Case interview - Stuck

Case Interview
New answer on Jul 10, 2021
3 Answers
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Chi Tran asked on Jul 10, 2021

Hi guys,

I need some advice.

I am preparing for a case interview by practing  with a lot of case partners on Prep Lounge and other platforms. I saw a lot of progresses after my first practice; however, the progress seems to be a bit off for the next time. Until now, I have already practiced with 3 case partnerts, but I have not seen much progress. I was even stuck without finding an answer in the last case practice.

When I read the Victor Cheng' s book, he only practices with case partners for 3 cases out of his 30 cases. 

Do you think that we really need a case partner for praticing case interviews? How should I chose a case partner?

Could you give me some advice?

Thank you very much!

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Best answer
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 10, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi Chi,

A few thoughts here:

  1. You've only cased three times. Progress in casing comes slowly so you need to be patient. You may not see immediate progress across just a few cases.
  2. Patience. Like learning a language, and instrument, etc., there will be ups and downs
  3. Yes, you need a case partner. Reading cases is a pretty ineffective form of practice...please find good partners!
  4. You need multiple case partners. By the end of this, you should have cased with dozens of people. This variety will make you more prepared.
  5. Find partners similar to your level. This is just fair and proper etiquette!
  6. Do your daily reading. Read the Economist, the FT, the WSJ, McKinsey Insights, and BCG Insights. This will build up your background knowledge
  7. When stuck, get a coach. The problem with reading online content is that the written form of communication is far less effective than verbal (It's impossible to properly explain the theory/practice of market sizing, frameworking, objective-driven approaches, etc., in writing). A coach operates as your unlock (like any tutor/teacher/mentor/trainer)

Best of luck!

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Ken
Expert
updated an answer on Jul 11, 2021
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

At the early stages, I'm not sure practicing with a case partner is necessarily where you should be expecting clear signs of improvement. I would see it more as an opportunity to test what you have been practicing on your own in a real-life setting under pressure.

Find a coach would be the easy answer but assuming you want to hear something different, I would say that it's important to build a case preparation plan for yourself. What are the different types of cases you want to be familiar with (e.g., profitabilitiy, market entry, operations, etc.) and trying out different industries (e.g., social / public / private sector, pharma vs. consumer goods, etc.) so you are actually taking the opportunity to get a deeper understanding of how to think through each of the cases and what you need to work on. There are many practice cases on PrepLounge and other platforms as well as MBA casebooks. Instead of going straight to the answers, spend more time and push yourself to really challenge yourself. Ideally, you should be coming up with more than one way to say, structure the problem. Why would one method be more relevant than the other, etc.

Good luck!

(edited)

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Adi
CoachingPlus Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Jul 10, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey,

Heres some guidance:

Practice alone vs with Case Partners/Coaches

After some initial solo effort (say 5-10 cases), you will get maximum value by working with a good case partner or experienced coach. Start off with cases on topics or industries you have a natural liking for (to build confidence & momentum) and then work you way into unknown topics/industries & progressively add to the difficulty and complexity. There is no magic number of cases to practice. The more the better (ideally >25) but you can cut corners here and there depending on your situation & time commitments. To speed things up, consider a good case partner or coach.

How to choose a good partner

Check out this post for plenty of tips: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/case-vs-case-partner-10731

Make a plan

A solid plan is important. Depending on your situation and time commitments, make a plan, believe in it and stick to it. Factor in ample breaks in between practice days and treat yourself every now and then. Celebrate the little successes. Keep peer pressure at a distance and just focus on giving your best. There are so many posts on the Q&A forum on this so please search broadly & soak in the advice. For e.g. have a look at this: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/mckinsey-interview-preperation-4315

Handling nerves

Its important to learn to deal with the pressure & anxiety before & during the interview process to allow yourself to give your best. Have a look this thread of some guidance on this: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/dealing-with-nervousness-10452

All the best!

(edited)

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep
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