Perspective of a Case Interviewer on Case Interviews (Details, Process, Trends)

Case Interview Case Interview Prep Interviewer
New answer on Jun 06, 2020
9 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 03, 2020

Hi PrepLounge Experts,

There are a lot of materials on how and what a candidate should do to prepare for case interviews. May I know what does an interviewer do to prepare for case interviews?

Curious to know the details, process and trends observed. Many thanks.

(edited)

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Anrian
Expert
replied on Jun 03, 2020
Kearney Senior Manager | Ex McKinsey Engagement Manager | Interviewer & Case Coach at McKinsey (200+ Real Interviews)

Hi There,

As an interviewer, my preparation:

  1. Read candidate's CV, find something interesting (if any)
  2. Google candidate, again to find something interesting
  3. Get a deep understanding of the case(s)
  4. Try to have multiple perspectives and answers
  5. Rank each answer from below the bar to distinctive

Hope this answers!

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Robert
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 03, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anonymous,

It's simple compared to a candidate's interview prep.

  • Reading application documents (I personally like to have a look at cover letters, but some are looking only at the CV as well) and highlighting any topics (for ice-breaking, in-depth questioning, clarification, ...)
  • Checking case to discuss (usually something familiar already)
  • Make sure logistics work out and being on time
  • Diving in and see how it's going .. usually I have a preliminary decision 5 to max. 10 minutes in a case, but I will always finish it nevertheless
  • Taking notes for evaluation

That's it!

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind and give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Clara
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 03, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Do you mean in a real interview or when you do coaching interviews?

Cheers,

Clara

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Anonymous A on Jun 03, 2020
Hire Clara, I meant by during a real interview. Thanks!
Anonymous replied on Jun 03, 2020

Hi there,

Good question! 15-20 mins prior to the call I usually do is the following:

  • Review the CV and cover letter and highlight the interesting areas where I would like to dig deeper into
  • Pull up my cases (i have my prompts, data, calculations all lined up in an excel doc - I also have a list of "brownie points" per case that if touched upon by the candidate he/she gets a small bonus in the evaluation)
  • Pull up the evaluation sheet and go through it to make sure I don't forget to touch on any point during the interview

Now, to prepare a new case, I write down the prompt, discuss the approach with the recruitment partner and get his/her OK to use the case in my interviews - ask colleagues how they would solve it to get different perspectives (there is no single right answer)

I hope this helps

Khaled

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Anonymous replied on Jun 03, 2020

Hello,

Here is the case study approval process I had to follow. When I want to suggest a new case study for interviews:

  • I must describe it in a few slides (statement, questions of clarification, clues to communicate to the candidate, classic structure, quantitative elements, example of synthesis).
  • Have it validated by the recruiting director (generally a Principal) with possibly 1 or 2 backs & fourth to refine.
  • Test the case study internally with 2 or 3 juniors or trainees.
  • Then propose it for interview.

Personally, I never watch anything about the candidate before the interview (especially not on social networks because I find that it is absolutely not ethical). Also, I prefer to discover the CV during the interview not to be influenced by what I would have read beforehand and therefore to evaluate it in the most neutral way possible; respecting an evaluation grid which is obviously very precise.

Best

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Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 03, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

  • First of all - most interviewers already know the process, since they were preparing for the case interviews same as you do/
  • If they are using the casebook - they'll go through the case in advance. However many candidates would just use their favorite cases
  • I would not expect the interviewer to read your resume or google you before the interview. Most of the interviewers have ongoing projects and they are short of capacity. Many interviewers are swapped last minute due to client meetings, etc.

Best

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Udayan
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replied on Jun 06, 2020
Top rated MBB coach with many offers /Ex McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience/Real cases

We were given the case either slightly before hand or on the day of. I would go over the case just to familiarize myself with it.

Most important however

1. Review the applicant's resume and cover letter

2. Have the applicants evaluation sheets ready - review comments by others if there were any

3. Start the interview and take good notes and make sure I am clear in my reasoning

Not much more to it

Best,

Udayan

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Anonymous replied on Jun 05, 2020

Dear A,

I would recommend you following approach:

1. Start your preparation with reading Case In Point by Cosentino for a general understanding of what a consulting interview is.

2. Start learning and practicing the cases. Some you can find in Case Library and practice it with your partner or experience coach.

3. Purchase and read Viktor Cheng Book (Amazon Kindle store) and listen to LOMS

Once you feel you are not improving anymore, I would recommend you to take an expert coach for structured feedback and polishing your own performance.

Hope this helps,

Best,

André

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 04, 2020
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

While it depends on the interviewer, you might be surprised to hear: not that much.

Apart from creating their case (which they then re-use), they don't prepare for their interview with you - they have a busy day and you're there to impress them, not the other way around! So, they might quickly scan your CV beforehand (i.e. the 30 seconds before), but that's it!

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Anrian gave the best answer

Anrian

Kearney Senior Manager | Ex McKinsey Engagement Manager | Interviewer & Case Coach at McKinsey (200+ Real Interviews)
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