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Structuring a case interview - Order of data gathering and structure

Data Analysis Structure
New answer on Dec 30, 2019
4 Answers
2.2 k Views
asked on Dec 29, 2019

Hello community,

I have a question related to the structure of the interview. Once the interviewer has presented the problem description, it is recommended to restate the problem in your own words and clarify all the objectives. After this step, do you start collecting information to prepare for the structure or do you first start with a preliminary roadmap and then start the data gathering process whigh might lead to a revision of the structure? What is the best approach?

Furthermore, is there any option that someone has a short look at my CV and a draft version of the cover letter, so that I can get an impression that I am on the right track?

Best regards


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Content Creator
replied on Dec 30, 2019
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


I would suggest, very much in line with what you outlined in your post:

1. Restate the problem in your own words and clarify all the objectives & main info points you were giving.

2. Start collecting information to prepare for the structure. It´s not only fine, but also expected for you to ask clarifying questions.

3. Ask for some mins to draft a structure to later discuss it

Hope it helps!



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Alexander updated an answer on Jan 07, 2020

There are a few things you will want to understand before developing a framework:

(1) Make sure you really understand the problem. Often, this comes down to understanding the business model, at least roughly, but this is not always true (operations cases are a common exception).

(2) Often, the goal will be stated only roughly and I recommend trying to quantify it. For example, you will want to know by how much they need to cut costs, or by how much they want to grow revenue.

(3) Ask for the time frame, as it will influence which recommendations make sense.

Most cases have a common logic behind them - which is why set frameworks such as those by Consentino work (to a certain point, at least). With experience, you will eventually also pick up on things that seem out of the ordinary and will then make a habit of asking for those. It's like a gut feeling which, for me, really happened after around 30 cases and now lets me postulate more concise frameworks.


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Content Creator
replied on Dec 29, 2019
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

Send it :)

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Content Creator
replied on Dec 29, 2019
BCG |NASA | SDA Bocconi & Cattolica partner | GMAT expert 780/800 score | 200+ students coached

Hello Markus,

After restating the problem, I always suggest to ask every information you need to clarify the case and be sure that you get the core of the problem (e.g. technical terms you are not sure about).
As soon as you have a clear view of the problem you can write down a structure, present it to your interviewer and start asking for information you need. Basing on these information you can then decide which part of the issue tree you want to drill down.

Regarding the CV: feel free to sent it to me ;)


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Clara gave the best answer


Content Creator
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
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