How to analyze interviewer feedback?

Case Case Interview expert Feedback interview feedback prep
New answer on Apr 28, 2020
12 Answers
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Levia asked on Jun 06, 2016

Hi all,

I find it hard to organize and make full use of feedback given to me by different interviewers? I feel like I can lose track of various things that go wrong in my practice interviewers.

How do you guys do it? :) :)

I would also appreciate any expert advice on how to improve myself when it comes to this issue...

Best regards!

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Originally answered question:

Ideal time for analyzing case feedback

Guennael
Expert
replied on Aug 10, 2016
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

Difficult question, it probably depends a little on both you and the feedback. When I was in your shoes, I probably under-utilized the feedback - only near the end of my preparation did I realize the early feedback had given me what I needed, but I just wasn't ready to hear it then.

Here is what I would recommend:

1. You write down the feedback next to your case notes, and you review the case every week or two. This won't necessarily help you 'crack the case', but it will help you reduce stress and may give you some creative ideas when you get stuck during the interview

2. As the same time, and more importantly, you aggregate all the feedback on a separate, single page. This one, you review every few days without fail. After each new case, you look at the single page and figure out if you were just given some feedback you had heard before; if so, this should definitely become a strong focus for the next time

You may not be able to 'understand', or 'feel' some of the feedback you receive at the beginning of your prep, that's ok. It takes time to really absorb the essence of case interviews: it is not easy, it is not natural, it just... takes... time. But by aggregating all the feedback in one place and reviewing it on a regular basis, hopefully you can shorten that time.

tl;dr: Don't put your preparation on hold until you understand the feedback, but don't discard it either.

I hope that helps? Good luck! Cheers, Guennael ex-BCG Dallas

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Anrian
Expert
replied on Apr 16, 2020
Kearney Senior Manager | Ex McKinsey Engagement Manager | Interviewer & Case Coach at McKinsey (200+ Real Interviews)

Hi Levia,

I was also not an organized person in keeping track of various feedbacks during my prep day.

Largely, I agree with all the points shared by Achyut and Aws. If you can practice that discipline, that would be perfect.

Some tips from me - and these are what I did - are:

  1. Prepare a physical notebook or a note app (like Evernote or OneNote)
  2. Create 3 categories only Fit, Case, Recap
  3. Jot down the feedback based on the category Fit or Case, and make it very simple e.g., Structure is not MECE, Math is too slow, etc.
  4. Every 10 feedbacks you have received, then you start to put the common feedbacks (the silver lining) under Recap section (prioritize the weaknesses, just put love or smiley icon on the strengths)
  5. Prioritize 3 weaknesses feedbacks you want to start working on
  6. If you start feeling confident then you can just cross it and move on
  7. Repeat the process

Hope this helps.

The most important thing to remember is "The interview is never perfect". With this in mind, you just need to always keep in mind 3 areas of your strength and keep manifesting it during the interview; and 3 areas of weakness that you must eliminate during the real interview and push this during the practice.

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Aws replied on Jun 06, 2016

I just started with my first case with a friend, and he is more advanced in case interviews so he knows how to give feedback.

What I started doing (and this might change as I get more experienced) is use Microsoft OneNote to write down feedback after every case in the following format:

[-] Quick overview of the things that didn't go well

[+] Quick overview of the things that went well

[Case specific findings] Smart things I discovered/answer sheet provided - regarding the case in question

[Detailed feedback] Every interviewer will give you different feedback. It makes sense to ask every interviewer for specific feedback (better yet to let him/her know in advance, so they can focus on these points).

I plan to do this for every case in a different sheet. After 10-20 cases, it's good to take a day to review these notes and sharpen your skills.

Hope this helps a bit,

Aws

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qian replied on Apr 16, 2020

I have been using a XP-Pen Star G640 drawing tablet to take notes in Microsoft Onenote for the past year or two . I can writing and drawing all in one app . the digital pen give the best realistic experience of all apps I ever tried .

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Levia replied on Jun 07, 2016

Thank you guys for your opinions!

Very helpful - would also appreciate it if a few experts pitched in :)

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Achyut
Premium
replied on Jun 07, 2016

I would largely agree with Aws and add the following points:

  • Maintain the same notebook / scratch pad for all cases that you do. Use the same book to record the feedback that you receive.
  • Note down all main points that the interviewer tells you in the same space where you made notes for your case. Write in another ink if you like.
  • Categorize feedback – both positive and negative into the main aspects of performance, which are:
    • Structuring
    • Logical and hypothesis building
    • Math and other analysis
    • Communication and attitude
  • Figure out which of the good things and bad things you are repeating over time - which areas need improvement and which ones are strengths?
  • Know what exactly you need to do in order to improve. For e.g. Math practice, structuring, learning how to make it MECE, etc.Once you have this figured out, make time to work on special exercises or readings to improve in those areas.
  • Track the number of times you are making mistake and observe if there are some underlying habits that are causing you to make the same mistake (for eg. speaking too fast). These are the most difficult ones to fix IMO and sometimes you can be too conscious especially if it's an integral part of your general behaviour.
  • Also keep track of the "overall feedback of the case". The first question a recruiter will answer when you leave the interviewer leaves the room is a simple "Yes/No". When you're doing cases - with friends or with experts here on PrepLounge - I would encourage you to seek an honest yes/no to the question "Would you send me to the next round?"

Hope this was helpful,

Thanks!

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Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 17, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

I would use the following steps:

  1. Understand who gave the feedback? In terms of trust, from high to low: Consultant / candidate with an offer / candidate who failed the 2nd round / candidate who has done 50+ cases / other candidates
  2. Check the feedbacks for consistency. Is it something you hear for the first time?
  3. Have an issue log with the detailed statistics of the mistakes you are making
  4. After you've done the case and received the feedback, I recommend spending some time on building the perfect structure and the case flow. I had a separate notebook with the perfect structures for the cases I've done before.
  5. Constantly revisit the previous cases while getting more knowledge and think how you would do the case differently
  6. Ask proactively the next interviewers about the issues the previous partners mentioned to calibrate the feedback
  7. Give the cases to other candidates. It should be the cases you've done yourself. It helps greatly to understand and memorize the approaches.

Best!

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Originally answered question:

Ideal time for analyzing case feedback

Anonymous A replied on Aug 16, 2016

Hello Guennael,

Thank you again for that comprehensive answer. Well, I meant the latter, i.e. the feedback candidates give to candidates (like me). However, your opinion confirms my apprehensions somehow since I’ve been sometimes sceptical in terms of feedback I received from fellow candidates.

Nevertheless, at least in my case, just a few of them were faulty. I assume that there are a couple of appropriate indicators that illustrate the credibility and reliability of candidates’ feedback. I usually tend to look at features such as the recommendation rate, the reliability rate, the experience rate, the number of meetings the user had and, finally, the user’s achievements. Most of the time, those users with better ratings know what they are talking about. Even though there is of course nothing as valuable as an expert’s feedback, I suppose that there are indeed a bunch of means you can measure the users’ feedback with.

However, it makes absolutely sense to me to practice - especially in the initial phases - with experts like you to get an in-depth understanding before practicing with other users. Best regards!

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Anonymous replied on Apr 28, 2020

Hi A,


I would recommend you to structure your feedback from interviewers into certain criteria:

-Personal fit

-Communication and individual behavior

-Case structure




If you figure out that you receive some common feedback from multiple people, you need to work on it specifically.

Hope it helps!

Best,

André

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Guennael gave the best answer

Guennael

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