Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 455,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

How to improve the ability to drive a case?

Case Interview
New answer on Apr 30, 2020
4 Answers
1.9 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Feb 25, 2020

One feedback I got a few times is that I am not driving the case actively enough, and the interviewer sometimes feels that I am "waiting for guidance".

I have reflected some possible reasons:

1. My structure was not comprehensive or accurate enough and I "got lost"

2. I did not ask the correct question to "proceed" the case.

3. I did not get enough insight from calculation or chart given.

I'd like to seek advice on how to improve this "drive" of proceeding the case.

Also, how should I balance between leading the case and having enough conversation with the interviewer? I feel that sometimes if the drive is too strong, the case interview becomes very monologue and I am not having enough dialogue with the interviewer.

Appreciate your advice!

Overview of answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Anonymous replied on Apr 30, 2020

Hi A,

follow these steps:

  1. Rephraze the question
  2. Ask 2-3 specific clarification questions
  3. Take time and drwa the case structure
  4. Communicate it top-down to the interviewer and get agreement where to start
  5. Navigate in the analysis through the structure, ask specific questions
  6. Do intermediate summaries at the end of each bucket
  7. Take time and summarize the final recommendations
  8. Ask whether interviewer has any questions to your recommendations

Good luck,


Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Apr 01, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

lack of drive is a quite common mistake and relatively easy to fix most of the time. Many people have the issue you mentioned, they key to be proactive is to state a hypothesis after your analysis (whatever the finding you had) and then ask a question to the interviewer to verify it and proceed forward with the case.

In terms of driving the case too much: I would say it is quite unlikely unless you have a very strong personality. I would err on the proactivity side as it is far more likely that the interviewer will find you not proactive than too proactive.

Hope this helps,

Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Feb 26, 2020
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

You need to picture yourself at the client site, in front of a whiteboard, with your team, figuring out what you need to do next on this project.

Truly reflect on what you need, what you're missing, or what you don't currently understand about the situation. Then, ask questions to fill this in.

This is super hard to learn, and impossible to teach through some written tips/techniques. I'd be happy to give you a crash course in this - 1 hour is all you need to have a complete mindset shift in this area!

Was this answer helpful?
Content Creator
replied on Feb 25, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

You should maybe be more proactive, e.g. by
- not asking broad questions, but try to anticipate your answer and ask for further details
- leading the interviewer through your issue tree by starting with a block, giving a rationale behind your prioritization


Was this answer helpful?
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely
You are a true consultant! Thank you for consulting us on how to make PrepLounge even better!