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How much time can I take to prepare an approach for a pure market sizing case?


Hi everyone:

I have been practicing market sizing cases lately and was wondering how much time is perceived as adequate for coming up with a market sizing approach?

Some of them are really complex and take a couple of minutes to come up with.

What would you say is the maximum?




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Nuno replied on 06/24/2017

Dear Maxim,

I think there are 2 major examples of market sizing cases: (1) doing a small market sizing inside a bigger case and (2) doing a case interview solely on market sizing alone. The second case is a small fraction of cases but certainly a possibility (between major firms Oliver Wyman is the most known to do it).

Let's start with example number 1 - since this is just a small step inside the case it's usually something that you can have a grasp pretty quickly - I would so between 30 to 60 seconds is definitely within reason; If it's something really challenging and you are not getting there, sharing your doubts with the interviewer and talking through the problem would give you some time.

The second example is something a little more challenging if a case revolves around just a complex market sizing problem. I would say the ideal time is similar to the time you would take to do a full structure at the beginning of a case which I believe shouldn't go over 2 minutes. I've given full market sizing problems from real interviews and the interviewee took 3 minutes to come up with a strategy to solve the problem and it really felt like a long time in full silence looking to a person thinking about out to approach a problem.

my 2cents, hope it helps!


Francesco replied on 06/24/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (900+) | 100% recommendation rate

Hi Maxim,

1m30s should be fine as a threshold for a standard market sizing; 2 minutes could also work if the market sizing is very complex (for example, with multiple estimation layers required). Sometimes, in particular if you have to work on the structure for 2 minutes, the interviewer may try to put pressure, with the standard “Are you ready?” question; most of the time, this is done only to see how you react, and not as a sign you should have taken less time. In this case, you can simply answer with “Sure, just few seconds and will complete it” and complete your structure.

To sum up, I would try not to spend more than 1m30s for standard and 2 minutes for complex market sizing questions.



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