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Case Interview with Deck Making

Experienced Hire
New answer on May 08, 2024
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 07, 2024

Hi Guys,

I just got an invitation from Monitor Deloitte SEA for senior consultant role, and the HR told me that it will be 2x case interviews and 1x partner interview.

However, the interesting part is, in the case interviews, the interviewer will show me the case and ask me to create a quick 3-4 page slides during the meeting in 20-25mins, and then present it to the interviewer.

I never handled this type of interview before, hence I want to brainstorm with the forum:

1) What is the main objectives of this semi case interviews and deck making ?

2) What aspects that I need to be aware of?

3) What is the key resources that I need to check to learn this?

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Best answer
Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 07, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

This is actually standard for some firms - it's called a written case. 

They give you the materials some time in advance (sometimes it's 20 minutes, while other firms even send them a day or two before), and then you are expected to build a brief presentation (the expectations increase the more time your were given) and then present the results. 

The advantage of this format of interview is that they get to see how you would actually act on the job. 

By comparison, a live interview is more artificial since it involves ‘on the spot’ thinking. 

Reach out, and I am happy to share a couple of free examples of written cases so you can see what they look like. 

In case you need more help, I typically send two cases in advance and then in one session, you get to present both, and I provide you with developmental feedback. 

All the best,
Cristian

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Francesco
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replied on May 08, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

1) What is the main objectives of this semi case interviews and deck making ?

This allows the interviewers to judge your skills in quickly absorbing information from written material and creating presentation material. These are skills relevant to the job that they cannot normally test in a standard case interview.

2) What aspects that I need to be aware of? What is the key resources that I need to check to learn this?

In general, for a written case I would recommend the following.

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1. Prepare in advance with other case studies

You should be able to find a few written cases online to use for your self-prep. Ideally, the cases should include:

  1. Graph interpretation
  2. Math calculation
  3. The amount of information you expect for your interview (if unknown, I would target at least 10-20 slides/pages)

2. Outline an action plan to analyze the material

Assuming you have 30 minutes to review the material, a possible time schedule is the following (to adapt based on the amount of information and questions):

  • 2 min – Read the questions
  • 5-10min – Read the material
  • 3 min – Structure the approach
  • 10-15min – Perform math/ Identify answers/ Create slides
  • 5 – Final review

The time to read the material depends on how much material you will receive.

3. Define a strategy to present your results

To present your findings in the second part, I would suggest keeping the same structure used for a conclusion in a live interview, that is:

  1. Summarize the main questions you have to answer
  2. Present your proposed answers and detail the motivation behind
  3. Present risks and next steps for the areas you have not covered

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To present the slides, I would recommend taking into account the following:

A) Structure of the presentation

Normally the structure for a 5-slide presentation is the following:

  • 1st slide – summary of the questions and your answers
  • 2nd, 3rd and 4th slides - supporting arguments for the first slide
  • 5th slide - risks and next steps

If you can prepare more slides, you can expand slides 2, 3 and 4 accordingly.

B) Content of each slide

There are 3 basic components for most slides:

  1. Title
  2. Written content 
  3. Graphs / Tables

Many candidates structure the title as a mere description of what the chart/content is about.

A great title instead shows the implication of the graph/content as well.

Example: say a graph is showing a cost structure for a division.

  • A bad title would be: “Cost structure from 2005 to 2015”.
  • A good title would be: “Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable”.
  • A great title would be “Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable due to ABC”, assuming you have insights on that.

The rule of thumb is that if you read all the titles of the slides, you should get a clear idea of the message of the presentation.

C) Presentation of the slides

When you present, I would recommend the following steps for each slide:

  1. Introduce the slide: “Let’s move to slide 2, which will show us why we have an issue with this division
  2. Present the main message of the slide: “As you can see, we have a cost structure that makes it unfeasible to be competitive in this market
  3. Provide details: “The graph, indeed, shows how our fixed cost is XYZ, while competitors can benefit from economies of scale. Indeed…

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If you need more help please feel free to PM me, I do a session specifically on written cases.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on May 08, 2024
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hey there,

That sounds like a written case interview.

#1 Already have a plan when you go in for the written case

Since time is usually limited, you should have a plan on how long you want to spend on each task of the assignment beforehand.

#2 Focus – quickly separate crucial information from the noise

Written cases usually present you with an information overload that you need to sort out

#3 Graphs and charts – interpret and distill key insights from graphs and charts

Written cases bombard you with charts, graphs, tables, and other visual depictions of data that you should use to test your hypotheses. Learn how to quickly read and interpret them

#4 Math – quickly draft equations and conduct pen-and-paper math

Get into the habit of quickly setting up and simplifying calculations

#5 Storyline – draft a compelling storyline and tell it with visually appealing outputs

Create a top-down storyline of your recommendations. State your primary recommendation, then use supporting arguments to strengthen your position

#6 Presentation and defense – communicate and defend your recommendation top-down

If you have to present your findings at the end of the case, follow the top-down approach of your slide deck. Be confident and engaging when going through your recommendation and supporting arguments.

All the best,

Florian

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Pedro
Expert
replied on May 08, 2024
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

This is a “written case interview”. You can research this and will find a few sites explaining how this goes in each firm that uses this process.

It requires a bit more focus on exhibit interpretation and storytelling / communication. Practicing structuring skills is also relevant here. 

I have a case like this and would be happy to organize a session with you.

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Cristian gave the best answer

Cristian

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