Cookie and Privacy Settings

This website uses cookies to enable essential functions like the user login and sessions. We also use cookies and third-party tools to improve your surfing experience on preplounge.com. You can choose to activate only essential cookies or all cookies. You can always change your preference in the cookie and privacy settings. This link can also be found in the footer of the site. If you need more information, please visit our privacy policy.

Data processing in the USA: By clicking on "I accept", you also consent, in accordance with article 49 paragraph 1 sentence 1 lit. GDPR, to your data being processed in the USA (by Google LLC, Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Inc., Stripe, Paypal).

Manage settings individually I accept
expert
Expert with best answer

Ian

100% Recommendation Rate

291 Meetings

25,039 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

3

How to deal with case prompt ?

Hello, I am struggling with long prompts during interviews.

I. is it ok to ask the interviewer to repeat the prompt if we missed several information while taking notes ?

II. Should we summarize the prompt after the interviewer gives it (only main ideas) or repeat the prompt as it is with our words (this way we make sure that we didn’t miss something) ?

III. Do you have ideas how to take notes of the prompt please ?

Many thanks.

Hello, I am struggling with long prompts during interviews.

I. is it ok to ask the interviewer to repeat the prompt if we missed several information while taking notes ?

II. Should we summarize the prompt after the interviewer gives it (only main ideas) or repeat the prompt as it is with our words (this way we make sure that we didn’t miss something) ?

III. Do you have ideas how to take notes of the prompt please ?

Many thanks.

(edited)

3 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Ian

100% Recommendation Rate

291 Meetings

25,039 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

Hi there,

I. is it ok to ask the interviewer to repeat the prompt if we missed several information while taking notes ?

Yes but no. It's not good if you're consistently having to do this. This not ok as general occurance/habit. It means you're not taking effective notes.

That said, if, on ocassion, you miss one piece of information, you can ask to clarify. It is not good to have missed multiple pieces of information.

When you do ask, make sure you're being "smooth" with your questioning. Re-articulate the prompt, and insert your questions within. E.g. "Ok, so our client is x is and they need help with y. They currently have, sorry, how much Revenue was it? Thanks. So they have x revenue and y costs and they also need us to consider z"

II. Should we summarize the prompt after the interviewer gives it (only main ideas) or repeat the prompt as it is with our words (this way we make sure that we didn’t miss something) ?

Please synthesize the prompt in your own words, flagging only the key information that matters.

III. Do you have ideas how to take notes of the prompt please ?

1) Write in shorthand!

I.e. If I say "Your client is Bills Bottles. They earn $800M in profits each year by manufacturing bottles to soda companies in the US and Europe. Over the past two years they've seen profits falling and have brought you in to investigate"

You should write:

  • Bills Bottles
  • Manufacture
  • Client = soda comp
  • 800M P
  • P [down arrow] 2 yrs
  • US + Europe
  • Obj: Fix P

2) Have a place for things

Especially now that we are in a virtual world, you can prepare your sheet of paper beforehand. Write down the following as labels:

  • Client:
  • Product:
  • Revenues:
  • Profits:
  • Costs:
  • Objective: (Top of sheet)
  • Etc.

You can find some additional helpful Q&As here

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/tips-on-capturing-key-points-of-a-case-prompt-during-a-case-interview-7033

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-take-good-notes-during-a-case-interview-7034

Hi there,

I. is it ok to ask the interviewer to repeat the prompt if we missed several information while taking notes ?

Yes but no. It's not good if you're consistently having to do this. This not ok as general occurance/habit. It means you're not taking effective notes.

That said, if, on ocassion, you miss one piece of information, you can ask to clarify. It is not good to have missed multiple pieces of information.

When you do ask, make sure you're being "smooth" with your questioning. Re-articulate the prompt, and insert your questions within. E.g. "Ok, so our client is x is and they need help with y. They currently have, sorry, how much Revenue was it? Thanks. So they have x revenue and y costs and they also need us to consider z"

II. Should we summarize the prompt after the interviewer gives it (only main ideas) or repeat the prompt as it is with our words (this way we make sure that we didn’t miss something) ?

Please synthesize the prompt in your own words, flagging only the key information that matters.

III. Do you have ideas how to take notes of the prompt please ?

1) Write in shorthand!

I.e. If I say "Your client is Bills Bottles. They earn $800M in profits each year by manufacturing bottles to soda companies in the US and Europe. Over the past two years they've seen profits falling and have brought you in to investigate"

You should write:

  • Bills Bottles
  • Manufacture
  • Client = soda comp
  • 800M P
  • P [down arrow] 2 yrs
  • US + Europe
  • Obj: Fix P

2) Have a place for things

Especially now that we are in a virtual world, you can prepare your sheet of paper beforehand. Write down the following as labels:

  • Client:
  • Product:
  • Revenues:
  • Profits:
  • Costs:
  • Objective: (Top of sheet)
  • Etc.

You can find some additional helpful Q&As here

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/tips-on-capturing-key-points-of-a-case-prompt-during-a-case-interview-7033

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-take-good-notes-during-a-case-interview-7034

(edited)

Book a coaching with Allen

100% Recommendation Rate

85 Meetings

1,168 Q&A Upvotes

USD 229 / Coaching

Yes, they are not testing your ability to hear everything, so definitely ask if you missed information, especially if it's a virtual interview. 100% you should be sure to do that.

However, it's likely that most of the notes you are taking are not important, if it's causing you to miss information. I find that candidates (students, especially, since they're used to memorizing details at school) try to record everything and 95% of the time, never look back at that information.

Hope that helps,

Allen

Yes, they are not testing your ability to hear everything, so definitely ask if you missed information, especially if it's a virtual interview. 100% you should be sure to do that.

However, it's likely that most of the notes you are taking are not important, if it's causing you to miss information. I find that candidates (students, especially, since they're used to memorizing details at school) try to record everything and 95% of the time, never look back at that information.

Hope that helps,

Allen

Book a coaching with Florian

100% Recommendation Rate

216 Meetings

5,132 Q&A Upvotes

USD 219 / Coaching

Hey there,

1. Definitely. This is an important habit throughout the case.

  • Always ask if you did not understand something acoustically
  • Always clarify if something is unclear

2. Summarize the key bits of information and play it back in your own words. Pay special attention to the question, which sometimes might include 2 conflicting goals (specifically for McKinsey)

3. Sure!

  • Use bullet points
  • Use single words and symbols to write down key messages (e.g., ''the amount of aircraft sold has reduced in 2019'' --> 2019 aircraft ↓
  • Circle the key bits of information and the case question

Cheers,

Florian

Hey there,

1. Definitely. This is an important habit throughout the case.

  • Always ask if you did not understand something acoustically
  • Always clarify if something is unclear

2. Summarize the key bits of information and play it back in your own words. Pay special attention to the question, which sometimes might include 2 conflicting goals (specifically for McKinsey)

3. Sure!

  • Use bullet points
  • Use single words and symbols to write down key messages (e.g., ''the amount of aircraft sold has reduced in 2019'' --> 2019 aircraft ↓
  • Circle the key bits of information and the case question

Cheers,

Florian

Related case(s)

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 18.4k times
MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.6 5 647
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvant ... Open whole case

Espresso, Whatelse?

Solved 10.8k times
Espresso, Whatelse? Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand the root causes of this 2019 trend and how to increase its profit margin again.  
4.6 5 536
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand ... Open whole case

Hot Wheels

Solved 5.7k times
Hot Wheels Problem definition: Our client is Korean Car Parts (KCP), a multi-national original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of car parts based in Korea. They've recently seen a decline in profits and have brought us in to understand how to address this falling profitability.
4.6 5 304
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Problem definition: Our client is Korean Car Parts (KCP), a multi-national original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of car parts based in Korea. They've recently seen a decline in profits and have brought us in to understand how to address this falling profitability. Open whole case

McKinsey Digital / BCG Platinion: Oil & Gas Upstream Technology

Solved 4.0k times
McKinsey Digital / BCG Platinion: Oil & Gas Upstream Technology [PLEASE NOTE: This is a technically difficult case and should only be completed by those coming in as a Technology specialist, i.e. recruiting for McKinsey Digital, BCG Platinion, etc.] Our client is a multinational oil and gas company. While they are vertically integrated and have upstream, midstream, and downstream divisions, they have recently been experiencing competitivity issues in the upstream gas division, which brings in $1B in profits annually. Our client’s upstream division has offices in Australia and Indonesia. Their work is highly dependent on their IT systems, as they have to constantly monitor wells and pipes (pressure, hydrocarbon count, fluid makeup, etc.) The upstream division has two large legacies of IT systems that are primarily used for downstream operations but have been modified for upstream purposes. These systems are managed by a central team in the US which is responsible for all IT issues across the business. They triage issues/enhancements and then manage development teams in India and Finland who complete the work.
4.5 5 82
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)

[PLEASE NOTE: This is a technically difficult case and should only be completed by those coming in as a Technology specialist, i.e. recruiting for McKinsey Digital, BCG Platinion, etc.] Our client is a multinational oil and gas company. While they are vertically integrated and have upstream, midstr ... Open whole case

Bain 1st Round Case – BlissOttica

Solved 2.5k times
Bain 1st Round Case – BlissOttica Our client is a BlissOttica, an Eyewear Manufacturer that is looking to reach a 10% increase in profits. How would you help our client?
4.3 5 125
| Rating: (4.3 / 5.0)

Our client is a BlissOttica, an Eyewear Manufacturer that is looking to reach a 10% increase in profits. How would you help our client? Open whole case