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Expert with best answer

Francesco

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3,464 Meetings

16,853 Q&A Upvotes

USD 449 / Coaching

7

Is one month enough to prep for a 1st round interview? What's a good plan to prepare?

Unfortunately, I'm a broke girl with big dreams to be part of an MBB firm. I don't have the resources to hire a coach at this point and buy any paid subscriptions. There are limited peers I can match with here given the difference in time and expertise (super novice here).

Current things I'm looking into:

  1. Forcing my brother to act as interviewer so I can always have someone I can case prep with :D (Any tips to make him an optimal interviewer?)
  2. Applying by last week of April or early May
  3. My target firm is BCG in SEA
  4. What are the key indicators of preparedness?

I have done 1 case and I got stuck so many times that I'm getting super discouraged. However, I have the drive to put in the hours and work on things I can improve on. Any tips/resources?

Thanks in advance!

Unfortunately, I'm a broke girl with big dreams to be part of an MBB firm. I don't have the resources to hire a coach at this point and buy any paid subscriptions. There are limited peers I can match with here given the difference in time and expertise (super novice here).

Current things I'm looking into:

  1. Forcing my brother to act as interviewer so I can always have someone I can case prep with :D (Any tips to make him an optimal interviewer?)
  2. Applying by last week of April or early May
  3. My target firm is BCG in SEA
  4. What are the key indicators of preparedness?

I have done 1 case and I got stuck so many times that I'm getting super discouraged. However, I have the drive to put in the hours and work on things I can improve on. Any tips/resources?

Thanks in advance!

7 answers

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Best Answer
Book a coaching with Francesco

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Hi there,

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

  1. Define a calendar for your preparation. Check if there are any 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. One month could be enough if you are willing to work hard
  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.

It is very difficult to understand when you are ready as self-assessment. If you can’t hire a coach, your best bet is to find a current consultant that is willing to give you a case for free and provide some feedback. A peer assessment may not be very insightful.

If you have a premium account, you can access two cases for free where I wrote down how the interviewer can assess a candidate in detail – could be useful to give to your brother/partner in interviews. You can find them at the links below:

Case 1 – Smart Education: https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/interviewer-led-mckinsey-style/advanced/mbb-final-round-case-smart-education-198

Case 2 – BlissOttica: https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/candidate-led-usual-style/beginner/bain-1st-round-case-blissottica-235

If you need more help, please feel free to PM me.

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

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

  1. Define a calendar for your preparation. Check if there are any 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. One month could be enough if you are willing to work hard
  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.

It is very difficult to understand when you are ready as self-assessment. If you can’t hire a coach, your best bet is to find a current consultant that is willing to give you a case for free and provide some feedback. A peer assessment may not be very insightful.

If you have a premium account, you can access two cases for free where I wrote down how the interviewer can assess a candidate in detail – could be useful to give to your brother/partner in interviews. You can find them at the links below:

Case 1 – Smart Education: https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/interviewer-led-mckinsey-style/advanced/mbb-final-round-case-smart-education-198

Case 2 – BlissOttica: https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/candidate-led-usual-style/beginner/bain-1st-round-case-blissottica-235

If you need more help, please feel free to PM me.

Best,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Henning

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In my experience, practicing 15-20 cases is sufficient, if you do it strategically. My recommendation is as follows:

  • Read up on the typical approaches and standard frameworks to get the concept.
  • Then, do 5-6 cases to get a practical feeling for what a case is like. Start with easier ones - e.g. market size mini cases, simple profit tree cases, etc. This will help you develop a rudimentary sense for how cases work
  • The next 5-6 cases should cover cases from all major types and help you gain the experience and comfort with standard frameworks and the thinking required for solving the cases.
  • Lastly, you will want to do 6-7 cases to hone your skills. Practice with people who understand what they are doing - experienced interviewers, coaches, etc. that can give you 1-2 main items of feedback after each case that you can then practice to apply and improve on in the next case. During this time, you should also practice to move away from off-the-shelf frameworks and tailor, or - even better - develop your frameworks specifically during the case.

The further you move towards the final interview, the more important it is to practice with experienced interviewers. While you can easily ask any friend or practice with peers for the first few cases, you should aim for qualified, professional feedback as you approach the finishing line.

However, keep in mind, that this requires a strong plan and strategic approach to the preparation. I regularly see people doing 30-40 or even more cases. While this can also lead to success, in my eyes, it is a bit of a waste of time, especially for experienced hires that often also have a regular job to do while preparing for the consulting interviews.

Let me know if this helps. I'm also happy to elaborate any of the above in more detail. DM me if you like.

In my experience, practicing 15-20 cases is sufficient, if you do it strategically. My recommendation is as follows:

  • Read up on the typical approaches and standard frameworks to get the concept.
  • Then, do 5-6 cases to get a practical feeling for what a case is like. Start with easier ones - e.g. market size mini cases, simple profit tree cases, etc. This will help you develop a rudimentary sense for how cases work
  • The next 5-6 cases should cover cases from all major types and help you gain the experience and comfort with standard frameworks and the thinking required for solving the cases.
  • Lastly, you will want to do 6-7 cases to hone your skills. Practice with people who understand what they are doing - experienced interviewers, coaches, etc. that can give you 1-2 main items of feedback after each case that you can then practice to apply and improve on in the next case. During this time, you should also practice to move away from off-the-shelf frameworks and tailor, or - even better - develop your frameworks specifically during the case.

The further you move towards the final interview, the more important it is to practice with experienced interviewers. While you can easily ask any friend or practice with peers for the first few cases, you should aim for qualified, professional feedback as you approach the finishing line.

However, keep in mind, that this requires a strong plan and strategic approach to the preparation. I regularly see people doing 30-40 or even more cases. While this can also lead to success, in my eyes, it is a bit of a waste of time, especially for experienced hires that often also have a regular job to do while preparing for the consulting interviews.

Let me know if this helps. I'm also happy to elaborate any of the above in more detail. DM me if you like.

Book a coaching with Ian

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Hi there,

The short answer is YES, you can get ready! And, you can absolutely do it for free. That said, you have to put in a LOT of time, and hit your preparation both hard and smart.

I few thoughts to your points:

  1. This is good...but you shouldn't be spending your limited time making your brother an optimal interviewer. Get paired with people on PrepLounge. You need to just jump in. there are lots of people to match with, regardless of what you think your level is!
  2. Key indicator of a good candidate is:

"Someone who can approach a complicated problem and think + communicate in a structured way in the right context+objective of the case, while being personable, adaptable, and coachable, so that, ultimately, the interviewer can see themselves working with this individual and putting them in front of a client."

In general how can you prepare?

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.

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/what-are-the-best-preparation-materials-and-how-to-prepare-the-whole-journey-in-the-most-efficient-way-6142

Hi there,

The short answer is YES, you can get ready! And, you can absolutely do it for free. That said, you have to put in a LOT of time, and hit your preparation both hard and smart.

I few thoughts to your points:

  1. This is good...but you shouldn't be spending your limited time making your brother an optimal interviewer. Get paired with people on PrepLounge. You need to just jump in. there are lots of people to match with, regardless of what you think your level is!
  2. Key indicator of a good candidate is:

"Someone who can approach a complicated problem and think + communicate in a structured way in the right context+objective of the case, while being personable, adaptable, and coachable, so that, ultimately, the interviewer can see themselves working with this individual and putting them in front of a client."

In general how can you prepare?

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.

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/what-are-the-best-preparation-materials-and-how-to-prepare-the-whole-journey-in-the-most-efficient-way-6142

Book a coaching with Clara

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16,243 Q&A Upvotes

USD 229 / Coaching

Hello!

It totally depends on your background, since that would determine the speed at which you can absorbe everything you need for these interviews.

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.

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! :)

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

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!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

It totally depends on your background, since that would determine the speed at which you can absorbe everything you need for these interviews.

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.

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! :)

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

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!

Cheers,

Clara

Book a coaching with Antonello

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Hi, in case you can be fully dedicated in case prep 1 month will be enough. It will be crucial to set up a structured prep plan. In terms of the number of cases solved live I recommend arriving at the 1st round with 40-50 cases solved with others. If you are curious to understand how I support candidates in achieving multiple offers fell free to text me

Best,
Antonello

Hi, in case you can be fully dedicated in case prep 1 month will be enough. It will be crucial to set up a structured prep plan. In terms of the number of cases solved live I recommend arriving at the 1st round with 40-50 cases solved with others. If you are curious to understand how I support candidates in achieving multiple offers fell free to text me

Best,
Antonello

Book a coaching with Adi

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Hey,

Here's my tips:

  1. Get your CV reviewed for free. Feel free to send me a direct message or even better post it in the Q&A forum for coaches to comment
  2. Make a study plan for next 4 weeks, invest 2-4 hours per day and more on weekends; find 2-3 good partners/friends/family to practice with. You need to practice with people who know what they are doing and ideally have a prior consulting background. Otherwise there is a risk of picking up wrong approaches
  3. Start by doing cases on subjects or industries you are passionate about. This will come a bit naturally and easier to you. Build your confidence and then progress to harder cases from there
  4. Aim to do 30-40 cases
  5. Dont ignore the behavioural/FIT interview style

Search the Q&A forum broadly (on case prep, FIT interview etc) as there really is tons of free content & advice available.

All the best!

Hey,

Here's my tips:

  1. Get your CV reviewed for free. Feel free to send me a direct message or even better post it in the Q&A forum for coaches to comment
  2. Make a study plan for next 4 weeks, invest 2-4 hours per day and more on weekends; find 2-3 good partners/friends/family to practice with. You need to practice with people who know what they are doing and ideally have a prior consulting background. Otherwise there is a risk of picking up wrong approaches
  3. Start by doing cases on subjects or industries you are passionate about. This will come a bit naturally and easier to you. Build your confidence and then progress to harder cases from there
  4. Aim to do 30-40 cases
  5. Dont ignore the behavioural/FIT interview style

Search the Q&A forum broadly (on case prep, FIT interview etc) as there really is tons of free content & advice available.

All the best!

Book a coaching with Denis

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Yes, but only if you do it full-time and create a structured plan and get as much coaching and mentoring as possible.

Best,
Denis

Yes, but only if you do it full-time and create a structured plan and get as much coaching and mentoring as possible.

Best,
Denis

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