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McKinsey Interview- Non trad. Cases

Anonymous A asked on Jul 07, 2019 - 2 answers

How to best prepare for non traditional business cases likepublic sector and other rare/ different cases.I feel like it's a hit or miss for me. Some I do the structure really well, sone I don't. What's your thoughts process when structuring this type of case?

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Norah
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replied on Jul 07, 2019
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Hello there,
Thanks for reaching out.
For public sector cases, I would say there are four key steps:
1. Formulate the problem: do not hesitate to clarify the problem and have the right level of informations (questions help).
2. Structure the problem MECEly: break down the problem into independent sub-problems (either demand/supply/enablers or problem1/problem2/problem3/global solution or else)
3. Ask questions: in this case, the best way to crack the problem is to ask the right questions and not take too many hypothesis especially if you don't know the sector.
4. Take the hint: maybe the most important advice. the interviewer will give you some hints about your issue tree and it will allow you to identify one of the root causes.
5. Sum up + identify creative solutions
For other rare cases (market sizing, out of the box cases like "how many crackers does Bill Gates eat every year (yes, true story)), my tip would be to be structured all the time but not to sound like a robot and bring "business accumen" in non-business related cases.
I hope that helps.
Please reach out to me if you have any questions,
Norah

Vlad
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replied on Jul 08, 2019
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Hi,

These types of cases are actually pretty traditional, especially for McKinsey. The reason why people think that they are rare is that the casebooks (that are in general not a good source of cases) do not have enough of them.

To provide a bit of structure, there are several types of non-profit cases:

  1. Factors influencing the price (What are the factors influencing the price of oil? Factors influencing the price of real estate?)
  2. Macroeconomic cases (How will you improve life expectancy in a particular city? How will you decrease the unemployment?)
  3. Public sector non-profits (Increasing the revenues of a museum; increasing the revenues from tourism in a city)
  4. Redesigning the processes (How will you develop a new anti-monopoly regulation?)
  5. Non-profit investments (A billionaire is building a new school. What are the factors to look at?)
  6. Ops type (How to reduce the traffic jams on a bridge?)

Feel free to reach out if you need practice with them. I usually give a homework of 10 cases and then we go through them during the session

Best!