Could anyone advise on 2-3 weeks case study prep order of things for someone with no prior prep experience?

acceleration of preparation casestudy Casestudyinterview
New answer on Feb 22, 2021
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 20, 2021

Hey All,


Hoping to get some help/advice as I am in the process as for an exp hire coming from in-house consulting and so havent had to prep like this before. Only issue is that time isnt on my side so I'm hoping to have an efficient prep schedule.

Is "Case in Point" still the priority essential read starting from 0 baseline prep? If so, are there specific chapters I should focus on / can skip ?

Should I follow this with Victor Cheng resources? Any specific chapters in particular that would complement the above?

What other essential reading/viewing/listening sources would you recommend?

Thanks so much in advance.

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Clara
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Content Creator
replied on Feb 22, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

In any case it´s good news, it´s not so easy to get an interview at this point!

You have 2 main workstreams ahead:

1. FIT INTERVIEW

The "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

You can see plenty of reviews from candidates who purchased it already.

Furthermore, you can find 2 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

Intro and CV questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/introduction-and-cv-questions-fit-interview-preparation-200

Motivational questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/motivational-questions-fit-interview-preparation-201

Behavioural questions (ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVE) >https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/behavioral-questions-entrepreneurial-drive-fit-interview-preparation-211

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes, since we still have some left from the launch! :)

2. BUSINESS CASE

You don´t have any more time to the classics of Viktor Cheng, "Case in point" book, etc. You need to get hands on asap:

1. Practice cases with partners asap, as many as you can do.Find experienced partners who can provide a good feedback

2. Practice your math skills, both in your cases and with ad hoc exercisess, such as:

1. ​Multiplying double digit numbers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ndkkPZYJHo

2. Leveraging math tools (Mimir math for iOS), Math tool on Viktor Cheng website to practice

Furthermore, you should practice as much as you can, and ensure that you cover:

1. Profitability cases- basic profitability framework.

2. Idea generation cases: for any specif issue

3. Growth cases: market penetration, new product launch, product mix change, etc.

4. Pricing cases

5. M&A cases

6. Valuation cases

7. Value chain cases

Given you are under this much time contraint, consider working with a coach to foster speed and ensure you have a tailored plan to be very targeted. PM me interested!

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Gaurav
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Content Creator
replied on Feb 21, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi there,

If you don't have any prior experience, these books will definitely give you some food for thought already.

I advise you to hire a coach - you need somebody who can give you feedback, who can guide you - it'll help you proceed faster than alone.

Here is also a good preplounge article on case solving:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/bootcamp.php/interview-first-aid/crack-the-case-interview/approaching-a-case

Start by studying this one but don't waste your time studying plain theory because case solving is all about PRACTICE.

Here are some cases you might want to check out:

For Beginner level:

Laundry Chain - Revenue Increase

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/interviewer-led-mckinsey-style/beginner/laundry-chain-revenue-increase-215

Launching Caskets in North Africa

https://www.preplounge.com/en/admin/cases.php?action=preview&id=225

For Intermediate level:

Grain Co-operative – Brand Launch

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/interviewer-led-mckinsey-style/intermediate/grain-co-operative-brand-launch-217

Case with a twist: Chinese Alloy Wheels – US Market Entry

https://www.preplounge.com/en/admin/cases.php?action=preview&id=226

For Advanced level/the real one and used for final rounds:
Non-Profit Museum Revenue Increase
https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/interviewer-led-mckinsey-style/advanced/mbb-final-round-case-non-profit-museum-revenue-increase-219

I suggest you proceed with the intermediate&Advanced level after you are confident with the beginner ones.

Hope it helps! Hit me up if you have any questions.

GB

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Ian
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replied on Feb 21, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Honestly, given your short timeline, nothing beats a coach. They're your time lever here...Case in Point + Victor Cheng are good for a start but will take you a week or more and get you just past beginner level.

Now, I recommend the following:

1) An initial planning session with a coach: 1 hour with a coach now will have a productivity multiplier effect on all your efforts moving forward. They will figure out what materials are best for you, guide you towards the best ways to learn, and come up with a preparation plan with you.

2) Leverage free resources first: PrepLounge Q&A and case library, Poets and Quants, SpencerTom, Google, etc.). Leverage these options, read-up, and over time you'll get a feel for what you really need and where you really need to invest your hard-earned $

3) Case with other PrepLoungers: Casing with other PrepLoungers is free. Not only do you get to practice casing, but you get direct feedback. Additionally, you learn a lot just from casing others. Finally, from other PrepLoungers you'll learn which materials/coaches are helpful.

In summary, while free options don't beat paid options, you can use them for a while to get a feel for what works for you. Have an initial coaching session to get you on the right track, then go the paid route when it's clear either 1) You are stuck or 2) It's clear the paid route will improve your productivity/progress

Note: Experienced hire interviews are more or less the same as "non-experienced" hires...you should prepare in much the same way. Higher level interviews (project lead and above) are NOT the same and should be prepared for differently.

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Francesco
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Content Creator
updated an answer on Feb 21, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

I would recommend the following steps to maximize the likelihood of an offer:

  1. Define a calendar for your preparation. Identify how many hours you have before the interview and allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the points below. Many people need 100+ hours to be ready before the interview so you can keep that as a benchmark
  2. Read Case In Point or Case Interview Secrets for a general understanding of what a consulting interview is. Don’t focus on the structures proposed in the books, as they are not good enough nowadays.
  3. Start reading good MBA Consulting Handbooks – you can find several for free online (Insead is a good one to start). Read the cases and try to apply your structure to solve them. Whenever you see there is something missing, upgrade your structure with the new insides. Try to read at least a new case per day – in this way you will absorb better the information with constant learning.
  4. After the first 5-10 cases in books/handbooks and basic theory, start to practice live. PrepLounge can be helpful to connect with other candidates for that. There is a relevant part of the interview score that is based on your communication, which you cannot practice at all if you read cases only. Keep track of your mistakes and see if you repeat them. If so, try to identify the source of the mistake (feedback of experienced partners would be particularly useful for this). Be sure to focus on both the fit and the case part. The case part should also cover market sizing, math and graph analysis.
  5. Before the interviews, be sure to prepare your questions for the interviewer –great way to show you prepared in advance and to connect with the interviewer for a good final impression.

If you want to spend few hours only instead of 100+ and cover everything mentioned above, I developed a program to do precisely that. You can click on the following link to find more:

https://u.preplounge.com/63phuq

After this program, you will know exactly what to expect in your interview, what to work on, and how to focus on the real differentiator to land a top consulting offer.

Please feel free to PM me if you need more information.

Best,

Francesco

(edited)

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Florian
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Content Creator
replied on Feb 22, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Coach | Top MBB Coach | 5 years @ McKinsey | Author of the 1% | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

There are good answers here already. I'll add just two points:

The key for you is efficiency and effectiveness since you are short on time. The best way to maximize your preparation efforts would be to go via a coach, who has interviewing experience for the company you are applying to.

Do not waste time on resources such as Cheng and Cosentino; their usefulness has diminished significantly over the last years (Cheng was at McK over 20 years ago and his approach is very much outdated for example; Cosentino never saw a consulting firm from the inside...)

Rather, focus on the essential skills needed for a case interview and practice them with a professional and once you have established a solid foundation, with peers.

All the best with your preparation!

Cheers,
Florian

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Adi
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 20, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey,

  • Use Case in Point & Victor Cheng to refresh on frameworks but dont dwell on those books too much
  • There are plenty of youtube videos on case solving you can watch
  • Get going with practicing as many cases as you can with peers/friends on PrepLounge or elsewhere
  • Book 2-3 sessions with a coach of your choice

Also search the Q&A forum broadly on this subject. Plenty of threads with tons of tips & tricks.

Good luck!

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Raj
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 21, 2021
Strategy&| ex-interviewer | 170+ coached over career |95% success @ MBB, S&, RB, LEK, OW, Big4 [SUCCESS STORIES BELOW]

Practice trumps all other resources. This includes peer practice, find old case books online, find examples of case interviews on YouTube etc

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Henning
Expert
replied on Feb 20, 2021
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

In my experience, practicing 15-20 cases is sufficient, if you do it strategically. My recommendation is as follows:

  • Read up on the typical approaches and standard frameworks to get the concept.
  • Then, do 5-6 cases to get a practical feeling for what a case is like. Start with easier ones - e.g. market size mini cases, simple profit tree cases, etc. This will help you develop a rudimentary sense for how cases work
  • The next 5-6 cases should cover cases from all major types and help you gain the experience and comfort with standard frameworks and the thinking required for solving the cases.
  • Lastly, you will want to do 6-7 cases to hone your skills. Practice with people who understand what they are doing - experienced interviewers, coaches, etc. that can give you 1-2 main items of feedback after each case that you can then practice to apply and improve on in the next case. During this time, you should also practice to move away from off-the-shelf frameworks and tailor, or - even better - develop your frameworks specifically during the case.

The further you move towards the final interview, the more important it is to practice with experienced interviewers. While you can easily ask any friend or practice with peers for the first few cases, you should aim for qualified, professional feedback as you approach the finishing line.

However, keep in mind, that this requires a strong plan and strategic approach to the preparation. I regularly see people doing 30-40 or even more cases. While this can also lead to success, in my eyes, it is a bit of a waste of time, especially for experienced hires that often also have a regular job to do while preparing for the consulting interviews.

Let me know if this helps. I'm also happy to elaborate any of the above in more detail. DM me if you like.

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Clara gave the best answer

Clara

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McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
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