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How to prepare for the written case interview at BCG final interview rounds?

Chiao

Hi, I have been invited to BCG final interview rounds and found out that there will be a written case interview. How can I best prepare for this? The interview is in 2 weeks.

Thanks!

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Vlad replied on 10/26/2017
McKinsey / Accenture / More than 300 real MBB cases / Collected all Big 3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Here I've uploaded some written case samples (incl BCG)

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

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 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.

Good luck!

Matthew
Expert
replied on 10/26/2017
Only ex-McKinsey Partner on PrepLounge and only available until 12/15

Preparing for a written case is no different than an oral case. Repetition is the key. I recommend (for cost effectiveness reasons) that you figure out what your key weaknesses are. There are 3 fundamental aspects that the interviewer is judging on both an oral and written case presentation:

  • Analytical thinking: The ability to use causal relationships in problem solving.
  • Quantitative thinking: The ability to think analytically in a quantitative setting.
  • Conceptual thinking: The ability to see patterns, infer relationships, and build conceptual in inductive problem solving.

You need to be distinctive on either Analytical, Conceptual or something else. Quant will NOT get it. Send me a message if you need more details free of charge. Or, anyone else.

Francesco replied on 10/31/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (1000+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

the answer would depend on whether you have also to prepare the slides or not. The usual steps to follow in a written case are:

1. Learn how to define a plan of action and stick to that

2. Practice graph interpretation

3. Work on quick reading and quick understanding of key information

4. Practice quick math

5. Learn how to communicate your slides/answers (if required)

At the following link you can find a detailed description of each of these areas:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hi-guys-who-has-experience-with-doing-a-bcg-written-case-any-ideas-on-how-to-prepare-for-this-suggestionskey-takeawaysexamples-are-more-than-welcome-thanks-a-lot-for-your-help-569

If you have also to prepare slides I would also recommend to work on

#1: structure the slides

There are three basic components for slides:

  1. Title
  2. Chart or data
  3. Label for chart

Many people structure the title as the mere description of what the chart is telling. A great title, instead tells the implication of the graph. Eg say the graph is showing a cost structure for a division. A bad title would be: Cost structure from 2005 to 2015. A good title would be: Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable”. A great title would be Cost structure of Division XYZ is not sustainable due to ABC, assuming you have insides on the cause. The rule of thumb for the title is that if you read all the titles of the slides together you should get a clear idea of what is going on.

# 2: present the slides

When you present, I would suggest the following steps for each slide:

  1. Introduce the slide: “Let’s move to slide 2, which will show us why we have an issue with this division”
  2. Present the main message of the slide: “As you can see, we have a cost structure which makes for us not feasible to be competitive in this market”
  3. Provide details: “The graph, indeed, shows how our fix cost is XYZ, while competitors can benefit from economies of scale. Indeed…”

Best,

Francesco

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