Case type distribution during the all cases & objective of the client

case types issue tree MBB objectives
Edited on Sep 06, 2020
3 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jul 09, 2019

Hi,

2 questions:

1) During the roll of interviews -say 4 or 5 sessions- do the other interviewers know what the other interviewers asked so that they ask different type of questions? Or all independently ask their own questions so that theoraticelly all can ask the same type? (less likelyhood ofcourse)

2) Particularly in a case structure, "the underlying objective of the client" should be included in the issue tree as a branch of the tree or the objective should be written on top? Let's say market entry case, ok the objective of the client is entering to X market but underlying objective for example let's say "increasing the userbase".. In this case should we evaluate "will this entry lead to increased userbase" in the issue tree or just solve the market entry case like "we look at the market, competition, company capabilities etc.. (don't know if this question made sense for sure, sorry if it didn't)

Thanks!

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Sidi
Expert
replied on Jul 09, 2019
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 300+ candidates secure MBB offers

Hi!

1) Usually interviewers don't know exactly which cases you have solved in previous interviews. Hence, it is irrelevant for the kind of questions you will receive in their case. One Exception: a prior interviewer might have left a specific note such as "please double-check the candidate's ability to identify and point out second level implications of his analysis". Then the interviewer will double down on this area.

2) The underlying objective informs the CRITERION which you outline as the basis of your structure. So it is ALWAYS the first option you outlined: We have to check whether we can reach our objective (expanding the customer base to level X) by entering market Y. It is NEVER: "we have to look at customers, the company, the product, and competition". This is not a structure - just a random list of buckets without any logic or rationale! These areas should just be a byproduct of the LOGIC that you outline to answer the question. This kind of non-structure ("I want to look into 4 areas") is simply not good enough to be successful at any MBB nowadays.

Cheers, Sidi

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Vlad
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Content Creator
replied on Jul 09, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

1) No, in most of the cases.

2) You should always address the objective of the case and bake it into your structure. It does not necessarily mean that you can't look at the market, company,etc.:

  • In some cases, you'll have to disaggregate your objective (Let's say NPV) further into the drivers (Profits, discount rate and then disaggregate the profits further)
  • In other cases, you can just bake it into your structure and indeed start with the market.

It really depends on the objective and the context of the case.

For example, if a private equity is trying to assess whether buying another company is a good decision (and the main objective is the certain ROI) and you should use the classic due diligence structure for consulting projects where ROI is baked inside the structure as the last step:

Market

  • Size
  • Growth rates
  • Profitability
  • Segments and growth rates
  • Regulation

Competition

  • Market shares of competitors and their segments (see the next point)
  • Concentration / fragmentation (Fragmented market with lots of small players is less mature and easier to enter from a scratch. Concentrated market is hard to enter but has potential acquisition targets)
  • Unit economics of the players (Margins, relative cost position)
  • Key capabilities of the players (e.g. suppliers, assets, IP, etc)

Company

  • Size and growth rates
  • Profitability
  • Unit economics (Margins, costs) in current or target markets
  • Key capabilities

Feasibility of exit

  • Exit valuation
  • Exit time
  • ROI
  • Existence of buyers
  • Risks

Best

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Anonymous updated the answer on Sep 06, 2020

Hi A,

1) Not likely, they mostly have different types of questions for each round of the interview.

2) First of all, you should have a logical structure to make your answer coherent and full in it and then address it to the objective.

Best, Andre

(edited)

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Sidi gave the best answer

Sidi

McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 300+ candidates secure MBB offers
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