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Case Study Based on CIM

business case Case Interview Corporate Finance KPMG KPMG & PwC Canada experienced hire timeline M&A M&A Case Mergers&Acquisitions Private Equity Valuation
New answer on Jun 12, 2024
4 Answers
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Joyce asked on Jun 11, 2024
I'm currently looking for a job In Corporate Finance & Valuations

Hi, 

In exactly one week I have a caste study interview at KPMG for the role corporate finance & valuation executive, I have been sent an CIM of a “fictional” company with no questions attached. I will get the questions on the day of the case study, I will get 1,5 hours to prepare answers to the questions as well as put them into a presentation of 1,5 hours (including Q&A). Is there anyone that has experience with this  or anything similar and could give me some tips or advice on what exactly should I prepare. 

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Best answer
Sanjeev
Expert
replied on Jun 11, 2024
PwC/Strategy&/GT/Chicago Booth - 2nd Session Complementary till June 1st

Joyce, Congrats on your interview invite. I am familar with a similar process at PwC from several years ago, guessing could be a similar format at KPMG.

During 1.5 hours, you are expected to read and respond to the questions provided including preparing a brief slide deck. One of the interviewers will then role play as a client of that company. Of course, things could be slightly different at KPMG or the corp finance practice.

As part of your pre-read preparation, I would suggest that you could anticipate key questions from the case study readings, and even take time to flush out a presentation storyboard slide outlines. This could help you tremendously with a starting point and adapt to the actual questions shared at the interview. Good luck!

p.s. feel free to dm me if you want to discuss further.

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Joyce on Jun 12, 2024

Thankyou so much Sanjeev, I will send you a message!

Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 12, 2024
1300 5-star reviews across platforms | 500+ offers | Highest-rated case book on Amazon | Uni lecturer in US, Asia, EU

Hi there,

For the written case practice I'd recommend you to look at regular case interview samples (there is a ton here on PL) and then work through them on your own. 

Look at the prompt and core question you are trying to solve, then look at the data provided and work on your recommendation.

Follow these rules:

#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. For practice with the PL cases, use 20 minutes for the analysis and 5 minutes for the recommendation communication. For the real case adapt accordingly based on the time budget provided.

#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.

I have written a free guide on how to perform in these interviews (including analysis and communication). Please reach out if you want to receive it.

All the best!

Cheers,
Florian

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Joyce on Jun 12, 2024

Thankyou for this clear explanation! I truly apprectiate it.

Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 12, 2024
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Joyce,

Q: Is there anyone that has experience with this  or anything similar and could give me some tips or advice on what exactly should I prepare.

In general, for a case study 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 1h 30 min to review the material, a possible time schedule is the following (to adapt based on the amount of information and questions):

  • 5 min – Read the questions
  • 15-30min – Read the material
  • 10 min – Structure the approach
  • 30-45min – Perform math/ Identify answers/ Create slides
  • 10 – Final review

The time to read the material/answer the questions 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.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Joyce on Jun 12, 2024

Thankyou very much for the tips Francesco! I appreciate it!

Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 12, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Joyce, 

absolutely. 

This is a version of a written case. 

Typically, when I work with candidates on these, I send them two cases in advance and then during the session they get to present them live and get feedback on them. 

In your situation specifically, you need to ensure that you become super familiar with the prompt that they gave you. 

And, to already brainstorm some of the potential questions you might receive and thinking through what you would answer.

Best,
Cristian

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Joyce on Jun 12, 2024

Hi Christian, Thanks for your input. I inderstand what you're saying, however, I did not get a prompt. All I got was a 40 page Information Memorandum of a "fictional" company. Does the same approach work in this case? Thanks in advance, Joyce

Cristian on Jun 12, 2024

Yes. You need to become familiar with this company, and during the interview they're likely to present you with additional data and questions.

Sanjeev gave the best answer

Sanjeev

PwC/Strategy&/GT/Chicago Booth - 2nd Session Complementary till June 1st
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