Interview in a week. How to make the most out of my time to practice?

BCG BCG Case Interview
New answer on Jun 14, 2020
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 09, 2020

Hi, I found out that I have an interview scheduled next week for BCG and I cannot delay it since it's the end of hiring cycle in this office. I pretty much have no experience in candidate-led cases and I'm having a difficult time knowing how to make the most of the time I have left. How do I divide my time to practice both fit portion and case portion? What type of cases / industries should I prioritize in practice?

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Clara
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replied on Jun 09, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

In any case it´s good news, it´s not so easy to get an interview at this point!

You have 2 main workstreams ahead:

1. FIT INTERVIEW

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.

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

2. BUSINESS CASE

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
  3. Ensure you have a good overview of the ​most common case types:
    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!

Cheers,

Clara

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Anonymous A on Jun 09, 2020

Hi Clara, thank you for responding. It made me feel a lot better in terms of having a direction. I just wanted to know what you meant by Idea Generation cases? I’ve never read one before.

Axel
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 10, 2020
Bain Consultant | Interviewer for 3 years at Bain |Passionate about coaching |I will make you a case interview Rockstar

Hi Anonymous,

This is not a lot of time to get ready but is achievable depending on how strong your starting point is and what your professional background is.

1. Prepare for case studies (70-80% of spend)

- Cover all key case types (profitability, market-entry, M&A, strategy-growth, cost reduction, operations)

- Practice by yourself (go through case (ideally video cases so you can listen to the prompt) and time yourself as if real experience) and work with others (coaches, preplounge members)

- Practice mental math and written math

- Work on framing and how to take basic frameworks and make them tailored to the situation and industry

2. Prepare for FIT (20-30% of time spend)

- Develop your personal stories and fit them into SCAR framework

- Practice communicating

- Work on your motivations and elevator pitch

I would strongly recommend that you book a session with a coach as soon as possible. This will help you identify the most important things to focus on in the next week and what are the biggest gaps to close. This will give you the best ROI on the time invested.

- PM me for some BCG sample cases to work on

-A

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Robert
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replied on Jun 09, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

Congratulations in the first place to having secured interviews in this tough environment!

While there is more than enough content advice available on this forum, I will focus more on the process of preparation, especially given the short period in time you have.

Considering you are interviewing with BCG, the main challenge in this few days left will be the case interview (based on your information that you are facing difficulties with candidate-led cases).

Unforunately there is no short-cut in case interview prep - it's a skill you need to learn by practicing and it just takes time.

However, good news is that you can massively increase your efficiency to compress the timeline from multiple weeks (if not months) to a couple of days.

And this is actually a challenge I am confronted with regularly - I don't want to be judgemental about candidates and why many of them approach me in the last minute (yes, procrastination might be a topic every now and then, but others also have legitimate reasons as well), but it occurs more frequently than you might think.

Obviously I can just give you generic advice in this forum for short-term prep - and this is what I am usually doing with my coaching candidates in the short term:

  • Speed-reading one of the basic case interview prep books (e.g. Victor Cheng's "Case Interview Secrets" or Marc Cosentino's "Case in Point" - 1 of them is enough)
  • Watching a couple of Victor Cheng videos to get a feeling of how case interviews are running
  • Reading through (not studying in detail) 20-30 cases from any of the well known case interview books from any top university - just to immerse yourself a bit more into the case interview world
  • Having at least 1 starting session with a professional coach who knows what he is doing to kick-start your interactive case interview prep - as soon as possible you have a first quick idea about the fundamentals
  • Depending on the specific candidate, I focus on different parts of the case interview with different intensity - so get a clear picture fast where exactly you have your key weaknesses and focus on them most during the limited time
  • Having minimum 2-3 interactive case interview sessions with peers (if your budget allows: with a professional coach - no other way to get the steepest learning curve possible)
  • Having a session with a professional coach ideally daily, minimum each second day
  • Thinking (or consulting Q&A forum) about the most common fit interview questions - definitely it's an important part, but in your situation you need to get the case interviews right in the first place since this is something you cannot "fake" and answer on-the-spot without massive prep. For fit interview questions however you can prepare the basics and do everything else spontaneously).

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Anonymous replied on Jun 10, 2020

Hi there,

Other than what the coaches have recommended - I would highly recommend you practice them with someone (friend, current consultant, coach). Reading case books alone will not help you in cracking cases in candidate-led interviews.

Now you need to practice to get comfortable leading the interview.

Best of luck in the process.

Khaled

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Ian
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replied on Jun 10, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

If time is priority, my #1 recommendation is a case coach. There's only so much you can absorb in 1 week...they're help you focus on what matters.

Other than that, case, case, case!

You can be "smart" with cases, in that you can do both a new case type AND a new industry in every case (i.e. two birds with one stone).

For FIT, just prepare "why consulting" "why x company" and a few big stories

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Anonymous replied on Jun 10, 2020

Dear A,

Congratulations!

If you have only a week - it's a short time, so I would definitely recommend you to take an expert coach to get a clear line in your preparation and structured and professional feedback on your efforts. My colleagues here on PrepLounge and I are happy to help you.

Best,

André

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Anonymous replied on Jun 09, 2020

Hi,

I suggest in the remaining time that you make sure that your fit preparation is good enough (ROI on the fit is generally much higher than on the case study :)). Among others, you need to build a good story for your initial presentation to be very impactfull. Please find below a slide I've made on this topic. Feel free to PM me is you want to have further details.

Also, make sure you trained with peers on the case and that you have tested a mock interview with someone who already run interview in MBB. It is always interesting to get a MBB like feedback.

Hope it will help.

Best,

David

Job interview tips consulting

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Antonello
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 13, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, for any additional help feel free to text me. I have supported tens of candidates for last minute rush in preparation

Best,
Antonello

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Francesco
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updated an answer on Jun 14, 2020
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

I usually recommend the following steps, you may have already covered some, in which case you can skip them:

  1. Define a calendar for your preparation. Identify how many hours you have available before your interview and allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the points below. Don’t skip this step, as structuring your preparation according to the time is key.
  2. Skim through 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 though, 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 few 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. Once you feel you are not improving anymore, if you have a tight time constraint or if you want a realistic assessment of your level, consider using support from experts to strengthen your performance
  6. 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.

The fit part doesn’t require much time to master, still try to practice it every day and don’t leave it last minute.

In terms of industries covered, you can sort of predict the most likely looking at the areas of specialization of partners in your target office, if they are published. However, it won’t be probably particularly useful

If you want to go full speed on all the key areas, you can find my training program and related reviews at the link below - it will save you 80-90% of the time you will have to spend on books or cases.

https://www.preplounge.com/en/profile.php?id=2433#coaching-package

Hope this helps,

Francesco

(edited)

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Clara gave the best answer

Clara

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McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
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