardized question. Moreover, the case interview is ultimately a behavioral interview - and you can only really assess behavior using human interaction. In this case, simulating a project situation as much as possible.

Some consulting firms are testing the written case, at it might require less time from the interviewers, and others are starting to outsorce pre-rounds of case interviews (e.g. to alumni). I would expect this trend to continue.

Was this answer helpful?
Hagen
Expert
replied on Nov 17, 2021
Bain & Company Project Leader | 250+ interviews conducted | 5+ years of coaching and mentoring

Hi there,

This is indeed an interesting question which is probably relevant for quite a lot of users, so I am happy to provide my perspective on it:

  • Regarding current trends, I would say that more and more companies - equally outside of the consulting indutry - are tapping into the sphere of psychometric, behavioral tests (such as Imbellus provides for McKinsey or Sova provides for Bain).
  • When it comes to an assessment of this evolution to screen potential candidates, I am rather skeptical to whether the tests really test what they are supposed to (a topic that has been going on for IQ tests for decades as well). For instance, does the McKinsey Imbellus ecosystem game test a candidates quantitative affinity/ understanding in a more meaningful way instead of letting him solve mathematical text assignments? To my understanding, a company would need a lot of faith in company-owned and occasionally scientific research on the benefits of psychometric, behavioral tests - and I personally would not want to need faith when it comes to my future employees/ colleagues.

In case you want a more detailed discussion on this topic, please feel free to contact me directly.

I hope this helps,

Hagen

Was this answer helpful?
Marco-Alexander
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 30, 2021
Former BCG | Case author for efellows book | Experience in 6 consultancies (Stern Stewart, Capgemini, KPMG, VW Con., Hor

.

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

Content Creator
#1 Coach for Sessions (3.800+) | 1.300+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (www.case.tools/results) | Ex BCG | 8Y+ Coaching
3,836
Meetings
23,546
Q&A Upvotes
257
Awards
1400 Reviews