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How are cases selected for an interview?

Anonymous A asked on Jan 14, 2017 - 3 answers

Dear community,

Does anyone have any idea about how interviewers choose cases for interviews? Do they just select a random case, or based on the candidates experience? And who exactly chooses the cases? The interviewers themselves or is it given to them?

If anyone knows about this, thatd be great.


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replied on Jan 14, 2017
| Ex-BCG Project lead | Ex-Partners in Performance Manager | Former Case coach at Stanford
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I think there is no exact right answer, though I had the following experiences:

1) BCG - an interviewer had a case he had been giving all the time. It was from his real case study.

2) BCG - an interviewer picked a topic from my resume and came up with a relevant case from his experience. That was a more "conversational" case.

3) McKinsey - an interviewer picked a case from an internal case book.

4) Strategy& - an interviewer gave a case relevant to the industrial practise (Consumer Goods) I applied to. It was from her recent engagement.

Hope it helps!

replied on Jan 30, 2017
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MBB interviews are asked to develop their own case so it should not be from any casebooks.

Usually cases are based on personal experience, meaning experiences with clients they had at the firm.

Sometimes cases are actual problem solvings of the current study they are engaged. They want to see how you think in the situation they are facing in their project.

Anonymous B replied on Jan 17, 2017

As Alexandr said, there is probably no exact answer as it depends on the interviewer, but from someone of Roland Berger I have heard that they look at the profile of the candidate and try to find a case from their library with which they think a good discussion could evolve (for example if you have an engineering background, they might pick a case where this might help). However, all the cases should be solvable from every background.

I don't know if RB is on your agenda, but what surprised me is that they don’t necessarily pick a case of the competence center you are applying for. Apparently because on the job you will have to deal also with different kinds of cases.

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