Practice Structure outside of case interview

Bain BCG First Round Mck practice Structure
New answer on Aug 30, 2022
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Iris asked on Aug 28, 2018

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone had some (additional) tips on how to practice structuring a case, it is the part of the case that does not come particularly natural to me and need LOTS of practice.

What I've done so far:

- Take newsarticles (M&A, New Market entries etc.) and put down the structure for that case with the information provided.

- Use bulletpoints in my every day communication as much as possible

Does anyone have other tips? Thank you in advance!


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Content Creator
replied on Aug 28, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


I believe it really helps to build the proper industry and functional knowledge.

Focus on the most common industries in the following priority (sorted by probability of geting a case): 1-retail and CPG; 2-airlines; 3-Telecom; 4-banking; 5-natural resources; 6-tech

There are several sources of information that will help you develop the business sense:

1) Cases - you simply solve 50-70 cases and get a broad knowledge of different industries, common pitfalls and questions. The key here - find good partners who already had case interviews with MBB companies

2) Company reports, equity reports, IB roadshow docs - usually have a good overview of company and industries.

3) HBS cases - quite useful, but not sure if lot's of them available publically. Probably worth buying

4) Industry Books - one good book about airlines with numbers and industry analysis can give you all needed industry knowledge

5) News, Industry blogs

For each industry, you should understand:

  • Revenue streams
  • Cost structure
  • Margins
  • Key performance indicators
  • Key revenue drivers
  • Industry trends

I strongly recommend drawing the typical structures for each industry - profitability, value chain, etc

Then I will switch to getting functional knowledge:

  • Marketing (Brand and trade marketing tools, etc)
  • Supply chain (Ops metrics like cycle time and throughput time, distribution and delivery specifics, etc)
  • Operations (Process optimization basics)
  • Finance (Very basic Finance and Valuation)

Good Luck

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Iris on Aug 28, 2018

Hi Vlad, thank you for your response, very helpful!


updated an answer on Aug 28, 2018
Collected McKinsey & BCG offers/ Ex-McKinsey consultant/Harvard/WBS/MSU

Hi Iris,

There are several things worth mentoning as well. Preparation to a case interview consists of 2 stages: theory and practice.

1st stage. Theory

  • Check out MECE principle, top-down, bottom-up à pyramid principle (book

    Barbara’s Minto Pyramid)

  • Wharton casebook 2010- you can check how all industries work there (airlines,retail etc)

  • Case-in-point – you can check what frameworks exist, try to practice and learn them (product launch, M&A etc.)

  • Check how former business consultant approaches different cases with best interviewers listen to at least 3 cases of Victor Cheng LOMS

2nd stage. Practice:

  • Solve at least 5-10 cases with experienced professional/student with good case experience (30-50 cases) to understand what factors influence the decision of the interviewer

  • Create your own case schedule (solve at least 1 case per day) with partners in local groups, universities/preplounge - depends on the interview date

  • Structure everything you do (how to go the shop, structure articles you read)

  • Solve at least 1 case per each case type you found in case in point

  • Learn how to analyze graphs (practice looking at graphs and asking "so whats" out of them)

  • Brainstorming is a must = generate at least 10 ideas on any topic in 30 seconds (how to increase revenue/how to market new airline)

Link to casebooks

Iris, I wish you all the best with interview.


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Iris on Aug 29, 2018

Thank you Egor! Appreciate it!

replied on Aug 30, 2022
50+ successful coachings / Ex-Mckinsey JEM & Interviewer / Industry + Engineering background

Dear Iris,

in general a good structure can be evaluated by a certain depth and breadth. The “depth” should be at least 3-4 levels while the “breadth” should cover the entire solution space. You can cross-check this with the MECE principles (For details see respective article on Preplounge), but the CE (collectively exhaustive) part is basically defining your breadth.

Finally, make sure to check for inter-linkages in your structure and point them out.


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Vlad gave the best answer


Content Creator
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School
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