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Francesco

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4

Help: Case Interview @ PwC

Greetings All,

I have a case study interview/presentation to make at PwC in the coming weeks. I am told the interview is about an hour and in the first 30 mins I will be given a topic to prepare and present it in the second 30 mins.

I am a bit lost in regards to the methodology. If I am given 30 mins to prepare my case, when am I going to ask questions and get the inputs from the Interviewer? If they aren't listening to my hypothesis then, what I am presenting?

Confused!!!

Hoping to find some direction here.

This is my second case interview. My first case interview was with Accenture and I had a horrible experience. I want to redeem myself with PwC.

Thanks in advance

Greetings All,

I have a case study interview/presentation to make at PwC in the coming weeks. I am told the interview is about an hour and in the first 30 mins I will be given a topic to prepare and present it in the second 30 mins.

I am a bit lost in regards to the methodology. If I am given 30 mins to prepare my case, when am I going to ask questions and get the inputs from the Interviewer? If they aren't listening to my hypothesis then, what I am presenting?

Confused!!!

Hoping to find some direction here.

This is my second case interview. My first case interview was with Accenture and I had a horrible experience. I want to redeem myself with PwC.

Thanks in advance

4 answers

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Hi Anonymous,

this is the typical structure used for written cases in consulting. In the first 30 minutes you will receive a question to answer and will have to read some information on your own (usually you also have to prepare a presentation). In the second part you will have to present your findings and answer to the questions of the interviewer.

In terms of preparation, I would recommend to consider the following:

1. Learn how to define a plan of action and stick to that

The first thing you should do in a written case is to define a plan and allocate in the best possible way your time. Assuming 30 minutes for the analysis, a good approach would include:

  • initial quick reading – 5-10 min (this may depend on the amount of material)
  • structure the approach – 5 min
  • make slides/answer to the questions adding detailed analysis and math – 10-15 min
  • final review – 5 min

You should then practice to stick to the time allocated, in order to maximize your final performance.

2. Practice graph interpretation

You will normally have to analyse graphs in a written case. The best way to practice is to take graphs from online resources and use a timer to test in how much time you can understand the key message. McKinsey PST graphs could be good practice for that.

3. Work on quick reading and quick understanding of key information

You will not have time to read and prioritize everything, so you have to understand where to focus. The ideal way to practice is to use long cases such as HBS ones, and practice on reducing the time needed to absorb the key information that can answer a defined question. Quick reading techniques could also help.

4. Practice quick math

You will normally have some math to do in a written case. GMAT and McKinsey PST math should work well to prepare on this.

5. Learn how to communicate your slides/answers

If you have to present your findings at the end of the case, I would apply here the same structures of final sum up in a live interview case, that is:

  1. Sum up the main questions you have to answer
  2. Present your proposed answer and detail the motivation behind
  3. Propose next steps for the areas you have not covered

As you will not be able to double check hypothesis with the interviewer as in the live case before the presentation, you should clearly state when you are making hypotheses and that you will have to verify them with further analysis.

If you have to prepare slides I would also recommend to work on:

A) structure the order of the slides

Normally the structure for a 5-slide presentation is the following:

  • First slide sums up the question and provides the answer
  • Second, third and fourth slide have the supporting arguments for the first slide
  • Fifth slide has the next steps

B) structure the content of each slide

There are three basic components for slides:

  1. Title
  2. Chart or data
  3. Label for chart

Many people structure the title as the mere description of what the chart is telling. A great title, instead tells the implication of the graph. Eg say the graph is showing a cost structure for a division. A bad title would be: Cost structure from 2005 to 2015. A good title would be: Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable”. A great title would be Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable due to ABC, assuming you have insides on the cause. The rule of thumb for the title is that if you read all the titles of the slides together you should get a clear idea of what is going on.

C) present the slides

When you present, I would suggest the following steps for each slide:

  1. Introduce the slide: “Let’s move to slide 2, which will show us why we have an issue with this division”
  2. Present the main message of the slide: “As you can see, we have a cost structure which makes for us not feasible to be competitive in this market”
  3. Provide details: “The graph, indeed, shows how our fix cost is XYZ, while competitors can benefit from economies of scale. Indeed…”

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

this is the typical structure used for written cases in consulting. In the first 30 minutes you will receive a question to answer and will have to read some information on your own (usually you also have to prepare a presentation). In the second part you will have to present your findings and answer to the questions of the interviewer.

In terms of preparation, I would recommend to consider the following:

1. Learn how to define a plan of action and stick to that

The first thing you should do in a written case is to define a plan and allocate in the best possible way your time. Assuming 30 minutes for the analysis, a good approach would include:

  • initial quick reading – 5-10 min (this may depend on the amount of material)
  • structure the approach – 5 min
  • make slides/answer to the questions adding detailed analysis and math – 10-15 min
  • final review – 5 min

You should then practice to stick to the time allocated, in order to maximize your final performance.

2. Practice graph interpretation

You will normally have to analyse graphs in a written case. The best way to practice is to take graphs from online resources and use a timer to test in how much time you can understand the key message. McKinsey PST graphs could be good practice for that.

3. Work on quick reading and quick understanding of key information

You will not have time to read and prioritize everything, so you have to understand where to focus. The ideal way to practice is to use long cases such as HBS ones, and practice on reducing the time needed to absorb the key information that can answer a defined question. Quick reading techniques could also help.

4. Practice quick math

You will normally have some math to do in a written case. GMAT and McKinsey PST math should work well to prepare on this.

5. Learn how to communicate your slides/answers

If you have to present your findings at the end of the case, I would apply here the same structures of final sum up in a live interview case, that is:

  1. Sum up the main questions you have to answer
  2. Present your proposed answer and detail the motivation behind
  3. Propose next steps for the areas you have not covered

As you will not be able to double check hypothesis with the interviewer as in the live case before the presentation, you should clearly state when you are making hypotheses and that you will have to verify them with further analysis.

If you have to prepare slides I would also recommend to work on:

A) structure the order of the slides

Normally the structure for a 5-slide presentation is the following:

  • First slide sums up the question and provides the answer
  • Second, third and fourth slide have the supporting arguments for the first slide
  • Fifth slide has the next steps

B) structure the content of each slide

There are three basic components for slides:

  1. Title
  2. Chart or data
  3. Label for chart

Many people structure the title as the mere description of what the chart is telling. A great title, instead tells the implication of the graph. Eg say the graph is showing a cost structure for a division. A bad title would be: Cost structure from 2005 to 2015. A good title would be: Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable”. A great title would be Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable due to ABC, assuming you have insides on the cause. The rule of thumb for the title is that if you read all the titles of the slides together you should get a clear idea of what is going on.

C) present the slides

When you present, I would suggest the following steps for each slide:

  1. Introduce the slide: “Let’s move to slide 2, which will show us why we have an issue with this division”
  2. Present the main message of the slide: “As you can see, we have a cost structure which makes for us not feasible to be competitive in this market”
  3. Provide details: “The graph, indeed, shows how our fix cost is XYZ, while competitors can benefit from economies of scale. Indeed…”

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Luca

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This seems to be a standard "Interview Presentation". You will have a package of slides with a lot of information that you need to analyse to answer some questions preparing some slides and presenting them to your interviewer

In order to crack the interview you should consider the following points:

  • Prepare for a traditional case interview: the competencies and the problem solving skills requested are pretty much the same
  • Define a plan of action according to the time given: one of the most important aspect of these cases is the ability to manage your time. You should consider the following steps: Initial reading, decide the approach, analysis, slides and final review.
  • Train quick reading skills and maths: there are a lot of good sources online, even the GMAT integrated reasoning section could be good.
  • Train slide-making skills: this is a crucial part because, as consultatn, slides are your most important communication tool. Be aware that there are some "golden rules" that you have to consider for making slides as a consultat. You can find something online but feel free to contact me for a quick analysis.
  • Learn how to present slides in an effective and professional way

You can find some good examples of written cases online, but I could forward you what I have. Contact me if you are interested.

Hope it helps,
Luca

This seems to be a standard "Interview Presentation". You will have a package of slides with a lot of information that you need to analyse to answer some questions preparing some slides and presenting them to your interviewer

In order to crack the interview you should consider the following points:

  • Prepare for a traditional case interview: the competencies and the problem solving skills requested are pretty much the same
  • Define a plan of action according to the time given: one of the most important aspect of these cases is the ability to manage your time. You should consider the following steps: Initial reading, decide the approach, analysis, slides and final review.
  • Train quick reading skills and maths: there are a lot of good sources online, even the GMAT integrated reasoning section could be good.
  • Train slide-making skills: this is a crucial part because, as consultatn, slides are your most important communication tool. Be aware that there are some "golden rules" that you have to consider for making slides as a consultat. You can find something online but feel free to contact me for a quick analysis.
  • Learn how to present slides in an effective and professional way

You can find some good examples of written cases online, but I could forward you what I have. Contact me if you are interested.

Hope it helps,
Luca

(edited)

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Hi,
it should be the typical presentation interview format. You are going to have a complete scenario about the client and a large amount of data to analyze and you have to prepare a presentation of 15 minutes to be discussed in a 15-minute Q&A session with the interviewers. The preparation will be the classical one with 2 additional points to focus on:

  • 80-20 prioritization: quickly navigate an important amount of data to find what really matters to the case resolution;
  • Executive summary: develop 1-2 pages to present that sum-up the problem and your recommendations.

I have a couple of well done written cases, feel free to text me for sharing.

Best,
Antonello

Hi,
it should be the typical presentation interview format. You are going to have a complete scenario about the client and a large amount of data to analyze and you have to prepare a presentation of 15 minutes to be discussed in a 15-minute Q&A session with the interviewers. The preparation will be the classical one with 2 additional points to focus on:

  • 80-20 prioritization: quickly navigate an important amount of data to find what really matters to the case resolution;
  • Executive summary: develop 1-2 pages to present that sum-up the problem and your recommendations.

I have a couple of well done written cases, feel free to text me for sharing.

Best,
Antonello

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Hello,

To look at it in a simple and efficent way, think of it as a mix between the classical case interview & the test (e.g., Imbellus, etc.)

On top of the classical prep that you will have done already for casing (e.g., top-down communication, issue trees, hypothesis driven, etc.) add the skills you practice for the cited tests (e.g., graph interpretations, ability to quickly derive conclusions from a buch of data, etc.)

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello,

To look at it in a simple and efficent way, think of it as a mix between the classical case interview & the test (e.g., Imbellus, etc.)

On top of the classical prep that you will have done already for casing (e.g., top-down communication, issue trees, hypothesis driven, etc.) add the skills you practice for the cited tests (e.g., graph interpretations, ability to quickly derive conclusions from a buch of data, etc.)

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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