Urgent: New to consulting - 2nd interview next week

2nd Round approaching a case beginner Case Interview Important & Urgent
New answer on Mar 01, 2022
8 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Feb 23, 2022

Hello, I'm a fresh graduate and I only recently started being interested in consulting. 

I was contacted by a consulting firm (not MBB or big 4) where I had a good first interview with the HR (fit questions) and next week I will have a 2nd interview with the senior manager (fit + 40 min case study). 
I'm very interested in the company and the role and I really don't want to embarrass myself during the interview. 

Please how can I prepare well for the case part in a short amount of time? What should I focus on to guarantee at least a good impression?

(I started reading the “Hacking the Case Interview” to have a concise understanding of case interviews but I still feel lost in tackling all the material (frameworks, types of cases etc.))

Thank you

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Feb 24, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

If you don’t feel ready, don’t try to push a crazy amount of preparation in one week. Instead, if possible reschedule the interview

This is fine for most firms. They don’t have reasons to interview you if you don’t believe you can do a good job.

Most candidates spend 100+ hours preparing. Yes, you could be lucky and pass the first round by getting exactly the same case you watched the day before on YouTube or guessing the right structure. But that’s a very risky strategy. 

Plus, it is unlikely that you will pass both the first and final round based on luck. And you are rejected, you will have to wait 1-2 years before applying again.

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In terms of how to prepare, I would recommend the following:

  1. Define a calendar for your preparation. Identify how many hours you have before your interview and allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the points below. Many candidates need 100+ hours to be ready before the interview starting from zero so you can keep that as a benchmark.
  2. Read Case In Point or Case Interview Secrets (or finish Hacking the Case Interview) for a general understanding of what a consulting interview is. Don’t focus on the structures proposed in the books, as they are not good enough nowadays (and yes, that’s true for all three, although for different reasons. Feel free to PM me for details on why).
  3. Start reading good MBA Consulting Handbooks – you can find several for free online (INSEAD is a good one to start). Read the cases and try to apply your structure to solve them. Whenever you see there is something missing, upgrade your structure with the new insights. Try to read a new case per day – in this way you will absorb better the information with constant learning.
  4. After the first 5-10 cases in books/handbooks and basic theory, start to practice live. PrepLounge can be helpful to connect with other candidates for that. There is a relevant part of the interview score that is based on your communication, which you cannot practice at all if you read cases only.
  5. Keep track of your mistakes and see which ones you are repeating. If so, try to identify the source of the mistake (feedback from experienced partners would be particularly useful for this). Be sure to focus on both the behavioral part and the case part during the mocks. The case part should also cover market sizing, math and graph analysis.
  6. Before the interviews, be sure to prepare your questions for the interviewer  – a great way to show you prepared in advance and to connect with the interviewer for a good final impression. Ideally, get information on who they are and study their profile to have good questions to ask.

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If you want to spend a few hours only instead of 100+ and cover everything mentioned above, I developed a program precisely for that. 

I can also share with you real questions for your target office (I have a db with 1.400+ questions asked in 60+ offices you won't find anywhere else - you can check on my profile if I cover your particular office).

You can check the program at the following link to learn more:

▶ https://www.case.tools/gym-program

If you have any questions please feel free to PM me.

Best,

Francesco

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Anonymous A on Feb 24, 2022

Thank you for your answer!

Pedro
Expert
replied on Feb 28, 2022
Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

The most important thing is to actually do a few cases with live peers so you get used to the “feel” and “flow” of the case. 

Don't worry too much about the frameworks: instead focus on thinking how you would decide on a specific problem if you were a decision maker; i.e., what would need to be true for something to be a good idea.

Practice a bit of market sizing, as this is a very common question, and you should know the basics for this.

Of course, if you have the chance to ask for extra-time, you should do it.

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Charlotte
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replied on Feb 23, 2022
Empathic coach, former McKinsey Engagement Manager |Secure offers from top consulting firms

Dear candidate,

Feel free to PM and I ll share more details. My top tip: know exactly what to improve and do drills for that, if it is framework-creation, then do a few cases where you only practise the prompt, clarifying questions and coming up with the framework. If math is a thing, practise that. Focus on what has the most positive impact on your performance. Make a quick plan: 

1) diagnose

2) drills on improvement areas

3) know how to run a full case- so know what to do when, what to ask and how much time to spend on which step

4) understand how you will be evaluated

5) get storyline and most important answers to fit questions ready

6) practise a couple of full cases

Best regards,

Charlotte

 

 

 

 

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Anonymous A on Feb 24, 2022

Thank you for your answer!

Lucie
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 23, 2022
10+yrs recruiting & top BCG trainer & BCG Project leader & experienced hire & ICF coach

Hi there!

I would recommend you:

1. familiar yourself with the type of cases you can get https://www.preplounge.com/en/bootcamp.php and check cases published on PrepLounge: https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases

2. Practice math!

3. Dont learn any framework by hard, understand rather how to structure a problem and form a hypothesis to prove/disprove with an analysis

4. Practice with peers and take a few sessions with a coach

Feel free to reach out if you need a coach to support you, I am rewarded as a top BCG trainer, training new hires all the consulting skills (including how we create frameworks), as well as experienced coach. 

Good luck!

Lucie

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Anonymous A on Feb 24, 2022

Thank you for your answer!

Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 23, 2022
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

The fastest way to prepare with limited time is to get a coach. Plain and simple.

If you can't afford a coach, then do the following:

  1. Get swimming. Case as soon as you can and do a bunch. 
  2. Reflect on your cases, and learn from others. Give other people cases you struggled in so that you can see what good looks like.
  3. Learn how to think about frameworks. Try not to memorize everything (you'll never be able to), rather, focus on learning how to break down problems in a logical way

Good luck!

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Anonymous A on Feb 24, 2022

Thank you for your answer!

Anonymous B replied on Feb 23, 2022

1. Don’t bother with frameworks

2. Trust your judgement 

3. Be structured, come up with your own framework. Again, trust your own judgement

4. Listen, really listen

5. Try to steer the mood and the conversation. 

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Anonymous A on Feb 23, 2022

Thank you for your answer! Very helpful tips

Anonymous C on Feb 23, 2022

I second this - watch some videos on YouTube and focus on popular case types (cost cutting, increasing sales, market entry, sizing) but avoid reading case textbooks like a bible. You don't have much time to prep, so try to understand the logic behind case interviews, and go in with an open mind & confidence. Like what Anon B said - trust your own judgement and be genuinely curious

(edited)

Anonymous A on Feb 23, 2022

Thank you!!

Adi
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 23, 2022
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Hey,

Have a look at this thread from yesterday with a very similar question on getting ready for case interview-https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/strategy-amsterdam-first-round-12763

There are plenty of tips to take from there. Most important thing is that you get practicing with peers and/or coaches. If time is really short, consider getting a coach! 

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Sara on Feb 23, 2022

You can do the followings: 1. Watch experienced professionals on how they solve case studies to understand the gold standard (e.g. clarifying questions, structuring, communication style, recommendation) 2. Practice with experienced people on this platform or with coaches 3. Write down your mistakes and feedback you get from others (there is usually a pattern) 4. Focus to improve your feedback areas by practicing 5. Quality practice, practice, practice Good luck

Mounia on Feb 23, 2022

Thank you very much!

Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Mar 01, 2022
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

In your case, if you are new to consulting and are really interested in the company and position, I would ask for more time. 

Unfortunately, You cannot learn how do to cases overnight, it does take time and practice

Hope it helps!

Cheers, 

Clara

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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