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How to practice specific case types efficiently?

Case Interview Framework
New answer on Jun 30, 2020
6 Answers
1.4 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Feb 15, 2020

Hello! I'd want to seek some advice on how to prepare specific case types efficiently. I know its important to prepare enough cases (at least 30+), but everyone's case type done is very different. Should I divide case according to 1. industry 2. case types, and try to practice each specific type at the same extent? Or should I focus on preparing more common case types, such as profitability case?

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Anonymous replied on Feb 16, 2020

Hi there,

I'd add two pieces of advice.

1) Varying case types is useful, particularly from different case prep books, to ensure that you get comfortable with different approaches. Most of Victor Cheng's cases, for example, work great with his frameworks. But loads of cases don't. In addition, think about highly quant cases vs. ones without any numbers at all. Finally, I'd agree that doing case types as you say is useful, profitability vs. market entry, but just remember that only a few cases you'll see in actual interviews hew to these case types.

2) Isolate the specific skills you're trying to train. If quick math: do that for an afternoon. If frameworks, do a bunch of case starts. Personally, I found it very useful to practice structuring the math bit of the case, doing hundreds of GMAT-type word problems (PM me for specific examples) to ensure I could crush those out. But remember that a full, 45 minute case is a special beast, and being able to focus and think hard for that amount of time is a skill unto itself.

3) General industry knowledge is a skill itself, and so I'd suggest reading business news for an hour or so a day (FT, businessweek, economist), to get a sense of different industries to help solve for the creative recommendations bit of cases.

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Anonymous B on Feb 16, 2020

Hi Bryan, thanks for your helpful Q&A replies (came across some of them)! Concerning your third point: is there any quick way to get familiar with different industry? Is there any resource that covers key drivers for each industry? :)

Nathaniel
Expert
replied on Feb 15, 2020
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hello there,

Typically, it is advised to set the case types as your overarching practice categories, and then industries underneath it.

Try to get familiar with the foundational types such as profitability, market situation, and a combination of both, before expanding to other types such as 4P, Ansoff Matrix, M&A, investments decisions, etc.

After getting more familiar with each types, practicing each of these types across different industries would then help you to understand more on the diffferences between sectors (e.g. revenue and cost drivers).

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,
Nathan

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Anonymous replied on Jun 30, 2020

Make sure you cover all the different case types, and practices at least 3-4 cases for each type so you get comfortable. Split by industry is nice to have, but not the first priority to me.

Best,

Emily

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Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 29, 2020
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello,

There is a significant difference between casebooks and real cases. During your interviews 80-90% of your cases will be P&L, Market entry and Market sizing. Give priority to these typologies.

Best,
Luca

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 16, 2020
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

Yes, you should practice as many case types as possible, with a priority on market sizings, P&L, and market entry cases.

Best,
Antonello

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 15, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

The important thing is to first get familiar with the overall strategy of making cases correctly -e.g., how to structure them in a holistic way, right questions to make, etc.-

Once this basis is set, there are some type of cases that are somehow peculiar and that is worth practicing at least once (e.g., M&A, pricing, market entry, etc.). Industry knowledge is secondary, since once you have the basics covered -which is not much more than general culture and some particularities- is totally impossible to learn about all of them -and, overall, is time that has a much better ROI doing other stuff.

I would recommend you, if you feel you are getting stuck, to work with a coach to prep with/for you a coaching plan covering the possible "blind spots" you might have.

Hope it helps!

Best,

Clara

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