Cookie and Privacy Settings

This website uses cookies to enable essential functions like the user login and sessions. We also use cookies and third-party tools to improve your surfing experience on preplounge.com. You can choose to activate only essential cookies or all cookies. You can always change your preference in the cookie and privacy settings. This link can also be found in the footer of the site. If you need more information, please visit our privacy policy.

Data processing in the USA: By clicking on "I accept", you also consent, in accordance with article 49 paragraph 1 sentence 1 lit. GDPR, to your data being processed in the USA (by Google LLC, Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Inc., Stripe, Paypal).

Manage settings individually I accept
expert
Expert with best answer

Francesco

100% Recommendation Rate

3,483 Meetings

17,369 Q&A Upvotes

USD 449 / Coaching

7

If I get stuck in a case, should I directly ask for help from an interviewer?

If I really get stuck in a case, should I directly ask for help from an interviewer? What are some appropriate things to do in this situation?

If I really get stuck in a case, should I directly ask for help from an interviewer? What are some appropriate things to do in this situation?

7 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Francesco

100% Recommendation Rate

3,483 Meetings

17,369 Q&A Upvotes

USD 449 / Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

this is what I would suggest if you get stuck:

  1. Do a recap of your findings so far in the case
  2. Repeat the question you have to answer
  3. Ask for one minute to think
  4. If you still cannot find an answer: state the reasons why you cannot see a connection between the information received and the objective. This should lead the interviewer to help you

Best,

Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

this is what I would suggest if you get stuck:

  1. Do a recap of your findings so far in the case
  2. Repeat the question you have to answer
  3. Ask for one minute to think
  4. If you still cannot find an answer: state the reasons why you cannot see a connection between the information received and the objective. This should lead the interviewer to help you

Best,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Clara

100% Recommendation Rate

59 Meetings

16,383 Q&A Upvotes

USD 229 / Coaching

Hello!

I would try to have it as last option, since it does not look very good.

A great trick that I try with my coachees is to do a quick recap. This:

  1. Gives you some extra time to think, without being in silence and looking lost
  2. Helps you pick up your toughts and, in most cases, gives you some ideas to continue

Try it!

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

I would try to have it as last option, since it does not look very good.

A great trick that I try with my coachees is to do a quick recap. This:

  1. Gives you some extra time to think, without being in silence and looking lost
  2. Helps you pick up your toughts and, in most cases, gives you some ideas to continue

Try it!

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Book a coaching with Luca

100% Recommendation Rate

48 Meetings

2,595 Q&A Upvotes

USD 189 / Coaching

Hello,

It's never a good idea to directly ask for help stating that you are stucked. The best thing that you can do is to think loudly and do a little recap of your findings at that point, stating the doubts and questions that you have in your mind. It will happen really often that the interviewer will understand the situation and will tackle in the flow giving you some advices.
Another good option, if you still think that you can solve the case on your own, is to ask for 30 seconds to think.

Hope it helps,
Luca

Hello,

It's never a good idea to directly ask for help stating that you are stucked. The best thing that you can do is to think loudly and do a little recap of your findings at that point, stating the doubts and questions that you have in your mind. It will happen really often that the interviewer will understand the situation and will tackle in the flow giving you some advices.
Another good option, if you still think that you can solve the case on your own, is to ask for 30 seconds to think.

Hope it helps,
Luca

Book a coaching with Ian

100% Recommendation Rate

302 Meetings

26,272 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

Rarely, if ever, should you directly ask for help. It's not a good look to say "Can you help me" or "What do you think" etc. However, you can definitely indirectly ask for/signal for help.

So:

1) State that you're now figuring out where to take this next (that's fine)

2) Recap the objective and the pieces of information you need (and have) to answer the question/hypothesis.

a) Hopefully this triggers something or b) You get a signal from the interviewer on a particular segment (they might probe you and say "is that all we need from bucket x?"

2) If this doesn't work, start to probe in different areas (i.e. do we know x? To double-check you already said y doesn't apply, correct?) etc. etc.

3) If really desperate, you can say something like "Has the client experienced this before or have any ideas they've come up with?" or "Have we observed something similar to this problem in the past that we can leverage?"

Rarely, if ever, should you directly ask for help. It's not a good look to say "Can you help me" or "What do you think" etc. However, you can definitely indirectly ask for/signal for help.

So:

1) State that you're now figuring out where to take this next (that's fine)

2) Recap the objective and the pieces of information you need (and have) to answer the question/hypothesis.

a) Hopefully this triggers something or b) You get a signal from the interviewer on a particular segment (they might probe you and say "is that all we need from bucket x?"

2) If this doesn't work, start to probe in different areas (i.e. do we know x? To double-check you already said y doesn't apply, correct?) etc. etc.

3) If really desperate, you can say something like "Has the client experienced this before or have any ideas they've come up with?" or "Have we observed something similar to this problem in the past that we can leverage?"

Book a coaching with Vlad

98% Recommendation Rate

413 Meetings

11,464 Q&A Upvotes

USD 239 / Coaching

Hi,

In your particular case, you should ask the interviewer to explain further / in other words. It's better to ask for clarification rather than solving the wrong objective. I believe the interviewer meant that your investment should become breakeven in 4 years.

In general, when you get stuck there are 2 options:

  1. You ask further questions
  2. You make a new structure to drill down further

1) You ask further questions. There are 4 types of questions that you can ask. Basically you can never get stuck if you ask one of these questions:

  1. You can ask for a historical data
  2. You ask for the comparable data of the competitors / internal benchmarks
  3. You can ask for a further segmentation
  4. You ask to describe the process behind the particular number

The 4th question is probably the most important if you get stuck. For example, if you know that the sales department is not performing you can ask the interviewer: "Could you please tell a bit more about existing sales process?"

2) You ask for 30 seconds and build a new structure. The most common feedback on the interviews is "You are not structured enough". To avoid this you should always be structuring. These structures can be both fully MESE issue trees or frameworks or a combination of both.

For example, if you find that we spend more time on cleaning the job shop than the other division you go with the following:

  • The frequency of cleaning * Time spent per one cleaning
  • If we find that the frequency is the same, we structure it further into People, Process, Technology

Best!

Hi,

In your particular case, you should ask the interviewer to explain further / in other words. It's better to ask for clarification rather than solving the wrong objective. I believe the interviewer meant that your investment should become breakeven in 4 years.

In general, when you get stuck there are 2 options:

  1. You ask further questions
  2. You make a new structure to drill down further

1) You ask further questions. There are 4 types of questions that you can ask. Basically you can never get stuck if you ask one of these questions:

  1. You can ask for a historical data
  2. You ask for the comparable data of the competitors / internal benchmarks
  3. You can ask for a further segmentation
  4. You ask to describe the process behind the particular number

The 4th question is probably the most important if you get stuck. For example, if you know that the sales department is not performing you can ask the interviewer: "Could you please tell a bit more about existing sales process?"

2) You ask for 30 seconds and build a new structure. The most common feedback on the interviews is "You are not structured enough". To avoid this you should always be structuring. These structures can be both fully MESE issue trees or frameworks or a combination of both.

For example, if you find that we spend more time on cleaning the job shop than the other division you go with the following:

  • The frequency of cleaning * Time spent per one cleaning
  • If we find that the frequency is the same, we structure it further into People, Process, Technology

Best!

Book a coaching with Thomas

100% Recommendation Rate

24 Meetings

466 Q&A Upvotes

USD 149 / Coaching

It is indeed not a good sign, however, for the interviewer it is also painful to see someone being stuck. My recommendation is to recap, ask for a minute, and structure the questions you want ask to solve this issue.

It is indeed not a good sign, however, for the interviewer it is also painful to see someone being stuck. My recommendation is to recap, ask for a minute, and structure the questions you want ask to solve this issue.

Book a coaching with Antonello

98% Recommendation Rate

169 Meetings

6,652 Q&A Upvotes

USD 219 / Coaching

I would try to recap and take a minute to reframe your hypothesis/issue tree

Best,
Antonello

I would try to recap and take a minute to reframe your hypothesis/issue tree

Best,
Antonello

Related case(s)

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 18.7k times
MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.6 5 649
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvant ... Open whole case

Bain 1st Round Case – BlissOttica

Solved 2.7k times
Bain 1st Round Case – BlissOttica Our client is a BlissOttica, an Eyewear Manufacturer that is looking to reach a 10% increase in profits. How would you help our client?
4.3 5 130
| Rating: (4.3 / 5.0)

Our client is a BlissOttica, an Eyewear Manufacturer that is looking to reach a 10% increase in profits. How would you help our client? Open whole case