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Question regarding initial structure

Case Case Interview case structure Structure
Recent activity on Sep 11, 2017
2 Answers
3.4 k Views
Nish asked on Sep 05, 2017
Looking for partners

Hi All,

So, I was wondering, after you have clarified the intial introduction of the case and you create your structure, is it worthwhile to give your interviewer a quick breakdown of the case?

For example, if you were doing a market entry case and you decided to look at the Market, the Company and the Competitor, which of the below should you tell your interviwer:

  1. I'd like to look at the Market, Company and Competitor
  2. I'd like to look at the Market, which I'll like to look at the customers, market size and trends. Then the company, to see our existing capabilities and feasability. Lastly, the competitor, in which I'd like to look at barriers or entry and exsiting market segment etc.

(This is just a rough structure for illustrative purposes)

The reasoning behind this question is say that for a case, you want to be as MECE as possible, but should you justify your structure to your interviewer before you start drilling down?

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Content Creator
replied on Sep 05, 2017
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi Nish,

my suggested approach would be to present something in between the two options. You can first mention the marco areas of the case, then provide details for each of them, in two steps:

  • STEP 1: mention first the macro areas of your framework. “In order to help our client, I would like to focus on three main areas. Number 1 we may work on [FIRST TOPIC], Number 2 on [SECOND TOPIC], Number 3 on [THIRD TOPIC]. If this is fine for you, let me go deeper in each of them”
  • STEP 2: provide details for each macro point. “In area Number 1, this is what I would analyse. First, I would like to cover [FIRST STEP OF FIRST TOPIC]; second, I would like to focus on [SECOND STEP OF FIRST TOPIC]; next, I would like to work on [THIRD STEP OF FIRST TOPIC]. In area Number 2, this is what I would analyse. First,(…)”

In this way you can give an immediate idea to the interviewer of what is your overall structure, and at the same time make it clear you have a plan to approach in details each step.

Hope this helps,


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Nish on Sep 05, 2017

Awesome. Thanks so much for the advice. As you mentioned, I feel like this is a good way to show your interviewer some insight into the way you think.

Anonymous on Sep 07, 2017

Agreed with Francesco. The bullet point approach turns more important if the interview is by phone or skype

replied on Sep 11, 2017
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School


It's exactly right! I would also add that you can formulate subpoints as the hypothesis.

For example, if you are having a PE (private equity) case, you should do the following:

  1. Make classic structure (market, company, competitors, feasibility of exit)
  2. Make subpoints (e.g. in market: size, growth rates, profitability, segmentation, etc)
  3. Present your 1st level Hypothesis:
  • - "In order to understand whether we should invest in Company A, I would like to look at: Market attractiveness, Company Attractiveness, Competition Intensity, Feasibility of exit"
  1. Present the main 2nd level Hypothesis:
  • "In the market, I would like to make sure that the market is big enough and growing;
  • In the company I would like to find additional opportunities for growth;
  • In competition I would like to check that the market is fragmented enough;
  • Finally, i would like to check if we have potential buyers and can achieve desired exit multiples"

Good luck!

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Francesco gave the best answer


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