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I begin a hiring process with Simon Kutcher, I had huge difficulties with previous case studies and itw. Any recommenda?

Anonymous A asked on Oct 30, 2018 - 4 answers

More precisely, I don't have a natural logical thinking, I still struggle with maths and methods. Event after dozens of case trainings, interviews in easier consulting firms and lots of readings... Thanks in advance

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replied on Oct 30, 2018
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews
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Elias is absolutely right, consulting is not for everyone - nothing wrong with this btw, some of the most successful founders probably would never have made good consultants, yet many of us former-MBB would "die" to work for their companies today.

Vlad also brings up a good set of ideas of how to get better. If consulting is really what you want (and there's a modicum of a fit), you can find a way: I coached and mentored a student from my alma mater for 4 years and guided him through the process. He didn't have the background or "talent" at the time, and couldn't even get an interview. What he had were motivation and dedication. Through hard work, his profile improved, his skills shot up... and he is now a BCG consultant.

Last but not least, I'll also point out that it sometimes pays to hire a coach. Yes, Elias, Vlad and I (and many others here) have an obvious conflict of interest - but we believe in the value we bring, and I think results speak for themselves. When I first applied, I worked like a mad man but never made any progress; once I started seeking help from the right people, I figured out what was required and eventually joined MBB. Needless to say, the investment was well worth it!

Thank you all for your kind and interesting answers. To be more precise, I already am a consultant! And I have had very good appreciations for years so far (from the teams and from the clients). But brain teasers and immediate face to face evaluation remain harsh exercices for me. Especially because I have no one to help me through the process apart from this website. I feel like I can be a very good consultant in my field thanks to business sense, soft skills, rigor and creativity. But the specific way of thinking during interviews are quite different to what I experiment in my daily job... I hope I am clear in what I try to explain — Salo on Oct 31, 2018

replied on Oct 30, 2018
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Several things that you should be doing on a regular basis:

1) Every 10 cases revisit the previous cases and think how you would structure them differently now having the new experience and having solved the new types of cases

2) Build a business judgment. Read about different industries and functions. I strongly recommend practice drawing structures for each industry - profitability, value chain, etc . Then I will switch to getting functional knowledge and key concepts in Marketing (Brand and trade marketing tools, etc), Supply chain (Ops metrics like cycle time and throughput time, distribution and delivery specifics, etc), Finance (Basic Accounting and Valuation). Good sources might be:

  • Books - one good book about airlines with numbers and industry analysis can give you all needed industry knowledge
  • Company reports, equity reports, etc - usually have a good overview of company and industries.One of the best sources to prepare
  • HBS cases - quite useful, but not sure if lot's of them available publically. Probably worth buying

Again, every 10 cases revisit the previous cases and think how you would structure them differently now having the new knowledge

3) Practice fast math

  • Learn how to multiply double digit numbers (
  • Learn the division table up to 1/11 (i.e. 5/6 = 83.3)
  • Learn how to work with zeros (Hint: 4000000 = 4*10ˆ6)
  • Use math tools (Mimir math for iOS), Math tool on Viktor Cheng website to practice

4) Read Victor Cheng Book and listen to LOMS. I recommend to reread the book and listen to LOMS every 15 cases. Every time, having more experience, you’ll be finding something new.

! Important: don't forget about the FIT interview part. Crafting you stories and backups stories will require a couple of weeks!


updated his answer on Oct 30, 2018
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Hi Anonymous,

If you are really dead set on going into top management consulting, the only advice I can give you is to work hard and practice, practice, practice. There is no magic wand that can make you do all those things, there are no shortcuts.

But if I am honest: Top Management Consulting is not for everyone - you may just not have the right skill set. And that's totally ok, I am sure you're great at many other things. I'm just as sure that there are a lot of interesting and rewarding jobs that cater more to your strengths - most great consultants make terrible researchers, salespeople, designers or whatnot.

If I may ask:

  • Why do you want to go into consulting if it requires a number of skills that apparently don't come easily to you?
  • And even if you manage to get in by brute force, how do yourself succeeding in the profession once you are surrounded by loads of people to whom these skills DO come easily? (Usually, the answer would be to outwork everybody else, but good luck trying this with a cohort of fresh MBB juniors)

Please do yourself the favour and be honest with yourself when answering these questions. It may save you from years of misery.




Benjamin replied on Oct 31, 2018
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In addition to other coachs answer, I would say that its good to be objectif and self critical, however don't be too hard with yourslef.
One of the key pb candidates are facing is the lack of prep in live interview. They practice from the book and build a certain understanding of what is expected during interview, but realize there is a gap when facing interviewer. So I would recommand the following :

- practice as much as possible real cases

- focuses your efforts on structuring

- every 10 cases go back to the initial case to practice your sturcture again.

Cheers up, best


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