Clarifying questions before starting the case: data sufficiency vs time

Anna asked on May 30, 2017 - 2 answers
Consultant with Big-4 and L.E.K. background looking for solid partners to fine-tune case performance

Hello the community,

I would like to share your thoughts and the approach you would recommend (and why!) regarding the depth & breadth of the clarifying questions before proposing a structure. How much time should it take as max? Should the questions on the market, client’s company be asked rather during the case analysis? What (if any) is you ‘data sufficiency filter’?

Personally, I tend to spend quite a bit of time during the clarification phase in order to be sure I have a good understanding of the clients business and high level data on the market, competitors, etc. (short checklist)

In my real and mock interviews I’ve experienced two different approaches:

  1. With ex McKinsey EM I’ve been asking quite a lot of questions on the client’s case & collecting data and got a very positive feedback on doing so in order to propose a tailor made structure.
  2. While doing a mock interview with BCG Project Leader I was advised avoid spending too much time on the early clarification (check only what is unclear and jump into structure preparation & layout).

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience!

2 answers

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Best Answer
Astrid replied on Jun 01, 2017
PrepLounge Community & Marketing Manager
Guillaume replied on Jun 05, 2017

Hi Anna,

as always, the good answer is "it depends". Keeping the leadership on a case interview seems to be a must while cracking the case, that means you are aksed to feel when you have enough data, and when you are lacking some, and of course, not knowing the difficulty of that specific case, it seems barely guessing... But the interiewer let you understand when you asked enough question and should work on your material, especially when you'll ear "we don't know" or "we'll see in a moment", or worst "not relevant here"... These are warning telling you the data you already possess should be enough to proceed next step...

I hope this helps.

Best regards

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