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

Nirmit

100% Recommendation Rate

41 Meetings

203 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

5

Opening questions

I’m feeling a difficulty about opening/clarifying questions which we ask before we present our structure. Since the case solving is inherently asking questions & solving according to the answers received, how should we differentiate the questions we ask before we present the structure (opening questions) from the ones we ask all throughout the case. Opening questions should be i think broader & big picture questions but even those questioins need details for giving a meaningful context. Are there do's & don'ts of the opening questions? Thanks!

I’m feeling a difficulty about opening/clarifying questions which we ask before we present our structure. Since the case solving is inherently asking questions & solving according to the answers received, how should we differentiate the questions we ask before we present the structure (opening questions) from the ones we ask all throughout the case. Opening questions should be i think broader & big picture questions but even those questioins need details for giving a meaningful context. Are there do's & don'ts of the opening questions? Thanks!

(edited)

5 answers

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

100% Recommendation Rate

41 Meetings

203 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

Hi,

I think you should use these opening questions to your advantage and not overthink too much. Even if there are some questions that would eventually fall under a 'detailed question', don't hesitate to ask.

But do use your common sense. For instance, asking if there are any other financial targets or if the industry size is growing/has been flat seem like broad and helpful opening questions. However, asking can you give me numbers of the variable costs associated would be too specific as an opener.

Does that make sense?

Thanks,

Nirmit

Hi,

I think you should use these opening questions to your advantage and not overthink too much. Even if there are some questions that would eventually fall under a 'detailed question', don't hesitate to ask.

But do use your common sense. For instance, asking if there are any other financial targets or if the industry size is growing/has been flat seem like broad and helpful opening questions. However, asking can you give me numbers of the variable costs associated would be too specific as an opener.

Does that make sense?

Thanks,

Nirmit

Book a coaching with Francesco

100% Recommendation Rate

3,479 Meetings

17,206 Q&A Upvotes

USD 449 / Coaching

Hi Doruk,

good questions to ask before presenting the structure include those related to:

  • Understand how the business model of the client works
  • Clarify the elements that are not clear in the prompt
  • Clarify the goal and constraints of the client to achieve the goal

You should ask questions until these points are clarified (usually 3-4 questions are enough - may depend on the complexity of the case).

The questions you ask after presenting the structure are instead related to the specific branch of the structure itself, and usually help to verify if a hypothesis you formulated is correct and/or to gain data to proceed with the case.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Hi Doruk,

good questions to ask before presenting the structure include those related to:

  • Understand how the business model of the client works
  • Clarify the elements that are not clear in the prompt
  • Clarify the goal and constraints of the client to achieve the goal

You should ask questions until these points are clarified (usually 3-4 questions are enough - may depend on the complexity of the case).

The questions you ask after presenting the structure are instead related to the specific branch of the structure itself, and usually help to verify if a hypothesis you formulated is correct and/or to gain data to proceed with the case.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Book a coaching with Sidi

99% Recommendation Rate

427 Meetings

4,218 Q&A Upvotes

USD 539 / Coaching

Hi!

The questions you ask at the beginning have the following objectives:

  1. Completely understanding the context/situation (including, unclear terminology, but also, for example, the business model of the client if unclear!)
  2. Understanding the question(s) of the client
  3. Understanding (and quantifying if applicable) the underlying objective(s) of the client

These questions are aiming at understanding the initial setting, hence forming a precondition to outline your structure towards answering the core question (the issue tree)!

The later questions that you ask while navigating through the case are then aiming to verify the actual relevance of each sub-branch in your tree. So if you have defined and disaggregated the criterion to answer the client's core question in a clean way, all these leater questions follow a this precise "roadmap" as layed out by your tree. These questions then oftentimes also comprise enquiries on current performance metrics (revenues, costs, growth rates etc.), which normally should never be asked in the clarifying questions (before making explicit your structure).

Cheers, Sidi

Hi!

The questions you ask at the beginning have the following objectives:

  1. Completely understanding the context/situation (including, unclear terminology, but also, for example, the business model of the client if unclear!)
  2. Understanding the question(s) of the client
  3. Understanding (and quantifying if applicable) the underlying objective(s) of the client

These questions are aiming at understanding the initial setting, hence forming a precondition to outline your structure towards answering the core question (the issue tree)!

The later questions that you ask while navigating through the case are then aiming to verify the actual relevance of each sub-branch in your tree. So if you have defined and disaggregated the criterion to answer the client's core question in a clean way, all these leater questions follow a this precise "roadmap" as layed out by your tree. These questions then oftentimes also comprise enquiries on current performance metrics (revenues, costs, growth rates etc.), which normally should never be asked in the clarifying questions (before making explicit your structure).

Cheers, Sidi

Thank you, always very clarifying! — Doruk on Mar 26, 2019

Book a coaching with Ian

100% Recommendation Rate

299 Meetings

25,871 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

Hi,

There is always more that you can understand. For example, if you understand the goal as improving profits, there's so much more you can ask - do they have a % change target in mind, how long do we have to turn this around, do they prefer this to be done through raising revenue or cutting costs, etc.

I always write BOTMG at the bottom of my framework page to help myself think of things I'm missing in case I'm stuck.

This helps "trigger" you to consider questions around B = Business Model, O = Objective, T = Timing, M = Market, G = Geography.

However, you should never just say "so, what is their business model?" Obviously, ask questions that help you frame your hypothesis, understand the situation, and ultimately drive your case better.

Hi,

There is always more that you can understand. For example, if you understand the goal as improving profits, there's so much more you can ask - do they have a % change target in mind, how long do we have to turn this around, do they prefer this to be done through raising revenue or cutting costs, etc.

I always write BOTMG at the bottom of my framework page to help myself think of things I'm missing in case I'm stuck.

This helps "trigger" you to consider questions around B = Business Model, O = Objective, T = Timing, M = Market, G = Geography.

However, you should never just say "so, what is their business model?" Obviously, ask questions that help you frame your hypothesis, understand the situation, and ultimately drive your case better.

Dear Doruk,

Actually there are 3 main types for clarifying questions you can use before you present your structure:

1. questions that clarify the objective of the case interview, when you ask about the measurable metric of success, time frame, potential restrictions, and limitations

2. If you don't then ask about the information that strengthens your understanding of the company, its business model, products, and services.

3. Important! you can always clarify the definition of a term you are unfamiliar with.

So these are three main types of clarifying questions. If you asking too many questions, the interviewer will probably reply to you smth like this: we don't know, we'll see later, it'’ or relevant.

Good luck with your interview! If you need to find more information about your future application, just write me back!

Best,

Andre

Dear Doruk,

Actually there are 3 main types for clarifying questions you can use before you present your structure:

1. questions that clarify the objective of the case interview, when you ask about the measurable metric of success, time frame, potential restrictions, and limitations

2. If you don't then ask about the information that strengthens your understanding of the company, its business model, products, and services.

3. Important! you can always clarify the definition of a term you are unfamiliar with.

So these are three main types of clarifying questions. If you asking too many questions, the interviewer will probably reply to you smth like this: we don't know, we'll see later, it'’ or relevant.

Good luck with your interview! If you need to find more information about your future application, just write me back!

Best,

Andre

(edited)

Related case(s)

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 18.6k 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 5 649
| 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

Bain 1st Round Case – BlissOttica

Solved 2.7k times
Bain 1st Round Case – BlissOttica Our client is a BlissOttica, an Eyewear Manufacturer that is looking to reach a 10% increase in profits. How would you help our client?
4.3 5 130
| Rating: (4.3 / 5.0)

Our client is a BlissOttica, an Eyewear Manufacturer that is looking to reach a 10% increase in profits. How would you help our client? Open whole case

Similar questions

No similar questions available