expert
Expert with best answer

Francesco

100% Recommendation Rate

2,865 Meetings

5,792 Q&A Upvotes

USD 349 / Coaching

4

Feedback: Overly Prepared

Dear Members,

I frequently got the feedback in case interviews that I came across as sounding overly prepared.

Do you have experience with this kind of feedback and how can I improve this point?

Thank you.

Best,

Dear Members,

I frequently got the feedback in case interviews that I came across as sounding overly prepared.

Do you have experience with this kind of feedback and how can I improve this point?

Thank you.

Best,

4 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Francesco

100% Recommendation Rate

2,865 Meetings

5,792 Q&A Upvotes

USD 349 / Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

I believe the feedback you are receiving is a bit misleading, as “overprepared” seems to refer to the fact you practiced too much - I don’t see why doing a relevant amount of cases should be per se an issue.

What the interviewers probably meant is that you appear too mechanic in the way you present the structures or communicate during the case. If that’s indeed the case, I would recommend to:

  1. Identify the specific words/sentences that give that impression – your previous interviewers should be able to point that out
  2. Try to personalize your structure and communication and connect them with the specific case objectives to show you are not just repeating a memorized framework
  3. Find peers/experts that can help you in improving the way you communicate and present during the interview

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

I believe the feedback you are receiving is a bit misleading, as “overprepared” seems to refer to the fact you practiced too much - I don’t see why doing a relevant amount of cases should be per se an issue.

What the interviewers probably meant is that you appear too mechanic in the way you present the structures or communicate during the case. If that’s indeed the case, I would recommend to:

  1. Identify the specific words/sentences that give that impression – your previous interviewers should be able to point that out
  2. Try to personalize your structure and communication and connect them with the specific case objectives to show you are not just repeating a memorized framework
  3. Find peers/experts that can help you in improving the way you communicate and present during the interview

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Hi there,

Very interesting question. I rarely give out such feedback as "overly prepared" to people I have coached, but when I do, it's usually because of the following reasons:

  1. The way he/she leads: the candidate can solve the case well, but the way he/she leads the case is very formulaic. He/She pushes through the case without ever pausing, like machines finishing a job rather than human beings solving a sophisticated problem.
  2. The way he/she talks: the candidate uses a ton of jargons, talks extremely fast and/or in monotone, appears to be using templates whenever he/she answers a question.
  3. The way he/she engages: the candidate seems to be bored and not personally engaged in the case.

Of course there can be other reasons why you can sound "overly prepared", and you should first identify the root cause. Since you said you "frequently" received such feedback, I recommend you reach out to every person who has given you that feedback and ask for more details. You can also schedule a mock case with a consultant friend or a Preplounge expert, and ask them to look out for it specifically during the case.

If the cause happens to fall into the 3 categories I mentioned, you can try:

  1. Just take a break - stop doing any cases for a couple weeks so you get a bit rusty.
  2. Record yourself doing a case, figure out which parts of it (e.g. words you used, intonation, pace, etc.) do not sound right and practice doing it a different way.
  3. Adjust your mindset. Learn to treat every case as a real world problem instead of an exam question. Imagine yourself being in a client room when you do a case.

Hope this helps. Feel free to message me if you would like to discuss further.

Hi there,

Very interesting question. I rarely give out such feedback as "overly prepared" to people I have coached, but when I do, it's usually because of the following reasons:

  1. The way he/she leads: the candidate can solve the case well, but the way he/she leads the case is very formulaic. He/She pushes through the case without ever pausing, like machines finishing a job rather than human beings solving a sophisticated problem.
  2. The way he/she talks: the candidate uses a ton of jargons, talks extremely fast and/or in monotone, appears to be using templates whenever he/she answers a question.
  3. The way he/she engages: the candidate seems to be bored and not personally engaged in the case.

Of course there can be other reasons why you can sound "overly prepared", and you should first identify the root cause. Since you said you "frequently" received such feedback, I recommend you reach out to every person who has given you that feedback and ask for more details. You can also schedule a mock case with a consultant friend or a Preplounge expert, and ask them to look out for it specifically during the case.

If the cause happens to fall into the 3 categories I mentioned, you can try:

  1. Just take a break - stop doing any cases for a couple weeks so you get a bit rusty.
  2. Record yourself doing a case, figure out which parts of it (e.g. words you used, intonation, pace, etc.) do not sound right and practice doing it a different way.
  3. Adjust your mindset. Learn to treat every case as a real world problem instead of an exam question. Imagine yourself being in a client room when you do a case.

Hope this helps. Feel free to message me if you would like to discuss further.

Hey there,

I have been giving final rounds in my company (tier 2 firm) for the past year in I have given that feedback to maybe 2 or 3 people.

What happens is that if you see someone is pre-formatted, done a tone of causes, memorized every single thing and you are not able to get a genuine answer out of the person, what is the point of doing an interview? I will never know how the candidate react in real case conditions.

Again, dont get me wrong, I'm not saying dont prepare, but if you solve the cases like a robot and you sound like one that will just stress out the interviewer.

My recommendation is, when you hear a new product launch case, dont simply think in your end on a pre prepared structure to solve new product launches. Think about the case it self, make an effort to understand what is going on, what do you need to know in order to get to an answer. I love it when itnerviewees are able to pull from real life and sound like they are solving a real project with me.

Just my 2cents

Hey there,

I have been giving final rounds in my company (tier 2 firm) for the past year in I have given that feedback to maybe 2 or 3 people.

What happens is that if you see someone is pre-formatted, done a tone of causes, memorized every single thing and you are not able to get a genuine answer out of the person, what is the point of doing an interview? I will never know how the candidate react in real case conditions.

Again, dont get me wrong, I'm not saying dont prepare, but if you solve the cases like a robot and you sound like one that will just stress out the interviewer.

My recommendation is, when you hear a new product launch case, dont simply think in your end on a pre prepared structure to solve new product launches. Think about the case it self, make an effort to understand what is going on, what do you need to know in order to get to an answer. I love it when itnerviewees are able to pull from real life and sound like they are solving a real project with me.

Just my 2cents

Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

388 Meetings

7,316 Q&A Upvotes

USD 299 / Coaching

Hi,

Usually, you are getting this feedback when you are using the "book" frameworks without adjusting them to the context and the objective of the case. When you have a new case you should always think:

  • How is that case similar to the cases I've done before
  • What's there in the objective and the context of the case that makes the case different
  • How should I adjust my structure to this new information in the case

Another problem can be your behavior. You might be too "robotic" instead of engaging with the interviewer and getting a great conversation

Best

Hi,

Usually, you are getting this feedback when you are using the "book" frameworks without adjusting them to the context and the objective of the case. When you have a new case you should always think:

  • How is that case similar to the cases I've done before
  • What's there in the objective and the context of the case that makes the case different
  • How should I adjust my structure to this new information in the case

Another problem can be your behavior. You might be too "robotic" instead of engaging with the interviewer and getting a great conversation

Best

Related BootCamp article(s)

Getting Up to Speed

In order to repeatedly demonstrate prerequisite skills under the pressure of a real case interview, you need to learn the basics and practice cases.

1 Q&A

Related case(s)

Espresso, Whatelse?

Solved 2.6k times
Espresso, Whatelse? Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand the root causes of this 2019 trend and how to increase its profit margin again.  
4.6 5 109
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand ... Open whole case

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 2.0k times
MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.7 5 70
| Rating: (4.7 / 5.0)

Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvant ... Open whole case

Coronavirus Times - COVID-19 Brainteaser

Solved 700+ times
Coronavirus Times - COVID-19 Brainteaser You and your family are faced with a challenging set of decisions. Due to coronavirus, your partner has taken a 20% paycut and you are worried you may lose your job. In addition, while daycare is still open, you are worried that sending your two children there will increase the risk of them bringing the virus back to your house, where your elderly grandparents are also staying. How would you go about thinking about this problem, and what would you recommend?
4.5 5 22
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Beginner | Style: Brain Teaser | Topics: Brain teaser

You and your family are faced with a challenging set of decisions. Due to coronavirus, your partner has taken a 20% paycut and you are worried you may lose your job. In addition, while daycare is still open, you are worried that sending your two children there will increase the risk of them bringing ... Open whole case

Chinese Chess - Airline Business During COVID-19

Solved 600+ times
Chinese Chess - Airline Business During COVID-19 Sky China, a government-backed Chinese airline, has recently seen profits plummet due to COVID-19. Profits are down 80% in the months of February and March, but are showing early signs of a rebound in April.  They've brought you in to first investigate what can be done immediatedly to prevent hemorrhaging cash and surive in the short-term. They are also looking to see how the current situation can be viewed as an opportunity, and what can be done to prepare for the future. 
4.3 5 15
| Rating: (4.3 / 5.0)

Sky China, a government-backed Chinese airline, has recently seen profits plummet due to COVID-19. Profits are down 80% in the months of February and March, but are showing early signs of a rebound in April. They've brought you in to first investigate what can be done immediatedly to prevent hemor ... Open whole case

YodaPhone

Solved 400+ times
YodaPhone Our client is Yoda's Phones, a national telecommunications company. They have embarked on a three-year, multi-million dollar digitization program. Unfortunately, two years into the program, they realize they are significantly behind schedule and over budget. You have been brought in to right the ship and ensure the digitization program is delivered as planned.
4.4 5 25
| Rating: (4.4 / 5.0)

Our client is Yoda's Phones, a national telecommunications company. They have embarked on a three-year, multi-million dollar digitization program. Unfortunately, two years into the program, they realize they are significantly behind schedule and over budget. You have been brought in to right the sh ... Open whole case