Ex-MBB\Big4 & Senior Interview Coach | Advance Prep
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Presentation Interview Case

Anonymous A

Have an interview with a firm coming up that is a 30 minute presentation case. Essentially, you get 30 mintues solo to solve a case that is later presented to partners.
Any tips on how to prepare? Any things I can get out of the way already?

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Riccardo replied on 07/10/2017
Ex-MBB\Big4 & Senior Interview Coach | Advance Prep

Hi! To perform above average in this step, you need first to understand the principles of scoring and why this is different from a regular case study interview.

  1. First difference guidance vs data availability. While you still have to match information to develop sensible recommendation, in this exercise you have no guidance in the process, including the filtering of the relevant information. Plus you will be likely to receive even more information vs normal interview (usually tables and charts). This means in the final presentation an outstanding candidate don’t just explains why he/she selected what is IN, but ideally you also have to explain the why and what is OUT. To fine tune this skills ,while you practise presenting conclusions, make sure you do include in/out rational for your solutions.
  2. Second key difference is the number and depth of assumption you are allowed to build your conclusion on. While in a regular case interview the focus is normally to ‘validating’ your assumptions ‘as you go’ and then build recommendation on the refined info accordingly, here the focus is on the opposite process. You are entitled to more hypothesis and a broader scenario building – which you have to lock down to 1 in your final discussion. To make this practical in your training, use the ‘BA - Binary Approach’ to hyphotesis building a set of solutions (2+) on each.
  3. Client-facing communication. Heavier focus is put here on that. Make sure you are ready to defend challenge / manage fictious ‘harsh beaviors’ of the interviews.
  4. On-sell. Make sure you concude the interview with an agreement (on next steps or on the solution)

Feel free to reach for more tips on how to crack this step or to set your peformance apart from others in the process,


replied on 07/09/2017
I am here to get you an offer! | Got 7 offers including Bain and non MBB like Wyman, Roland Berger, Strategy&...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for reaching out.

This is a classic way to test your presentation and analytical skills. I had this kind of exercise when I interviewed for Monitor Deloitte. Do you need to present slides or just your answers?

Whatever, that's always good to sketch some drafts, but don't lose you time doing this.

What I would advise is the following:

1- take some samples of short case studies with graphs and quotes from clients and try to solve them in 30' and present them to a friend that prepares for consulting or a preplounge expert. I can send you some examples of this if you reach out to me by PM.
2- try to focus on prioritizing. Usually, there will be too much information and graphs for 30 minutes. Take your time (3-5') to go through all the material and select your priorities.

3- focus on the quant questions but do not neglect the qualitative part. Take assumptions and be ready to defend them.

4- do not neglect the presentation itself. Be prepared as if you were in front of client (i.e. with a strong story line) but be ready to be challenged by your interviewers, have your backup with your calculation method and your assumptions.
Best of luck and do not hesitate to reach out to me if needed.

Francesco replied on 07/12/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (800+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

I would recommend you to focus on 5 areas to crack a presentation case; I have reported them below with some suggestions on how to prepare for each of them.

1. Learn how to define a plan of action and stick to that

The first thing you should do in a presentation case is to define a plan and allocate in the best possible way your time. Assuming 30 minutes for the analysis, a good approach would include:

  • initial quick reading – 5 min
  • structure the approach – 2.5-5 min
  • make slides/answer to the questions adding detailed analysis and math – 15-20 min
  • final review – 2.5-5 min

You should then practice to stick to the time allocated, in order to maximize your final performance.

2. Practice graph interpretation

You will normally have to analyse graphs in a presentation case. The best way to practice is to take graphs from online resources and use a timer to test in how much time you can understand the key message. McKinsey PST graphs could be a good practice for that.

3. Work on quick reading and quick understanding of key information

You will not have time to read and prioritize everything, so you have to understand where to focus. The ideal way to practice is to use long cases such as HBS ones, and practice on reducing the time needed to absorb the key information that can answer a defined question. Quick reading techniques could also help.

4. Practice quick math

You will normally have math to do in a presentation case. GMAT and McKinsey PST math should work well to prepare on this.

5. Learn how to communicate your slides

You normally have to present your findings at the end of a presentation case. I can apply the same structures of final sum up in a live interview case, that is:

  1. Sum up the main questions you have to answer
  2. Present your proposed answer and detail the motivation behind
  3. Propose next steps for the areas you have not covered

As you will not be able to double check hypothesis with the interviewer as in the live case before the presentation, it could make sense to clearly state when you are making hypotheses and that you will have to verify them with further analysis.

Hope this helps,