# Key insights from Graphs

Exhibit Final Round Math problem strategy&
New answer on Jan 31, 2023
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Hi there!

Even after a lot of case solving, I have trouble driving the case when many exhibits are dropped one after another.

Overwhelmed by one graph, and sometimes lacking to do the right math( forgetting the bigger picture), and then goes on to affect the rest of the case as well.

Appreciate any inputs on practising better cases as well. Where can I find cases with a lot of exhibits, and difficulty. If I've already gone through MBA school case books INSEAD, IESE, Duke etc.

Appreciate any thoughts on what I can do, with 1 week left to Final round at Strategy &

Cheers!

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Hi there,

This is a very common challenge. The 'trick' is to proactively look for opportunities to show specific skills, i.e. quant and conceptual skills.

For graphs, I generally recommend the following:

• 1st step: You should ask for and take the time you need to feel comfortable to talk about the obvious insights (1st level analysis) but expect to get a “how's it going?” after 30 seconds. This part is often more descriptive, and you won't be able to derive that many new insights but should come up with some (mostly conceptual skills, limited quant skills). The trick here is to stop yourself from rambling, take a pause, and look for opportunities to go beyond the obvious.
• 2nd step: What interviewers really want are the less obvious insights that require some number crunching. It's almost always the case, especially with tables, that you can multiply/diver/add across to lines/columns to create new meaningful numbers (quant skills). Align this with your interviewer and go ahead with number crunching - ideally not in silence, so you keep the conversation going
• 3rd step: Put the numbers into a context, explain what they mean, relate them to the prompt, client goal, etc. and suggest an idea for how to proceed (conceptual skills). Then let the interviewer react and guide.

This is something I train a lot with candidates, and I'd be happy to help you, too!

Best of luck!

Moritz

Hi there,

Q: Overwhelmed by one graph, and sometimes lacking to do the right math( forgetting the bigger picture). Appreciate any thoughts on what I can do.

As general tips for graph analysis, I would recommend the following:

• Ask for some time to understand the graph. Usually 30 seconds are enough, but there is no hard rule.
• Summarize the graph. Read in particular the graph title, the legend, and the footnote. Candidates quite often skip this part and then make mistakes.

2. ANALYZE THE GRAPH AND FIND THE KEY INSIGHTS

• Repeat the question. Some candidates don’t repeat the question and then answer the wrong one. If you repeat it, you can be sure that you will answer what was asked.
• Provide an analysis related to the question. Identify the key insights of the graph based on the question. This is the most challenging part of graph analysis to master, as it is different in every chart. You can improve it with drills on your own or with coaching.

3. PROPOSE THE NEXT STEPS

• State your hypothesis or suggestion on what to do next. Present what should be done next to help further the client to reach the goal.
• Ask a question/propose an analysis related to what is needed to move forward. This will show you are able to drive the case forward.

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

Why are you looking for practice before you've even taken a step back and said “what can I do differently?"

If you need multiple exhibits you need to:

1. Remind yourself of the objective (of the case)
2. “Scan” each exhibit first and summarize each one in a sentence (overall meaning of graph)
3. Go through each exhibit 1 by 1 to grab key insights relating to #1
4. Tie them all together

Hello,

Best approach would be to practice drills with graphs and exhibits. I personally found rocketblocks to be super helpful.

All the best with your interviews with Strategy&, feel free to reach out if you have any questions about the firm or would like to practice some real cases, as I had received an offer from them.

Best,

Rushabh

Hi there,

It rather sounds like you don't have the right technique for interpreting exhibits.

Basically, try to go down the following steps:

1. Read the exhibit with the interviewer without actually reading it. This gives you the chance to get a sense of the exhibit before you even take time to digest it. You can also ask clarifying questions at this point.

2. Ask for time. Take 30-60 seconds.

3. Aim to come up with 3 insights or so. Each insight basically consist of you pointing at a piece of data, then explaining what that means, then telling the client what they should do as a consequence of this finding. This last part is actually what makes the whole thing an insight.

4. Once you have a good idea of the 3 insights, get back to the interviewer and present them in a top-down way.

5. For a distinctive answer, reflect at the end on how these 3 insights tell a story about the client's situation and where they are going.

6. Suggest next steps (depending on interview type)

Happy to coach you on this last minute. Just reach out.

Best,

Cristian

Here's the trick: forget about looking for interesting “insights” in the exhibits, but instead ALWAYS think about how they impact the recommendation.

Hey there,

Exhibits are actually the easiest part of any case since it is the only time in a case interview where you don't need to create new content but just interpret what is already there.

The trick for exhibits is always to apply a structured process that allows you to

a. take the necessary time to digest all relevant information

b. perform and communicate your analysis in the most effective way

How can you do that?

1. Briefly describe the exhibit and state what you want to use the exhibit for. You need a clear objective before interpreting an exhibit. Otherwise, you are “swimming.”
2. Ask clarification questions if something is unclear. Never make or base your analysis on assumptions that you do not test with the interviewer.
3. Take 30s to 1m to structure your thoughts (insights, implications, next steps).
4. Answer in a top-down manner what you see by focusing on the 1-3 key insights per chart. You don't want to boil the ocean but focus on the most important insights only.
5. Discuss what it means in the context of the case (implications/the so-what?) and how you can move forward from here (next steps).

I have a whole chapter on effective exhibit interpretation in my new book (not just step-by-step approaches but ways to identify what key insights are, how to create implications from that, what the most common errors are, etc). Feel free to check it out.

Also happy to run a session on this if you want.

Cheers,

Florian

Hi there,

I think this is an interesting question that may be relevant for many people. I would be happy to share my thoughts on it:

• It feels like you're struggling with exhibits in general during case interviews. As such, instead of practicing case studies with multiple exhibits, I would advise you to focus on mastering exhibit analysis on its own, without the rest of the case study. This will help you better understand how to analyze a single exhibit, and continue from there.
• Moreover, I would like to point out that during a typical strategy consulting interview, you will not be faced with multiple exhibits in a single case study. So, don't be too concerned if you struggle with multiple exhibits in one case study during your preparation.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to address your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen