How perfect does your case interview performance need to be?

Anonymous A asked on May 18, 2018 - 2 answers


regarding MBB Case Interviews in Germany (or in general), how perfect does your case performance in all 3 Cases need to be both in terms of the number of cases with sub perfect performance and the amount of dimensions that can be sub perfect?

E.g. if we take the dimensions business judgment, creativity, quants, problem-solving etc., can you still get an offer if your problem solving structure is only mediocre or not fully MECE, but everything else is great? How "high" is the minimum level for gettng an interview? How do you determine whether an error or sub perfect skill is enough for rejecting the interviewee?

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Anonymous B replied on May 19, 2018


Hopefully this information helps:

From my understanding, Candidates are assessed across 5 or 6 areas - FIT/Structure/Comms/Quant/Creativity/Problem Solving etc.

You must perform 'at the bar' for each and every level.

You must 'spike' in at least one area.

Hope this helps!

Vlad replied on May 18, 2018
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It depends on the competitive situation in a particular office, your role and the demand on the market and even your school. In general, I would not expect BA interviews to be easier than Associate interviews.

I've seen many times a situation when BAs were overprepared (case clubs very popular among students), while experienced hires were underprepared (lack of time and information about consulting interviews) and both passed

MBA hiring expectations are also different for different schools. For example, in Stanford and Harvard, you can meet many people with 2-3 MBB offers, while it's not the case in other business schools. I also can't say that people doing MBA have lots of time to prepare. I believe that brand matters and they hire more people in top schools in general.

I would also copy a list of critical things here from a similar thread:

Case interview:

  • Not listening to the interviewer (Forgetting the information provided, not listening to the interviewer's tips, answering the wrong question)
  • Poor structure (not enough levels, not seeing the big picture, a structure not answering the question / answering a wrong question)
  • Using "book structures" (3c, 4p, etc) or structures not tailored enough for the case
  • The candidate is not structured enough (you are structuring in the beginning, but fail to structure during the case)
  • Math mistakes (one may be ok, more than 1 - no go)
  • Not communicating the math properly (you don't communicate the way you do calculations and stay silent)
  • Lack of creativity (candidate cannot brainstorm creatively on solving the problem)
  • Lack of top-down communication (candidate does not apply the pyramid principle in his communication)
  • lack of business judgment (candidates ideas are too general / do not reflect the specifics of the industry / function)

Fit interview:

  • Can the candidate talk to the client right now?
  • The candidate does not look mature (outfit, behavior, language)
  • The candidate is too nervous (Being a bit is ok, shaking is probably too much)
  • Candidate can not provide the examples of certain traits (e.g. leadership).
  • Candidate fails to answer additional questions about his stories (i.e. the story was made up)
  • The candidate is not friendly / enthusiastic / shows no emotions
  • The candidate stories do not differentiate from the others (e.g. Leading a team in a case competition as a lead story)