How to prepare for a group case interview?

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New answer on Sep 18, 2020
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Anonymous B asked on Mar 07, 2018

Hello

Do you have a good advice about how to prepare for a group case interview, where you solve a case in groups of 3-4 people?

Thanks

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Vlad
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updated an answer on Mar 07, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Group cases are a bit tricky:

  • You will be in a group of 4-8 other candidates
  • You'll have a case (general business problem though with various aspects to look at, i.e. marketing, supply chain, finance)
  • The main goal is to discuss the case together and come to a collaborative solution

My advice for the group cases:

  1. Don't take a leadership role trying to organize and manage other people unless you are a 100% natural leader
  2. Act rather like a contributor with:
  • a) frameworks to structure the problem
  • b) rough calculations
  • c) Industry / functional knowledge (it helps to be a background in marketing or supply chain)
  • d) creative ideas
  1. Be nice and friendly with everyone and don't try to show that you are better than others. Rather impress with contribution and impact

Best!

(edited)

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Originally answered question:

Group Case - any tips?

Sidi
Expert
replied on Apr 26, 2018
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 300+ candidates secure MBB offers

Overall, you want to approach the group case interview as follows. It's your team versus the case. It is NOT you versus your team mates.

If one of group says something where you disagree, make sure you remain very composed and professional. You should also NOT try to be the leader. Just be very clear and structured in your contributions, stay open for compromise. Trying to look especially smart is the first way to get dinged - believe me!

Just trust that your case skills will shine through naturally without you having to worry about the competitive aspects of the situation.

Cheers, Sidi

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Francesco
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replied on May 31, 2018
#1 Coach for Sessions (3.900+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

I would add that compared to a one-to-one interview, in a group interview you want to be able to interact with others, without sounding neither too dominant (meaning arrogant defending you points or not listening to others) nor too quiet. If you can take the leader role (eg, trying to have everyone participating and moving on the conversation) that’s great, otherwise it would be useful to try to help the natural leader to have everyone involved and have the team succeeding in delivering the expected outcome. You can also confront opinions you do not agree with during the initial discussion, so far that you do that in a constructive way.

Best,
Francesco

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Astrid
Admin
replied on Mar 08, 2018
PrepLounge Head of Product & Marketing

Hi there,

thanks for asking your question on our Consulting Q&A!

You may also want to check out an old Q&A on this topic where a user shares his experience on the group dynamic process with Bain & Company:

There are four main downsides of group dynamics you also need to avoid during the interview

  • Conformity: don’t go along with the group if you don’t agree with them. This doesn’t mean to unnecessarily debate points or conclusions, but if you really [...]

Read more on: How is Bain's Group Dynamic part of the recruitment process?

Hope this helps and best of luck for the rest of your case prep!

Astrid

PrepLounge Community Management

PrepLounge Consulting Q&A Forum

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Anonymous replied on Sep 18, 2020

Dear A!

A central focus of group case interviews is to evaluate interpersonal skills. You'll want to put your best foot forward and come across as someone the interviewers would like to work with.

First of all,speak with a purpose, your goal is quality over quantity.

The next tip: Involve everyone during the interview process, help others if you see they're struggling to express their opinion. That's a sign of a leader.

Important! Summarise key points. This can be done during team discussion.

Hope it helps.

Best,

André

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Originally answered question:

Group Case - any tips?

Anonymous replied on Apr 28, 2018

The other answers have laid out KSFs well. My only advice - and this has worked like a charm for me before - is to be the 'guy with the marker' writing stuff on the whiteboard and seen as "the synthesizer" or somebody who is able to direct traffic. I'm not saying just be the scribe - actively play a role in structuring people's thoughts and synthesizing.

This you can do even as an introvert! Good luck.

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Vlad gave the best answer

Vlad

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McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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