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Luca

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8

Is it possible to pass MBB interview without personal case coach?

Hi all,

Is there anyone who managed to pass MBB interviews on their own without having to hire a personal case coach?

Hi all,

Is there anyone who managed to pass MBB interviews on their own without having to hire a personal case coach?

8 answers

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Book a coaching with Luca

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Hello Arty,

for sure yes! I, myself, have received all the 3 MBB offers.

However having an expert is useful to significantly increase your chances and get the maximum result with the minimum effort. Furthermore, preparing with an expert will give you a realistic idea of a real interview's feeling and of the questions you will go through. This can really make the difference in order to handle the pressure of those moments.

Best,
Luca

Hello Arty,

for sure yes! I, myself, have received all the 3 MBB offers.

However having an expert is useful to significantly increase your chances and get the maximum result with the minimum effort. Furthermore, preparing with an expert will give you a realistic idea of a real interview's feeling and of the questions you will go through. This can really make the difference in order to handle the pressure of those moments.

Best,
Luca

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Hello!

I believe it is, totally! It depends on multiple things such as how good you naturally are, how well prepared you are, how nervous you get in the interviews -some people just get knocked-out, etc.

For me, the most important thing is the time, and normally the one that constraits more. If you have all the time in the world to practice for hours and hours, dedicate time to make you own repository of cases, do multiple interviews with peers, etc... eventually, you will most likely get there.

What a coach brings you is a lot of experience, which boosts your preparation in little time, something that will take you probably months by yourself.

Hope it helps! Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

I believe it is, totally! It depends on multiple things such as how good you naturally are, how well prepared you are, how nervous you get in the interviews -some people just get knocked-out, etc.

For me, the most important thing is the time, and normally the one that constraits more. If you have all the time in the world to practice for hours and hours, dedicate time to make you own repository of cases, do multiple interviews with peers, etc... eventually, you will most likely get there.

What a coach brings you is a lot of experience, which boosts your preparation in little time, something that will take you probably months by yourself.

Hope it helps! Cheers,

Clara

Hey,

I'll add my personal opinion here, you may take it with a grain of salt though:

for me personally, it was ESSENTIAL to have a 3-5 sessions with a coach here in order to get an offer and proceed to next rounds with several consulting firms!

Before that, I had done a lot of preparation with other candidates here on preplounge, and I did not see any significant progress. The reason is that the vast majority of the candidates out there are ill-prepared (despite having done a ton of mock cases with other candidates), therefore the feedback you will receive from them is gonna be useless, and even detrimental if you try to internalize it and therefore develop wrong ''habits''. Plus, they've obviously never been interviewing people in a top consulting firm, therefore they can't exactly know the criteria for passing the interview.

The most crucial wrong ''habit'' is using those ''frameworks'' presented on preplounge as well as several casebooks and other sources for particular business situations (M&A, product launch, market entry etc.) instead of showing the interviewer how you think about this particular problem by using a few critical first principles and demonstrating the rigor in your thinking. I understood this ONLY after having my first session with Sidi, therefore I would recommend him to play it safe (without the intention to do marketing at this point ;) ). Simply look at his profile and Q&A contributions, and you'll know exactly what I mean.

You can also pick another coach/ex-consultant to prep, but please be careful who you choose, there are lots of people who sell themselves as coaches but are simply a waste of your money and time. A good filter to find this out is looking for answers in the preplounge-Q&A to questions regarding how to structure particular prompts, the description in their preplounge-profiles, how many years they've been in consulting, whether they've been in the recruiting team of their firm etc. Also, my recommendation would be to stay away from video sources like ''Pass The Case'', ''CraftingCases'', ''MConsultingPrep'', ''CaseCoach'', ''Consulting Confidant Case Prep'' etc., the structuring skills demonstrated there are EXTREMELY poor to non-existent and those are simply crap...

That said, those case prep sources floating around are responsible for whole generations of ill-prepared candidates. A lot of those, sadly, have made it into consulting nevertheless, simply because (at least based on my personal suspicion) a consulting firm needs people in order to meet a certain growth rate, and therefore has to make compromises in form of hiring candidates in spite of not seeing the rigor they ideally want to see in their thinking. What also might happen is that those people are even allowed to interview other candidates, which creates a vicious circle.

Even worse, what I've personally experienced is that even some interviewers in consulting have sadly embraced the methodologies presented in casebooks and other sources, and consequently expect them from the candidates (as most probably that's how they themselves think about problems in their lives as consultants as well). This is especially the case in emerging markets: I had two interviews with a Tier2-firm in the Middle East, both interviewers were leading the case to a direction which strongly resembled pre-fabricated ''frameworks'' presented in casebooks like Victor Cheng's, Case In Point and preplounge, which seemed pretty random to me personally. The feedback I got was that I was ''too generic'', and the second interviewer even said that she liked my structure at the beginning (despite the fact that I was actually forced and prompted by her to use those b***shit frameworks presented in the aforementioned sources to initially structure the problem)... Speaking of emerging markets, I have heard of a lot of people who got into MBB offices in South/East Europe by reading Cheng's and Consentino's casebooks only (without having done one mock interview or coaching session), which again shows a desperate need for growth as well as the lack of rigor in their interviewers' thinking in those particular offices.

Long story short: it might be possible to get into a major consulting firm without professional coaching/doing mock interviews with consultants. For sure, though, doing this will save you a LOT of time (which you would spend in doing mock interviews with random candidates otherwise) and will significantly reduce the risk of being rejected.

Again, you should take EVERYTHING I write with a grain of salt, maybe I'm simply not smart enough by myself and therefore a coach on my side was necessary (I typically need more time to understand things than others, despite my relatively impressive background). There might be people out there who are naturally talented in properly structuring problems (in the way Sidi explains that), but personally for me it would be IMPOSSIBLE to find out about AND internalize those first principles without professional coaching.

What I can say for sure is that without this coach I would most probably either have given up or be incredibly uncertain about how to be a good consultant without relying solely on my (largely non-existent) skills of selling myself and b**shitting a random solution despite having no idea of what's going on...

Hey,

I'll add my personal opinion here, you may take it with a grain of salt though:

for me personally, it was ESSENTIAL to have a 3-5 sessions with a coach here in order to get an offer and proceed to next rounds with several consulting firms!

Before that, I had done a lot of preparation with other candidates here on preplounge, and I did not see any significant progress. The reason is that the vast majority of the candidates out there are ill-prepared (despite having done a ton of mock cases with other candidates), therefore the feedback you will receive from them is gonna be useless, and even detrimental if you try to internalize it and therefore develop wrong ''habits''. Plus, they've obviously never been interviewing people in a top consulting firm, therefore they can't exactly know the criteria for passing the interview.

The most crucial wrong ''habit'' is using those ''frameworks'' presented on preplounge as well as several casebooks and other sources for particular business situations (M&A, product launch, market entry etc.) instead of showing the interviewer how you think about this particular problem by using a few critical first principles and demonstrating the rigor in your thinking. I understood this ONLY after having my first session with Sidi, therefore I would recommend him to play it safe (without the intention to do marketing at this point ;) ). Simply look at his profile and Q&A contributions, and you'll know exactly what I mean.

You can also pick another coach/ex-consultant to prep, but please be careful who you choose, there are lots of people who sell themselves as coaches but are simply a waste of your money and time. A good filter to find this out is looking for answers in the preplounge-Q&A to questions regarding how to structure particular prompts, the description in their preplounge-profiles, how many years they've been in consulting, whether they've been in the recruiting team of their firm etc. Also, my recommendation would be to stay away from video sources like ''Pass The Case'', ''CraftingCases'', ''MConsultingPrep'', ''CaseCoach'', ''Consulting Confidant Case Prep'' etc., the structuring skills demonstrated there are EXTREMELY poor to non-existent and those are simply crap...

That said, those case prep sources floating around are responsible for whole generations of ill-prepared candidates. A lot of those, sadly, have made it into consulting nevertheless, simply because (at least based on my personal suspicion) a consulting firm needs people in order to meet a certain growth rate, and therefore has to make compromises in form of hiring candidates in spite of not seeing the rigor they ideally want to see in their thinking. What also might happen is that those people are even allowed to interview other candidates, which creates a vicious circle.

Even worse, what I've personally experienced is that even some interviewers in consulting have sadly embraced the methodologies presented in casebooks and other sources, and consequently expect them from the candidates (as most probably that's how they themselves think about problems in their lives as consultants as well). This is especially the case in emerging markets: I had two interviews with a Tier2-firm in the Middle East, both interviewers were leading the case to a direction which strongly resembled pre-fabricated ''frameworks'' presented in casebooks like Victor Cheng's, Case In Point and preplounge, which seemed pretty random to me personally. The feedback I got was that I was ''too generic'', and the second interviewer even said that she liked my structure at the beginning (despite the fact that I was actually forced and prompted by her to use those b***shit frameworks presented in the aforementioned sources to initially structure the problem)... Speaking of emerging markets, I have heard of a lot of people who got into MBB offices in South/East Europe by reading Cheng's and Consentino's casebooks only (without having done one mock interview or coaching session), which again shows a desperate need for growth as well as the lack of rigor in their interviewers' thinking in those particular offices.

Long story short: it might be possible to get into a major consulting firm without professional coaching/doing mock interviews with consultants. For sure, though, doing this will save you a LOT of time (which you would spend in doing mock interviews with random candidates otherwise) and will significantly reduce the risk of being rejected.

Again, you should take EVERYTHING I write with a grain of salt, maybe I'm simply not smart enough by myself and therefore a coach on my side was necessary (I typically need more time to understand things than others, despite my relatively impressive background). There might be people out there who are naturally talented in properly structuring problems (in the way Sidi explains that), but personally for me it would be IMPOSSIBLE to find out about AND internalize those first principles without professional coaching.

What I can say for sure is that without this coach I would most probably either have given up or be incredibly uncertain about how to be a good consultant without relying solely on my (largely non-existent) skills of selling myself and b**shitting a random solution despite having no idea of what's going on...

If I can say my two cents: sometimes when I read the Q&A section I get super anxiety of the questions. I get it people are very focused on getting a job in MBB but from my experience ( this depends on the city/country/region) is not that you should spent 3 month studying for the interveew and sent 1000s of dollars in coaching. I speak only for the European market since I have only worked there. I have never took a coach or spend money on premiums and I have worked in very good companies and passed all study case intervies without preparation. What matters is to be smart, numbers-savy and have knowlegde of economics/business. Studying framworks and structure. It is good to read thoose thing and be familiar but how you think is the most important thing. I repeat: this apply only to EU markets I don't know how others are.

If I can say my two cents: sometimes when I read the Q&A section I get super anxiety of the questions. I get it people are very focused on getting a job in MBB but from my experience ( this depends on the city/country/region) is not that you should spent 3 month studying for the interveew and sent 1000s of dollars in coaching. I speak only for the European market since I have only worked there. I have never took a coach or spend money on premiums and I have worked in very good companies and passed all study case intervies without preparation. What matters is to be smart, numbers-savy and have knowlegde of economics/business. Studying framworks and structure. It is good to read thoose thing and be familiar but how you think is the most important thing. I repeat: this apply only to EU markets I don't know how others are.

Well, as I wrote before and you state by yourself: this heavily depends on the market. EU is not homogeneous, for example I would certainly be sure that this can easily be achieved in Greece, Poland, Czech Republic or Spain, but very rarely in UK, Germany or France. For instance, I had an interview with a Tier2-company in the UK and got rejected after 1st round, they said I hadn‘t done a bad job at all, but I had made a few mistakes that they had preferred not to see, and there were simply candidates who nailed every part of the case. . Regarding being naturally smart or not: it‘s certainly an advantage from many aspects, but I think people (like me) who were not born naturally talented/smart also have a right to work at MBB and therefore it is reasonable that we need to spend a lot more time than the geniuses around us. At least from my perspective, letting extremely hard work compensate for lack of intelligence instead of giving up/do the poorly paid research specialist jobs is more brave. I personally got teased off and discouraged because the fact that I did not improve in cases after a ton of mock interviews was allegedly an indicator that I was not smart enough for consulting, therefore I am even more proud of being the „dumb guy“ who broke into consulting!!! — Anonymous B on Dec 25, 2019 (edited)

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Hi Arty,

The short answer is yes, you can obviously pass without coaching. However, I will consider some factors before deciding whether or not to hire a personal case coach:

1. Natural predisposition: some people are more inclined to solve cases (and they usually do well without applying standard book frameworks). After few practices with peers, you should be able to asses your level

2. Timing: I personally had a lot of time to prepare my interviews and I did it without a professional coach (however a friend - almost at the same level of a professional coach - helped me a lot). If you are applying for structuring recruting (e.g. MBA summer internship) you will probably have your interviews on january; leveraging a coach during the Christmas break to accelerate your preparation could be a good idea

3. Possibility to practice with peers: I always suggest to try some real cases and never go to an interview only having studied on books/watching videos. Practincing with peers and not with a professional coach could be sufficient but it is better if you peer a) already passed some interview rounds b) has previous experiences in consulting (even if not MBB) c) practiced with a professional coach.

Good luck,

Silvia

Hi Arty,

The short answer is yes, you can obviously pass without coaching. However, I will consider some factors before deciding whether or not to hire a personal case coach:

1. Natural predisposition: some people are more inclined to solve cases (and they usually do well without applying standard book frameworks). After few practices with peers, you should be able to asses your level

2. Timing: I personally had a lot of time to prepare my interviews and I did it without a professional coach (however a friend - almost at the same level of a professional coach - helped me a lot). If you are applying for structuring recruting (e.g. MBA summer internship) you will probably have your interviews on january; leveraging a coach during the Christmas break to accelerate your preparation could be a good idea

3. Possibility to practice with peers: I always suggest to try some real cases and never go to an interview only having studied on books/watching videos. Practincing with peers and not with a professional coach could be sufficient but it is better if you peer a) already passed some interview rounds b) has previous experiences in consulting (even if not MBB) c) practiced with a professional coach.

Good luck,

Silvia

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Hi,

The answer is yes, however, the devil is in details.

  • Most of the people from my HBS class who applied got 2-3 offers with almost no prep. Obviously the brand matters
  • I know a couple of people with the background in sales who got the offers with almost no prep - these people can present and sell themselves perfectly
  • I personally got all 3 offers myself. However, it took 2 attempts (at first I got 0 offers), 2 years and 100+ cases

To sum up - it depends, but the coach can increase your chances and save the years of your life

Best

Hi,

The answer is yes, however, the devil is in details.

  • Most of the people from my HBS class who applied got 2-3 offers with almost no prep. Obviously the brand matters
  • I know a couple of people with the background in sales who got the offers with almost no prep - these people can present and sell themselves perfectly
  • I personally got all 3 offers myself. However, it took 2 attempts (at first I got 0 offers), 2 years and 100+ cases

To sum up - it depends, but the coach can increase your chances and save the years of your life

Best

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Hi Arty,
of course yes :) However, I recommend to find at least some experienced consultants to practice a few cases with (friends, ex-alumni of your University, ...). An expert's feedback will be crucial to boost your performance.

Best,
Antonello

Hi Arty,
of course yes :) However, I recommend to find at least some experienced consultants to practice a few cases with (friends, ex-alumni of your University, ...). An expert's feedback will be crucial to boost your performance.

Best,
Antonello

I know several people who got MBB offers in the UK, and none of them had used coaches (allegedly). However, they very naturally very bright and spent much time preparing. For sure coaching is helpful and some people will have benefitted, but don't think that it's the game changer and the one thing that will make the difference. Especially if you cannot afford it. Good luck!

I know several people who got MBB offers in the UK, and none of them had used coaches (allegedly). However, they very naturally very bright and spent much time preparing. For sure coaching is helpful and some people will have benefitted, but don't think that it's the game changer and the one thing that will make the difference. Especially if you cannot afford it. Good luck!

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