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How many hours does it take averagely to prepare case interviews to enter MBB?

Preparation hours
Recent activity on Oct 29, 2018
2 Answers
10.7 k Views
Lingyi asked on Oct 29, 2018
Looking for solid partners. Currently preparing for healthcare related consulting firms

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replied on Oct 29, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


It depends on several factors:

  • Role (e.g. it's much easier to pass the interview applying from a top MBA)
  • Company (McKinsey PST may require a lot of prep)
  • Prior background
  • Time you can dedicate per day (if you are working full-time it may take much longer)

Purely case prep requires a couple of months with dedicated 2-3 hours per day.

Also, it's often more about quality rather than quantity:

  1. Don't count the cases you've done yourself
  2. Don't count the cases you've done from the casebooks
  3. Count the cases you've done with experienced candidates (50+ cases solved / passed the first round) who can give you a real case and a good feedback.

In that case, you need 40-50 cases depending on the role, office, etc (e.g. MBAs in top schools need just a bit of practice compared to regular candidates. Both because of their knowledge and because the on-campus hiring is not that tough)

If you take a good coach, you can make it in 20-35 cases. The coach will give you the right knowledge. Partners will help you integrate the skill. At the end of the day, it's just a skill that can be trained.

Why do you even need partners and coaches? When you are stressed during the case interview and out of energy having the 3rd case in a row, 90% of your questions and reactions should be fully automatic. Otherwise, it's extremely hard to solve the case, trying in find out what you've memorized from v.Cheng book.



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Lingyi on Oct 29, 2018

Thanks very much! That helps a lot!

replied on Oct 29, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

Usually 100 to 150 hours, ideally spread out over 2-3 months: slow at first, intense near the end.

If you don't work smart, if you don't try to learn from your mistakes and get actionable feedback... it will take longer still. There are no shortcuts. Some people get in with 20 hours; some people also win the lottery. Don't plan your life based on the exception.

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Lingyi on Oct 29, 2018

Thanks very much for your advise!

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