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Presenting the initial case opening

Anonymous A

Hello, It is my understanding that the formats for opening an interviewer and interviewee led case are fundamentally different. How can I identify from the beginning of a case which is which so I can properly give an opening after creating my structure.

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Vlad replied on 03/22/2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School

Hi,

I see the 3 options here:

  1. The interviewer takes the leadership from the beginning asks you to think specifically just about the potential structure. (E.g. "Could you please develop a structure on how to assess the potential markets to enter?")
  2. It's not clear from the beginning which type of the case it is. In that case, after I present my structure I would ask proactively something like: "Is that structure good to move forward with? Should I add something or maybe prioritize any particular area of the analysis?" Thus the interviewer will tell you what to do next.
  3. You just start driving the case and see whether the interviewer will take the initiative

Also please don't forget to ask the clarifying questions in the beginning:

1) Clarify the business model / how the business actually makes money. Even if you think you understand it, try to repeat it to make sure that you understand it correctly. e.g. if the case is about oil&gas company which revenues are declining, ask if it is Up / mid / down-stream problem. In this case, defining a revenue stream is critical to setting up the right structure.

2) Clarify the objective. Here make sure that your goal is:

  • Measurable
  • Has a time-framed
  • Has / has no limitations

e.g. Should I invest 100k in this business for 1 year if I want to get 15% return?

3) Ask the questions that will help you build a relevant structure and remove ambiguity.

Best!

Francesco replied on 03/23/2018
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for coaching sessions (1400+) with 100% recommendation rate

Hi Anonymous,

assuming that for opening you mean how to start the case after having presented the structure, it is always safe to start from the first point in your structure. If the interviewer wants that you start from a specific point, he/she will stop you and tell you so. As a consequence, you don’t really need to worry about identifying whether the interview is interviewee or interviewer led for what concerns the opening.

Best,

Francesco