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Difference in solving interviewee- and interviewer-led interviews?

Anonymous A

Hey,

first: does anybody know if cases at Simon-Kucher are interviewee- or interviewer-led?

Anyway, what is the different in dealing with these 2 types? How does my behaviour change?

Is interviewer-led lik this: Interviewer frequently asks questions, I structure them, solve them and then we move to the next question. In the end I summarize the results and give a recommendation refering to the main goal/objective. ?

Best!

Vlad replied on 06/07/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

It may seem to you that these 2 types of cases are different, however, the interviewer-led type is just a simplified version of the interviewee-led case.

The key difference is that in the interviewee led case you lead the case through the structure you've prepared a) asking questions and trying to identify the root cause of the problem in the branch of your structure b) making a transition to the next branch c) proactively calculating the data and making data-driven conclusion from the data they give you d) Making a conclusion when they ask you to finish a case

My advice is to prepare a lot in the interviewee-led format so that you could solve both easily.

Now, how to approach interviewee-led cases?

1) It's even more important to ask the clarifying questions in the beginning:

- Clarify the business model (i.e. how the business works and what are the revenue streams / core products or business lines)

- Clarify the objective both in money terms and timeline (e.g. Our objective is to increase profits by 5M in 5 years). When you have a to select from several options in a case - clarify the selection criteria

- Clarify other possible limitations if you feel that it's necessary

2) You lead the case through the structure you've prepared a) asking questions and trying to identify the root cause of the problem in the branch of your structure b) making a transition to the next branch c) proactively calculating the data and making data-driven conclusion from the data they give you d) Making a conclusion when they ask you to finish a case

The general algorithm may be something like this:

  1. Ask for a piece of data / info you've defined in a structure
  2. Compare the data with historical trend / benchmarks
  3. If you find something interesting ask for the root / cause or state the hypothesis
  4. If no root/cause at this point available - ask for segmentation to drill down further. Make a new structure if needed to identify the root-cause
  5. Once you are done with analysis in one branch of your framework (found the root-cause / found nothing interesting) - summarize what you've learned so far and move to the next one or give the conclusion

Best!

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