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Francesco

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5

Confusion about interviewee-led/interviewer-led cases

I am little bit confused about interviewer/interviewee-led cases right now. I've just finished 4 cases with two tier-2 consulting firms in different countires. It seems that interviewers "direct" the cases and asks different questions in the middle of the cases. Isn't Mck the only one who use interviewer-led method? Or this is still interviewee-led and I am just confused? Neither of interviewer send an exhibit or want a recommendation at the end (probably due to time limit)

(Note: I passed the round for one of the firm and not sure if I pass another one yet)

I am little bit confused about interviewer/interviewee-led cases right now. I've just finished 4 cases with two tier-2 consulting firms in different countires. It seems that interviewers "direct" the cases and asks different questions in the middle of the cases. Isn't Mck the only one who use interviewer-led method? Or this is still interviewee-led and I am just confused? Neither of interviewer send an exhibit or want a recommendation at the end (probably due to time limit)

(Note: I passed the round for one of the firm and not sure if I pass another one yet)

(edited)

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Hi there,

McKinsey is not the only company using interviewer-led interviews, they are used in other firms as well. I agree with Adi that this may also be due to the fact interviews are conducted online these days.

If you are good with interviewee-led cases, there should not be issues with interviewer-led ones. Just be aware the interviewer may cut your line of thought and ask to move to a new topic. On the other hand, people familiar with interviewer-led cases usually find interviewee-led ones more challenging, as they are not used to drive the case.

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

McKinsey is not the only company using interviewer-led interviews, they are used in other firms as well. I agree with Adi that this may also be due to the fact interviews are conducted online these days.

If you are good with interviewee-led cases, there should not be issues with interviewer-led ones. Just be aware the interviewer may cut your line of thought and ask to move to a new topic. On the other hand, people familiar with interviewer-led cases usually find interviewee-led ones more challenging, as they are not used to drive the case.

Best,

Francesco

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Honestly, I really wouldn't stress about the two types!

Both case types stress all the same skills/abilities i.e. ability to think logically, structure thoughts, communicate clearly, take guidance, find relevant insights, etc etc.

Learn interviewee-led, and then you won't have a problem with interviewer-led (versus the other way around).

Fundamentally, you just need to be flexible/adaptable. There are pretty much no set rules in case interviews so you really fundamentally just need to learn to adapt and adjust based on the interviewers style/preferences!

Honestly, I really wouldn't stress about the two types!

Both case types stress all the same skills/abilities i.e. ability to think logically, structure thoughts, communicate clearly, take guidance, find relevant insights, etc etc.

Learn interviewee-led, and then you won't have a problem with interviewer-led (versus the other way around).

Fundamentally, you just need to be flexible/adaptable. There are pretty much no set rules in case interviews so you really fundamentally just need to learn to adapt and adjust based on the interviewers style/preferences!

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From my personal experience, interviewers are leaning a bit more on "interviewer led" style these days given the remote interviews. This just makes the admin and logistics a bit easier. Broadly and generally, MBB/Strat firms are more inclined towards interviewer led.

But the best way is to politely clarify with the interviewer if he/she doesnt explictly state that they will prompt you throughout the case or they expect you to take a lead and start solving case. Prep work is exactly the same; only delivery style differs. My biggest tip will be to think of the case as a role play between you and your manager (interviewer)- so dont be afraid to challenge them, provide out of the box ideas etc. Then again, clarify if unsure and dont assume anything before you start the case.

From my personal experience, interviewers are leaning a bit more on "interviewer led" style these days given the remote interviews. This just makes the admin and logistics a bit easier. Broadly and generally, MBB/Strat firms are more inclined towards interviewer led.

But the best way is to politely clarify with the interviewer if he/she doesnt explictly state that they will prompt you throughout the case or they expect you to take a lead and start solving case. Prep work is exactly the same; only delivery style differs. My biggest tip will be to think of the case as a role play between you and your manager (interviewer)- so dont be afraid to challenge them, provide out of the box ideas etc. Then again, clarify if unsure and dont assume anything before you start the case.

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Hi Anonymous,

The differentiation between interviewer-led and candidate-led (or interviewee-led) is way to overestimated by many candidates - but yes, McKinsey uses rather interviewer-led cases whereas other firms rather use candidate-led cases.

Definitely there is a different principle approach behind those two concepts, but for preparing for either of them there are no major differences (minor tweaks though). The truth is exactly your case, that it's a grey zone between those two concepts and it depends on the specific interviewer and the specific case how exactly the interview is running.

Additional note (not in your case, since you passed your interviews): if candidates have poor performance, as an interviewer I oftenly need to support them as well by directing them through a principally candidate-led case.

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Hi Anonymous,

The differentiation between interviewer-led and candidate-led (or interviewee-led) is way to overestimated by many candidates - but yes, McKinsey uses rather interviewer-led cases whereas other firms rather use candidate-led cases.

Definitely there is a different principle approach behind those two concepts, but for preparing for either of them there are no major differences (minor tweaks though). The truth is exactly your case, that it's a grey zone between those two concepts and it depends on the specific interviewer and the specific case how exactly the interview is running.

Additional note (not in your case, since you passed your interviews): if candidates have poor performance, as an interviewer I oftenly need to support them as well by directing them through a principally candidate-led case.

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Hi Anonymous,

McK interviews are well known for being of an “interviewer-led” style. Nevertheless, they are not the only ones who use this approach.

As for your second question, due to the pandemic times and online interviewing, there can be more initiative from the interviewer’s side. The interviewer can direct you in the right way and that makes the process easier.

What you can do is develop flexibility so you don’t have any difficulties with both approaches.

If you are well familiar with the “interviewee-led” version it should not be an issue for you when the interviewer leads. Besides, you can also clarify the approach at the start.

Does it make sense to you?

GB

Hi Anonymous,

McK interviews are well known for being of an “interviewer-led” style. Nevertheless, they are not the only ones who use this approach.

As for your second question, due to the pandemic times and online interviewing, there can be more initiative from the interviewer’s side. The interviewer can direct you in the right way and that makes the process easier.

What you can do is develop flexibility so you don’t have any difficulties with both approaches.

If you are well familiar with the “interviewee-led” version it should not be an issue for you when the interviewer leads. Besides, you can also clarify the approach at the start.

Does it make sense to you?

GB

Related BootCamp article(s)

Interviewer-Led vs Candidate-Led cases

Case Interviews can be led by the candidate or by the interviewer: In Candidate-led cases the main challenge is the structure. In Interviewer-led cases the main challenge is to adapt quickly

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