Presenting your structure in interviewer-led cases

case structure Case structure and frameworks interviewer led Interviewer-led Structure TKMC Case: Portfolio expansion in the material trade business
New answer on Feb 21, 2023
4 Answers
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Dominika asked on Feb 19, 2023
2 YOE at Tier 2 Consulting, 4 YOE in the Industry

Hello everyone,

what is your recommendation for interviewer-led cases: A) Should we present the structure after the prompt summary? 
B) Or in this case should we follow the interviewer's  questions without presenting our potential approach?

Thanks in advance for your support!
Kind regards,
Dominika

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Hagen
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replied on Feb 21, 2023
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi Dominika,

I think this is an interesting question that may be relevant for many people. I would be happy to share my thoughts on it:

  • First of all, I would highly advise you not to overestimate the difference between interviewer-led and interviewee-led case studies, since the only difference is that after you make a proposal (e.g., for the initial structure or for a solution to a quantitative question), you will give the interviewer time to react to your proposal, which they will either follow or not. I have seen this misconception way too often, that you would not need to show case leadership with interviewer-led case studies.
  • The typical format of a case study is as follows: The interviewer will present the prompt, you will recap the situation and ask clarifying questions, and then you will ask for some time to structure the question(s) at hand, which you will present afterwards.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to address your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

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Dominika on Feb 21, 2023

Hi Hagen, thank for your answer. What if the prompt already contains a specific question at the end? E.g. The client wants to expand their operations and gain x of revenue next year. What critieria would you consider to evaluate the potential market entry? Should I first answer the question from the prompt? Or should I focus on my case structure (company, industry, revenue growth strategies) and then answer the prompt question? If a prompt has a question included at the end, it leaves us very little room for building our structure and asking clarifying questions. If I understand correctly - when question is being asked, we cannot answer with clarifying questions, we need to answer the first question directly.

Hagen on Feb 21, 2023

Hi Dominika, sure thing. I'm always happy to help. The prompt always includes a question or at least a call to action, so you need to know what you should do. Moreover, you should ask clarifying questions to better understand the business context, and you should structure the question(s) at hand so that you know how to approach it since you are not able to answer it directly. I feel you're slightly overthinking things. I'm very happy to discuss this over the phone as well. Please feel free to reach out to me directly.

(edited)

Florian
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replied on Feb 20, 2023
Highest-rated McKinsey coach (ratings, offers, sessions) | 500+ offers | Author of The 1% & Consulting Career Secrets

Dear Dominika,

How it usually works: 

  1. Interviewers introduce the prompt
  2. You ask clarification questions on a. company/situation and b. to operationalize the goal
  3. The interviewer will ask you the initial specific question of the case (you take time to think about it and then answer it)

Don't worry about this as the interviewers will guide you in this process.

Cheers,

Florian

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Ian
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replied on Feb 21, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi Dominika,

Always…for ANY interview…ANY company…follow the interview's guidance.

If they ask for x. Do x. If they ask for y. Do y.

Please don't “override” your common sense because you read something somewhere. Take their cues and their guidance! (For McK, you can “expect” them to give you a specific question)

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Rushabh
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replied on Feb 21, 2023
Limited Availability | BCG Expert | Middle East Expert | 100+ Mocks Delivered | IESE & NYU MBA | Ex-KPMG Dxb Consultant

Hello Dominika,

If the interviewer has asked you a specific question after your summary then go ahead with answering that question. 

The first question could indeed require you to make a structure, but always follow the interviewer's instructions.

Best,

Rushabh 

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Hagen gave the best answer

Hagen

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