Cookie and Privacy Settings

This website uses cookies to enable essential functions like the user login and sessions. We also use cookies and third-party tools to improve your surfing experience on preplounge.com. You can choose to activate only essential cookies or all cookies. You can always change your preference in the cookie and privacy settings. This link can also be found in the footer of the site. If you need more information, please visit our privacy policy.

Data processing in the USA: By clicking on "I accept", you also consent, in accordance with article 49 paragraph 1 sentence 1 lit. GDPR, to your data being processed in the USA (by Google LLC, Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Inc., Stripe, Paypal).

Manage settings individually I accept
expert
Expert with best answer

Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

404 Meetings

11,350 Q&A Upvotes

USD 239 / Coaching

4

Question "any other objectives?"

Dear experts,

the prompt usually contains all relevant objectives for the case. Some myths circulate around that one should (always) ask "are there any other objectives?" as a clarifying question. Isn't this question a bit pointless as one can and should expect that the prompt contains all objectives? What's your opinion on that? When would you recommend using this question?

Regards

Dear experts,

the prompt usually contains all relevant objectives for the case. Some myths circulate around that one should (always) ask "are there any other objectives?" as a clarifying question. Isn't this question a bit pointless as one can and should expect that the prompt contains all objectives? What's your opinion on that? When would you recommend using this question?

Regards

4 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Vlad

97% Recommendation Rate

404 Meetings

11,350 Q&A Upvotes

USD 239 / Coaching

Hi,

In many cases, the prompt may not contain the exact quantifiable objective. So you should clarify the exact objective, but there is no sense to ask for "Other objectives"

I suggest asking the following questions:

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!

Hi,

In many cases, the prompt may not contain the exact quantifiable objective. So you should clarify the exact objective, but there is no sense to ask for "Other objectives"

I suggest asking the following questions:

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!

Book a coaching with Ian

100% Recommendation Rate

200 Meetings

16,266 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

Hi,

I'm often frustrated by candidates who ask questions they've memorised, without displaying original thought. I don't like the question "are there any other objectives","what are the competitors" etc. etc.

That being said, you should always ensure that you know what the objective is. If you don't, you need to ask, but in a clever way that shows hypothesis-based thinking.

For example, if the case says "They're looking at identifying why their profits are falling". You shouldn't say "What is their objective?" or "Are there any other objectives?". It's quite clear. However, you could say something like "So, it looks like their objective is to increase profits. Do they have a target in mind that they'd call success? Are their examples in other companies of similar profit turnarounds that we might baseline against? Are they willing to increase profits if it means cutting costs by firing employees?"

One of my favourite cases is about a non-profit aiming to improve the living conditions of the people in developing country x. It then says "This non-profit wants our helping figuring out 1) where to source the raw materials and 2) How to market the product in the US" In this case, you need to be very clear on the objective. I.e., It's not JUST sourcing and marketing...it's sourcing and marketing in a way that most helps these people (i.e. you may make fewer profits by sourcing from country x, but if you help the country more by paying the locals, that meets your core objective".

Hope this helps!

Hi,

I'm often frustrated by candidates who ask questions they've memorised, without displaying original thought. I don't like the question "are there any other objectives","what are the competitors" etc. etc.

That being said, you should always ensure that you know what the objective is. If you don't, you need to ask, but in a clever way that shows hypothesis-based thinking.

For example, if the case says "They're looking at identifying why their profits are falling". You shouldn't say "What is their objective?" or "Are there any other objectives?". It's quite clear. However, you could say something like "So, it looks like their objective is to increase profits. Do they have a target in mind that they'd call success? Are their examples in other companies of similar profit turnarounds that we might baseline against? Are they willing to increase profits if it means cutting costs by firing employees?"

One of my favourite cases is about a non-profit aiming to improve the living conditions of the people in developing country x. It then says "This non-profit wants our helping figuring out 1) where to source the raw materials and 2) How to market the product in the US" In this case, you need to be very clear on the objective. I.e., It's not JUST sourcing and marketing...it's sourcing and marketing in a way that most helps these people (i.e. you may make fewer profits by sourcing from country x, but if you help the country more by paying the locals, that meets your core objective".

Hope this helps!

Book a coaching with Jorit

100% Recommendation Rate

90 Meetings

79 Q&A Upvotes

USD 149 / Coaching

Hi,

Actually a prompt doesn't always include all the objectives, so it is always good to check with the interviewer if there are other objectives. In my experience, candidates often confuse an action ('should we enter this market') with an objective ('we only want to enter this market if we can achieve 25% market share').

Secondly, in an initial prompt often the objective is not quantified and/or there is no time horizon. So make sure you ask for those.

Hope this helps

Hi,

Actually a prompt doesn't always include all the objectives, so it is always good to check with the interviewer if there are other objectives. In my experience, candidates often confuse an action ('should we enter this market') with an objective ('we only want to enter this market if we can achieve 25% market share').

Secondly, in an initial prompt often the objective is not quantified and/or there is no time horizon. So make sure you ask for those.

Hope this helps

Dear A,

asking clarifying questions is fully ok, and even necessary, otherwise, you may misunderstand the case objective. This may steer you down the wrong direction in the case interview.

I'd like you to recommend the following questions that can also help at the beginning of the interview. They can replace the question about "any other objectives"

What is the measurable metric of success?

What is the time frame?

What are the potential restrictions or limitations?

I wish you good luck with your interview! If you need other recommendations about your application, just drop me a line!

Best,

Andre

Dear A,

asking clarifying questions is fully ok, and even necessary, otherwise, you may misunderstand the case objective. This may steer you down the wrong direction in the case interview.

I'd like you to recommend the following questions that can also help at the beginning of the interview. They can replace the question about "any other objectives"

What is the measurable metric of success?

What is the time frame?

What are the potential restrictions or limitations?

I wish you good luck with your interview! If you need other recommendations about your application, just drop me a line!

Best,

Andre

Related BootCamp article(s)

Getting Up to Speed

In order to repeatedly demonstrate prerequisite skills under the pressure of a real case interview, you need to learn the basics and practice cases.

1 Q&A

Related case(s)

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 15.3k times
MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.6 5 530
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvant ... Open whole case

Espresso, Whatelse?

Solved 9.0k times
Espresso, Whatelse? Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand the root causes of this 2019 trend and how to increase its profit margin again.  
4.6 5 456
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Espresso Whatelse is an Italian company that produces coffee and espresso machines since 1908. It is the Italian market leader and has a strong presence overall in Europe. In 2019, Espresso Whatelse has increased its revenues but it has seen declining profit margin. Your client wants to understand ... Open whole case

Hot Wheels

Solved 4.8k times
Hot Wheels Problem definition: Our client is Korean Car Parts (KCP), a multi-national original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of car parts based in Korea. They've recently seen a decline in profits and have brought us in to understand how to address this falling profitability.
4.6 5 284
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Problem definition: Our client is Korean Car Parts (KCP), a multi-national original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of car parts based in Korea. They've recently seen a decline in profits and have brought us in to understand how to address this falling profitability. Open whole case

McKinsey Digital / BCG Platinion: Oil & Gas Upstream Technology

Solved 3.0k times
McKinsey Digital / BCG Platinion: Oil & Gas Upstream Technology [PLEASE NOTE: This is a technically difficult case and should only be completed by those coming in as a Technology specialist, i.e. recruiting for McKinsey Digital, BCG Platinion, etc.] Our client is a multinational oil and gas company. While they are vertically integrated and have upstream, midstream, and downstream divisions, they have recently been experiencing competitivity issues in the upstream gas division, which brings in $1B in profits annually. Our client’s upstream division has offices in Australia and Indonesia. Their work is highly dependent on their IT systems, as they have to constantly monitor wells and pipes (pressure, hydrocarbon count, fluid makeup, etc.) The upstream division has two large legacy IT systems that are primarily used for downstream operations but have been modified for upstream purposes. These systems are managed by a central team in the US which is responsible for all IT issues across the business. They triage issues/enhancements and then manage development teams in India and Finland who complete the work.
4.5 5 60
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)

[PLEASE NOTE: This is a technically difficult case and should only be completed by those coming in as a Technology specialist, i.e. recruiting for McKinsey Digital, BCG Platinion, etc.] Our client is a multinational oil and gas company. While they are vertically integrated and have upstream, midstr ... Open whole case

Cutting Carbs - Divestiture in the Electrical Power Market

Solved 1.1k times
Cutting Carbs - Divestiture in the Electrical Power Market Our client is Energy England, one of northern England’s largest electric utility companies. They were created over the past decade through an aggressive series of mergers of existing utility companies each specializing in a single energy generation source. Recently, the CEO has embarked on an initiative to return to the core of the business. She is looking to increase free cash flow and cash reserves in order to prepare the business for evolving future trends.   The following can be verbally provided to interviewee if asked: Energy England is made up of assets across the energy-generation space. These include coal, gas, nuclear, and wind We are looking to divest from just one of our previous acquisitions (i.e one target is sufficient) There are no specific goals/metrics – the client trusts our judgement
4.2 5 20
| Rating: (4.2 / 5.0)

Our client is Energy England, one of northern England’s largest electric utility companies. They were created over the past decade through an aggressive series of mergers of existing utility companies each specializing in a single energy generation source. Recently, the CEO has embarked on an initi ... Open whole case