How to stabilize and boost performance several weeks before interview?

Case Interview
New answer 9 hours ago
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Oct 14, 2021

I have practiced 90+ cases, but my performance still isn't “bullet proof” and “stable”. At times, I still under perform in different areas. 

I'm curious on how can I know when am I “prepared enough” for interviews? Also, do those who receive offers all achieve a “bullet proof” status? Any recommendations are appreciated! 

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Cristian
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Oct 14, 2021
McKinsey / Oxford grad / ex Firm mock interviewer & internal training faculty / top 25% best consultants in the Firm

What an excellent question!

A few thoughts:

  • You might be having a mindset issue rather than an ability issue if you've done 90+ cases and still not feeling confident. Get a coaching session for that. It's not easy to fix and it's almost impossible to do on your own. 
  • There is no such thing as bullet proof. Instead, there is such a thing as having spikes in some areas, taking advantage of them and being decent enough in others. Here again, it's good to have somebody to identify what these spikes are and how you can play them to your advantage. 
  • Be clear about your areas of development and then have a target plan to improve on them until the interview. 
  • Rest. It's very important to be in the right mindset for the interview. Stressed and feeling like you're not good enough is a definite killer. 

‘Prepared enough’ can only be assessed by a coach. I run full mock simulations of the interview process so do reach out if you'd like to join one. It should give you an idea of what to expect from start to finish. 

And good luck!

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 14, 2021
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

My first recommendation might be a bit counter-intuitive, but take a break

90+ cases is a LOT and you are risking burnout here. You can actually gain a lot by resting a bit and letting the dust settle.

Then, upon taking a break, consider a coaching session to get a full assessment and get advice on what final areas need work.

Good luck!

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Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied 24 hours ago
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | Imbellus Expert

Hey there,

At this stage, I believe it would be the best investment to get an honest opinion of a coach (that worked and interviewed for the firm you are applying to).

90 cases do not mean much if you keep reiterating the same wrong habits or mistakes and quality is definitely more important than quantity in case prep.

A good coach

  • can tell you exactly where to improve and how to spend your time most effectively going forward
  • give you an honest assessment of your performance
  • offer additional practice materials
  • offer access to their network of other candidates to practice together (again quality over quantity)

Every other answer - without having witnessed your performance - is just reading coffee grounds.

All the best!

Cheers,

Florian

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Pedro
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Oct 14, 2021
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT Interview | Principal Former Head Recruiter | Launched EY-P Lisbon Office

Your objective here is to get an offer. To get an offer you need to pass several rounds of interviews. If your performance is “unstable” you will likely fail at least once and therefore won't get an offer. 

I won't say everyone who gets an offer is at “bullet proof" status. Honestly, no one is. The real question is how far are you from that - and while I can't really tell without interviewing you, your question suggests you think you aren't quite ready… 

Now let me be blunt. If you did 90+ cases and still feel this way, it is likely that you are not practicing in a sufficient purposeful/deliberate way. You feel stuck, and more cases are not being helpful. 

You probably need practical guidance on what to improve and how to improve. You won't get that from peers. You may need a coach or at least an experienced alumn to help you.

Good luck, and of course feel free to reach out if you want more specific advice or coaching.

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 14, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi!

An important metric for preparedness is consistency in performance. 

It's normal to make mistakes during case practice but after 90+ cases your performance should have been normalized to a good level.

If this is not the case, I recommend investing time in those improvement areas mentioned during feedback sessions. Working with a coach might also be highly beneficial.

Hope this helps.

Best,

Anto 

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Adi
CoachingPlus Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Oct 14, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Don't aim for perfection, there is no such thing. There will always be a slightly better way to perform. Candidates who perform well come across as well prepared & enjoying the interview, very likeable and passionate future consultants. A random mistake here and there is not going to kill you.

90+ cases is huge amount practice and my assumption is that you are probably still a little shaky in managing expectations, performance pressure and anxiety during the interview. Have a look at this previous Q&A on this subject and take some tips that might help- https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/dealing-with-nervousness-10452.

Try and shift your mindset to focus on giving your best and not worry about the outcome . Based on your ability and preparation, just go out there and enjoy it. Give your best.

All the best!

(edited)

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Mariam
CoachingPlus Expert
replied 9 hours ago
Ex-Bain | ~5 years of consulting experience in the Middle East (UAE) | 4 years of candidate coaching with Bain

Hi there,

1. Nothing is perfect…and that is why in each round of interviews you have 3+ interviews because even the best candidates sometimes screw up in 1 out of 3 interviews (could be stress, case context, etc.) so rest assured that there will always be cases or interviews that you will not fully nail and it is ok…shift your mindset away from perfection 

2. It is important to note that it is not about the “quantity” of the cases but rather the quality of the preparation as well as your starting point..
 

3. MINDSET is key! yes, it is highly competitive, yes practice makes perfect, yes there are so many factors that affect whether you get in or not (the case, the interviewer, your state of mind on that day, who else is interviewing before/ after you, etc.) so you have to reach a point where you are just comfortable and confident with where you stand (if you doubt yourself, how can others not doubt you? You must have felt your progress throughout your preparation process and feel comfortable now in doing cases even if some of them are kind of hard to crack) and are ok with the outcomes knowing you have done your part, have worked on your development areas and this is IT… 
 

Good luck!!

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Chiu
Expert
replied 10 hours ago
Experienced in interviews for Bain, Oliver Wyman, and Simon Kucher

Hi there, I was exactly in your position a year ago. And I figured out a good way to prepare when your case skills kind of pleateued. It comes down to knowing what is asked and what is the interviewer looking for from his/her perspective. 

Please feel free to msg me (free of charge) and I can share how I did it. 

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Agrim
CoachingPlus Expert
replied 14 hours ago
#1 CoachingPlus Expert | 100% no-nonsense | BCG Dubai PL | 2021 Real MBB+ Cases | Case/PEI/Fit/CV | 6+ years Consulting

When you are done with 90+ cases and you are feeling NOT bullet proof - then the best course of action is to take coaching.

A coach can find the last 5% areas of improvement that can take you to 100% prepared.

Some other steps to boost performance are:

  • Keep practicing a variety of cases. Don't tailor your approach. Keep it coming at random. The element of surprise will keep you on your toes
  • Perfect your personals/fit
  • Perfect your interview mannerisms
  • Improve your ability to tackle partner conversations
  • Improve your ability to handle stress situations
  • Don't put too much pressure on yourself

Happy to help you out on reaching bullet-proof status - let me know if I can help!

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Cristian gave the best answer

Cristian

CoachingPlus Expert
McKinsey / Oxford grad / ex Firm mock interviewer & internal training faculty / top 25% best consultants in the Firm
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