Cookie and Privacy Settings

This website uses cookies to enable essential functions like the user login and sessions. We also use cookies and third-party tools to improve your surfing experience on preplounge.com. You can choose to activate only essential cookies or all cookies. You can always change your preference in the cookie and privacy settings. This link can also be found in the footer of the site. If you need more information, please visit our privacy policy.

Data processing in the USA: By clicking on "I accept", you also consent, in accordance with article 49 paragraph 1 sentence 1 lit. GDPR, to your data being processed in the USA (by Google LLC, Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Inc., Stripe, Paypal).

Manage settings individually I accept
9

Framework doesn't match the case - what to do?

What if my framework doesn't match the direction of the case during a consulting interview?

What if my framework doesn't match the direction of the case during a consulting interview?

9 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer

Hi Matthias!

This happens quite often. And the simple, but admittedly somewhat frustrating answer is: don't use a framework at all! Using pre-conceived buckets/topic lists/focus areas will always expose you to an immense risk of missing out crucial elements.

The key to become independent of this framework-mentality is to REVERSE YOUR THINKING. Instead of trying to outline all possible areas that could be relevant (an endeavor which is by the way impossible to achieve!), start your thinking from the precise question at hand! Then define, what needs to be true to answer this question in one way or another? And then work out, how you can test as clearly as possible, whether it is true or not. The areas to look into are then just a corollary of this logic. There are a couple of principles that you need to understand and internalize in order to build the skill to create such logic-based structures, but at the end of the day, this is how senior leaders at top consultancies think! (surprise surprise: they don't think in bucket frameworks ;)).

It will take some time to leave behind the mantra of the usual case preparation books - but it forms the base to make you a far stronger candidate than >95% of all candidates who rely on these usual books.

Cheers & all the best,

Sidi

Hi Matthias!

This happens quite often. And the simple, but admittedly somewhat frustrating answer is: don't use a framework at all! Using pre-conceived buckets/topic lists/focus areas will always expose you to an immense risk of missing out crucial elements.

The key to become independent of this framework-mentality is to REVERSE YOUR THINKING. Instead of trying to outline all possible areas that could be relevant (an endeavor which is by the way impossible to achieve!), start your thinking from the precise question at hand! Then define, what needs to be true to answer this question in one way or another? And then work out, how you can test as clearly as possible, whether it is true or not. The areas to look into are then just a corollary of this logic. There are a couple of principles that you need to understand and internalize in order to build the skill to create such logic-based structures, but at the end of the day, this is how senior leaders at top consultancies think! (surprise surprise: they don't think in bucket frameworks ;)).

It will take some time to leave behind the mantra of the usual case preparation books - but it forms the base to make you a far stronger candidate than >95% of all candidates who rely on these usual books.

Cheers & all the best,

Sidi

Hi Matthias!

This can happen but is not a disaster.

You can do the following:

  • after realizing your framework doesn't match think whether you can adjust it or use another approach for your answer;
  • then ask for a few seconds to prepare your answer to present it in a structured and consistent way.

The key aspects should be included in your final answer but also have a clear structure.

Show that you can quickly change the approach and stand by the core issue at the same time. The ability to adapt to any situation is valuable.

Best,

André

Hi Matthias!

This can happen but is not a disaster.

You can do the following:

  • after realizing your framework doesn't match think whether you can adjust it or use another approach for your answer;
  • then ask for a few seconds to prepare your answer to present it in a structured and consistent way.

The key aspects should be included in your final answer but also have a clear structure.

Show that you can quickly change the approach and stand by the core issue at the same time. The ability to adapt to any situation is valuable.

Best,

André

(edited)

Book a coaching with Henning

100% Recommendation Rate

177 Meetings

5,391 Q&A Upvotes

USD 189 / Coaching

If you realize during the case, that your framework doesn't fully fit, you can (and should) adjust it. If you can remain calm under the realization that your approach is the the right one and then tell the interviewer that you would like to take a few secons to think this through and then present an amendment to your framework that addresses the issues well, this will earn you credits. Never try to just power through and hope the itnerviewer won't notice how you're going outside of your original framework. They will notice and reduce your performance score.

If you realize during the case, that your framework doesn't fully fit, you can (and should) adjust it. If you can remain calm under the realization that your approach is the the right one and then tell the interviewer that you would like to take a few secons to think this through and then present an amendment to your framework that addresses the issues well, this will earn you credits. Never try to just power through and hope the itnerviewer won't notice how you're going outside of your original framework. They will notice and reduce your performance score.

Book a coaching with Robert

97% Recommendation Rate

323 Meetings

3,661 Q&A Upvotes

USD 219 / Coaching

Hi Matthias,

It might not have been perfect in the first place, but even this you don't really know - depending on the very limited information initially available, the case might progress in a different direction than anticipated (especially true for many interviewer-led McKinsey cases).

The most important aspect to consider is clarity and explicit (meta-)communication. Once you realize that the case is progressing differently, it's time to go 1 step backwards and also explicitly communicate this finding to your interviewer. Probably its good (if possible) to take a few seconds of time to adjust to the new direction and go from there!

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Hi Matthias,

It might not have been perfect in the first place, but even this you don't really know - depending on the very limited information initially available, the case might progress in a different direction than anticipated (especially true for many interviewer-led McKinsey cases).

The most important aspect to consider is clarity and explicit (meta-)communication. Once you realize that the case is progressing differently, it's time to go 1 step backwards and also explicitly communicate this finding to your interviewer. Probably its good (if possible) to take a few seconds of time to adjust to the new direction and go from there!

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

410 Meetings

11,435 Q&A Upvotes

USD 239 / Coaching

Hi,

That's absolutely fine. One thing you should understand - your structure is not just the initial structure. You should be constantly structuring through the case. So just take a minute and come up with a new structure

Also, stop using the work Framework. You should come up with a structure, not just a pre-made framework.

Best

Hi,

That's absolutely fine. One thing you should understand - your structure is not just the initial structure. You should be constantly structuring through the case. So just take a minute and come up with a new structure

Also, stop using the work Framework. You should come up with a structure, not just a pre-made framework.

Best

(edited)

Book a coaching with Ian

100% Recommendation Rate

267 Meetings

23,176 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

Hi Matthias,

Honestly, your framework matching the case matters a lot less than you think!

Your framework needs to show good critical thinking ability, good structure, and a clear approach to solving the problem. It does not need to match the case!

I think for about 50% of my interviews, my framework didn't end up being used at all. And, I aced all 8 of my interviews with companies (i.e. 16+ rounds).

Much more important is that, during the case, you understand clearly what you're trying to solve for and why, that you parse through information effectively, that you take guidance and are agile/adaptable to changes in the case. That's what matters!

Hi Matthias,

Honestly, your framework matching the case matters a lot less than you think!

Your framework needs to show good critical thinking ability, good structure, and a clear approach to solving the problem. It does not need to match the case!

I think for about 50% of my interviews, my framework didn't end up being used at all. And, I aced all 8 of my interviews with companies (i.e. 16+ rounds).

Much more important is that, during the case, you understand clearly what you're trying to solve for and why, that you parse through information effectively, that you take guidance and are agile/adaptable to changes in the case. That's what matters!

Book a coaching with Iman

100% Recommendation Rate

16 Meetings

1,504 Q&A Upvotes

USD 159 / Coaching

It is usually a bad idea to use a standard framework in a solving a case or problem in general.

What I would do is to focus on anwering the question and do the following thought process:

  1. What is the question?
  2. What do you need to know to answer the question?
  3. To know what you need to know, what analysis you need to do?
  4. To do the analysis what data do you need?

That should work in most problem solving situation

It is usually a bad idea to use a standard framework in a solving a case or problem in general.

What I would do is to focus on anwering the question and do the following thought process:

  1. What is the question?
  2. What do you need to know to answer the question?
  3. To know what you need to know, what analysis you need to do?
  4. To do the analysis what data do you need?

That should work in most problem solving situation

Hi Matthias,

I would advise you to make your framework fit the case and not the other way around. This means that you should try adjusting your framework or creating (maybe combining two or more) to address what is being asked in the question.

You should know the different frameworks but I do not advise you to learn them by heart. Give yourself a chance to customize them so that they fit in your case.

I hope this helps!

Mehdi

Hi Matthias,

I would advise you to make your framework fit the case and not the other way around. This means that you should try adjusting your framework or creating (maybe combining two or more) to address what is being asked in the question.

You should know the different frameworks but I do not advise you to learn them by heart. Give yourself a chance to customize them so that they fit in your case.

I hope this helps!

Mehdi

Book a coaching with Anton

100% Recommendation Rate

4 Meetings

1,089 Q&A Upvotes

USD 179 / Coaching

Hi,

It may happen that during the case you realize that your framework doesn’t match the case.

IT IS NOT A DISASTER!

You should ask the interviewer to give you a few moments as you would like to develop a more tailored framework.

If you struggle with choosing the right framework don’t hesitate to message me.

I will send you an algorithm for improving your structuring skill.

Thanks,

Anton

Hi,

It may happen that during the case you realize that your framework doesn’t match the case.

IT IS NOT A DISASTER!

You should ask the interviewer to give you a few moments as you would like to develop a more tailored framework.

If you struggle with choosing the right framework don’t hesitate to message me.

I will send you an algorithm for improving your structuring skill.

Thanks,

Anton

Related case(s)

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 17.7k 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?
4.6 5 628
| Rating: (4.6 / 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

Hot Wheels

Solved 5.5k times
Hot Wheels Problem definition: Our client is Korean Car Parts (KCP), a multi-national original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of car parts based in Korea. They've recently seen a decline in profits and have brought us in to understand how to address this falling profitability.
4.6 5 297
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Problem definition: Our client is Korean Car Parts (KCP), a multi-national original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of car parts based in Korea. They've recently seen a decline in profits and have brought us in to understand how to address this falling profitability. Open whole case

Chinese Chess - Airline Business During COVID-19

Solved 4.0k 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 5 115
| 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

McKinsey Digital / BCG Platinion: Oil & Gas Upstream Technology

Solved 3.7k times
McKinsey Digital / BCG Platinion: Oil & Gas Upstream Technology [PLEASE NOTE: This is a technically difficult case and should only be completed by those coming in as a Technology specialist, i.e. recruiting for McKinsey Digital, BCG Platinion, etc.] Our client is a multinational oil and gas company. While they are vertically integrated and have upstream, midstream, and downstream divisions, they have recently been experiencing competitivity issues in the upstream gas division, which brings in $1B in profits annually. Our client’s upstream division has offices in Australia and Indonesia. Their work is highly dependent on their IT systems, as they have to constantly monitor wells and pipes (pressure, hydrocarbon count, fluid makeup, etc.) The upstream division has two large legacies of IT systems that are primarily used for downstream operations but have been modified for upstream purposes. These systems are managed by a central team in the US which is responsible for all IT issues across the business. They triage issues/enhancements and then manage development teams in India and Finland who complete the work.
4.5 5 76
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)

[PLEASE NOTE: This is a technically difficult case and should only be completed by those coming in as a Technology specialist, i.e. recruiting for McKinsey Digital, BCG Platinion, etc.] Our client is a multinational oil and gas company. While they are vertically integrated and have upstream, midstr ... Open whole case

YodaPhone

Solved 2.9k 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.
4.5 5 69
| Rating: (4.5 / 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