Case Progression

Case Structuring
New answer on Nov 07, 2021
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 04, 2021

Hi!

I have an interview coming up on Monday and I am still struggling with moving from case framework to the next part of the case. I know it totally depends on the case, but in general, how do I move from the framework to asking for data/information to investigating one of the areas in my framework? 

I always find myself being too generic in asking for data/more information when trying to move from the entire framework to investigating each of the areas or buckets. Do you have any tips on how to start the deep dive and successfully pulling the information I need from the interviewer, or how to be more intentional and specific?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much! 

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Ian
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replied on Nov 04, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hmmm quite honestly this is going to be hard to fix just via a Q&A. I do highly recommend a coaching session or two (you need to see how it's done, talk through it, try it yourself and get feedback).

That said, the gist is that you need to have a strong, objective-driven framework that's truly looking to address the problem. You then leverage your framework and work through it in the question you ask.

For example, if this is Market entry and you have the following buckets:

  1. Is this market attractive?
  2. Is this market attractive to us (will we perform well)?
  3. Can we pull this off/does it make financial sense?

Then, you'd start off the case with “Ok, so first I'd like to figure out if this market is attractive. Do you have any information that might help me out here regarding the market? Such as the size, growth, or competitive landscape, or anything else related to the market?”

Make sense?

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Anonymous A on Nov 04, 2021

Exactly what I was looking for. And this is what I been doing, not sure why it feels uncomfortable. Maybe I just need to be more confident when I do it. Thanks!

Pedro
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replied on Nov 04, 2021
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

Hi there,

Allow me to be blunt here. Your problem is not that you don't know how to move after the framework. Your problem is that your framework doesn't work. If you had a good framework, you would know exactly what information you needed to solve the problem. This is never a problem when you have a good framework.

What you probably have is a set of generic “buckets” or “areas”. This is not how you should be approaching the structuring part. A framework is about breaking the big question into parts, which ar  usually something around “what needs to be true in order for this to be a good idea”. It's about coming up with a comprehensive, MECE set of hypothesis. It's about coming with an objective-driven approach, breaking down the problem into smaller pieces.

So what you really need to do is to improve a lot how you come up with frameworks, and do a lot of drills on that front. Appologies again, don't want to be a hard seller here, but you don't have much time, you should get yourself a coach in order to make the most of the time you still have left.

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Francesco
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replied on Nov 04, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: I know it totally depends on the case, but in general, how do I move from the framework to asking for data/information to investigating one of the areas in my framework? 

I agree with Pedro, this should come naturally if your initial structure / framework is solid. The initial structure you use should be the game plan to solve the client’s problem. If you cannot naturally move to ask a question, it means you are not using a good structure to do so.

For more specific feedback, I would recommend posting a question you find challenging together with your initial structure, we can then provide further feedback.

Best,

Francesco

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Hagen
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replied on Nov 04, 2021
Current Bain & Company Project Leader and interviewer | 250+ interviews conducted | 6+ 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:

  • Generally speaking, it seems that your issue is less the transition from the initial structure to the first part of the analysis, but that your initial structure does not fit the case question(s). Try to develop structures where each aspect will validate/ negate your initial hypothesis.
  • When asking for information, I would advise you to also think in a “give and get” way. Instead of just asking for information, share your thoughts/ hypothesis/ examples with the interviewer before asking about additional information. This way, the case study will as well become much more of a discussion instead of a “questions and answers” ping pong match.

In case you want a more detailed discussion on how to best prepare in this short period of time, please feel free to contact me directly.

I hope this helps,

Hagen

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Antonello
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replied on Nov 07, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi!

This is why having a hypothesis is so crucial - because it gives direction to your case resolution!

Let's make an example. Suppose the case prompt mentions a profit decline on the revenue side. Once you build your structure, it'd make sense to deep dive on the revenue side and its key components to find the root cause of the problem.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Anto 

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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