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solving a case w/o an interview partner

Anonymous A

I am invited for a job interview in which I have to prepare a case study for one hour based upon the incoming information the interviewer is giving to me.

What are the key challenges if you don't have a face to face interview to solve a case? What is most important when presenting the case using ppt?

How can I best prepare ?

thank you

Francesco replied on 08/24/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (1000+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Anonymous,

as for a previous answer I provided on written tests, this is what I would suggest you to focus on:

1. Learn how to define a plan of action and stick to that

The first thing you should do in a written case is to define a plan and allocate in the best possible way your time. Assuming 60 minutes for the analysis, a good approach would include:

  • initial quick reading – 5-10 min
  • structure the approach – 5 min
  • make slides/answer to the questions adding detailed analysis and math – 35-40 min
  • final review – 10 min

You should then practice to stick to the time allocated, in order to maximize your final performance.

2. Practice graph interpretation

You will normally have to analyse graphs in a written case. The best way to practice is to take graphs from online resources and use a timer to test in how much time you can understand the key message. McKinsey PST graphs could be a good practice for that.

3. Work on quick reading and quick understanding of key information

You will not have time to read and prioritize everything, so you have to understand where to focus. The ideal way to practice is to use long cases such as HBS ones, and practice on reducing the time needed to absorb the key information that can answer a defined question. Quick reading techniques could also help.

4. Practice quick math

You will normally have math to do in a written case. GMAT and McKinsey PST math should work well to prepare on this.

5. Learn how to communicate your slides/answers

You may have to present your findings at the end of the case. I would apply the same structures of final sum up in a live interview case, that is:

  1. Sum up the main questions you have to answer
  2. Present your proposed answer and detail the motivation behind
  3. Propose next steps for the areas you have not covered

As you will not be able to double check hypothesis with the interviewer as in the live case before the presentation, it could make sense to clearly state when you are making hypotheses and that you will have to verify them with further analysis.

Riccardo and Norah also provided some information at the link below, specifically for presentation interviews:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/presentation-interview-case-702

For more information on quick reading you can check the second post at the following link:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/written-case-712

Hope this helps,

Francesco

(edited)