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Closing/Summing up the case interview

Anonymous A

Hi everyone!

After extensive case practice, I feel like I'm getting good at solving the cases themselves. However, I seem to have problems with the closing part and presentation of the solution, taken from feedback I have received. I have been told that I shouldn't just summarize previous points, but offer some conclusions. Now I'm not quite sure what that means and how to do that. Can anyone help me?

Tyrion Lannister replied on 03/31/2017

Dear Anonymous A,

Congratulations on advancing with your Case prep.

Regarding your concerns about concluding/closing a Case, you should almost never use the approach you described (commonly referred to as a deductive or 'bottoms-up' approach that outlines all the steps you took to arrive at your ultimate decision); rather, your recommendation should be crisp, concise, data-driven, and communicated in a manner that is inductive (or 'top-down').

The most conventional form of the inductive Case close is one that can offer a single, 'headline' action-oriented recommendation and/or opinion based on the facts and deductions derived in the Case. This recommendation should then be supported by 2-3 mutually exclusive elements discussed in the case that lend authoritative weight to the headline recomemndation and/or opinion.

One might even go further (as many good candidates do) by identifying possible risks, hurdles, and/or alternate solutions to the headline recommendation/opinion given in the case. A sort of Devil's Advocate scenario, if you will.

The entire package should be communicated in a crisp communication style that is logically sound, thoughtfully structured, and easy to follow. A hypothetical example might read something like this:

[Eighteen-year-old girl making a choice as to which of her divorced parents she would like to live with]

[Recommendation/Opinion]: It makes sense to go and live with mum in London as opposed to my dad in Dresden. Three key reasons why are:

[Supporting Elements]:

1) Educational opportunity: I've already received a scholarship to study at the Imperial College in London. If I were to move to Dresden with my dad, I would undoutdely need to give up such a fantastic opportunity.

2) Language/Cultural Barriers: London is more familiar to me, and I speak English fluently. Living in Dresden would be tougher in comparison since I've only visited briefly during my last four summer holidays, and my German is hardly sufficient.

3) Emotional Support: My mum is a very practical woman, and as an eighteen-year-old with all the attendant distractions that come with being a young adult, my mum is more primed to be my pillar of support as compared to my dad.

[Counter-case]:

I realise that I could always stay here in New York where I went to secondary school and still avail myself of similar opportunities as living with my mum in London would offer since:

a) Columbia University: I have also received a scholarship to study at Columbia University which is equally as prestigious as Imperial College, London, and,

b) Older sister: my older sister who lives in New York has promised I can stay with her and her husband if I go to Columbia. She and I are very close, and she's almost as practical-minded as my mother.

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