How long should I spend on preparing my structure to present to the interviewer at the begining?

Structure
New answer on Oct 26, 2020
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 24, 2020

How long should I spend on preparing my structure to present to the interviewer at the begining?

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Henning
Expert
replied on Sep 24, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

60-120 seconds. And you should practice this with a partner that keeps an eye on the time, as it is very difficult to estimate the time under pressure. You eventually need to get to a level of comfort with developing these frameworks that allows you to jot down the 20% of content that drives 80% of the answer reliably in a short time.

Of your max 2 min, spend a minute on the first level (the 3-5 branches). This needs to be MECE for a strong framework. Then the remainding 30-60seconds on just a few bullet points per branch underneath. These are not meant to be MECE, just a few starting points for a more in-depths analysis later.

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Ian
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replied on Sep 24, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Generally 60-120 seconds. You really should spend no more than 2 minutes preparing.

The most important is that you have 1) Quickly identified the main areas that matter 2) Can aritculate why you want to look at each one (i.e. what is the outcome/value you're looking for) and 3) Can explain what matters in each one, how you'll look at it/measure it, and include some supporting views/hypotheses.

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Kobi
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replied on Sep 25, 2020
McKinsey interviewer|EM @ McKinsey & Company | 100% fit interview success rate | Coached +20 candidates | Personalized interview

LIke others said - 1-2 minutes. What is even more important is to be able to stop any time and continue while speaking through it. Practice doing it without any stop and just start create the structure while you present it to the interviewer. I think a big part of being good in cases is the ability to think while you speak (which tend to be hard for some candidates, even very smart ones)

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Clara
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replied on Sep 25, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Less than 2 mins.

In any case, if you are taking too long, the interviewer will let you know.

Cheers,

Clara

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Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 24, 2020
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

1-2 mins is what you need. I think 90 seconds should be enough to get to a strong structure and then the focus should be on communicating it in an in-depth and effective manner.

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Robert
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replied on Sep 26, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

While there is not 100% right or wrong answer to this question, a good rule of thumb is 1 to max. 2 minutes.

To give you a bit more orientation concerning appropriate timing, the following 3 aspects need to be in line:

  • Time which you take to prepare your structure
  • Complexity of the case outline
  • Depth and precision of your prepared structure

So if the case outline is very simple and you come up with a rather shallow generic structure, 2 minutes is definitely way too much. On the contrary, if the case outline is rather complex and you present a super-mece in-depth approach for that case, 1:45 is very fast - and your interviewers know that.

After 2 minutes the interviewer will most likely interrupt you (chances increasing exponentially each second afterwards) and force you to present the structure which you have at that point in time. For practice, rather try to be closer to the 1 minute mark - it forces your brain to process this part of the case very quickly (although quality is more imporant obviously), and at the end of the day it's mostly just practice and not rocket science.

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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Mehdi
Expert
replied on Sep 25, 2020
BCG | Received offers from all MBB & Tier 1Firms | Supporting you secure your top tier consulting offer

Hi there,

I join the other coaches to confirm that 90-120 seconds is the average. If you need to take more time it means that you are either focusing too much on details or if you are not on the right path. I would advise you to practice as much as possible, taking into account this time limit that you need to fit in.

All the best,

Mehdi

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 26, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

I would recommend to take couple of minutes to prepare your structure.

This time will help you to concentrate your attention and think soberly. Also, I would recommend you to practice this in stressful situations.

Cheers,

GB

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Anonymous replied on Sep 25, 2020

Dear A!

I absolutely agree with other coaches. I would recommend spending two minutes on the preparation of structure and also your concentration at the beginning of the interview. It would be also great to practice it with your peers in advance: in an intense situation, you can lose time because of anxiety.

Hope it helps!

Best,

André

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Francesco
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replied on Sep 25, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

I recommend 1 minute to prepare and 1.5 min to present as a benchmark.

It’s not an issue if you spend a bit more time. However, be prepared to have the interviewer asking if you are ready (you can politely say you need a bit more time).

You won’t probably be as fast at the beginning – it takes practice.

Best,

Francesco

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Henning gave the best answer

Henning

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