Is practicing a case/day for 3 weeks enough for MBB interviews?

First Time Case Interview! Help Appreciated! McKinsey & Company Mckinsey middle east
New answer on Sep 28, 2022
10 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Sep 21, 2022

Hi everyone! 

so i know this question answer is “depends” type of answer, but i would really like to know your rough guess. 

I'm Junior in UG applying for BA summer internship for a McK Middle East Office. My plan is to do a case everyday ( so one as interviewer and the other as interviewee using preplounge meeting board to practice with peers) 

So with that plan, I should finish 30 cases by the time of the interview ( 15 as interviewer, 15 as interviewee) + Occasional 3-4 mock interviews with certified coaches. 

Do you think this is enough usually? or i should put more pressure and do two cases a day since i have school work to take care of. 



Sorry for the long post, i really appreciate your inputs, Thanks!

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Dominik
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replied on Sep 21, 2022
Ex-Manager @Bain | 100+ Interviews | 100% 5-Star Reviews |Case designer | Former univ' recruiting captain

Hi there,

my thoughts on your journey - it seems to be much too crowded.

Do not forget preparation to a MBB interview is more than excelling on case, you at least need some time to reflect on your personal motivation (for management consulting in general and the specific firm you are interviewing with), be prepared for the personal fit questions.

My tips for you:

  • if applicable ask for a postponement of your interviews with McK
  • start into cases (2 a day max in my opinion)
  • take breaks between two case solving days to reflect on your motivation building a strong and convincing story on your “fit”
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Sofia
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replied on Sep 21, 2022
McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 5+ years of coaching| Free 15 min intro call | Personalized approach

Hello,

As you rightly point out, the true answer here is “it depends”! Though I will say that I agree with the general tone of feedback you are getting. 

I wouldn't count the cases you are doing as an interviewer as part of your case “count” - it's a fundamentally different role. So my understanding is that you would then do 15 cases. I would say that 15 full cases is on the lower end, but if you are well-prepared already and understand how the case process works, you would certainly be able to improve quite a bit. I would recommend doing fewer cases as interviewer and more as interviewee, if possible. Working with coaches could be a great way to ensure you are getting the chance to practice + get good feedback, but you could also ask your friends or family to help you practice.

I also agree with everyone who emphasizes the importance of getting some rest, particularly in the week immediately leading up to the interview! Over-casing is a very real issue, so make sure you are taking care of yourself.

My overall advice is to take it day by day. You have three weeks to prepare for the interview, and instead of worrying about what is too much or too little, I would focus on getting in as much good practice in as possible (you as the interviewee, try behavioral questions too, etc.). However many hours you spend, make sure that those hours are effective, that you are not burning out, and that you have sufficient time for rest, schoolwork, and all your other responsibilities.

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Dennis
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replied on Sep 21, 2022
Seasoned project leader with 7+ years of consulting and recruiting experience in USA and Europe

Hi there,

I agree that the cases are not the only aspect that matters. Of course, if you bomb a case, it will be very hard to get an offer. 
At the same time, if you come across like a robot in the personality part of the process or as someone who doesn't have a “good” (meaning genuine and credible) reason for wanting to pursue consulting, you might also be deemed not a good fit. 

The danger of busting out cases one after another is you ending up trying to “force-fit” everything into frameworks you've come across. Being aware of the most common frameworks is good to help you structure your thoughts of course but don't think you need a specific number of training cases before you are ready for the interview. Think from a business perspective and be pragmatic. Be ready to take an interviewer's hints and pivot in your approach if need be. 

Make sure you use the remaining 3 weeks to also practice your mental math skills - it's a matter of little effort but helps to avoid a common pitfall in case interviews.

Good luck in your preparation and the interview

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Francesco
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replied on Sep 21, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Q: I should finish 30 cases by the time of the interview ( 15 as interviewer, 15 as interviewee) + Occasional 3-4 mock interviews with certified coaches. Do you think this is enough usually?

It might be enough. It depends on a few variables:

  • Your current level
  • The type of cases / feedback you will receive

If you have doubts, it is totally fine to ask to reschedule. There is no penalty if you ask – worst case they will say it is not possible.

If you are planning to take coaching, I would recommend to do one session at the start, so that you can define a plan with the coach. I am fully booked before your interview, but if you need help please feel free to PM me, happy to direct you to a few resources which I believe are good.

Good luck!

Francesco

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Florian
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replied on Sep 21, 2022
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hi there,

Instead of working solely on full cases, I would suggest you work on specific case drills for each area of the case. This is a much more effective and efficient way of 

  • elevating strengths to create spikes (that secure your offer)
  • building your weaknesses to an acceptable level (minimum criteria to be considered for an offer)

On top of that work on full cases alone and with peers/coaches + prepare and rehearse your PEI stories.

Please reach out for more guidance on that approach and have a look at the articles I authored for PrepLounge on McKinsey interviews:

McKinsey case interview

McKinsey PEI interview

Cheers,

Florian

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Ian
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Content Creator
replied on Sep 21, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

A few thoughts:

  1. You will finish 15 cases, not 30 (you are double-counting)
  2. Please take a break. Consider doing 2 in one day, but then taking 1-2 days off every so often
  3. Optimize everything. Get a wide range of cases given to you. Case others in cases you struggled in. Review old cases. Use the best materials. Etc.

You can be ready in this time. But ultimately it's quality over quantity. I might do 2 cases some days but then none other days.

Good luck! 

Here are some cases to get you started:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/candidate-led-usual-style/intermediate/hot-wheels-186

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/candidate-led-usual-style/beginner/hot-wheels-part-2-254

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/candidate-led-usual-style/intermediate/sky-china-191

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/candidate-led-usual-style/intermediate/yodaphone-195

https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases/candidate-led-usual-style/intermediate/cutting-carbs-divestiture-in-the-electrical-power-market-228

 

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Cristian
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replied on Sep 26, 2022
#1 rated and most recommended McKinsey Coach | 97% success rate (tracked) | Honest feedback: no sugar-coating

Hi there, 

From my point of view, this is a rather tight timeline and on the lower end of the preparation scale. 

Ideally, what I've seen with the average successful candidate is about 6-10 weeks of practice, doing about 60-90 cases. 

Of course, it really depends on how good you are at learning from each case and not so much how many you do. Here coaches can be really helpful with accelerating the process. 

Aside from this, don't get stuck on the idea that you need to abide by the proposed interview date. You can always ask them to move it. 

Best,

Cristian

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Sep 28, 2022
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

It's not enough. Not because it's not enough cases, but because it's not enough of everything else. 

You need time to prepare yourself. Do drills (for example, for market sizing, you can do a lot of alone practice). Reanalyze the cases you did. Think on your own about alternative structures.

Additionally, some of the cases you'll get won't be great cases. The material out there is not always great. Some of those cases you could just go and do alone on your own and learn as much or even more.

Don't get me wrong - doing live cases is mandatory! But if you only do cases, it's not going to be targeted practice. And that is more important than doing a lot of cases.

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Maikol
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replied on Sep 21, 2022
Incoming BCG Principal | Former Bain, AlixPartner, and Private Equity | INSEAD MBA | GMAT 780

Mindset in consulting is fundamental, and your question shows you have the wrong mindset at the moment.

The number of cases, provided you have at least 10-15 cases, is irrelevant. 

You need to aim for high-quality cases, feedback, and review. 
It is important that your cases cover the most relevant type of cases and that they are balanced between analytical analysis and structuring exercises. 

I strongly recommend that you should use a case coach to drive you through the process.
Feel free to reach out.

Best,
M
 

 

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Emily
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Content Creator
replied on Sep 21, 2022
Ex McKinsey EM & interviewer (5 yrs) USA & UK| Coached / interviewed 200 +|Free 15 min intro| Stanford MBA|Non-trad

I’m more worried about your ability to remain sane in that process than whether you’ve done ’enough’! 

At the end of the day the interview is in 3 weeks - so you are time limited. Do what you can and make sure that your whole life doesn’t become about casing - you’ll put way too much pressure on yourself and that can be incredibly damaging.

Just be smart about how you prep. Learn a couple of high level frameworks so that you have some buckets to pull on when it comes to the framework, then focus on doing a variety of cases and applying those buckets in different scenarios, rather than just trying to get through cases like numbers. 

Good luck! 

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Dominik gave the best answer

Dominik

Ex-Manager @Bain | 100+ Interviews | 100% 5-Star Reviews |Case designer | Former univ' recruiting captain
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