Review of Case Interview Books

Books Case Interview caseinterview
New answer on Jan 10, 2022
6 Answers
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Laura
Premium
asked on Jan 07, 2022
looking for experienced case partners

Hello everyone, 

In addition to my case preparation via Preplounge I would also like to purchase these books: 

  • Case Interview Secrets by Victor Cheng.
  • Case in Point by Marc Consentino.
  • Mastering the Case Interview by Alexander Chernev
  • Crack the Case by David Ohrvall

Has anyone of you had the chance to read one of those books and can tell me what you thought of it? I know Case Interview books are not everyone's cup of tea, but I still appreciate your opinions. 

 

Thank you,

Laura

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Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 08, 2022
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello Laura,

I have read and worked with all those 4 books and I think that Cosentino (that I personally prefer) and Cheng are the best ones to start with.

  • Case in Point has a nice and structured overview on the different case typologies and some suggested frameworks that you should consider as a good base to build on. More over, the cases proposed are very nice and educational
     
  • Case Interview Secrets has a very particular approach, “hypothesis based”, that some candidates don't feel confident with. I suggest to read this after the Cosentino to enrich your frameworks and your problem solving structure. 

It's true that any of this book will be “enough” to  succeed with your interview but they are a great starting point before practicing with other people, that I consider by far the most effective way to improve. At the end of these books you will have a clear picture of how interview work and all the basic theory you need to deal with cases.

Another good source is the LOMS program by Cheng, that gives you the opportunity to see the case from the interviewer's perspective, helping you to critically analize your performance.

Feel free to contact me if you have other questions,
Luca

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Moritz
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updated an answer on Jan 07, 2022
Unearth your spike & get the offer |ex-McKinsey | 120+ coachings & interviews @ McKinsey | ESADE MBA | Transition Expert

Hi Laura, great point you´re raising, which is ultimately about theory vs. practice.

All those books have something to offer but ultimately take away from real practice time, which is key.

During the interviews and due to high stress, you will be able to recall maybe 0.1% from what you read in there (if you´re lucky).

My advice is to maybe pick one book (I like Case In Point but only used a few chapters myself to prepare) and see for yourself what´s new and important. 

Don´t buy all these books because some of them are even conflicting and you won´t be able to make sense of all the theory and/or translate them into better case performance.

Start casing and developing based on all the feedback you´ll be receiving. Make sure to practice with peers and also experts, if you´re serious about getting into MBB.

(edited)

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Hagen
Expert
replied on Jan 08, 2022
Current Bain & Company Project Leader and interviewer | 250+ interviews conducted | 6+ years of coaching and mentoring

Hi Laura,

First of all, kudos on the thorough preparation!

This is indeed an interesting question which is probably relevant for quite a lot of users, so I am happy to provide my perspective on it:

  • Yes, I read all 4 books and honestly speaking, unless you are at the very beginning of your preparation, I would highly advise you to not purchase any of the books for the following reasons:
    • Most of these books are intended for absolute beginners who just decided that they want to prepare for their upcoming interviews. As such, I feel you would hardly get any additional information out of them and you would just spend time and money.
    • Most of these books display rather odd ways with regards to how to structure the case study as the structures presented are either not MECE, not detailed enough, not fit for the concrete question are all of them. Here, I would highly advise you to either develop your own way of structuring different types of case study questions, or ask a coach. In case you want a more detailed discussion on how I teach coachees of mine how to approach any type of case study, please feel free to contact me directly.

In case you want a more detailed discussion on what resources to use for an efficient and successful preparation process, please feel free to contact me directly.

I hope this helps,

Hagen

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Ian
Expert
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updated an answer on Jan 08, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi Laura,

You're overdoing it!

Please do not buy all 4 of these books! At a certain point, you just need to actually practice.

Reading gets you past the beginner stage. That's it.

After that you, need to practice on your own (casing, math, industry deep-dives, case leadership, frameworks, communication etc.). Much better to invest that time and money on more value-adding things!

Here's some reading on how to prep in general cases: https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/how-to-shift-your-mindset-to-ace-the-case 

And prep on fit: https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/tell-me-about-yourself-interview-question

(edited)

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Clara
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replied on Jan 10, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello Laura, 

Given that time is the only truly valuable asset that you have, and depletable, I would say that reading all 4 (or any, actually) may be not the best use of your time. 

I would actually read summaries and articles in the internet, and them jump straight ahead to practice and mock cases, one after the other. 

Hope it helps!

Cheers, 

Clara

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Hans on Jan 10, 2022

I would advise you to not read any of those books at all! I have spoken to couple of people and those book get you rejected 100%, as interviewers at MBB companies know the books inside out (Do not assume you are smarter than your interviewer). Read articles and summaries as Clara suggested and develop your own framework for every single case! Take the first branch that affects your desired output the most, always ask questions and apply MECE at every stage. That's all. I also started reading those books (actually I have Cheng's book and Case in Point), but it's pointless. Every case is different, and in real life, no client pays your team 1 mio. USD per month to be presented with standard frameworks/solutions, so doing it right from the get go on your journey to consulting might be a good hint... Any hey developing your own structure for every case & discussing it with your case partner is so much more fun:-)

(edited)

Adi
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jan 07, 2022
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hi Laura,

These case books are not as relevant and impactful as they were 10-15 years ago. So, use them only for reference.

Pick Case in Point and read it but dont swear by it. Dont memorise any frameworks please.

Invest more time in real world practice with peers and coaches. Experiment and create your own frameworks for the cases you practice.

All the best.

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Luca gave the best answer

Luca

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BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached
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