Case Interview MBB Structure
New answer on Aug 27, 2020
2 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Aug 27, 2020


I have questions about structuring:

1- if the interviewer hands on an exhibit that shifts the focus from one bucket in my structure to another. What should be said to stay structured even if I did not get to examine the bucket of focus in full yet? example: If I am starting in lever X of my framework and the interviewer hand me an exhibit that shifts the focus to Y which is my second lever in my structure , how should I react?

2- When brainstorming, it is advised to categorize the ideas into buckets and stay structured but is it fair to sometimes have one idea/bucket or just 2 buckets in total and maybe 2 ideas/bucket? for example how would you categorize ideas for selling strategies when all ideas are actually fitting under selling strategies to attract customers: partnering with X, establish a rewards program, Bundling etc. and if I wanna categorize them they would each be a bucket by itself: partnerships, rewards program and bundling (LoL).



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replied on Aug 27, 2020
McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers


The problem is that you don't understand how to properly structure! You can not have a bucket "market", next to a bucket "profitability". Never! This is just a logical error, since the market conditions are a sub-driver of profitability! Instead, profitability should be the overall umbrella for your structure (if profits are the client's objective of course), and broken down into its conceptual drivers and sub drivers. Then categories such as "market conditions" are mapped to the sub-branches of your tree. THIS is how you can think through strategic issues - not the immature bucket nonsense that you can find in many case preparation books. Feel free to browse through the history of my Q&A answers on my profile - I have explained this at length in dozens of answers over the last 2 years.

With such a logic, your question becomes obsolete by the way, since the interviewer is not "shifting away" the focus. It is all integrated - you just have to understand how it fits together.

Cheers, Sidi

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Anonymous A on Aug 27, 2020

First you might need to read my question again because you jumped to conclusions and you are judging me not answering me ! second You cannot just assume what I understand and what I don’t, third you cannot generalize by calling case books immature and nonsense, fourth I am on here asking for help there’s no need to answer with this attitude if u feel you are way above this level of questions you can simply skip ! Last, the last thing I would search is this level of answers :-)

Sidi on Aug 27, 2020

Sorry if I offended you. This was not my intention. I am not not judging you but want to clearly point out where your conception (as per your description) has a flaw. It might sound harsh, I know, but it is what it is. The books might not be complete nonsense - but the way they teach structuring definitely is! At least, if you aspire to think like a seasoned MBB consultant (can't speak of other companies). You might wnat to reconsider what kind of answers really bring you forward, instead of amplifying inherent misconceptions. But this is your choice of course. Cheers, Sidi

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replied on Aug 27, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hey there,

Great questions!

#1 Frameworks are a guide and are meant to be adjusted

So, you should absolutely be prepared to either enter a new piece of your framework or change your framework altogether as new information comes in. How do you handle this?

Well, first, you can really just articulate what you're doing. You can say "Oh, interesting, so if looks like we have some information on y. I don't want to forget about x, but let's see what y brings us first. Ok, looks like it's about..." Then, when you've "finished" with y, you can check to see if there's any info on x. If there isn't, move to z :)

Second, you can re-summarize/iterate where you are. This is especially useful if you have the change the entire framework. Say "Ok, so it looks like now we actually need to look a 3 key things to solve this"

#2 You can absolutely have "no buckets" when brainstorming...if needed

This is really a judgement call and depends on the type of brainstorming. In terms of selling strategies, I agree with you, this can really fundamentally be a list. However, try to bucket. For example, you could bucket selling strategies as 1) Those that bring in new customers and 2) Those that increase the value of existing customers. Alternatively, it could be 1) Increase basket size per visit 2) Increase visits per customer 3) Increase # customers

Hope this helps!

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Anonymous A on Aug 27, 2020

Thank you so much ! very helpful.

Sidi gave the best answer


McKinsey Senior EM & BCG Consultant | Interviewer at McK & BCG for 7 years | Coached 350+ candidates secure MBB offers
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