Cookie and Privacy Settings

This website uses cookies to enable essential functions like the user login and sessions. We also use cookies and third-party tools to improve your surfing experience on preplounge.com. You can choose to activate only essential cookies or all cookies. You can always change your preference in the cookie and privacy settings. This link can also be found in the footer of the site. If you need more information, please visit our privacy policy.

Data processing in the USA: By clicking on "I accept", you also consent, in accordance with article 49 paragraph 1 sentence 1 lit. GDPR, to your data being processed in the USA (by Google LLC, Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Inc., Stripe, Paypal).

Manage settings individually I accept
expert
Expert with best answer

Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

407 Meetings

11,410 Q&A Upvotes

USD 239 / Coaching

3

McKinsey-style Case Conclusion / Summary

Hi,I am having trouble concluding on interviewer-led cases where I may have answered questions that don’t all link up, or feed into a logical action-oriented conclusion with supporting points. Does anyone have any tips on how to summarise/conclude on these types of cases? Thanks.

Hi,I am having trouble concluding on interviewer-led cases where I may have answered questions that don’t all link up, or feed into a logical action-oriented conclusion with supporting points. Does anyone have any tips on how to summarise/conclude on these types of cases? Thanks.

3 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

407 Meetings

11,410 Q&A Upvotes

USD 239 / Coaching

Hi,

There are two problems with McKinsey recommendations:

  1. As you've mentioned, you have to address the completely different parts of the analysis where the interviewer guided you
  2. In many cases, you can't provide a definite answer since you don't have enough information

Addressing the first problem you should:

  • Provide the recommendation for the initial objective of the case
  • Put everything else you have discussed in the additional part

For example:

  1. Our objectives were to understand why the profit is declining by X and how to bring the profit back within one year (Don't forget that your objective should be measurable in terms of money / other metric and time)
  2. According to the analysis we've done so far, my recommendation is to shut down the division A and to concentrate on the divisions b/c if we want to increase the profit, and there is a number of reasons for that.. (Remember that your arguments should include numbers).
  3. You provide the arguments a) First of all, problems in Division A are the major driver of the decline in profits - 90% of the decline in profits refer to Division A. b) Secondly, the decline is driven by the contracting market size that is shrinking at xx percent and is not expected to improve in the near future. c) Finally....
  4. Additionally, I would like to check the following... (In the last bullet, you simply provide a list of other things you have discussed, but they were not the part of the original objective / the things you slightly discussed but haven't come to any conclusion, like the questions on creativity)

As for the second problem - Indeed, in many cases, you can't provide a definite answer. Consultants may be testing several things:

  • Are you comfortable enough with providing preliminary recommendations based on limited data? (Imagine a CEO whom you met in the elevator and who wants to know the preliminary findings)
  • Will you make a mistake of providing a recommendation with a high level of certainty without having a proper supporting data?

Imagine a case when you have to make a decision whether a PE fund should acquire a company. You make a proper structure (Market, Competitors, Company, Feasibility of Exit) and in 25 min of a case, you've managed only to go through the Market and Competitors branches of the analysis. What will be your recommendation?

In this case, you have to provide a Soft Recommendation:

  1. You start with an objective ("Our objective was to understand whether we should buy this company")
  2. You provide a preliminary recommendation highlighting the uncertainty("According to the limited data we have so far, our preliminary recommendation is to buy this company and there are three reasons for that..." or "Purely based on the data we have about the market it looks like it's a good idea for a number of reasons..")
  3. You provide the reasons ("First of all the market is big at X and growing at Y, Secondly the competition is fragmented with the target company having x% of the market. Thirdly...")
  4. You Mention the pieces of data that you need to provide a full recommendation ("But to come up with a final recommendation I would like to look at the company financials, key capabilities and..." or "But to be 100% sure in our recommendation we need to check...)

Best,

Vlad

Hi,

There are two problems with McKinsey recommendations:

  1. As you've mentioned, you have to address the completely different parts of the analysis where the interviewer guided you
  2. In many cases, you can't provide a definite answer since you don't have enough information

Addressing the first problem you should:

  • Provide the recommendation for the initial objective of the case
  • Put everything else you have discussed in the additional part

For example:

  1. Our objectives were to understand why the profit is declining by X and how to bring the profit back within one year (Don't forget that your objective should be measurable in terms of money / other metric and time)
  2. According to the analysis we've done so far, my recommendation is to shut down the division A and to concentrate on the divisions b/c if we want to increase the profit, and there is a number of reasons for that.. (Remember that your arguments should include numbers).
  3. You provide the arguments a) First of all, problems in Division A are the major driver of the decline in profits - 90% of the decline in profits refer to Division A. b) Secondly, the decline is driven by the contracting market size that is shrinking at xx percent and is not expected to improve in the near future. c) Finally....
  4. Additionally, I would like to check the following... (In the last bullet, you simply provide a list of other things you have discussed, but they were not the part of the original objective / the things you slightly discussed but haven't come to any conclusion, like the questions on creativity)

As for the second problem - Indeed, in many cases, you can't provide a definite answer. Consultants may be testing several things:

  • Are you comfortable enough with providing preliminary recommendations based on limited data? (Imagine a CEO whom you met in the elevator and who wants to know the preliminary findings)
  • Will you make a mistake of providing a recommendation with a high level of certainty without having a proper supporting data?

Imagine a case when you have to make a decision whether a PE fund should acquire a company. You make a proper structure (Market, Competitors, Company, Feasibility of Exit) and in 25 min of a case, you've managed only to go through the Market and Competitors branches of the analysis. What will be your recommendation?

In this case, you have to provide a Soft Recommendation:

  1. You start with an objective ("Our objective was to understand whether we should buy this company")
  2. You provide a preliminary recommendation highlighting the uncertainty("According to the limited data we have so far, our preliminary recommendation is to buy this company and there are three reasons for that..." or "Purely based on the data we have about the market it looks like it's a good idea for a number of reasons..")
  3. You provide the reasons ("First of all the market is big at X and growing at Y, Secondly the competition is fragmented with the target company having x% of the market. Thirdly...")
  4. You Mention the pieces of data that you need to provide a full recommendation ("But to come up with a final recommendation I would like to look at the company financials, key capabilities and..." or "But to be 100% sure in our recommendation we need to check...)

Best,

Vlad

(edited)

Book a coaching with Francesco

100% Recommendation Rate

3,385 Meetings

14,507 Q&A Upvotes

USD 449 / Coaching

Hi Anonymous,

a good final conclusion would include the following:

1) Repeat the objective. This will ensure you are indeed answering to what is relevant for the case. Not repeating the objective is one of the most common mistakes in conclusions as can lead to answers to the wrong question/unstructured conclusion

  • Example: “Our goal was to understand (i) why profits are declining and (ii) how we could increase profits by XYZ”

2) Provide an answer-first solution. You don’t have to present everything you have found in the case at this stage, only the main conclusion and its supporting factor. If the conclusion is not clear 100% as you have not analysed all the elements of your structure to derive a definite yes or no, you can provide a preliminary answer based on the elements you have identified

  • After our initial analysis, we found out that profits are declining due a decrease in profits in division 1 and that, in order to increase profits, with the information we have so far it seems a good idea to enter Market A. This is based on the following reasons:
    • [SPECIFIC FINDINGS 1]
    • [SPECIFIC FINDINGS 2]
    • [SPECIFIC FINDINGS 3]

3) Provide next steps. You should always have next steps – at the bare minimum risks to consider. If you could not reach a 100% sure conclusion since you have not covered all the elements of the structure, this is the moment to list the remaining parts you would like to consider.

  • As additional elements to explore before confirming entry in Market A, we would like also to consider the following …[RISKS/NEXT STEPS]

Best,
Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

a good final conclusion would include the following:

1) Repeat the objective. This will ensure you are indeed answering to what is relevant for the case. Not repeating the objective is one of the most common mistakes in conclusions as can lead to answers to the wrong question/unstructured conclusion

  • Example: “Our goal was to understand (i) why profits are declining and (ii) how we could increase profits by XYZ”

2) Provide an answer-first solution. You don’t have to present everything you have found in the case at this stage, only the main conclusion and its supporting factor. If the conclusion is not clear 100% as you have not analysed all the elements of your structure to derive a definite yes or no, you can provide a preliminary answer based on the elements you have identified

  • After our initial analysis, we found out that profits are declining due a decrease in profits in division 1 and that, in order to increase profits, with the information we have so far it seems a good idea to enter Market A. This is based on the following reasons:
    • [SPECIFIC FINDINGS 1]
    • [SPECIFIC FINDINGS 2]
    • [SPECIFIC FINDINGS 3]

3) Provide next steps. You should always have next steps – at the bare minimum risks to consider. If you could not reach a 100% sure conclusion since you have not covered all the elements of the structure, this is the moment to list the remaining parts you would like to consider.

  • As additional elements to explore before confirming entry in Market A, we would like also to consider the following …[RISKS/NEXT STEPS]

Best,
Francesco

(edited)

A real interview will not be illogical - it will allow you to conclude nicely. Poorly written cases can be hard to conclude due to the way they jump around or the fact that they may be too long and therefore, you may not finish enough content to conclude logically.

For any other cases - "Dear MR CEO, We've touched on this, on this and on this for you and in respect to the initial object, I believe we are headed in this direction. However, as some next steps we should dive deeper into area 1,2,3 to better answer your question.

A real interview will not be illogical - it will allow you to conclude nicely. Poorly written cases can be hard to conclude due to the way they jump around or the fact that they may be too long and therefore, you may not finish enough content to conclude logically.

For any other cases - "Dear MR CEO, We've touched on this, on this and on this for you and in respect to the initial object, I believe we are headed in this direction. However, as some next steps we should dive deeper into area 1,2,3 to better answer your question.

Related case(s)

McKinsey Questions

Solved 39.4k times
McKinsey Questions Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you achieving it? What is your typical way of dealing with conflict?
4.5 5 863
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit Interview | Topics: Personal fit

Tell me of a situation where you had an opinion and no one seemed to agree with you. What was your goal when you decided to join university / work / clubs / a sports team? Did you have a goal that you were not able to reach? What did you do? What do you want to be remembered for and how are you ... Open whole case

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 16.8k times
MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.6 5 595
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvant ... Open whole case

Motivational questions – FIT interview preparation

Solved 4.0k times
Motivational questions – FIT interview preparation During this exercise, we will deep-dive in 4 of the most common Motivational questions asked in FIT interviews:   Why Consulting? Why this particular company? (McKinsey, Bain, BCG, others) Why this particular location? *Particularly relevant to people re-locating or choosing an office not in their region Why this particular specialized business function *Only relevant when not applying for a general role (e.g., McKinsey Advanced Analytics, BCG Gamma, etc.) *box-open green* *See Graph 1 – Note: "Motivational" are one of the 4 types of questions you can find in FIT interviews. *box-close* ➥ Graphs from the Integrated FIT Guide for MBB
4.5 5 62
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)
Difficulty: Intermediate | Style: Fit Interview | Topics: Personal fit

During this exercise, we will deep-dive in 4 of the most common Motivational questions asked in FIT interviews: Why Consulting? Why this particular company? (McKinsey, Bain, BCG, others) Why this particular location? *Particularly relevant to people re-locating or choosing an office not ... Open whole case

Double trouble

Solved 3.6k times
Double trouble Our client is RedBus, one of several operators of iconic double-decker public transport buses in London. Over the past three years RedBus have experienced declining profitability, as a result of reduced demand for buses due to growth in affordable taxi services, such as Uber. The client is looking to understand the root cause of the issue and discuss ways to improve profitability.
4.4 5 153
| Rating: (4.4 / 5.0)

Our client is RedBus, one of several operators of iconic double-decker public transport buses in London. Over the past three years RedBus have experienced declining profitability, as a result of reduced demand for buses due to growth in affordable taxi services, such as Uber. The client is looking ... Open whole case

McKinsey Digital / BCG Platinion: Oil & Gas Upstream Technology

Solved 3.5k times
McKinsey Digital / BCG Platinion: Oil & Gas Upstream Technology [PLEASE NOTE: This is a technically difficult case and should only be completed by those coming in as a Technology specialist, i.e. recruiting for McKinsey Digital, BCG Platinion, etc.] Our client is a multinational oil and gas company. While they are vertically integrated and have upstream, midstream, and downstream divisions, they have recently been experiencing competitivity issues in the upstream gas division, which brings in $1B in profits annually. Our client’s upstream division has offices in Australia and Indonesia. Their work is highly dependent on their IT systems, as they have to constantly monitor wells and pipes (pressure, hydrocarbon count, fluid makeup, etc.) The upstream division has two large legacy IT systems that are primarily used for downstream operations but have been modified for upstream purposes. These systems are managed by a central team in the US which is responsible for all IT issues across the business. They triage issues/enhancements and then manage development teams in India and Finland who complete the work.
4.5 5 67
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)

[PLEASE NOTE: This is a technically difficult case and should only be completed by those coming in as a Technology specialist, i.e. recruiting for McKinsey Digital, BCG Platinion, etc.] Our client is a multinational oil and gas company. While they are vertically integrated and have upstream, midstr ... Open whole case