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Feeling about the core of the case

Kristian asked on Oct 04, 2018 - 2 answers


Sometimes when I do an interview I get a feeling about what the interview is really about (e.g. you're told that a company will do a market entry if they can expect revenues of $10M the first year, so you realize that the main part of the interview is to figure out expected revenues for the first year). However, I often have other content in my structure as well, but when I ask for information about these things, they do not have any information about them. How should I move on from here? Should I continue to ask for each of them, should I ask a quite vague question that sort of includes the rest of my structure, or should I say that I feel that I have solved the core part of the case and move on?

Any suggestions to how you can understand what the interview is really about (e.g. any hints I should be aware of)?

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replied on Oct 04, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews
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Great question. You need to follow the framework, but also try to follow the 80/20 rule. If the next step in your framework doesn't appear likely right now, you are welcome to communicate to the interviewer that you will shifts things around a little bit and explain what the new hypothesis is.

Time permitting, you will eventually want to come back to the initial question you would have had otherwise - but odds are you won't have time. A case is so short, you must always go to what seems most likely - no time to boil the ocean

Benjamin replied on Oct 05, 2018
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Hi Kristian,

Two reasons why you don't receive info. :

1. Your initial structure is too general and tailored to the case. It happens when we apply standard framework that are not specially wrong, but will not be the most efficient to solve quickly the case

2. Your structure is relevant but the interviewer has decided to focus the question on a particular area of the case. As you can imagine, can are designed in advance and the interviewer has already decided where he wants to push you. So in some case you might hit some relevant topics, but the interviews simply decided to focus somewhere else. In this case you have to feel in which direction the interviewer is pushing you to follow your resolution.

Hope this helps


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