How to prep for a 'data dump' case interview?

case studies restructuring smp
New answer on Dec 15, 2019
2 Answers
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Benjamin asked on Dec 14, 2019

I have an interview coming up at SMP that includes a restructuring case study where I get around 30 pages of info (P&L, balance sheet, CFs, etc.) and 30 min time to find the problems of the company and solutions.

Can anyone recommend practice case studies that use a similar format (dumping a lot of data to look through in a limited time) or do you have any advice for how to best prep for a case like this?

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Antonello
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replied on Dec 14, 2019
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi Benjamine,
case preparation will be the classical one with 2 additional points to focus on:

  • 80-20 prioritization: quickly navigate an important amount of data to find what really matters to the case resolution;
  • Executive summary: develop 1-2 pages to present that sum-up of the problem and your recommendations.

I have a couple of well done written cases, feel free to text me for sharing.


Best,
Antonello

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Vlad
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replied on Dec 15, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

I've uploaded some samples here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zor4m49eyx5qxal/AABeUN6mtiGkWhEklRjszX2Oa?dl=0

(ask me for a password)

The best way to prepare is the following:

  1. Check if the calculator is allowed. So far it was. If not - you have to train mental math. I posted the main tips here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/tips-to-do-big-multiplications-in-my-mind-726#a1422
  2. Prepare for a regular case interview - it helps a lot. Basically, prep lounge website is about it
  3. Practice making slides. Look for publically available MBB presentations for reference. Good books are "Pyramid Principle" and "How to make it with charts"
  4. Practice reading cases fast and prioritizing the information. I found useful two sources:
  • Written cases you'll be able to find in google or in case books. I've seen a couple in "Vault Guide to the Case Interview" and "Insead Business Admission Test"
  • Harvard cases - either buy or try to find online. You can find a couple of MIT cases here for free: https://mitsloan.mit.edu/LearningEdge/Pages/Case-Studies.aspx Unfortunately free cases don't have the prep questions.

Best

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Clara on Dec 16, 2019
+1, really agree
Antonello gave the best answer

Antonello

Content Creator
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews
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