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Benjamin

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I'm preparing for case interviews and I feel like I'm not improving. Last year I interviewed for MBB, and I bombed all my first round interviews. Before those interviews, I did 30+ live practice cases on Prep Lounge. I used Victor Cheng's video tutorials and LOMS. And I skimmed through Case In Point. And I still sucked in the real interviews. I just feel really slow during the cases, it takes me a long time to think of questions to ask, and I don't feel like I reach the insight needed to get the answer.

This time around, I've skimmed again through Case In Point, and developed my own framework. I've read through the practice cases in CiP and I feel like in a real case there would be no way I could digest so much info at once. And I still feel like I really suck at cases and I'm not improving.

I guess I am looking for advice? On how to actually improve? I feel like nothing is helping, even when I did live cases last year on PrepLounge I didn't feel like I was improving.

Thank you in advance!!

I'm preparing for case interviews and I feel like I'm not improving. Last year I interviewed for MBB, and I bombed all my first round interviews. Before those interviews, I did 30+ live practice cases on Prep Lounge. I used Victor Cheng's video tutorials and LOMS. And I skimmed through Case In Point. And I still sucked in the real interviews. I just feel really slow during the cases, it takes me a long time to think of questions to ask, and I don't feel like I reach the insight needed to get the answer.

This time around, I've skimmed again through Case In Point, and developed my own framework. I've read through the practice cases in CiP and I feel like in a real case there would be no way I could digest so much info at once. And I still feel like I really suck at cases and I'm not improving.

I guess I am looking for advice? On how to actually improve? I feel like nothing is helping, even when I did live cases last year on PrepLounge I didn't feel like I was improving.

Thank you in advance!!

(edited)

14 answers

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Originally answered:

Consistency in Case interviews

Best Answer
Book a coaching with Benjamin

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Hello Shaan,

You are pointing a problem that most candidate are facing after a first round of preparation. Somehow you manage to sometime solve the case, but you haven't yet understood in details what make you succeed or not.

From now on, it is very important to identify each of the dimensions you need to improve, and on work it on individually.

1. Structure is the most common and impacting issue, since it will be very difficult to dive in the case if you don't cover the right topics or are not properly structured to do so. Forget about the pre-existing framework you can find in books. The one question you should keep in mind while building your structure is "Will each of the dimension of my approach bring insights to formulate a recommandation". I can provide with a very good exercice for this called structuring drills, contact me in pm if needed.

2. Drive and business sens come in second. You need to understand that you have the lead for the case resolution, and identifying insights from analysis you will conduct. So your attitude must be dynamic and always keep in mind that what you are looking for is insights not data.

3. Recommandation is not a conclusion ! Meaning that you are not closing the case by summarizing what you've just done. The first words you will prononce at this stage should directly answer to the question, and then bring the elements supporting this recommandation. Keep in mind, that in many cases this is not your recommandation itself that matter but the way you will structure your communication to deliver the message with a lasting impact.

I hope this help, don't hesitate to reach me if you need more details.

Best

Benjamin

Hello Shaan,

You are pointing a problem that most candidate are facing after a first round of preparation. Somehow you manage to sometime solve the case, but you haven't yet understood in details what make you succeed or not.

From now on, it is very important to identify each of the dimensions you need to improve, and on work it on individually.

1. Structure is the most common and impacting issue, since it will be very difficult to dive in the case if you don't cover the right topics or are not properly structured to do so. Forget about the pre-existing framework you can find in books. The one question you should keep in mind while building your structure is "Will each of the dimension of my approach bring insights to formulate a recommandation". I can provide with a very good exercice for this called structuring drills, contact me in pm if needed.

2. Drive and business sens come in second. You need to understand that you have the lead for the case resolution, and identifying insights from analysis you will conduct. So your attitude must be dynamic and always keep in mind that what you are looking for is insights not data.

3. Recommandation is not a conclusion ! Meaning that you are not closing the case by summarizing what you've just done. The first words you will prononce at this stage should directly answer to the question, and then bring the elements supporting this recommandation. Keep in mind, that in many cases this is not your recommandation itself that matter but the way you will structure your communication to deliver the message with a lasting impact.

I hope this help, don't hesitate to reach me if you need more details.

Best

Benjamin

(edited)

Book a coaching with Ignacio

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Hi Jessica,

Practising for case study interviews can be compared with trying to get fit at the gym. At the gym, if no one tells you how to use the weights properly you can end up with injuries and weird muscles. Similarly, with case studies, if no one gives you the necessary advice and feedback that will change your habits it won't matter how many cases you do, your bad habits will be there and they will only get worse.

I recommend that you do the following:

  • Spend a week or so practising online with as many different people as you can. Use this week as a filtering process to select those partners that give you really valuable feedback. You should end up with 5/6 great partners with whom you will practice from then on.
  • Try to get advice and direction from an expert. The best way would be to research your network and contact any friends/connections that are in MBB or other strategy firms. Ask them to give you advice and if possible, a mock case. They will definitely give you feedback that will put you in the right direction for future practice.
  • If you can't manage to practice with someone in your network, consider working with an expert in PrepLounge. This is a more expensive way but will definitely provide value.
  • Use Victor Cheng and Case in Point only as a way to provide you with certain tools and knowledge. Do not stick to their frameworks, you should always tailor your structure to the unique case. This is one of the hardest things to do but you will be able to get there if you follow these steps.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Hi Jessica,

Practising for case study interviews can be compared with trying to get fit at the gym. At the gym, if no one tells you how to use the weights properly you can end up with injuries and weird muscles. Similarly, with case studies, if no one gives you the necessary advice and feedback that will change your habits it won't matter how many cases you do, your bad habits will be there and they will only get worse.

I recommend that you do the following:

  • Spend a week or so practising online with as many different people as you can. Use this week as a filtering process to select those partners that give you really valuable feedback. You should end up with 5/6 great partners with whom you will practice from then on.
  • Try to get advice and direction from an expert. The best way would be to research your network and contact any friends/connections that are in MBB or other strategy firms. Ask them to give you advice and if possible, a mock case. They will definitely give you feedback that will put you in the right direction for future practice.
  • If you can't manage to practice with someone in your network, consider working with an expert in PrepLounge. This is a more expensive way but will definitely provide value.
  • Use Victor Cheng and Case in Point only as a way to provide you with certain tools and knowledge. Do not stick to their frameworks, you should always tailor your structure to the unique case. This is one of the hardest things to do but you will be able to get there if you follow these steps.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Book a coaching with James

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Hey,

In my view, if you flatlining with performance then you need to pinpoint specifically where you feel you are lacking and really try and focus on working on those case elements through specific practice rather than simply repeating general case practice.

All cases can be broken down to individual components that will all contribute together to define your final performance: overall structure, structured communication, analysis and discussion of exhibits, both quantitative and qualitative anslysis, synthesis, business judgment etc.

My advice would be to work on those where you feel the weakest in a structured way first, then jump back in to doing a few cases and repeat the process if needed with a different focus. That should help you overcome your feeling of flatlining and improve your overall case level.

Best,

James

Hey,

In my view, if you flatlining with performance then you need to pinpoint specifically where you feel you are lacking and really try and focus on working on those case elements through specific practice rather than simply repeating general case practice.

All cases can be broken down to individual components that will all contribute together to define your final performance: overall structure, structured communication, analysis and discussion of exhibits, both quantitative and qualitative anslysis, synthesis, business judgment etc.

My advice would be to work on those where you feel the weakest in a structured way first, then jump back in to doing a few cases and repeat the process if needed with a different focus. That should help you overcome your feeling of flatlining and improve your overall case level.

Best,

James

Originally answered:

Case Fatigue

Book a coaching with Francesco

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Hi Anonymous,

here are a couple of tips I found useful to keep general motivation.

  1. Define clear goals for your preparation. You should have goals with specific numbers (eg I want to get at least 70 cases done / 3 consulting invitations / 2 offers) and with a specific timeline (eg I want to achieve such target by March 31). You should write down the goal, not just imagine them.
  2. Review daily you goals, ideally in the morning
  3. Create a visual representation of your goals.
  4. Keep a diary with your progression towards the goals that you put
  5. If you miss an objective/deadline, go back in your diary and try to understand what you did wrong and why you did not achieve such objective

In terms of cases specifically, you should create a routine to maintain practice. Keeping a routine could be based on the following:

  • Commit in writing to dedicate x minutes every day to case practice, no matter what, and allocate the time in your calendar
  • Create social pressure to help you to keep commitment – eg schedule interviews with other people so that you are forced to show up
  • Invest in the preparation – either via Premium memberships, coaching sessions, material etc. Studies shows that if you invest in something you are brought to keep your commitment, at least not to lose the investment you have made

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

here are a couple of tips I found useful to keep general motivation.

  1. Define clear goals for your preparation. You should have goals with specific numbers (eg I want to get at least 70 cases done / 3 consulting invitations / 2 offers) and with a specific timeline (eg I want to achieve such target by March 31). You should write down the goal, not just imagine them.
  2. Review daily you goals, ideally in the morning
  3. Create a visual representation of your goals.
  4. Keep a diary with your progression towards the goals that you put
  5. If you miss an objective/deadline, go back in your diary and try to understand what you did wrong and why you did not achieve such objective

In terms of cases specifically, you should create a routine to maintain practice. Keeping a routine could be based on the following:

  • Commit in writing to dedicate x minutes every day to case practice, no matter what, and allocate the time in your calendar
  • Create social pressure to help you to keep commitment – eg schedule interviews with other people so that you are forced to show up
  • Invest in the preparation – either via Premium memberships, coaching sessions, material etc. Studies shows that if you invest in something you are brought to keep your commitment, at least not to lose the investment you have made

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Originally answered:

No more progress in case prep

Book a coaching with Vlad

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Hi,

Here is a list of things you can do to boost your progress:

  1. Take a session with an expert here / current MBB consultants to get some feedback
  2. Take some FIT interview coaching. Over 150+ candidates that I've coached only a couple really experienced ones were great with the FIT part
  3. Work on the social / economic / non-profit and other non-traditional cases. I've noticed that most of the candidates are struggling with them. More on these cases here: Non-Profit/Public Sector/Non-Traditional Case Strategies
  4. Work on the operational cases - most of the candidates completely miss them. More about them here; Operations Cases? McK
  5. Continue working on fast and accurate math - you can always do better. Details here: Case Math Prep
  6. Work on your business acumen. I strongly recommend developing the proper industry knowledge. More details here: What's the best way to increase general business acumen?
  7. Make sure everything is fine with your communication: Structured discussion
  8. Do more cases!!!!

Best!

Hi,

Here is a list of things you can do to boost your progress:

  1. Take a session with an expert here / current MBB consultants to get some feedback
  2. Take some FIT interview coaching. Over 150+ candidates that I've coached only a couple really experienced ones were great with the FIT part
  3. Work on the social / economic / non-profit and other non-traditional cases. I've noticed that most of the candidates are struggling with them. More on these cases here: Non-Profit/Public Sector/Non-Traditional Case Strategies
  4. Work on the operational cases - most of the candidates completely miss them. More about them here; Operations Cases? McK
  5. Continue working on fast and accurate math - you can always do better. Details here: Case Math Prep
  6. Work on your business acumen. I strongly recommend developing the proper industry knowledge. More details here: What's the best way to increase general business acumen?
  7. Make sure everything is fine with your communication: Structured discussion
  8. Do more cases!!!!

Best!

Book a coaching with Sidi

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Hi Anonymous,

I think a very similar question has been asked here, and the points raised are very good advice in my opinion: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/not-improving-at-case-interviews-447#a891

I believe a large part of the success in becoming a strong case solver comes down to the quality of the direct coaching that he/she is getting. A small network of 4 to 6 persons, including at least one real (ex-)consultant who has ample real interviewing experience for one of the big firms, will be worth much more than any material like LOMS or Case in Point, and it will also be much more effective than having dozens of practice sessions with random persons who are also inexperienced. Feel free to reach out if you would like to chat more in detail. :)

Cheers,

Sidi

Hi Anonymous,

I think a very similar question has been asked here, and the points raised are very good advice in my opinion: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/not-improving-at-case-interviews-447#a891

I believe a large part of the success in becoming a strong case solver comes down to the quality of the direct coaching that he/she is getting. A small network of 4 to 6 persons, including at least one real (ex-)consultant who has ample real interviewing experience for one of the big firms, will be worth much more than any material like LOMS or Case in Point, and it will also be much more effective than having dozens of practice sessions with random persons who are also inexperienced. Feel free to reach out if you would like to chat more in detail. :)

Cheers,

Sidi

Book a coaching with Marco

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Hi Jessica,

first of all, don't be so negative :)

Keep in mind that, even if you don't see it, you surely moved on onto your learning curve and definetly improved your skills since you started. The fact that you failed first rounds doesn't mean you are (and never will be) good at doing cases: MBB are a tough test and there's multiple factors that can impact on your result.

The thing I would really try to focus on if I were you would be to find "quality" peers to interview with and stress the final feedback a lot. It seems to me that the feedback you received this far is either weak or not structured so you haven't really had a chance to improve. Try to find people that went through the process, do a case with them and listen carefully to what they will tell you about your points of improvement, then start from there and fix them. For example, if you hear your math skills are not perfect, try to do a good number of quantitative cases or even just practice doing calculations on your own.

Hope this helped,

marco

Hi Jessica,

first of all, don't be so negative :)

Keep in mind that, even if you don't see it, you surely moved on onto your learning curve and definetly improved your skills since you started. The fact that you failed first rounds doesn't mean you are (and never will be) good at doing cases: MBB are a tough test and there's multiple factors that can impact on your result.

The thing I would really try to focus on if I were you would be to find "quality" peers to interview with and stress the final feedback a lot. It seems to me that the feedback you received this far is either weak or not structured so you haven't really had a chance to improve. Try to find people that went through the process, do a case with them and listen carefully to what they will tell you about your points of improvement, then start from there and fix them. For example, if you hear your math skills are not perfect, try to do a good number of quantitative cases or even just practice doing calculations on your own.

Hope this helped,

marco

Book a coaching with Gaurav

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Hello Jessica,

I understand your issue. But trying to give you some advices without understanding of our real level and gaps is just like out of the blue.

The thing is that you can practice hundreds of cases, but exact advice on how o advice at some specific point, you can get only from the coach. Me and my colleagues are happy to help you with that.

Feel free to reach me out.

GB

Hello Jessica,

I understand your issue. But trying to give you some advices without understanding of our real level and gaps is just like out of the blue.

The thing is that you can practice hundreds of cases, but exact advice on how o advice at some specific point, you can get only from the coach. Me and my colleagues are happy to help you with that.

Feel free to reach me out.

GB

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