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How to prepare for a group case interview?

Anonymous A

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 replied on 03/07/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / 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)

Astrid replied on 03/08/2018

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

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Francesco replied on 05/31/2018
#1 Expert for coaching sessions (1700+) | Ex BCG | 850+ reviews with 100% recommendation rate

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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