Tracker for areas of improvement

case coaching
New answer on Apr 01, 2022
8 Answers
264 Views
Anonymous A asked on Mar 31, 2022

I keep a log (record) of cases I have done and the feedback / areas of improvement pointed by the interviewer. However, most of the time, given the nature of feedback it would end up being … ”oh do more structuring exercises“ or practice maths etc. 
 

I am just wondering is there a targeted way people use this OR should I just abandon the idea of keeping track altogether!

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Andi
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Mar 31, 2022
BCG interviewer (>175 candidates) |96% coaching success rate, if 3+ sessions | Coached 50+ candidates to MBB offers

Hi there,

I fully second Christian's points. 

Here a few thoughts from my end 

  1. Tracker is typically a great idea, as it ensures you have visibility on what to focus on and where the gaps in your prep are. To do that, make sure it's more holistic, i.e. track the case types, prompts, industries, structure used, feedback received. Review regularly so you maintain visibility on where you stand and where to focus next.
  2. Force your peers to give better feedback: when provided as you quoted, the feedback is not feedback, it's useless. A way to get better feedback is to provide your peers with a template that covers the dimensions you want to focus on. Let them fill it out and dig deeper on the points, if you feel they're too vague. Also, ask for concrete examples, when the feedback is abstract.  
  3. Work with experts: in my experience, feedback you get from case novices can never be as good as nuanced as from someone who's been through the process and (ideally) succeeded. Make sure you also practice cases with experts, and your learning curve will accelerate significantly. Be it friends from the firms you're applying to or coaching support here on PrepLounge - nuanced, precise feedback, in the opinion of many coaches, is the single most critical success factor to mastering cases.   

If you do consider expert support here on PrepLounge, do not hesitate to reach out to me or any of the other coaches - we're here to help and know exactly what it takes to get candidates to where they need to be to succeed..

Hope this helps.

Regards, Andi

Was this answer helpful?
Florian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 31, 2022
#1 rated McKinsey Case and PEI Coach | 5 years at McKinsey | Mentorship Approach | 120+ McK offers in 18 months

Hi there,

The targeted way to do this is not just to write down

  • do more of X

but finding patterns in one's weaknesses and working on those.

In your tracker, write down

  • the archetype of the problem (e.g., structuring)
  • the focus of the question (idea generation or problem-solving)
  • the industry and function of the question (e.g., insurance / operations)
  • Take your time to answer the question properly on your own

There are two benefits of this:

  1. If you track your mistakes or weaknesses, you will not make them again. By taking the time to for instance draft a structure (you can google to help your answer) or drafting a math problem (look at the answer key if needed), you will not make the same mistake again and will learn for the future.
  2. If you do this long enough over the course of your case prep, you might find that your weaknesses are concentrated in certain areas (e.g., operations questions for structure or percentage questions for math). This will help guide you on what to focus more going forward.

Definitely do not stop tracking. What gets measured gets done.

Hope this helps!

Cheers,

Florian

Was this answer helpful?
Maikol
CoachingPlus Expert
replied on Mar 31, 2022
Ex Bain & Company, AlixPartners Manager, and Special Forces | Currently MD at small-cap PE fund | INSEAD MBA | GMAT 780

First, "feedback" that says “do more structuring”, is not feedback. I am sure that only a peer can give such a suggestion, Coaches for sure don't.

Second, tracking is just journaling what you've done and people told you is just useless. 

My suggestion here is to track the cases, track what you didn't do well over the case (on the business, on the structure, on the communication) and then for every single case review the case in-depth several times. 
If your structuring is not good, doing a lot of structuring is just pointless. You have to understand why you are wrong. Probably you are not MECE, you are not solving the right problem, you don't think backward, etc.
So, start with your cases where you had difficulties and then think about them several times. 
If you want to raise the threshold, just schedule an appointment with a coach here on PrepLounge; training with peers is like trying to learn to play piano professionally while training with people who are learning solfège.

 

Was this answer helpful?
Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 31, 2022
#1 rated and most recommended McKinsey Coach | 97% success rate (tracked) | Honest feedback: no sugar-coating

Hi there, 

Keeping a tracker is a great idea. I would recommend you keep doing it this way. 

What I would change is to push people for more precise feedback. If they say ‘oh, just do more of this,’ ask, ‘specifically, what makes you say this? what sort of exercise should i practice? do you have such exercises in mind?’ Basically, try to squeeze as much quality, implementable feedback as possible from the conversation. 

On top of this, I'd suggest you get feedback from an expert too. They have more experience in providing actionable feedback that could take your game to the next level. 

Was this answer helpful?
Adi
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 31, 2022
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey, its hard to give pointed advice without seeing you in action. But, sounds like you may have gotten into a habit/routine and making the same mistakes i.e. not structuring well/correctly or making calc errors etc.

Tracking areas of improvement is good as long as new things show up on the tracker otherwise its pointless. 

Reflect on your performance on cases which you enjoyed or knew a lot about the industry/topic? Which areas you found to be weak? Compare that to some of the difficult cases.

Perhaps consider engaging a coach of your choice to identify and focus on the main areas of improvement.

Was this answer helpful?
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 01, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

The first problem is who you're casing with. You should of course prep with other preploungers, but, quite frankly, it's the blind leading the blind.

Real feedback comes from coaches and consultants at firms who have offered to case you.

Keep your tracker, but change the way you get feedback. Case with more knowledgeable people and also give yourself feedback as well.

A tracker is also immensely useful to see if you are over/under indexing on one particular case type/industry!

Was this answer helpful?
Moritz
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 31, 2022
Unearth your spike & get the offer |ex-McKinsey | 120+ coachings & interviews @ McKinsey | ESADE MBA | Transition Expert

Hi there,

The downside of peer practice is indeed poor feedback, generally speaking (no offense to anyone).

Should you keep track? Sure, try to be systematic about your practice. However, also try and solicit more concrete feedback.

What is more important is investing energy into training how to do better structures and idea generation, math i.e. setting up equations, doing the arithmetic, etc.

I would certainly consider coaching if you want to save yourself a lot of time - this way you'll know for sure what exactly to work on.

Hope this helps a bit! Best of luck!

Was this answer helpful?
Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 31, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Indeed I think it´s a great idea, keep it up!

The problem with feedback is that not everyone can give you good and detailed one, particularly when you are casing with other candidates (not their fault what so ever, but they are also starting with that and figuring it out). Have you considered working with a coach to get a full performance asessment?

Cheers, 

Clara

Was this answer helpful?
Andi gave the best answer

Andi

CoachingPlus Expert
BCG interviewer (>175 candidates) |96% coaching success rate, if 3+ sessions | Coached 50+ candidates to MBB offers
43
Meetings
1,576
Q&A Upvotes
6
Awards
5.0
19 Reviews