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Gaurav

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How to prepare candidate-led and interviewer-led cases at same time?

Hi, I would like to seek advice on how to prepare "candidate-led" and "interviewer-led" cases at the same time. Over the past few months I've been focusing on candidate-led cases. However, recently I've been given a few interviewer-led cases, and my performance isn't ideal.

I've noticed that interviewer-led cases require different skill set and process. For instance, many people mentioned that compared to BCG, McKinsey cases require a lot more detailed structure, and the math part is usually more complicated. On the other side, BCG focus more on innovative approaches to solve the problem, while in McKinsey cases the interviwer will provide a set of questions and will guide you on each steps to solve the case. Would appreciate some inputs. Thanks.

Hi, I would like to seek advice on how to prepare "candidate-led" and "interviewer-led" cases at the same time. Over the past few months I've been focusing on candidate-led cases. However, recently I've been given a few interviewer-led cases, and my performance isn't ideal.

I've noticed that interviewer-led cases require different skill set and process. For instance, many people mentioned that compared to BCG, McKinsey cases require a lot more detailed structure, and the math part is usually more complicated. On the other side, BCG focus more on innovative approaches to solve the problem, while in McKinsey cases the interviwer will provide a set of questions and will guide you on each steps to solve the case. Would appreciate some inputs. Thanks.

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Hi there!

I'd go with the experts on suggesting you prepare for the candidate-led cases.
If you are good at candidate-led cases, it will be very easy for you to adapt to interviewer-led ones as well, as they are quite similar.

What you need is to practice more and more and you will soon notice it.

Here are some of my cases you could use for practicing:
(with the interviewer-led ones, too)

For Intermediate level:
Grain Co-operative – Brand Launch
https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/interviewer-led-mckinsey-style/intermediate/grain-co-operative-brand-launch-217

Case with a twist: Chinese Alloy Wheels – US Market Entry
https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/candidate-led-usual-style/intermediate/case-with-a-twist-chinese-alloy-wheels-us-market-entry-226

For Advanced level/the real one and used for final rounds:
Non-Profit Museum Revenue Increase
https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/interviewer-led-mckinsey-style/advanced/mbb-final-round-case-non-profit-museum-revenue-increase-219

Do you need any further help?

GB

Hi there!

I'd go with the experts on suggesting you prepare for the candidate-led cases.
If you are good at candidate-led cases, it will be very easy for you to adapt to interviewer-led ones as well, as they are quite similar.

What you need is to practice more and more and you will soon notice it.

Here are some of my cases you could use for practicing:
(with the interviewer-led ones, too)

For Intermediate level:
Grain Co-operative – Brand Launch
https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/interviewer-led-mckinsey-style/intermediate/grain-co-operative-brand-launch-217

Case with a twist: Chinese Alloy Wheels – US Market Entry
https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/candidate-led-usual-style/intermediate/case-with-a-twist-chinese-alloy-wheels-us-market-entry-226

For Advanced level/the real one and used for final rounds:
Non-Profit Museum Revenue Increase
https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/interviewer-led-mckinsey-style/advanced/mbb-final-round-case-non-profit-museum-revenue-increase-219

Do you need any further help?

GB

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Hey there,

I am coming from the interviewer-led McKinsey style case and I can definitely tell you that it makes a difference for the candidates I coached in how they study and how they approach cases.

A one size fits all approach does not work in my opinion, especially when we are talking about the level of competitiveness and the low offer rate in MBB. You want to be well prepared for each type of case and use the different logistics at play for your advantage.

That being said, the same principles of problem-solving prowess apply in both types of interviews. However, interviewer-led cases are very formulaic in nature and there is a certain checklist of habits (what do and when) you should employ to go through in order to maximize your performance (more on that below). And this checklist is quite different from an interviewee-led case.

While in an interviewee-led case, the main goal is to reach a sound recommendation after going through your issue, analyzing data, etc., the main goal in a McKinsey case is to provide sound and self-standing answers to each individual question (structure, math, exhibit). Think of the latter as a series of mini-cases. More often than not, there will not even be a synthesis/summary in the end (unless your structuring part was weak).

Hence, you should tackle each individual question in a specific way. When you know what actions you should do for each type of question, it is easier for you to focus, be creative, and be structured throughout each question. I think they are much easier to solve as you have to worry only about one problem at a time.

As a result, in a McK case it is also much less about the correct result or solution (except for the numerical part), but much more about how you approach, how you solve, and how you communicate. It is very difficult to actually go off a tangent and not reach an outcome in the end, whereas in an interviewee-led you always run the risk to investigate some completely irrelevant parts of the issue tree, lose time, then come up with a faulty conclusion.

For these reasons, I believe that you should prepare a set of common skills (structuring, math, exhibit interpretation, communication), which are relevant for both types of cases, however, study and internalize a different game plan and approach for each type of interview.

Then, practice, practice, practice each type of case individually and make it clear at the beginning of each session what the case should be like.

Also, I can recommend you to switch to the interviewer role in some cases. This will give you new and interesting insights into the differences between both approaches.

Let me know if you need any help! I have specialized in the McKinsey interviewer-led format and created a strong and structured approach for each type of question.

Cheers,

Florian

Hey there,

I am coming from the interviewer-led McKinsey style case and I can definitely tell you that it makes a difference for the candidates I coached in how they study and how they approach cases.

A one size fits all approach does not work in my opinion, especially when we are talking about the level of competitiveness and the low offer rate in MBB. You want to be well prepared for each type of case and use the different logistics at play for your advantage.

That being said, the same principles of problem-solving prowess apply in both types of interviews. However, interviewer-led cases are very formulaic in nature and there is a certain checklist of habits (what do and when) you should employ to go through in order to maximize your performance (more on that below). And this checklist is quite different from an interviewee-led case.

While in an interviewee-led case, the main goal is to reach a sound recommendation after going through your issue, analyzing data, etc., the main goal in a McKinsey case is to provide sound and self-standing answers to each individual question (structure, math, exhibit). Think of the latter as a series of mini-cases. More often than not, there will not even be a synthesis/summary in the end (unless your structuring part was weak).

Hence, you should tackle each individual question in a specific way. When you know what actions you should do for each type of question, it is easier for you to focus, be creative, and be structured throughout each question. I think they are much easier to solve as you have to worry only about one problem at a time.

As a result, in a McK case it is also much less about the correct result or solution (except for the numerical part), but much more about how you approach, how you solve, and how you communicate. It is very difficult to actually go off a tangent and not reach an outcome in the end, whereas in an interviewee-led you always run the risk to investigate some completely irrelevant parts of the issue tree, lose time, then come up with a faulty conclusion.

For these reasons, I believe that you should prepare a set of common skills (structuring, math, exhibit interpretation, communication), which are relevant for both types of cases, however, study and internalize a different game plan and approach for each type of interview.

Then, practice, practice, practice each type of case individually and make it clear at the beginning of each session what the case should be like.

Also, I can recommend you to switch to the interviewer role in some cases. This will give you new and interesting insights into the differences between both approaches.

Let me know if you need any help! I have specialized in the McKinsey interviewer-led format and created a strong and structured approach for each type of question.

Cheers,

Florian

(edited)

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Hi,

Prepare candidate-led. Interviewer-led are just easier and not that different. Most of the things you've mentioned are just common misconceptions. Structuring, math, etc are similar.

The structure should be detailed in both cases:

  1. If the interviewer leads the case, he will guide you where to drill deeper
  2. In the candidate-led cases, Your structure is not limited to just the initial structure. You should structure throughout the whole case, constantly building new structures to drill deeper into the problem

Best

Hi,

Prepare candidate-led. Interviewer-led are just easier and not that different. Most of the things you've mentioned are just common misconceptions. Structuring, math, etc are similar.

The structure should be detailed in both cases:

  1. If the interviewer leads the case, he will guide you where to drill deeper
  2. In the candidate-led cases, Your structure is not limited to just the initial structure. You should structure throughout the whole case, constantly building new structures to drill deeper into the problem

Best

(edited)

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Hey there,

I totally understand and this indeed stumps many people. To keep things simple, think like a consultant i.e. there is a client problem and you have been called upon to solve it.

Whether its interviewer led or interviewee led, fundamentally you have to get to a solution via a nice strcuture/approach to solve the problem. There is just a subtle difference between the two styles where in interviewer-led you get a bit more talk from the interviewer to give you data/information based on your questions, hypothesis and structure.

Prepare really well for interviewee-led style and that should cover it.

Please also search the Q&A forum, there are many other threads with plenty of tips and tricks on this subject.

Good luck!

Hey there,

I totally understand and this indeed stumps many people. To keep things simple, think like a consultant i.e. there is a client problem and you have been called upon to solve it.

Whether its interviewer led or interviewee led, fundamentally you have to get to a solution via a nice strcuture/approach to solve the problem. There is just a subtle difference between the two styles where in interviewer-led you get a bit more talk from the interviewer to give you data/information based on your questions, hypothesis and structure.

Prepare really well for interviewee-led style and that should cover it.

Please also search the Q&A forum, there are many other threads with plenty of tips and tricks on this subject.

Good luck!

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Tbh, the difference between the two systems is not as significant as it might seem. In the nuances of personal styles of the interviewers, the lines blurr and the two different types feel relatively similar. I would challenge the notion that McK cases require a much more detailed structure and have a more complicated math part than Bain or BCG cases.

Imho, based on interviewing at Bain and getting offers from the other firms, the difference lies more in the weighting of how the cases are graded (Bain likes you to take control), than in the delivery of the case itself.

When preparing for both types at the same time, it's a proven concept to practice the candidate-led style. From this skillset it is easier to adjust to the interviewer taking a bit more control than the other way around.

Tbh, the difference between the two systems is not as significant as it might seem. In the nuances of personal styles of the interviewers, the lines blurr and the two different types feel relatively similar. I would challenge the notion that McK cases require a much more detailed structure and have a more complicated math part than Bain or BCG cases.

Imho, based on interviewing at Bain and getting offers from the other firms, the difference lies more in the weighting of how the cases are graded (Bain likes you to take control), than in the delivery of the case itself.

When preparing for both types at the same time, it's a proven concept to practice the candidate-led style. From this skillset it is easier to adjust to the interviewer taking a bit more control than the other way around.

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Hello!

Honestly, I would not worry too much about this, since in real life most cases are a hybrid.

Once you are ready for one, you will be for the other. Focus on the actual content, not this.

Best regards,

Clara

Hello!

Honestly, I would not worry too much about this, since in real life most cases are a hybrid.

Once you are ready for one, you will be for the other. Focus on the actual content, not this.

Best regards,

Clara

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Very short + simple answer: Prepare for candidate-led.

If you can lead a case you can follow a case.

If it's an interviewer-led case they ask you to do something, just do it! Then, note why you did it, what the implication is, and where we should go next.

Your problem at the moment, in my view, is you're simply not being given hard enough cases. Interviewer-led cases are not implicitly more complicated in math, charts, content, etc.

Very short + simple answer: Prepare for candidate-led.

If you can lead a case you can follow a case.

If it's an interviewer-led case they ask you to do something, just do it! Then, note why you did it, what the implication is, and where we should go next.

Your problem at the moment, in my view, is you're simply not being given hard enough cases. Interviewer-led cases are not implicitly more complicated in math, charts, content, etc.

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It is great that you're asking this question because the preparation for both needs to be different to be effective. I strongly suggest you work with a coach or someone else you know who is very familiar in each style for at least for 1 session so you know how best to prepare for that format.

It is great that you're asking this question because the preparation for both needs to be different to be effective. I strongly suggest you work with a coach or someone else you know who is very familiar in each style for at least for 1 session so you know how best to prepare for that format.

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Hi,

I agree with the other coaches.

My main point is: treat every case as if you were alone. You must be able to complete a case possibly without talking to the interviewer (especially for market sizing).

Try to look at solving cases in this way and you'll improve a lot.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Antonello

Hi,

I agree with the other coaches.

My main point is: treat every case as if you were alone. You must be able to complete a case possibly without talking to the interviewer (especially for market sizing).

Try to look at solving cases in this way and you'll improve a lot.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Antonello

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Hi,

I never do an interviewer led style as interviewer, however, in my candidate days, I only prepare candidate led interiew and manage to pass the McKinsey interviewer led interviews.

Having said that, I would advise the following:

  • If you do not have access / resource to practice interviewer led style, focus on getting the candidate led to perfection
  • If you have access / resources to practice the interviewr led style then please prepare both (At the McKinsey final rounds the interview become candidate led)

Best,
Iman

Hi,

I never do an interviewer led style as interviewer, however, in my candidate days, I only prepare candidate led interiew and manage to pass the McKinsey interviewer led interviews.

Having said that, I would advise the following:

  • If you do not have access / resource to practice interviewer led style, focus on getting the candidate led to perfection
  • If you have access / resources to practice the interviewr led style then please prepare both (At the McKinsey final rounds the interview become candidate led)

Best,
Iman

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