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Ian

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7

How do you practice to communicate more concisely?

Any tips on how to avoid rambling in the interviews ?

Any tips on how to avoid rambling in the interviews ?

7 answers

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Remember the objective/question - If they ask a question, listen intently and lead with an answer. When working through the case, remember everything you do should be focused on the objective

Structure your thinking - When thinking + speaking, use structure to organize everything. By grouping things and talking in buckets you'll get your point across more concisely

Signpost - If needing to communicate multiple things, first state those x things! Then, afterwards, dive into each. So "I"m thinking about this in 3 ways. Way A, Way B, and Way C. In terms of Way A...."

Remember less is more - Think about longer sentences/phrases you use. Reflect on how to make them shorter. Much like you edit an essay, edit your speaking. Why use 5 words when a well-placed single word encompases that? Build your vocabulary (especially business vocabularly) to be able to use key words instead of wasting time "explaining" a concept

Practice with others - Tell others that you're working on this. Ask them to force you to be concise. So, tell them to interupt you if you're rambling! Record yourself for answers and listen to yourself....look for ways you could have been quicker.

Remember the objective/question - If they ask a question, listen intently and lead with an answer. When working through the case, remember everything you do should be focused on the objective

Structure your thinking - When thinking + speaking, use structure to organize everything. By grouping things and talking in buckets you'll get your point across more concisely

Signpost - If needing to communicate multiple things, first state those x things! Then, afterwards, dive into each. So "I"m thinking about this in 3 ways. Way A, Way B, and Way C. In terms of Way A...."

Remember less is more - Think about longer sentences/phrases you use. Reflect on how to make them shorter. Much like you edit an essay, edit your speaking. Why use 5 words when a well-placed single word encompases that? Build your vocabulary (especially business vocabularly) to be able to use key words instead of wasting time "explaining" a concept

Practice with others - Tell others that you're working on this. Ask them to force you to be concise. So, tell them to interupt you if you're rambling! Record yourself for answers and listen to yourself....look for ways you could have been quicker.

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Can you give a bit more detail on your specific issue?

If not, answers get too generic and by the book.

Cheers,

Clara

Can you give a bit more detail on your specific issue?

If not, answers get too generic and by the book.

Cheers,

Clara

Dear A!

Below some tips on how you can improve your communication skills.

Here are three key areas to focus on:

  • Concise communication: This is not the best time for boiling the ocean or going through an endless number of possible solutions. Your speech should be structured, quick, and concise.

  • Top-down communication: A HR wants to hear the key message first, and then - if and only if they find it useful - they'll ask you to provide details. Always think about what is absolutely critical for them to know, and start with that.

  • Fact-based communication: Facts first, to make sure you are in control. Always back up your conclusions with the relevant facts.

Hope it helps!

Best,

André

Dear A!

Below some tips on how you can improve your communication skills.

Here are three key areas to focus on:

  • Concise communication: This is not the best time for boiling the ocean or going through an endless number of possible solutions. Your speech should be structured, quick, and concise.

  • Top-down communication: A HR wants to hear the key message first, and then - if and only if they find it useful - they'll ask you to provide details. Always think about what is absolutely critical for them to know, and start with that.

  • Fact-based communication: Facts first, to make sure you are in control. Always back up your conclusions with the relevant facts.

Hope it helps!

Best,

André

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HI Anonymous,

For most candidates not communicating precisely is only a symptom, but not a root cause during case interviews.

More often than not, it's the underlying thinking which is not precise and accurate enough, especially when thinking about C-level execs who typically want to have very clear answers to their (sometimes not so clear) questions.

In other words, inconcise communication needs to be tackled by having the accuracy in the underlying thinking. Once your thinking is rigidly structured and precise, a concise communication is the natural outcome.

Excellent books which I can recommend in this respect are

  • The pyramid principle (Barbara Minto)
  • The so what strategy (Davina Stanley)

Once you master the underlying thinking, concise communication should actually by not difficult anymore!

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

Robert

HI Anonymous,

For most candidates not communicating precisely is only a symptom, but not a root cause during case interviews.

More often than not, it's the underlying thinking which is not precise and accurate enough, especially when thinking about C-level execs who typically want to have very clear answers to their (sometimes not so clear) questions.

In other words, inconcise communication needs to be tackled by having the accuracy in the underlying thinking. Once your thinking is rigidly structured and precise, a concise communication is the natural outcome.

Excellent books which I can recommend in this respect are

  • The pyramid principle (Barbara Minto)
  • The so what strategy (Davina Stanley)

Once you master the underlying thinking, concise communication should actually by not difficult anymore!

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

Robert

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Hi,

Several soft skills tips here:

  • Open pose
  • Eye contact
  • Smile
  • Don't perceive interviewers as enemies - perceive them as friends with whom you are having a nice conversation. Enjoy the interview
  • Feel gratitude for what you achieved and why you are there
  • Loud voice
  • Remember that you are having fun. Detach yourself from the results and don't build any expectations.

Best

Hi,

Several soft skills tips here:

  • Open pose
  • Eye contact
  • Smile
  • Don't perceive interviewers as enemies - perceive them as friends with whom you are having a nice conversation. Enjoy the interview
  • Feel gratitude for what you achieved and why you are there
  • Loud voice
  • Remember that you are having fun. Detach yourself from the results and don't build any expectations.

Best

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There are two ways to make your case delivery more to the point. Both are critical to master for an outstanding case perfromance.

Use your case framework effectively

If you have set up a strong, MECE framework at the beginning, stick to it. Use to to cover the relevant decision drivers. Once you have come to a conclusion that sufficiently answers one branch, check it off on the main page of your notes and move on to the next framework.

This is crucial for a successful case interview and can only be practiced in actual cases. Work with an experienced interviewer (a coach or a friend who is experienced), and ask them for specific feedback on this point.

Communicate your findings concisely

Practice communicating in the pyramid principle: Lead with the conclusion and then back it up with three shory pieces of supporting evidence. To give an example:

The client should enter the new market. I base this conclusion on three facts:

  • The market is sizeable and projected to grow in the coming years.
  • There is currently a gap in the competitive landscape, as no other player offers exactly what customers are demanding.
  • The client is uniquely position to develop a new value proposition, based on their current core business.

The good thing is, that you can practice this outside of a case interview. Open the economist, read any article, and practice summarizing it in that structure. Also here, you can (and should) work with an experienced interviewer from time to time to get feedback on how you're doing.

There are two ways to make your case delivery more to the point. Both are critical to master for an outstanding case perfromance.

Use your case framework effectively

If you have set up a strong, MECE framework at the beginning, stick to it. Use to to cover the relevant decision drivers. Once you have come to a conclusion that sufficiently answers one branch, check it off on the main page of your notes and move on to the next framework.

This is crucial for a successful case interview and can only be practiced in actual cases. Work with an experienced interviewer (a coach or a friend who is experienced), and ask them for specific feedback on this point.

Communicate your findings concisely

Practice communicating in the pyramid principle: Lead with the conclusion and then back it up with three shory pieces of supporting evidence. To give an example:

The client should enter the new market. I base this conclusion on three facts:

  • The market is sizeable and projected to grow in the coming years.
  • There is currently a gap in the competitive landscape, as no other player offers exactly what customers are demanding.
  • The client is uniquely position to develop a new value proposition, based on their current core business.

The good thing is, that you can practice this outside of a case interview. Open the economist, read any article, and practice summarizing it in that structure. Also here, you can (and should) work with an experienced interviewer from time to time to get feedback on how you're doing.

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One of the best techniques I have seen working on candidates with this issue is structuring the answer before hand and then practicing a lot!

Record yourself as you speak out an answer, then listen to these recordings and repeat the process till you know you are not going off topic. Given that you are aware of the issue it tells me that you are also well placed in knowing when you have gone past it.

All the best,

Udayan

One of the best techniques I have seen working on candidates with this issue is structuring the answer before hand and then practicing a lot!

Record yourself as you speak out an answer, then listen to these recordings and repeat the process till you know you are not going off topic. Given that you are aware of the issue it tells me that you are also well placed in knowing when you have gone past it.

All the best,

Udayan

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