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Could this lead to a rejection in case interview?

Anonymous A asked on Aug 20, 2019 - 5 answers

My case had to do with the hotel industry and I made some silly mistakes: not thinking of other revenue streams besides rooms in the beginning of my structure (which I mentioned immediately after calculating the main revenue though, and they indeed had to be considered) and, when I had to calculate the market size in terms of number of hotel rooms, not thinking of business travelers besides tourists (which came up to my mind right now unfortunately).

Are such mistakes important and could they be a reason to reject me because of the case performance?

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replied on Aug 20, 2019
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It's pretty difficult to answer since we would need to know how you performed overall.

Like, was it the first interview?

If yes, are you confident you performed well in all the other parts? In my opinion, in the first "error", if you mentioned the other sources of revenues within the case, it's fine.

Not considering the business travelers is not a small error (think about NH hotels, they are all business hotels), but it depends on how the error was made.

Example: usually the interviewer shows you a few signs if he/she is not happy with the answer (are you sure? Aren't you missing something here?) or makes faces. Did it happen and you ignored the signals?

Because in that case, it could be worse. In case he/she didn't do anything, they could have written it down and decide to go ahead with you and test you on similar cases in the following steps.

But again, is really difficult to say without having seen the whole interview :)

So, for market sizing question: he didn‘t really proceed with the actual calculation, but only wanted to know what my approach would be, and directly gave me the answer. He didn‘t give any hint on this or so... — Anonymous A on Aug 21, 2019

Ok, quite frankly that doesn't look very well. Again, either he/she was fine with your previous performance and decided not to point that out (but it's a bit strange, I would have expected at least a face) or he/she was not completely satisfied with your case resolution and asked you that last question to "save" you. Since you didn't answer correctly, he/she decided not to point that out because wasn't going to "save" your interview. Because the interviewer wants you to be successful, so they are trying to help all over the place if they think you are "worth" it. Of course I hope John and I are wrong, maybe the interviewer was just tired/playing the "bad cop" :) — Giulia on Aug 21, 2019

replied on Aug 21, 2019
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Hi Anonymous,

Yes, most likely this would lead to a rejection in a case interview.

Why? From the interviewer's perspective this implies a lack of structuring skills / top-down perspective, and it's a huge risk assigning such a workstream to you if you think about/optimize one single detail but miss the overall picture.


Gaurav replied on Aug 21, 2019
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Both these mistakes individually are important enough to lead to rejection. You might be saved, if you have otherwise performed well in other cases, have a strong overall profile and fit - and this is just one off lapse in performance.

But with both the mistakes together, it is very difficult not to get a reject.

All the best!

Vlad replied on Aug 21, 2019
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These are all huge mistakes and can lead to a reject. However, you need to understand that interviews are very subjective and you can make 0 mistakes and still not pass and the opposite as well. So just keep fingers crossed and wait for the results.


replied on Aug 20, 2019
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Simply put, yes. They are very important. The hotel one might still be ok if you realize it by yourself once you start the case and then perform well otherwise. The market size one is pretty bad because it materially changes the case answer.