How Can I recover from an *awful* mock case performance w/ an Interviewer?

Cases mock case
New answer on Nov 27, 2022
9 Answers
81 Views
Anonymous A asked on Nov 23, 2022

Hi all--

I'm 3 months into my case prep (MBA level), and frankly I'm doing ok at this point! Quant structuring has been an ongoing struggle for me, but I'm making forward progress.

I have one early interview next week, and was offered a mock interview with my interviewer at this firm, which I decided to accept.

I cannot even describe to you all how badly I bombed--my framework was excellent and I drove the case forward nicely, but the second we arrived at the mathematics I just froze; I didn't understand what my interviewer is saying as she tried to coach me, I forgot the basic arithmetic I needed to do to perform this, I structured my time-value equation incorrectly…it was atypically bad.

My question is if I'm done with this firm now, if there is any way to make my interviewer think I'm anything but an absolute idiot who can't do even the most basic functions of the role.

This isn't normal for me, I don't know why it happened, and I hope to god it doesn't happen again. 

Should I cut my losses?

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 24, 2022
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hi there,

These mock interviews are not evaluated and are only used for two reasons:

  1. Show you how interviews are conducted in general (to avoid completely unprepared applicants, which happened quite often in the past and wasted everyone's time during the first round).
  2. To provide feedback on your performance (e.g., identify blindspots, finetuning) that can help your final prep.

You should not cut your losses as there are none at this point. 

What I read from your interview performance and your message here is that you are extremely nervous and it sounds more like a confidence issue (fear of failure) than anything skill-based.

I would suggest you could potentially push back the interview for 1-2 weeks and find some rest/increase your confidence/get over the fear of failure. There are a couple of techniques you can use and you need to find what works for you but I believe it's the biggest lever you can pull at this point.

All the best!

Florian

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 24, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: My question is if I'm done with this firm now.

If what you did was a mock interview, it should not be used for evaluation purposes. So if you do well in the actual interview next week you are going to be fine.

You can use the learnings from the mock to improve during this week and do your best in the actual interview.

Good luck!

Francesco

Was this answer helpful?
Rushabh
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Nov 23, 2022
Immediate Coaching Available! | 50% discount on mocks! | BCG Expert | Middle East | 60+ mocks delivered | IESE & NYU MBA

Hello,

Let me start by saying: Don't Panic! This is absolutely normal and has happened to me a bunch of times (even during the actual interview). 

To give you some assurance - the mock interview should not have any material impact on your actual interview, so please do not think the worst possible outcome. Take each individual interview separately. I have often bombed one interview and excelled at the other - giving the firm enough confidence to pass me on to the next round.

Also - sometimes the questions are designed to trick you so that the interviewer can see how you behave in stressful situtations.

I'm happy to share with you specifics over chat and discuss how to keep your best foot forward before your interview next week.

All the best! 

Rushabh

Was this answer helpful?
Maikol
Expert
replied on Nov 24, 2022
Incoming BCG Principal | Former Bain, AlixPartner, and Private Equity | INSEAD MBA | GMAT 780

In my experience, some offices in some cases take into account a bad performance in mock interviews. 
However, it means that you may be asked to postpone interviews by 3 to 6 months.

That said, any failure is a good lesson. Therefore, work as much as you can on solving your issue with math. This is important not only for interviews but in particular for real consulting life, where mathematics and analytical acumen are extremely important. 

If you need some help, happy to schedule some coaching sessions.

Was this answer helpful?
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 24, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Move on and learn from it.

The point of mock cases is to make mistakes and learn from them. Plain and simple! You're not done with the firm until the application response comes back. Mock interviews are just that…mocks!

You might want to consider doing a mock with a coach so that you can simulate that pressure situation again (and learn how to not make the same mistake twice)

Here's some additional reading that might help: https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/how-to-shift-your-mindset-to-ace-the-case

 

Was this answer helpful?
Emily
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 27, 2022
Ex McKinsey EM & interviewer (5 yrs) USA & UK| Coached / interviewed 200 +|Free 15 min intro| Stanford MBA|Non-trad

It's just a mock! It won't be taken into consideration and, if for any reason it was, think how much you'll wow them when you improve dramatically for your real interview! If it helps, I absolutely bombed my mock, didn't have any idea what I was doing and it was a disaster. 

Just try to learn from it and tell those nerves to quiet down - there's absolutely no point quitting when you haven't even been through the interview yet and given a no! 

Good luck - you still have everything to play for! 

Was this answer helpful?
Lucie
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 24, 2022
10+yrs recruiting & top BCG trainer & BCG Project leader & experienced hire & ICF coach

no worry, mock is precisely to feel in a safe environment how it may feel. Now, analyze what happened, how you can do it better next time during your real interview, this is an opportunity for you to make it well next time.

Good luck!

Was this answer helpful?

Was this answer helpful?
Adi
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 24, 2022
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience
Was this answer helpful?
Dennis
Expert
replied on Nov 24, 2022
Seasoned project leader with 7+ years of consulting and recruiting experience in USA and Europe

Practice interviews is where you want to make your mistakes so you don't have to repeat them in the real interviews. On the positive note, you now have the opportunity to show tremendous improvement relative to your mock case. The upwards trajectory is often a very positive element to be considered. 

In any case, I would expect your interviewer to particularly probe you in the areas you didn't do well in during the mock case. So just try to prep for that so you can eliminate all the doubt they might have regarding your capabilities.

All the best of luck

Was this answer helpful?
Florian gave the best answer

Florian

Content Creator
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 120+ McK offers in 18 months
878
Meetings
14,472
Q&A Upvotes
84
Awards
5.0
391 Reviews