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Is there a good way to prep case by yourself?

HW asked on Apr 05, 2019 - 6 answers

Hey community,

I know prelounge has case partners, but I have an intense working schedule that makes planned sessions quite hard. Also, to be honest, I sometimes feel stressful to practice with strangers.

What are some good ways that I can practice by myself? I'm reading a case book now but don't very effective.

Thanks,

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Riccardo replied on Apr 06, 2019
Ex-Bain | 8+ years MBB / Big4 Recruiter & Senior Interview Coach | Advanced Case/Fit Prep | MBA / Expert tracks

Hi,

Practising by yourself will always be less effective than practising with your peers and / or with a coach because

- you are not pressured by time and unexpected/hard questions
- not all existing preparation material is good enough provides a comprehensive and accurate feedback to which you can refer to understand your mistakes and revise the approach
- it is more time consuming

That said, you can complement your preparation with self studies especially for the part on structuring and maths. On that, as other experts have already indicated there are good sources here on Preplounge and on the web.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Best

Nirmit
Expert
replied on Apr 06, 2019
I will get you an offer|McKinsey Senior EM|Offers from MBB|100+ interviews at McKinsey|Recruiting Lead|Experienced hire specialist

Hi,

Practicing cases is a MUST. Case interviews are not to test if you can solve the problem. It's to test how you solve the problem - are you demonstrating critical thinking, can you articulate the message clearly, can you keep well under pressure and most importantly how would you be as a colleague to work with. Case interviews are another way to gauge if you'll be a good fit at that firm. And you cannot sharpen these attributes without practice. A couple of things you can do to help:

+ Shadow your friends/peers when they practice. Ask them if it's ok to sit and watch them observe. You will learn a lot - from the interview itself and also from the feedback that would be given to the interviewee

+ Once you get a hang of it, administer more cases (i.e. be the interviewer not the interviewee). In my last week before my interviews, this is all that I did. Helped me fine tune some small but important things based on my observations. This is more effective because you'll be responsible for giving feedback and will follow everything more closely

Having said this, I would re iterate, you need to practice yourself if you want a realistic shot at a good consulting firm. Hope this helps!

Thanks,

Nirmit

Serhat replied on Apr 22, 2019
BCG | Kellogg MBA | 50% discount | 350+ coachees | 5+ year consulting | 30+ projects in ~10 countries

The very direct and simple answer to your question would be solving cases out of loudly assuming you are presenting it to the interviewer.

Having said that, a mock interview is the best way of preparing for the interview. Remember, the interviewer will be a stranger too. You may want to start practicing with people you already know.

Best

Serhat

Guennael replied on Apr 05, 2019
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews

You can practice alone to some extent, but will never be as good as you could be by practicing with peers or coaches. Just like learning a lesson by just reading it vs. learning a lesson & testing yourself on mock exams, doing cases "on your own" will have limited value and poor retention.

If that is really what you want, so suggestions:

1. Read books (NOT "Case In Point", which I think net detrimental; Victor Cheng's book is good however)

2. Speaking about Victor Cheng, use his following resources:

2a. 6 hours of free video on YouTube

2b. "Look Over My Shoulder" (LOMS). Yes there are some free (illegal) versions everywhere, but please honor his work and pay for the product, it is not that expensive

2c. Do plenty of quick math exercises on caseinterviewmath.com, where he will rank you against fellow candidates on both accuracy and speed (in that order)

3. Plenty of great resources are available on the web and obviously here at PrepLounge

Again, none of this will replace actual practice with fellow candidates, and I strongly suggest you work with a coach or current consultant at some point. Many of us have spent over 100 hours to prepare for these cases, you shoul expect to spend even more if you want to work on your own.

Honestly though... if you are "stressed out" when doing a case with a stranger, don't expect to feel good when doing an actual interview. I'll be blunt: I don't think you can get in with that approach. Good luck - but remember it is a competition and the other guys get prepped properly -> you are helping them by "preparing" alone.

Vlad replied on Apr 05, 2019
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

If you really value your time and have an intense schedule - please prepare with the other candidates. Preparing on your own will be just a waste of your time!

If you are stressed with other candidates, you will be 5x more stressed during the real interview.

In other words - if you commit doing something - do it well

Best!

Someone replied on Apr 05, 2019

Hi,

some good ways to practice alone are following ways:

1. Do cases alone, not just read.

2. Do drills or take structuring course. For ex., https://www.rocketblocks.me

3. Listen and watch best examples of case interviews.

Combine it with some practice and you would definitely see as your performance improves.

Good luck!