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Not improving at case interviews?

Jessica

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)

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Ignacio
Expert
replied on 02/19/2017
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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.

Marco
Expert
replied on 02/18/2017
Specific coaching: company you are applying for; 1st or 2nd round; your professional background; ...

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

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