Feeling stuck at Case Practice

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New answer on Oct 26, 2020
6 Answers
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Floyd asked on Oct 20, 2020

Hello everyone! :)

I started my case interview preparation two months ago. First I started reading Case on Point and Victor Cheng book and LOMS. Then I did the free course on craftingcases.com which I find to be the most helpful resource online. Finally, I started practicing cases, I have done around 35+ cases and I identified two biggest weakenesses:

1. Structuring: Develop insightful and MECE frameworks.

2. Problem solving: By this I mean during the math part know how to solve the problem after they give you some data for this.

To tackle each of them I started by structuring, to that I bought Crafting Cases Structuring Drills course, which was very helpful, however I still feel my frameworks are still weak. I still need to focus on the problem solving part.

Today when I did again a live case interview I found myself struggling again, somehow this is quite discouraging specially when you compare with people who have had the same amount of practice as you and solving a case for them seem to be very natural while I find myself struggling.

I would like to know two things:

First: How can I improve my problem solving skills during the math part? Maybe doing some GMAT Problems? Does anyone has any good advice for this?

Second: How can I stop being stuck during my preparation and become more natural?

Thank you very much.

(edited)

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Adi
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 20, 2020
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hi there,

Two tips :

1. Practice, practice, and just dont give up. Give yourself time & celebrate little successes. Take a break for couple of days here and there and do something fun/creative to unclock the trapped energy in you

2. Thinking-feeling loop: perhaps you are stuck in the same sequence of thoughts that make you feel the same way over the weeks. E.g. I am not good enough or My case structuring is weak, Maybe I am not suited for this consulting world etc etc. Stop doing this. Visualise yourself "being successul and enjoying the case solving exercise". Do this for 10-15mins everyday and I can assure you things will turn

Good luck!

Adi

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Floyd on Oct 20, 2020

Thank you very much. I agree with you. I think I am burn out and maybe have little confidence on myself. I will try to follow your advice. Thanks :)

Robert
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 20, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Floyd,

ad 1) Practice problem solving skills during math

The trick here is to separate the conceptual problem solving from the actual math. Most candidates try to do both at the same time, which leads to multi-tasking for the human brain which it is not made for, and thus the result is prone to errors.

Therefore figure out the conceptual approach first, and only afterwards put in the numbers and do the math.

ad 2) Feeling stuck

Sounds like a natural situation. Many candidates focus too much on theoretical case interview prep, and especially LOMS and case in point oftenly do more bad than good for the structuring part. The major point here is that you need to learn to start thinking like a tier-1 consultant, and not relying to a major extent of prefabricated frameworks. If consulting was that easy applying some existing frameworks to any given situation, everybody would do it - but obviously it's not.

So if you are serious in your case interview prep, I'd recommend you to invest in an experienced professional coach to guide your thinking into the right way.

Hope this helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Floyd on Oct 20, 2020

Hello Robert thank you for your answer. Regarding 1. Thats what I always do, however my main issue is on finding the logic to solve the problem. 2. I wish I could hire a coach but they are way too expensive in my currency, I can tell you 1 hour couching price is equal to 1 month minimum wage here so theres deffinitelly not an option for me.

Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 21, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi Floyd,

You need a case coach.

Plain and simple.

A lot of problems/issues can be solved in Q&A. However, your issues here are, I'm sorry to say, pretty impossible to fix by reading a few written answers. You need dedicated, tailored, one-on-one training to get you through a mindset shift!

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Ken
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 20, 2020
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

I get the impression that you could benefit from being more curious about different businesses in the real world as opposed to continuing to focus purely on 'theoretical' consulting cases.

Perhaps you can take some time to read the news/reports/etc. on different industries and companies - the problems they are facing and how they are tackling them. We are in the midst of unchartered times where there are a lot of unique business problems and a lot of literature around it. The important part is for you to be able to put a structure around the various 'issues' and independently think about what could be done etc. as opposed to just reading 'solutions'.

The maths will come with practice where it's not just practicing mental maths (e.g., through GMAT etc.) but also around putting a structure around an abstract numerical problem.

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Mehdi
Expert
replied on Oct 21, 2020
BCG | Received offers from all MBB & Tier 1Firms | Supporting you secure your top tier consulting offer

Hi there,

Both those problems are normal when you practice alone or when you work with other candidates who do not have experience in coaching.

For the structuring, you might do some cases with an expert to see and understand how he/she would crack the case from the identification of drivers until the conclusion. Case cracking is a "scientific and logical exercise", and an expert would definitely help you learn how to proceed.

For Problem solving, I still believe that you can improve through practice. Make sure you take all the necessary time at the beginning to do the math right, and then start working on using math tricks to do math faster and without any mistakes!

I will be happy to share with you more methods and tricks on how to crack cases, do not hesitate to reach out to me for further information.

All the best,

Mehdi

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 26, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi,
I understand you. Actually, there is a certain point, a very common one, which every candidate might face.

I can write you a dozens of advice here, but it may not be relevant for you. So, I have 2 options for you:

Option 1: Practice more and more, until you feel natural in this field

Option 2: Take at least a couple of sessions with a career coach here on the Platform, who helps you to point out your real stepping stone and defines the easiest ways for you to overcome it. I and my colleagues here are happy to help you.

Does it make sense to you?
GB

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Adi gave the best answer

Adi

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Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience
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