Failed all my case interviews - why?

Failure
Recent activity on Dec 05, 2018
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Dec 04, 2018

Despite practising for 5 months, reading countless books, doing the Prep4 Success programm with 5 coaching sessions, each day 6 hour practice during 5 months, additional 4 coaching sessions on MyConsultingcoach, and 70 real cases (Simulations) on prep lounge I failed all my 5 interviews. My coaches told me that im ready, however, I never got invited to the second round at Bain, Oliver Wyman, Monitor, Simon Kucher etc.

I really dont know how and why this happened? I really wanna go into consulting but these case studies wont let me pass. Feedback was mixed and unclear: once it was „more drive during case studies“ (however they couldnt explain it further), another time it was „more structured“(however my coaches told me that my structure are always very good)....

I really dont know how to proceed and what happened... just confused and doubting my abilities... I still wanna go into strategy consulting and my coaches meant I have all the abilities but Im heavily doubting myself and career now.

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Guennael
Expert
replied on Dec 05, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

Vlad offered a solid answer: need to practice with consultants and experienced coaches for the actionable / relevant feedback, and live cases can be useful as well. Fit is also a component, and obviously it all is also a numbers game.

One other thing that crossed my mind since I have this issue right now with two of my clients: Do you get stressed out and lose your abilities? If so, you need to address your nerves first. We've had a few threads on this lately, with potential solutions including compatmentalization, yoga / meditation, box breathing....

If you still aren't sure why you got rejected and you haven't done so yet, I would also encourage you to reach out to all these companies again and ask for some feedback. It will often be of poor quality but you might hopefully get lucky and be told exactly where you failed.

Last but not least: I know rejection hurts, I have been rejected by multiple consulting firms, some more than once. I eventually got into BCG though -> all is not lost, there will be other opportunities if that's what you really want. Also remember that MBB rejects tens of thousands of amazing people every year, who often go on to very successful careers in industry or start ups. This outcome doesn't say anything about you; keep your head up and truck along, someone else will come your way.

Best -

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Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Dec 04, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Sad to hear that you didn't get the offer especially with the companies that are not that demanding in terms of cases. Several thoughts:

  • Unfortunately quantity <> quality. Having hundreds of interviews with the lower level candidates or coaching with multiple different coaches do not necessarily give you the consistency of preparation
  • One thing that you've missed in your story is the Fit interview part. Have you worked on that at all?
  • In addition, I recommend practicing some interviews with the current consultants (not skype but the live meeting) since they might notice some issues that are hard to spot.

Best,

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Anonymous B replied on Dec 04, 2018

You should ask your coaches for a referral. Sometimes I do doubt the quality of the coaches here and on other sites (even the "highly rated" ones) from personal experience. What I've seen is their interest in getting the finances but not their focus on the training - many just skim through, give general (and usually encouraging and positive) feedback, and are simply too comfortable. They do not consider how those seeking coaching (like us), dole out that money from our hard work and pockets, and will not go out of the way to help (my hypotheses).

So if they told you that you are ready, then they shouldn't hesitate to refer you.

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Anonymous C updated the answer on Dec 04, 2018

Hi Anon,

I've been in a similar situation in my first attempt applying to consulting firms - 6 first round rejections out of 7 interviews (with the last one not being case interview-based). That was 2 years ago, but since then I've only practiced before applying in bulk to companies, and have been much more successful (3 offers to Tier 2/boutiques from 6 companies). I'm happy to have a chat regarding your experience and maybe share my own experience if you're interested.

I was legitimately relatively clueless after 60 or so cases, but it only took me an additional 10-20 cases before getting much better, and another 10 to become very comfortable with cases in general.

If you want to chat feel free to leave your username or create another one if you want to remain anonymous

Cheers

(edited)

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Guennael gave the best answer

Guennael

Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews
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