Sharing my interview experience. How did my first round interview go ??

Case Interview First Round
New answer on Jul 29, 2020
4 Answers
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Stephenie asked on May 25, 2019

Last week I had my first round interviews (over skype) with 2 Principles. I get a mixed feeling about these discussion. Based on the details should I expect a second round call.. ?? :-) Please do share your thoughts and expereinces. Thanks

(Note : I have tried to give all the details that I remember...just in case this ends up being helpful to someone... :-) .. sorry if its too long)


1. Interview 1 : During our introductory discussion it seemed we were not connecting at all. Throughout the disucssion whether fit or case the interviewer seemed rigid and non conversational. He described the internal structure and opportunities, I thanked him for those details and said that this question was on my mind as these important details to know, and he came up with "we expect that the candidate has done some search before interview".. and I thought apart from the high level stucture publically declared, how would a candidate come to know about the current or near term work types and how internally cross team opportunities are.

He gave me a straight profitability case.. I structured it through a decision tree and ask for trends... I identified the issue area upfornt... and asked to break it into it's dirvers and also stated the drivers...... but the interviewer wanted me to ask specific questions and focus on value chain ...and when I added customer to the value chain he was like why do you have customer and I said 'bcoz the $ value flows from customer and you may have individual and enterprise customers which leverage the chain differently'.. he was somewhat not ok with it... so I said 'ok lets drop that'... and we focused on the other areas.... to finally arrive at the same point i had asked him through the decision tree.... I listed few operational factors/actions that can be taken... and he was like... No No.. and in the end I said perhaps then the only option in pricing... he said OK. He was pushing to be quick and I am good and fast with calculations... and he stopped me the moment I completed the final calculation stating the time is up. He gave me a feedback to be structured in my next interview and take time into account. He also stated I should have gone and said "change the price" while we were discussing factors for cost reduction (I questioned myself : how can one direclty say change price when she is assessing options for cost reduction .. only when you have exhausted all factors impacting that particular cost ... will you look at absorbng the rise in cost and raising the price). I said yes.. and thanked him for his vital feedback and appreciate that we was able to take time out for the discussion.


2.Interview 2 : The second discussion was amazing from the very start. The interviewer was smiling... and he intitiated the conversation with "So what are you doing these days ". I talked about the my last week work travel to eastern europe and other engagements in the middle east that I was handling. He was specific about few areas in my profile and what I have done... I gave a brief on my work and he was like yeah we are doing similar work with clients and your expertise would come handly. After 15 mins of conversation he gave me an estimation case - I walked him throw my approach (sizing the market , determining the price, investment, and risks/nextsteps) ..he said that's great... and I started with the sizing.... there were few discussions acround determine the revenue potential, followed by operations cost. After which he asked me to determine how much should the client invest, I told him that I would use the corporate rate of return of the firm for that and convyed that after the calcualtion it seems the investment they can make is pretty high keeping in mind the market and the region. Perhaps we can revist the adoption trend ( with a smile - laugh ) and refine it further.... he too agreed "yeah we can do that but let's leave it". He asked me about the risk. I took few seconds and gave him 3 points and he was like surely those are big risks with this investment. All this is exactly 25 mins as I was checking on time (:-)). We discussed on current opportunities and how those can be good for my career.... he sounded very positive and mentioned yeah with your expertise you can manage such engagements. He wished me all the best for my next interiviews. I thanked him for his time.


Please do share your thoughts and expereinces. Thanks

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replied on May 27, 2019
PrepLounge Head of Product & Marketing

Hi Stephenie,

this is a great post! Thanks for sharing your experience in such detail with our community.

I'm sure it can be helpful to others and they will be curious to know how the further process of your interviews went.

So feel free to keep us updated!

Best of luck for the rest of the interviews!


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Stephenie on Jun 21, 2019

Hi Astrid I did receive an invite for the second round. Thanks

Astrid on Jun 21, 2019

Hi Stephenie! That's great news :) Congratulations and thanks for the update! We wish you all the best for your second round!

Anonymous updated the answer on Jun 03, 2019

Hi Stephenie,

I do not think anyone can tell you whether your interview went well - honestly, that would be pure guessing.

After all, the "die is cast" now. Hence, rather focus on what you could do better in the next interview round should you be invited. There are at least two points you can address: a) The first interviewer was obviously not too happy about your level of preparedness/ upfront research and b) there was a lack of interpersonal connectedness. Try to reflect on those points to "shape your future" instead of guessing what might/ might not come.

Good luck ;)

Best regards


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Anonymous replied on Jul 29, 2020

Hi Stephenie,

Thank you sharing your interview in such a detail. Agree with Astrid that it will be very helpful for others, to get a taste of it.

As for feedback., I'm sure my feedback would be just guessing, since it's not a two-side opinion. But I wish everything went nice.

Wish you best of luck,


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replied on May 31, 2019
BCG | Kellogg MBA |82% Success rate| 450+ case interview| 5+ year consulting | 30+ projects in ~10 countries

Hi Stephenie,

I appreciate that you remember many details from your interviews and you shared with us. Unfortunately, I need to tell that most of the times interviewees' perspective is significantly different than the interviewers' perspective. Therefore, I think that it might not be very effective for us to make a significant comment from the input you provided.

Hope you get your second round invitation.


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