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Sunny

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6

Getting back into Case-Practice after a longer break

Hi everyone, 

I applied for internship positions around 6 months ago - successfully, so I do think that I have the skillset needed to get an offer. 

However, I feel like I am out of practice.

Even though it has only been 6 months, I feel like having to start in the beginning again - my notes aren't structured enough for me to just pick them up and be on track again, and I feel like I don't remember most cases I have done. 

Do you have tips for how to quickly get back into the 'zone'? My interview is in a week, and even though I received offers before I feel like it's not enough time. 

Thanks a lot!!

Hi everyone, 

I applied for internship positions around 6 months ago - successfully, so I do think that I have the skillset needed to get an offer. 

However, I feel like I am out of practice.

Even though it has only been 6 months, I feel like having to start in the beginning again - my notes aren't structured enough for me to just pick them up and be on track again, and I feel like I don't remember most cases I have done. 

Do you have tips for how to quickly get back into the 'zone'? My interview is in a week, and even though I received offers before I feel like it's not enough time. 

Thanks a lot!!

6 answers

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Book a coaching with Sunny

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Hi there-- sharing my personal take on how I would handle the situation

  • Make a decision within the next day or so on if you are capable of achieving a mastery of case interviewing that you are comfortable with-- what you want to avoid is rescheduling without sufficient notice and courtesy to the firm
  • What a plan could look like
    • Day 1: Doing a couple of mock case interviews (can be with friends or family even) to just get back into the swing of things and thoroughly study structures, formulas, case-types. Find the most common types of cases/exercises (profitability, market sizing, etc) and focus on those
    • Day 2: A couple of sessions with an experienced interviewer to get targeted feedback on skills to improve (need to maximize for how valuable the skill is to the interview evaluation AND feasibility that you could pick it up in the next few days). Decide if you want to reschedule or not, based on how you feel at this moment-- you could also get your interviewer to weigh in on your personal circumstance.
    • Day 3-6: Practice the feedback from the mock interviews, with multiple cases a day spaced out. Sense check on Day 4 if you are on track with the feedback, potentially another experienced interview.

Now that the tactical plan is covered-- some other thoughts :)  I believe that everyone's case interview journey is unique. While your path doesn't seem conventional, if it works for you, that is fine. My path was a bit unconventional, and I found myself in a situation where I had 2 weeks between learning what "consulting" even was, to stepping into interviews. It ended up being totally fine, but I did have to put in the work to make it happen

Hi there-- sharing my personal take on how I would handle the situation

  • Make a decision within the next day or so on if you are capable of achieving a mastery of case interviewing that you are comfortable with-- what you want to avoid is rescheduling without sufficient notice and courtesy to the firm
  • What a plan could look like
    • Day 1: Doing a couple of mock case interviews (can be with friends or family even) to just get back into the swing of things and thoroughly study structures, formulas, case-types. Find the most common types of cases/exercises (profitability, market sizing, etc) and focus on those
    • Day 2: A couple of sessions with an experienced interviewer to get targeted feedback on skills to improve (need to maximize for how valuable the skill is to the interview evaluation AND feasibility that you could pick it up in the next few days). Decide if you want to reschedule or not, based on how you feel at this moment-- you could also get your interviewer to weigh in on your personal circumstance.
    • Day 3-6: Practice the feedback from the mock interviews, with multiple cases a day spaced out. Sense check on Day 4 if you are on track with the feedback, potentially another experienced interview.

Now that the tactical plan is covered-- some other thoughts :)  I believe that everyone's case interview journey is unique. While your path doesn't seem conventional, if it works for you, that is fine. My path was a bit unconventional, and I found myself in a situation where I had 2 weeks between learning what "consulting" even was, to stepping into interviews. It ended up being totally fine, but I did have to put in the work to make it happen

Book a coaching with Ian

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Hi there,

Honeslty, whenever there's a tight timeframe like yours my #1 recommendation is a coach. Nothing is a greater time lever than bringing in an expert.

Short of that, you'll want to try and get in as many cases as possible AND review old cases you've done to spark your memory and get that muscle memory back.

Good luck!

Hi there,

Honeslty, whenever there's a tight timeframe like yours my #1 recommendation is a coach. Nothing is a greater time lever than bringing in an expert.

Short of that, you'll want to try and get in as many cases as possible AND review old cases you've done to spark your memory and get that muscle memory back.

Good luck!

Book a coaching with Adi

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You could try and practice with experienced peers or a coach of your choice over the next week to speed things up. Muscle memory could kick in and things will get back to you. Otherwise best postpone and get additional 2-3 weeks.

You could try and practice with experienced peers or a coach of your choice over the next week to speed things up. Muscle memory could kick in and things will get back to you. Otherwise best postpone and get additional 2-3 weeks.

Book a coaching with Ken

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A week is a pretty tight timeline, I have to be honest... I've worked with many current consultants applying for MBB where even they struggle. Although the case interview is representative of the job itself, it does test the same skills in a more "academic" environment which requires familiarity and practice. 

If I were in your shoes, I would have a mock case interview with a partner or coach to identify the areas where you feel your performance has gone down. After which I would focus on specifically those things.

Good luck!

A week is a pretty tight timeline, I have to be honest... I've worked with many current consultants applying for MBB where even they struggle. Although the case interview is representative of the job itself, it does test the same skills in a more "academic" environment which requires familiarity and practice. 

If I were in your shoes, I would have a mock case interview with a partner or coach to identify the areas where you feel your performance has gone down. After which I would focus on specifically those things.

Good luck!

Book a coaching with Francesco

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Hi there,

I would recommend the following:

1. Understand which are your areas of improvement – the sooner the better.

No one can provide tips on how you can get better if you don’t know yourself which are the possible improvements

  • The “fast” way is to book a coaching session. However, that’s not free
  • The “cheap” way is to find a good case partner that can provide great feedback

Whatever option you use, write down the improvements/mistake in an ad-hoc spreadsheet and use it as a reference for the next steps

2. Take the feedback and work on the improvement areas

  • You may have to do drills on a specific part where you are weak (eg structuring or graph analysis)
  • Update your spreadsheet after each case/drill
  • Try to find cases/drills related to your improvement area until you are not repeating the mistakes

3. Refine your prep

If you don’t have enough time to reach a good level, it is better to reschedule the interview. You should be able to get an idea of your level after step 1. When I do coaching I provide a score that points out exactly how far you are from a first and final round pass, but any good partner should be able to give you a general idea of that.

For additional questions please feel free to PM me.

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

I would recommend the following:

1. Understand which are your areas of improvement – the sooner the better.

No one can provide tips on how you can get better if you don’t know yourself which are the possible improvements

  • The “fast” way is to book a coaching session. However, that’s not free
  • The “cheap” way is to find a good case partner that can provide great feedback

Whatever option you use, write down the improvements/mistake in an ad-hoc spreadsheet and use it as a reference for the next steps

2. Take the feedback and work on the improvement areas

  • You may have to do drills on a specific part where you are weak (eg structuring or graph analysis)
  • Update your spreadsheet after each case/drill
  • Try to find cases/drills related to your improvement area until you are not repeating the mistakes

3. Refine your prep

If you don’t have enough time to reach a good level, it is better to reschedule the interview. You should be able to get an idea of your level after step 1. When I do coaching I provide a score that points out exactly how far you are from a first and final round pass, but any good partner should be able to give you a general idea of that.

For additional questions please feel free to PM me.

Best,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Florian

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Hey there,

Without knowing your performance on the case and personal fit/ PEI, it is quite difficult to give an honest assessment.

My general advice would be:

  1. With one week left, you would need an honest evaluation and tailored prep plan as soon as possible. Without knowing your skill level, strengths, weaknesses, it's hard to give more targeted advice. Assuming that you learned and internalized the right habits for the case and prepared proper stories that actually hit the dimensions that consulting firms are looking for, I would just recommend you to practice cases with peers, conduct drill exercises for the key question types to wake up the rusty skills. If you are not at this level, I'd recommend a diagnostic session with a coach. Some candidates need 3 sessions with a coach and learn exactly the right approach while others conduct 100+ sessions, repeating the same faulty patterns, habits, and make the same mistakes over and over again.
  2. Work on your perceived weaknesses in peer case interviews, and conduct several charts, math, and structuring drills + speak through your stories and personal fit answers with a few friends (check out my answer here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-prepare-for-a-case-study-10480) or alternatively do one final finetuning session with a McKinsey, BCG, or Bain coach (depending who you are interviewing with).
  3. The closer you get to the interview, the less you should be doing and the more focus should be on enjoyable experiences to free your mind.
  4. If you feel like time is not enough to be up to par, I'd try to reschedule the interview!

All the best for your interviews!

Cheers,

Florian

Hey there,

Without knowing your performance on the case and personal fit/ PEI, it is quite difficult to give an honest assessment.

My general advice would be:

  1. With one week left, you would need an honest evaluation and tailored prep plan as soon as possible. Without knowing your skill level, strengths, weaknesses, it's hard to give more targeted advice. Assuming that you learned and internalized the right habits for the case and prepared proper stories that actually hit the dimensions that consulting firms are looking for, I would just recommend you to practice cases with peers, conduct drill exercises for the key question types to wake up the rusty skills. If you are not at this level, I'd recommend a diagnostic session with a coach. Some candidates need 3 sessions with a coach and learn exactly the right approach while others conduct 100+ sessions, repeating the same faulty patterns, habits, and make the same mistakes over and over again.
  2. Work on your perceived weaknesses in peer case interviews, and conduct several charts, math, and structuring drills + speak through your stories and personal fit answers with a few friends (check out my answer here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-prepare-for-a-case-study-10480) or alternatively do one final finetuning session with a McKinsey, BCG, or Bain coach (depending who you are interviewing with).
  3. The closer you get to the interview, the less you should be doing and the more focus should be on enjoyable experiences to free your mind.
  4. If you feel like time is not enough to be up to par, I'd try to reschedule the interview!

All the best for your interviews!

Cheers,

Florian