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Mental calculation?

Would the interviewer expect mental calculations to solve this case? If so, would it be fine to work with rounded numbers?

Would the interviewer expect mental calculations to solve this case? If so, would it be fine to work with rounded numbers?

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Hi!

This is one of the many nonsense-myths flying around! MBB interviewers NEVER expect mental math! The only thing expected is that you can perform calculations in a clear and correct way, while taking along (!!!) the interviewer! This means that, apart from super easy calculations, you should always do rock-solid written calculations! NOBODY is interested in your mental math skills! It is NOT a relevant category in assessing a candidate's performance, and every MBB interviewer is explicitly trained on that. The interviewer will assess you on whether you are accurate and clear!

In the extreme, very fast mental calculations are even very detrimental to a candidate's performance. Here's why: The interviewer will always assume that the way you behave in an interview is indicative of how you would behave with a client. So if you do all sorts of complicated math stunts in your head - guess what? You become extremely difficult to follow for the client! And at that point it becomes completely irrelevant whether your result is correct or not. If it is hard to follow your analysis, then your performance is poor. End of story.

Cheers, Sidi

Hi!

This is one of the many nonsense-myths flying around! MBB interviewers NEVER expect mental math! The only thing expected is that you can perform calculations in a clear and correct way, while taking along (!!!) the interviewer! This means that, apart from super easy calculations, you should always do rock-solid written calculations! NOBODY is interested in your mental math skills! It is NOT a relevant category in assessing a candidate's performance, and every MBB interviewer is explicitly trained on that. The interviewer will assess you on whether you are accurate and clear!

In the extreme, very fast mental calculations are even very detrimental to a candidate's performance. Here's why: The interviewer will always assume that the way you behave in an interview is indicative of how you would behave with a client. So if you do all sorts of complicated math stunts in your head - guess what? You become extremely difficult to follow for the client! And at that point it becomes completely irrelevant whether your result is correct or not. If it is hard to follow your analysis, then your performance is poor. End of story.

Cheers, Sidi

Thank you very much for your answer. Do you think it would even be allowed to work with a calculator as the numbers of this specific case are really large and not even. — Anonymous A on Mar 05, 2020

Not in traditional 1-on-1 interviews. In written cases it varies between firms. — Sidi on Mar 05, 2020

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Hello,

The only thing that is mandatory during the interview is to not do any mistake in your calculations.
Having said that, doing some mental calculation could really impress your interviewer, but do it only if you are sure of the result. You can even give a result doing fastly the mental calculation with rounded numbers and then write down the calculation with the exact numbers.

Best,
Luca

Hello,

The only thing that is mandatory during the interview is to not do any mistake in your calculations.
Having said that, doing some mental calculation could really impress your interviewer, but do it only if you are sure of the result. You can even give a result doing fastly the mental calculation with rounded numbers and then write down the calculation with the exact numbers.

Best,
Luca