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Strategies to move from intermediate to advanced level?

approaching a case case coaching case interview preparation Case Prep caseinterview coach consulting MBB
New answer on Aug 29, 2023
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Aug 16, 2023

Hi, 

Context : I have been practicing for over a month now. I started with understanding the core components of casing. I did individual drills, brushed up my mental maths skills, charts, structuring. I also did partner cases (aprox 30) with my MBA consulting club. I’m using a case log to track my feedback. 
 

I can see a major improvement from my diagnostic case. I’m able to structure cases, understand the root cause, and drive the case. Feedback has also been positive. 

However, there are days when I’m still struggling with a case, viz, an unknown industry, a mathematical concept or chart. Sometimes as stupid as unit conversion. 

Goal: I’m looking for ways to improve and avoid these bad days. I have 20 more days before my interviews.
 

Support Needed: 

1. How can I improve casing abilities from medium to hard cases? 

2. What strategies would work to avoid these bad days? 

3. Any additional suggestions that would be helpful at this stage? 

 

(edited)

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Best answer
Hani
Expert
replied on Aug 16, 2023
Associate and All-star Interviewer at OW | Ex-S& | 5+ years in the Middle East |300+ Interviews | INSEAD MBA

Hello there,

To improve your casing abilities, gradually introduce harder cases to your practice, focus on fundamental concepts, and learn from your mistakes.

To maintain consistency and avoid bad days, maintain a positive mindset, be prepared and confident, stay organized, and stick to a routine that balances preparation and rest.

For additional suggestions, research industries, practice math, do mock interviews, and practice with a variety of case types.

Specifically I would recommend you do the below:

  • Gradually introduce harder cases to your practice. This will help you build your problem-solving skills and adapt to more complex scenarios. Start by practicing medium-level cases, and then gradually increase the difficulty as you become more comfortable.
  • Focus on fundamental concepts. Tackle challenging cases by revisiting and reinforcing core consulting concepts. This will give you a stronger foundation to approach diverse cases. Make sure you understand concepts like break-even analysis, sunk costs, and opportunity cost.
  • Learn from your mistakes. When you encounter difficult cases, review your performance afterward. Identify areas where you struggled and work on improving those specific skills or concepts. This will help you avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
  • Maintain a positive mindset. Approach each case with a positive attitude. If you face a challenging case, treat it as a learning opportunity rather than a setback. The interview process is long and recruiting can be less responsive so remember that it is a marathon. This will help you stay motivated and focused.
  • Be prepared and confident. Confidence often comes from being well-prepared. Continuously practicing a wide range of cases will boost your confidence and help you handle unfamiliar scenarios. Make sure you are familiar with the case interview format and have a solid understanding of the consulting process.
  • Stay organized. Keep a structured case log to track your performance, areas of improvement, and lessons learned. This can help you see your progress and identify patterns in your performance. It can also be helpful to review your case log before an interview to refresh your memory on specific cases or concepts.
  • Stick to a routine that balances preparation and rest. Overworking yourself can lead to burnout, negatively impacting your performance. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and taking breaks throughout the day. It is also important to schedule time for relaxation and fun.
  • Practice math. For mathematical concepts and unit conversions, practice regularly. Try mental math exercises and focus on improving your speed and accuracy. A solid foundation in math can make a big difference in case interviews.
  • Do coach mock interviews. Simulate interview conditions by doing mock interviews with coaches. This will help you get accustomed to the pressure and time constraints of a real interview. It can also be helpful to get targeted feedback on your performance from an interviewer's perspective.
  • Practice with a variety of case types. Ensure that your practice covers a variety of case types, such as profitability, market entry, pricing, and operations. This will prepare you for any case that comes your way.

I hope this is useful!

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Sophia
Expert
replied on Aug 29, 2023
Top-Ranked Coach on PrepLounge for 3 years| 6+ years of coaching

Hello,

Sounds like you’re being rigorous and methodical in your casing approach! Honestly, everyone has bad days sometimes. It’s important to give yourself grace, and also to take breaks throughout the case prep process to make sure you don’t burn out. At the end of the day, if your casing fundamentals are good, it will absolutely show! No one is going to fail you in an interview for a unit conversion gone wrong or something like that

To answer your questions:

1. How can I improve casing abilities from medium to hard cases? 

  • Practice hard cases
  • Look through your case log to see whether there are any patterns in the feedback you’ve been getting. Do some focused drills on those
  • Target variety: cases with different case questions, industries, exhibits, maths
  • Work with advanced case partners or coaches

2. What strategies would work to avoid these bad days? 

Bad days can always happen, but a consistent schedule incorporating regular breaks will minimize the chances of them doing so.

3. Any additional suggestions that would be helpful at this stage? 

I would consider getting coaching, if you are able to. It sounds like you’re fairly advanced in the case prep process, have gotten quite good, and just need to fine-tune a couple of steps. An experienced coach will be better positioned to give you targeted feedback and get underneath the root causes of these ‘bad days’ you’re having to improve your case performance overall.

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 17, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Honestly, if you really want to maximize your improvement and chances of success, hire a coach. This is the most impactful/beneficial thing you can do.

Here's some reading to help you with prep: https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/pitfalls-case-interview-preparation

 

1. How can I improve casing abilities from medium to hard cases? 

  • Case with advanced peers. 
  • Ask peers to give you tough cases.
  • Review those cases. 
  • Give those cases to others. 
  • Identify your weaknesses and hone in on those with tailored/focused exercises.

2. What strategies would work to avoid these bad days? 

You'll always have bad days. Accept this. Take breaks (full days off!) to reset/recharge. Give yourself some slack for having bad days.

Mindset shift: Recognize that solving a case is not about memorizing things, but rather about being flexible/adaptable/agile in solving any problem. Face the unknown with excitment/curiosity!

3. Any additional suggestions that would be helpful at this stage?

This reading should help:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/dos-and-donts-in-a-case-interview

https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/how-to-shift-your-mindset-to-ace-the-case

https://www.preplounge.com/en/articles/candidate-led-cases-what-to-expect-and-example-cases

 

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Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Aug 17, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there, 

It sounds like your learning curve has smoothened. 

This is usually a sign that you're not making much progress on your own. 

This is the point when people usually get a coaching session to figure out if they are ‘ready’. So I would recommend you exactly this. 

Get a sense of where you are and what is the gap that you need to close. 

It's amazing that you started this process early and still have time to adjust as needed if there is still a gap, so try to get going with the assessment as soon as possible.

Best,
Cristian

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Hani gave the best answer

Hani

Associate and All-star Interviewer at OW | Ex-S& | 5+ years in the Middle East |300+ Interviews | INSEAD MBA
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