How did you get ready for your own application?

Bain BCG MBB MBB & Big 4 MBB case interview prep Mck McKinsey
New answer on Oct 11, 2020
7 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Oct 09, 2020

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 09, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

It´s an intelligent question, since at the end what you do for yourself is what you believe is the most effective way. Indeed, I base the preparation that I do as a coach is precisely based on my own (successful) experience.

You have 2 main workstreams ahead:

1. FIT INTERVIEW

The "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

You can see plenty of reviews from candidates who purchased it already.

Furthermore, you can find 2 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes, since we still have some left from the launch! :)

2. BUSINESS CASE

I was presonally not a fan of the classicas, such as Viktor Cheng, "Case in point" book, etc. You need to get hands on asap:

1. Practice cases with partners asap, as many as you can do.Find experienced partners who can provide a good feedback

2. Practice your math skills, both in your cases and with ad hoc exercisess, such as:

  • 1. ​Multiplying double digit numbers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ndkkPZYJHo
  • 2. Leveraging math tools (Mimir math for iOS), Math tool on Viktor Cheng website to practice

3. Ensure you have a good overview of the ​most common case types:

  • 1. Profitability cases- basic profitability framework.
  • 2. Idea generation cases: for any specif issue
  • 3. Growth cases: market penetration, new product launch, product mix change, etc.
  • 4. Pricing cases
  • 5. M&A cases
  • 6. Valuation cases
  • 7. Value chain cases

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Pascal
Expert
replied on Oct 09, 2020
Ex-Bain Manager | 10 yrs MBB experience | 250+ people interviewed | Written case expert | Open to give limited discounts

Hi anonymous,

It depends a little bit on how much time you have for your preparations.

But in general, I would recommend the following:

  • Start with the basics, read through a couple of case examples, learn the most important frameworks that exist, how they work and when they are applied
  • Most importantly: start practicing with other people. These can be peers, people that work within one of the companies you are applying to, or experts from this website. Practice, practice, practice, and do not only focus on whether you can crack the case or not, but also on how you present yourself and deliver the case. Practicing out loud always is most effective.
  • Get your maths at peak level, using simple exercises like multiplying 2-3 digit numbers with each other in your head
  • Last but not least, create a database of life experiences that you can use for the fit part of the interview. These examples should all be short, powerful and convincing, 8-10 sentences per experience. I am sure that using the STAR framework will help you to achieve this.

I have many more practical tips, but this should at least give you a high level sense of where to start!

Cheers,

Pascal

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Mehdi
Expert
replied on Oct 09, 2020
BCG | Received offers from all MBB & Tier 1Firms | Supporting you secure your top tier consulting offer

Hi there,

Personally, I had to familiarise myself with the types of cases and to get my hands dirty (doing various cases with an increasing difficulty level). I had to practice with various people before reaching out to some experts and learning from their experiences. For the fit part, I worked on fine-tuning my own stories and I asked for feedback from experienced people.

I will be happy to tell you more about my own story of preparing for the different firms in different geographies and how I managed to get offers from all the top consulting firms!

Mehdi

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Robert
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 11, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

The same as what I recommend to most candidates - obviously this is generic advice and needs to be adapted to your individual situation:

  • Starting off with basic case interview books like Marc Cosentino's "Case in Point" or Victor Cheng's "Case Interview Secrets"
  • At the same time watching Victor Cheng's youtube videos
  • Getting a professional case interview coaching, like here on PrepLoungequite early in the process, as a professional case interview coach will help you get things right immediately, so that you can focus on your weak spots and at the same time reinforce your positive habits during your further prep
  • Start having interactive mock interviews with peers, which you can find in masses also on PrepLounge - there is a strong correlation between number of interactive cases solved and interview success
  • Once you feel you make progress in your case interview performance, start having some professional coaching sessions again to get some real-life benchmark and feedback for further improvement; what works best is approx. 1 professional coaching per week as there is enough time to improve weak spots with peer mock interviews until the next coaching, and at the same time this timeframe is short enough so that you keep up with you prep and do not lose track
  • Once you start feeling comfortable with solving cases in general, focus on being as structured as possible in every sentence you say and every answer you give ("ABS - always be structured"). For this, I wrote a distinct book with the most important frameworks and business concepts for case interviews, which you can also find in my profile section with a discount for coachees. This book not only gives you a short description and basic idea of the frameworks and concepts, but also a step-by-step guide on how to actually use and implement them (you would be surprised how many candidates don't have a clue about that!).
  • As soon as you master the case interview basics, start preparing the behavioural part of the interviews; this is especially important for McKinsey as this is the part where most candidates really fail. Recently PrepLounge published a McKinsey PEI Cheat Sheet in the shop here, which is basically an excerpt from my "The Ultimate McKinsey PEI Prep" ebook.
  • If time permits, read some general books about consulting to get a good understanding how the industry works, like "The Firm" by Duff McDonald, "Managing the Professional Service Firm" by David Maister and "The McKinsey Way" by Ethan Rasiel

Hope that helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Francesco
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Content Creator
updated an answer on Oct 18, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

This is what I did and what I would recommend to land a top offer:

  1. Define a calendar for your preparation. Check if there is any deadline for the applications. Then identify how many hours you have before that and allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the points below. Many people need 100+ hours to be ready before the interview so you can keep that as a benchmark
  2. Read Case In Point or Case Interview Secrets for a general understanding of what a consulting interview is. Don’t focus on the structures proposed in the books, as they are not good enough nowadays.
  3. Start reading good MBA Consulting Handbooks – you can find several for free online (Insead is a good one to start). Read the cases and try to apply your structure to solve them. Whenever you see there is something missing, upgrade your structure with the new insides. Try to read at least a new case per day – in this way you will absorb better the information with constant learning.
  4. After the first 5-10 cases in books/handbooks and basic theory, start to practice live. PrepLounge can be helpful to connect with other candidates for that. There is a relevant part of the interview score that is based on your communication, which you cannot practice at all if you read cases only. Keep track of your mistakes and see if you repeat them. If so, try to identify the source of the mistake (feedback of experienced partners would be particularly useful for this). Be sure to focus on both the behavioural part and the case part. The case part should also cover market sizing, mental math and graph analysis.
  5. Before your application, be sure to review your CV and Cover, so that they are in the required format for a consulting application
  6. At least 3 weeks before the application deadline, start networking to find referrals for your target companies.
  7. Before the interviews, be sure to prepare your questions for the interviewer –great way to show you prepared in advance and to connect with the interviewer for a good final impression.

Besides that, you may have to prepare for tests. Usually one or two weeks are enough for that. If you have to prepare for the McKinsey Imbellus, you can find the guide I created here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/mckinsey-imbellus-game-secrets-48

McKinsey Imbellus Guide by Francesco

If you want to spend few hours only instead of 100+ and cover everything mentioned above, I developed a program to precisely do that. You can click on the following link to find more:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/profile.php?id=2433#coaching-package

GYM Coaching Program by FrancescoAfter this program, you will know exactly what to expect in your interview, what to work on, and how to focus on the real differentiator to land a top consulting offer.

Please feel free to PM me if you need more information.

Best,

Francesco

(edited)

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 11, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep
  1. Resume
    1. Killer template and clean/clear/concise
  2. Cover Letter
    1. Made "paragraphs" then slotted them in based on what the company was looking for
  3. Trackers
    1. Tracked applications
    2. Tracked contacts/netwoking cases
    3. Track cases
  4. Foundational prep
    1. Practiced fast math
    2. Learned frameworks
    3. Learned industries
  5. Case prep
    1. Practiced cases with others
    2. Hired a coach
    3. Did mock sessions with career office + company consultants
  6. Behavioral/fit prep
    1. Created 3 "standard" question answers
    2. Created 6 personal fit stories
    3. Practiced answers multiple times with fellow candidates
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Henning
Expert
replied on Oct 11, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

I focused on two major aspects. Fit and cases:

  • For the fit part, I made sure to have strong stories to tell that project the typical skills and capabilities that interviewers are asking for. I wrote mine down (i think somewhere between 8 and 10 stories and noted for which type of questions they would fit. Then I rehearsed the delivery and prepared for some of the typical questions that interviewers follow up with (how did you feel in this situation, how did X react, etc.) It is important that you know these stories and the background inside out, not just the 60s delivery.
  • For cases, I used the following approach:
    • I started with watching Victor Chen's videos and I read David Ohrvall's book to understand the basic types of cases, frameworks, etc.

    • Then, I did 5-6 cases to get a practical feeling for what a case is like. Start with easier ones - e.g. market size mini cases, simple profit tree cases, etc. This will help you develop a rudimentary sense for how cases work
    • The next 5-6 cases covered all major types and help you gain the experience and comfort with standard frameworks and the thinking required for solving the cases.
    • Lastly, I asked experienced MBB interviewers to help me with practice cases. I did 6-7 cases to hone myskills. It is important to practice with people who understand what they are doing - experienced interviewers, coaches, etc. that can give you 1-2 main items of feedback after each case that you can then practice to apply and improve on in the next case. During this time, you should also practice to move away from off-the-shelf frameworks and tailor, or - even better - develop your frameworks specifically during the case.

In addition, I used every free minute to read up on the firms and style of interviewing. This helps you tailor the approach to fit question and case slightly to match the style of the firm you're interviewing with.

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Clara gave the best answer

Clara

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McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
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