I have no consulting/case interview experience. What's my best strategy?

first First Time Case Interview! Help Appreciated! firsttime novice
New answer on Feb 05, 2021
7 Answers
Shahmir asked on Feb 03, 2021

I will be starting my MBA program in August 2021, and I want to recruit for MBB, which begins recruiting at my university in January 2022. I've never done a case before, and I'm starting from 0 in all aspects of consulting recruiting. I was looking for any recommendations on what I can start doing from now, to make me a stronger applicant next year - both in regard to case interviews and fit/behavioral interviews. Should I just pick up case and point and start practicing cases or is there a certain type of reading i.e. Economist/WSJ/non-fiction books that I should make a habit of regularly reading?

Looking for any guidance on a plan I can follow to give me the best shot at landing an offer at MBB next year. I'm even open to paying for a service/mentor that can guide me, if this is recommended.

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Content Creator
replied on Feb 03, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi Shahmir,

Remember that the interview is not only about cracking the case.

1) First you need to secure your interview invite. For that, you need to work on your application (CV and Cover Letter - you can have them both checked by a professional) and you can network and have a referral.

2) Your company might have a test to check your problem solving skills and logical thinking

3) Fit part interview: Behavioral questions can be:

  • Why consulting? / Why company XX? / Why are you the perfect fit for this position?

  • Describe a time when you disagreed with a team member

  • Tell me about your biggest mistake at workplace

  • Name three improvements you made in your most recent position

  • Entrepreneural drive stories

You can find other questions online, just pick some of them and start answering them in a way that makes sense:

  • Keep it short (1.5 minutes max)

  • Use storytelling techniques (Structure your speech!)

  • Try to get the interviewer to participate, e.g. while telling about your experience in place XX, ask them whether he has been there

The more questions you practice, the easier it becomes for you to come up with a nice and suitable answer.

4) Case part: Here is a good preplounge article on case solving:


Start by studying this one but don't waste your time studying plain theory, because case solving is all about PRACTICE.

Here are some cases you might wanna check out:

For Beginner level:

Laundry Chain - Revenue Increase


Launching Caskets in North Africa


For Intermediate level:

Grain Co-operative – Brand Launch


Case with a twist: Chinese Alloy Wheels – US Market Entry


I suggest you start with the intermediate level after you are confident with the beginner ones.

Hope it was helpful! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, I am happy to help.



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Content Creator
replied on Feb 04, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Shahmir,

I would recommend the following steps to maximize the likelihood of an offer:

  1. Define a calendar for your preparation. Check the deadlines for the applications. Then identify how many hours you have before that and allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the points below. Many people need 100+ hours to be ready before the interview so you can keep that as a benchmark
  2. Read Case In Point or Case Interview Secrets for a general understanding of what a consulting interview is. Don’t focus on the structures proposed in the books, as they are not good enough nowadays.
  3. Start reading good MBA Consulting Handbooks – you can find several for free online (Insead is a good one to start). Read the cases and try to apply your structure to solve them. Whenever you see there is something missing, upgrade your structure with the new insides. Try to read at least a new case per day – in this way you will absorb better the information with constant learning.
  4. After the first 5-10 cases in books/handbooks and basic theory, start to practice live. PrepLounge can be helpful to connect with other candidates for that. There is a relevant part of the interview score that is based on your communication, which you cannot practice at all if you read cases only. Keep track of your mistakes and see if you repeat them. If so, try to identify the source of the mistake (feedback of experienced partners would be particularly useful for this). Be sure to focus on both the behavioural part and the case part. The case part should also cover market sizing, mental math and graph analysis.
  5. Before your application, be sure to review your CV and Cover, so that they are in the required format for a consulting application
  6. At least 3 weeks before the application deadline, start networking to find referrals for your target companies.
  7. Before the interviews, be sure to prepare your questions for the interviewer –great way to show you prepared in advance and to connect with the interviewer for a good final impression.

If you are applying for a company with tests (eg McKinsey or BCG), you should also consider preparing for that before the test day.

If you want to spend few hours only instead of 100+ and cover everything mentioned above, I developed a program to do precisely that. You can click on the following link to find more:


After this program, you will know exactly what to expect in your interview, what to work on, and how to focus on the real differentiator to land a top consulting offer.

Please feel free to PM me if you need more information.



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Content Creator
replied on Feb 04, 2021
#1 rated McKinsey Coach | Top MBB Coach | 5 years @ McKinsey | Author of the 1% | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hey there,

Some very good answers here already. I'd just add a few details. Since you have so much time, you can really play the loooong game and build the foundational skills.

1. Join the consulting club at your school and get some exposure to non-profit work

2. Make it a habit to continuously read business news to build a reservoir of background knowledge, trends, keywords that will help you during the cases later on

3. Network like crazy. Get several contacts with each firm you are interested in. The more, the more senior, the better

4. Interview and Aptitude Test Prep. Start early and start with a coach to get a baseline performance in. This will 5x your preparation since the coach can calibrate your performance right from the start, tell you exactly what to work on and how. You will save weeks and won't internalize the wrong habits that you would need to unlearn should you use a coach later on

5. Create a practice schedule: Practice by yourself (https://strategycase.com/how-to-prepare-for-case-interviews-alone), with coaches (that have worked with and interviewed for the firm you are interested in) and peers. This is relevant the closer you get to the interviews

I agree with the rest!



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Content Creator
replied on Feb 03, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep


First, good luck!

1) An initial planning session with a coach: 1 hour with a coach now will have a productivity multiplier effect on all your efforts moving forward. They will figure out what materials are best for you, guide you towards the best ways to learn, and come up with a preparation plan with you.

2) Leverage free resources first: PrepLounge Q&A and case library, Poets and Quants, SpencerTom, Google, etc.). Leverage these options, read-up, and build that casingknowledge

Importantly, read The Economist, the Financial Times, McKinsey Insights, and BCG Insights daily to build up your business knowledge.

3) Case with other PrepLoungers: Casing with other PrepLoungers is free. Not only do you get to practice casing, but you get direct feedback. Additionally, you learn a lot just from casing others. Finally, from other PrepLoungers you'll learn which materials/coaches are helpful.

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Content Creator
replied on Feb 03, 2021
McKinsey | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

Hi Shahmir,

there are 4 aspects of the application process you have to focus on:

  • CV and cover letter: prepare impactful documents that highlight your achievements, skills, and motivation.
  • Test: you should understand if your office assesses candidates with PST, SHL or Imbellus, since every McK office can use one of these 3 standards.
  • Personal Experience Interview: fit and CV questions to assess your personal impact, leadership skills, and entrepreneurial spirit. You should prepare impactful stories about your experiences that cover these 3 main pillars.
  • Case Interview: typical business case to evaluate your structure in approaching problems, problem-solving skills, and business sense. This is the most time-demanding aspect to work on. I recommend reading Cosentino's Case in point to fix the theory. Then, what will be really important is practicing mock cases with other candidates here on Preplounge.

I closely work with tens of MBA candidates to achieve summer internships and full-time offers in consulting. Feel free to text me to understand my approach

Hope it helps,

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Content Creator
replied on Feb 05, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


You have 2 main workstreams ahead:


The "Integrated FIT guide for MBB" has been recently published in PrepLounge´s shop (https://www.preplounge.com/en/shop/tests-2/integrated-fit-guide-for-mbb-34)

It provides an end-to-end preparation for all three MBB interviews, tackling each firms particularities and combining key concepts review and a hands-on methodology. Following the book, the candidate will prepare his/her stories by practicing with over 50 real questions and leveraging special frameworks and worksheets that guide step-by-step, developed by the author and her experience as a Master in Management professor and coach. Finally, as further guidance, the guide encompasses over 20 examples from real candidates.

You can see plenty of reviews from candidates who purchased it already.

Furthermore, you can find 2 free cases in the PrepL case regarding FIT preparation:

Intro and CV questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/introduction-and-cv-questions-fit-interview-preparation-200

Motivational questions > https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/motivational-questions-fit-interview-preparation-201

Behavioural questions (ENTREPRENEURIAL DRIVE) >https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/fit-interview/intermediate/behavioral-questions-entrepreneurial-drive-fit-interview-preparation-211

Feel free to PM me for disccount codes, since we still have some left from the launch! :)


You don´t have any more time to the classics of Viktor Cheng, "Case in point" book, etc. You need to get hands on asap:

1. Practice cases with partners asap, as many as you can do.Find experienced partners who can provide a good feedback

2. Practice your math skills, both in your cases and with ad hoc exercisess, such as:

1. ​Multiplying double digit numbers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ndkkPZYJHo

2. Leveraging math tools (Mimir math for iOS), Math tool on Viktor Cheng website to practice

Furthermore, you should practice as much as you can, and ensure that you cover:

1. Profitability cases- basic profitability framework.

2. Idea generation cases: for any specif issue

3. Growth cases: market penetration, new product launch, product mix change, etc.

4. Pricing cases

5. M&A cases

6. Valuation cases

7. Value chain cases

Given you are under this much time contraint, consider working with a coach to foster speed and ensure you have a tailored plan to be very targeted. PM me interested!

Hope it helps!



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Content Creator
updated an answer on Feb 04, 2021
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Dear Shahmir,

In order to prepare for case interview, I suggest the following approach:

Read the Case in Point (Cosentino) in order to get a first approach with the Case interviews
• When you have read most of it, start doing cases on yourself practicing with frameworks, math and structure of the interview.
• Practice with other people (candidates/coaches)
Start developing your application strategy considering your target companies and timeline
• Read some chapters of the Case Interview Secrets and listen to the recordings of the LOMS program

While you are practicing for your cases, you have to consider also some time to prepare your CV/Cover Letter and the Fit Interview that is a fundamental part of the interview.
Consider that you will need around 1.5/2 months to prepare and at least 50/60 cases.

Feel free to contact me if you wan to discuss further.


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Gaurav gave the best answer


Content Creator
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies
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