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Sidi

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3

Is there a comprehensive method or reliable rule of thumb to differentiate clarifying questions from questions within issue tree?

I sometimes struggle to decide when I should ask particular questions - is there a good way of deciding what needs to be asked at the beginning, before structuring, and what should be part of the structure?

For example, when would you ask questions about segmentation (product or customer)?

I sometimes struggle to decide when I should ask particular questions - is there a good way of deciding what needs to be asked at the beginning, before structuring, and what should be part of the structure?

For example, when would you ask questions about segmentation (product or customer)?

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Hi Kay,

the questions you ask at the beginning have the following objectives:

  1. Completely understanding the context/situation (including, unclear terminology, but also, for example, the business model of the client if unclear!)
  2. Understanding the question(s) of the client
  3. Understanding (and quantifying if applicable) the underlying objective(s) of the client

These questions are aiming at understanding the initial setting, hence forming a precondition to outline your structure towards answering the core question (the issue tree)!

The later questions that you ask while navigating through the case are then aiming to verify the actual relevance of each sub-branch in your tree. So if you have defined and disaggregated the criterion to answer the client's core question in a clean way, all these leater questions follow a this precise "roadmap" as layed out by your tree. These questions then oftentimes also comprise enquiries on current performance metrics (revenues, costs, growth rates etc.), which normally should never be asked in the clarifying questions (before making explicit your structure).

Cheers, Sidi

Hi Kay,

the questions you ask at the beginning have the following objectives:

  1. Completely understanding the context/situation (including, unclear terminology, but also, for example, the business model of the client if unclear!)
  2. Understanding the question(s) of the client
  3. Understanding (and quantifying if applicable) the underlying objective(s) of the client

These questions are aiming at understanding the initial setting, hence forming a precondition to outline your structure towards answering the core question (the issue tree)!

The later questions that you ask while navigating through the case are then aiming to verify the actual relevance of each sub-branch in your tree. So if you have defined and disaggregated the criterion to answer the client's core question in a clean way, all these leater questions follow a this precise "roadmap" as layed out by your tree. These questions then oftentimes also comprise enquiries on current performance metrics (revenues, costs, growth rates etc.), which normally should never be asked in the clarifying questions (before making explicit your structure).

Cheers, Sidi

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Hi Kay,

Indeed calrification question should be asked with the objective to fully understand the situation.
In some cases, you might receive on purpose a limited info, and this will be your responsibility to ask theses question to fully understand the scope of the case and clearly identified the issue of the client.
The answer to these question should help you to focus your structure on the main issues in case the case opening is to wide.
Best
Benjamin

Hi Kay,

Indeed calrification question should be asked with the objective to fully understand the situation.
In some cases, you might receive on purpose a limited info, and this will be your responsibility to ask theses question to fully understand the scope of the case and clearly identified the issue of the client.
The answer to these question should help you to focus your structure on the main issues in case the case opening is to wide.
Best
Benjamin

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Dear A,

There is only 3 types of clarifying question which you can ask before structuring your case:

questions that clarify the objective of the case interview

Here the basic things you have to know about the case objective:

  • What is the measurable metric of success?

  • What is the time frame?

  • What are potential restrictions or limitations?

2. questions about information that strengthens your understanding of the company

In this chapter the main things you have to know are:

  • Business model: How does the company make money? Do they sell directly to customers or do they sell through retailers or partners?

  • Products and services: What products and services does the company sell? What benefits do these products and services provide?

  • Geographic location: Does the company have one location or are they a national chain? Does the company operate in just one country or do they have an international presence?

3. question about definition of a term you are unfamiliar with

Most consulting interviews do not require you to have specialized knowledge or expertise in an industry. Therefore, if you come across a term that you are unfamiliar with, it is completely acceptable to ask the interviewer for the definition.

The other question you may ask later while navigating through tree structure.

Hope it helps,

Best,

André

Dear A,

There is only 3 types of clarifying question which you can ask before structuring your case:

questions that clarify the objective of the case interview

Here the basic things you have to know about the case objective:

  • What is the measurable metric of success?

  • What is the time frame?

  • What are potential restrictions or limitations?

2. questions about information that strengthens your understanding of the company

In this chapter the main things you have to know are:

  • Business model: How does the company make money? Do they sell directly to customers or do they sell through retailers or partners?

  • Products and services: What products and services does the company sell? What benefits do these products and services provide?

  • Geographic location: Does the company have one location or are they a national chain? Does the company operate in just one country or do they have an international presence?

3. question about definition of a term you are unfamiliar with

Most consulting interviews do not require you to have specialized knowledge or expertise in an industry. Therefore, if you come across a term that you are unfamiliar with, it is completely acceptable to ask the interviewer for the definition.

The other question you may ask later while navigating through tree structure.

Hope it helps,

Best,

André

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