is having a cheat sheet during virtual interviews be considered as cheating ?

calculation case math CaseCalculations Math problem McKinsey Interveiw virtual
New answer on Apr 15, 2021
8 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Apr 14, 2021

i am wondering if it is okay to have some fraction tables written on paper for reference kind of like a cheat sheet, ... would that be ok to use during virtual interviews,, instead of dividing some fractions to save time ?

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Hi there,

There is no issue in having a fraction table:

  1. The interviewer will never know – unless you give answers in an unrealistically short amount of time
  2. It is not going to be a relevant differentiator – they are not going to hire you or not because of that – the help it is going to give you is minimal (confidence aside). Even sticking just to the math part without considering all the other areas of assessment, they won’t test just your knowledge of the table

So no issue with that.



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Hi there,

Technically you shouldn't, as during an in-person interview you wouldn't have this.

That said, plenty of candidates print out my World of Frameworks to help them recall material to better setup their frameworks.

Now, I won't comment on "right" or "wrong" here, but what I would say is, fraction tables seem absolutely crazy to me. If you're going to have something, it most definitely should not be fraction tables. You are more than capable of learning this fast math yourself (everyone is - it's just practice). Furthermore, I can't imagine a scenario where it's not painstakingly obvious to the interviewer that you're not writing down math, but rather trying to find x combo in a fraction table.

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They won't realize, so it won't hurt you. But I would make the case it will also not help you. Your performance will be evaluated based on your structure, drive, planning of the math, etc. The actual execution of mental math will only play a very minor role in your overall score and there's only a low likelihood that exactly the calculation you need to execute will be on that sheet. Tbh I wouldn't bother.

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Although I wouldn't encourage it, I don't see why not! The McKinsey case interview is rigorous enough where a cheat sheet will not make enough of a difference between whether you get an offer or not.

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Hey there,

Some good answers here already. I just want to add something.

1. I don't personally see the issue with it. However, be aware that the more cheatsheets you put in front of you, the more distracted you might become instead of thinking by yourself!

2. I have heard from a coachee in the Far East that for the McKinsey interview she has to connect two cameras, a webcam for the face, and a phone camera for the desk. Not heard this from other offices yet. Depending on where you are interviewing, this might be relevant for you as well.



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Official answer is - not surprisingly - no of course. However, of course, many candidates are exploiting the current unique opportunities presented through conducting Zoom-based interviews.

Are there more things you could even do to reduce the background noise and focusing your mind at the problem at hand? Yes. Will those cheat items / behaviors have a deciding or huge factor? No. Best way is, as always, to be as prepared as possible no matter the requirement - i.e. prepare to realize your individual potential - go all in.

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I would recommend to not use any cheat sheets. If the interviewer will notice that you are suddenly looking somewhere else, it just doesn't leave a professional impression at all and rather creates doubts whether even you are not believing in yourself, if you require a cheat sheet. In real life you also wouldn't have a fraction table, when you are discussing something with a client in front of the flipchart, so make sure your mental math is at least okay, otherwise you would have problems on the job anyhow sooner or later.

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Hi, yes it will consider but I confirm tens of candidates are doing it without being surprised or questioned



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Francesco gave the best answer


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