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Group Case - any tips?

Anonymous A asked on Apr 26, 2018 - 3 answers


I was invited for an interview at one of the big consultancies and part of the selection process is a group case. Generally, I quite confident in (regular) case interviews and have already received an offer from a smaller firm. However, I am not the most extroverted person and therefore a little worried that this part might become my bottleneck. I would consider myself a good teamworker - I participated at several case competition where I had significant input on the outcome, even in a leadership position - but that was in a cooperative setting and not in fierce competition, where everyone just tries to shine for him/herself.

Do you have any tips for performing well (or at least passing) this stage, assuming that everyone will try to be "the leader"?

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replied on Apr 26, 2018
McKinsey Engagement Manager & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 100+ candidates secure MBB offers
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Overall, you want to approach the group case interview as follows. It's your team versus the case. It is NOT you versus your team mates.

If one of group says something where you disagree, make sure you remain very composed and professional. You should also NOT try to be the leader. Just be very clear and structured in your contributions, stay open for compromise. Trying to look especially smart is the first way to get dinged - believe me!

Just trust that your case skills will shine through naturally without you having to worry about the competitive aspects of the situation.

Cheers, Sidi

replied on Apr 28, 2018
Experienced strategy consultant with 5+ years in Roland Berger, doing over 60 Undergrad-->MBA level interviews.
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The other answers have laid out KSFs well. My only advice - and this has worked like a charm for me before - is to be the 'guy with the marker' writing stuff on the whiteboard and seen as "the synthesizer" or somebody who is able to direct traffic. I'm not saying just be the scribe - actively play a role in structuring people's thoughts and synthesizing.

This you can do even as an introvert! Good luck.

replied on Apr 26, 2018
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Here are some tips for the group exercise:

  • You will be in a group of 6-10 other candidates
  • You'll have a case (general business problem though with various aspects to look at, i.e. marketing, supply chain, finance)
  • The main goal is to discuss the case together and come to a collaborative solution

My advice for the assessment center:

  • Don't take a leadership role trying to organize and manage other people unless you are a 100% natural leader
  • Act rather like a contributor with: a) frameworks to structure the problem b) rough calculations c) Industry / functional knowledge (it helps to be a background in marketing or supply chain) d) creative ideas
  • Be nice and friendly with everyone and don't try to show that you are better than others. Rather impress with contribution and impact

Good luck!

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