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Daniel

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7

Using COVID time to prepare for MBB – any tips?

I want to use the quarantine time to start preparing for MBBs. I have not applied yet, but I believe I have a strong profile and can get a referral, so I hope I get an invite. Anyway, any tips for me to start my preparation? there is so much material online, i don't even know where to start. Thanks!

I want to use the quarantine time to start preparing for MBBs. I have not applied yet, but I believe I have a strong profile and can get a referral, so I hope I get an invite. Anyway, any tips for me to start my preparation? there is so much material online, i don't even know where to start. Thanks!

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Hi!

Great way to use all that free time now :)

Here are my 5 tips:

1) Practice mental calculation daily (percentages, decimal places, large numbers, arithmetic) – even though it's not the most important part of the interview and it's allowed to make mistakes, you need to master your numbers very comfortably. If you don't, during the interview you will start feeling nervous and will perform worse on other things. I was doing at least 30 min a day of mental arithmetic for several months (download one of the apps on your phone, there are plenty, like Mental Math Practice, or Brain Booster Games).

2) Cases, cases, cases – do as many as you can. After you gather a bit of experience of practicing with your fellow students, try to find a person who is now working or has worked in the past at the MBB's recruting and ask them to simulate an interview with you. Or book a coaching session here on Preplounge.

3) Prepare and practice personal fit interviews – they are as important as the cases. Write down your stories, practice telling them with your fellow students, or with an expert (again, here on Preplounge)

4) Beware of your mental state – try not to stress too much before and during the interview (I know it's easier said than done). Do sports, take care of your health, try yoga, meditation – whatever makes you less stressed. I've seen so many candidates pale as a sheet of paper during my time as an interviewer at McKinsey, all worried and jittery – as you can imagine this doesn't help your performance.

5) If you get rejected, it's not the end of the world, do prepare yourself mentally for this thought! A close friend of mine became depressed for months after being rejected at McKinsey. I think it was because she treated this as a "do or die" situation. Do not do that! There are infinite options of different careers and adventures out there, you don't need to become a strategy consultant to be happy. Just try to embrace this before going into the interview room – and you will be better prepared for both failure and success.

Good luck! DM me if you want to discuss in more detail!

Best,

Daniel

Hi!

Great way to use all that free time now :)

Here are my 5 tips:

1) Practice mental calculation daily (percentages, decimal places, large numbers, arithmetic) – even though it's not the most important part of the interview and it's allowed to make mistakes, you need to master your numbers very comfortably. If you don't, during the interview you will start feeling nervous and will perform worse on other things. I was doing at least 30 min a day of mental arithmetic for several months (download one of the apps on your phone, there are plenty, like Mental Math Practice, or Brain Booster Games).

2) Cases, cases, cases – do as many as you can. After you gather a bit of experience of practicing with your fellow students, try to find a person who is now working or has worked in the past at the MBB's recruting and ask them to simulate an interview with you. Or book a coaching session here on Preplounge.

3) Prepare and practice personal fit interviews – they are as important as the cases. Write down your stories, practice telling them with your fellow students, or with an expert (again, here on Preplounge)

4) Beware of your mental state – try not to stress too much before and during the interview (I know it's easier said than done). Do sports, take care of your health, try yoga, meditation – whatever makes you less stressed. I've seen so many candidates pale as a sheet of paper during my time as an interviewer at McKinsey, all worried and jittery – as you can imagine this doesn't help your performance.

5) If you get rejected, it's not the end of the world, do prepare yourself mentally for this thought! A close friend of mine became depressed for months after being rejected at McKinsey. I think it was because she treated this as a "do or die" situation. Do not do that! There are infinite options of different careers and adventures out there, you don't need to become a strategy consultant to be happy. Just try to embrace this before going into the interview room – and you will be better prepared for both failure and success.

Good luck! DM me if you want to discuss in more detail!

Best,

Daniel

Great tipps, especially 4 and 5 are incredibly important. And remember that there are more firms than MBB. You also need a bit of luck in your interviews, and sometimes luck is not on your side. So keep on moving and try other firms as well. — Anonymous B on Mar 21, 2020

Dear A,

There are lot of courses and materials, for example Case Books from business schools like London Business School, Higher Business School as well as Casing Point by Cosentino and, of course, LOMS by Victor Cheng.

If you need any help or some of these materials, feel free to reach out.

Best,

André

Dear A,

There are lot of courses and materials, for example Case Books from business schools like London Business School, Higher Business School as well as Casing Point by Cosentino and, of course, LOMS by Victor Cheng.

If you need any help or some of these materials, feel free to reach out.

Best,

André

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Hi there,

I would recommend the following steps to organize your preparation:

  1. Identify the companies interesting for you. Many people are interested mainly in MBB, you can start defining the exact list of companies interesting for you for the internship
  2. Define a calendar for your preparation. Check if there is any deadline for the internship applications. Then identify how many hours you have before that and allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the points below. Many people need 100+ hours to be ready before the interview so you can keep that as a benchmark
  3. Read Case In Point or Case Interview Secrets for a general understanding of what a consulting interview is. Don’t focus on the structures proposed in the books though, as they are not good enough nowadays.
  4. 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 insides. PrepLounge also has a Case Library that you can use. Try to read at least a new case per day – in this way you will absorb better the information with constant learning.
  5. 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. Keep track of your mistakes and see if you repeat them. If so, try to identify the source of the mistake (feedback of experienced partners would be particularly useful for this). Be sure to focus on both the behavioural part and the case part. The case part should also cover market sizing, mental math and graph analysis.
  6. Before your application, be sure to review your CV and Cover, so that they are in the required format for a consulting application
  7. At least three weeks before the application deadline, start networking to find referrals for your target companies. You can find some tips on how to do that here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176
  8. Once you feel you are not improving anymore, if you have a tight time constraint or if you want a realistic assessment of your level, consider using support from experts to strengthen your performance
  9. Before the interview, be sure to prepare your questions for the interviewer –great way to show you prepared in advance and to connect with the interviewer for a good final impression.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Hi there,

I would recommend the following steps to organize your preparation:

  1. Identify the companies interesting for you. Many people are interested mainly in MBB, you can start defining the exact list of companies interesting for you for the internship
  2. Define a calendar for your preparation. Check if there is any deadline for the internship applications. Then identify how many hours you have before that and allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the points below. Many people need 100+ hours to be ready before the interview so you can keep that as a benchmark
  3. Read Case In Point or Case Interview Secrets for a general understanding of what a consulting interview is. Don’t focus on the structures proposed in the books though, as they are not good enough nowadays.
  4. 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 insides. PrepLounge also has a Case Library that you can use. Try to read at least a new case per day – in this way you will absorb better the information with constant learning.
  5. 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. Keep track of your mistakes and see if you repeat them. If so, try to identify the source of the mistake (feedback of experienced partners would be particularly useful for this). Be sure to focus on both the behavioural part and the case part. The case part should also cover market sizing, mental math and graph analysis.
  6. Before your application, be sure to review your CV and Cover, so that they are in the required format for a consulting application
  7. At least three weeks before the application deadline, start networking to find referrals for your target companies. You can find some tips on how to do that here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/hey-everyonehope-all-is-well-3176
  8. Once you feel you are not improving anymore, if you have a tight time constraint or if you want a realistic assessment of your level, consider using support from experts to strengthen your performance
  9. Before the interview, be sure to prepare your questions for the interviewer –great way to show you prepared in advance and to connect with the interviewer for a good final impression.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

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Hi Anonymous!

Definitely it's a good idea to use quarantine for interview prep, which you can do online and is not impacted by location constraints of quarantine!

Concerning prep:

1) Resources

Starting from the beginning, I recommend the following resources for case interview prep - depending on the region you are applying you might not have a lot of time to prepare once you applied (and this most definitely always takes longer than you expect), so you want to make sure you are already well prepared at the time of applying:

  • "Case in Point" book by Marc Cosentino
  • "Case Interview Secrets" book by Victor Cheng
  • Victor Cheng youtube videos
  • Case books from the well-know us universities for practice, which you can find here for free: Case Interview Casebooks From Top MBA Programs | MasterTheCase

If time permits, read some general books about consulting to get a good understanding how the industry works, like "The Firm" by Duff McDonald, "Managing the Professional Service Firm" by David Maister and "The McKinsey Way" by Ethan Rasiel.

2) Practice/process

Once you know about the case interviews basics from the resources mentioned above, it's time to start interactive practice.

Start having a few interactive mock interviews with peers to get used to the process. You can find a lot of peers on PrepLounge - there is a strong correlation between number of interactive cases solved and interview success

Get a professional case interview coaching, e.g. on PrepLounge quite early in the process, as a professional case interview coach will help you get things right immediately, so that you can focus on your weak spots and at the same time reinforce your positive habits during your further prep; I occasionally also do still some case interview coachings myself, so just message me if you are interested.

Once you feel you make progress in your case interview performance, start having some professional coaching sessions again to get some real-life benchmark and feedback for further improvement; what works best is approx. 1 professional coaching per week as there is enough time to improve weak spots with peer mock interviews until the next coaching, and at the same time this timeframe is short enough so that you keep up with you prep and do not lose track

Once you start feeling comfortable with solving cases in general, focus on being as structured as possible in every sentence you say and every answer you give ("ABS - always be structured"). For this, I wrote a distinct book with the most important frameworks and business concepts for case interviews (you can find it here: http://cif.consulting-case-interviews.com/). This book not only gives you a short description and basic idea of the frameworks and concepts, but also a step-by-step guide on how to actually use and implement them (you would be surprised how many candidates don't have a clue about that!).

As soon as you master the case interview basics, start preparing the behavioural part
of the interviews; this is especially important for McKinsey as this is the part where most candidates really fail. In respect to the McKinsey PEI I have recently added a blog with free expert advice on the McKinsey PEI where I am sharing some answers on the most common PEI questions that I receive from candidates which you can find at https://pei.consulting-case-interviews.com/blog/. Also, I am offering a good discount on The Ultimate McKinsey PEI Prep eBook for my coaching candidates which is available here https://pei.consulting-case-interviews.com/.

Hope that helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

Hi Anonymous!

Definitely it's a good idea to use quarantine for interview prep, which you can do online and is not impacted by location constraints of quarantine!

Concerning prep:

1) Resources

Starting from the beginning, I recommend the following resources for case interview prep - depending on the region you are applying you might not have a lot of time to prepare once you applied (and this most definitely always takes longer than you expect), so you want to make sure you are already well prepared at the time of applying:

  • "Case in Point" book by Marc Cosentino
  • "Case Interview Secrets" book by Victor Cheng
  • Victor Cheng youtube videos
  • Case books from the well-know us universities for practice, which you can find here for free: Case Interview Casebooks From Top MBA Programs | MasterTheCase

If time permits, read some general books about consulting to get a good understanding how the industry works, like "The Firm" by Duff McDonald, "Managing the Professional Service Firm" by David Maister and "The McKinsey Way" by Ethan Rasiel.

2) Practice/process

Once you know about the case interviews basics from the resources mentioned above, it's time to start interactive practice.

Start having a few interactive mock interviews with peers to get used to the process. You can find a lot of peers on PrepLounge - there is a strong correlation between number of interactive cases solved and interview success

Get a professional case interview coaching, e.g. on PrepLounge quite early in the process, as a professional case interview coach will help you get things right immediately, so that you can focus on your weak spots and at the same time reinforce your positive habits during your further prep; I occasionally also do still some case interview coachings myself, so just message me if you are interested.

Once you feel you make progress in your case interview performance, start having some professional coaching sessions again to get some real-life benchmark and feedback for further improvement; what works best is approx. 1 professional coaching per week as there is enough time to improve weak spots with peer mock interviews until the next coaching, and at the same time this timeframe is short enough so that you keep up with you prep and do not lose track

Once you start feeling comfortable with solving cases in general, focus on being as structured as possible in every sentence you say and every answer you give ("ABS - always be structured"). For this, I wrote a distinct book with the most important frameworks and business concepts for case interviews (you can find it here: http://cif.consulting-case-interviews.com/). This book not only gives you a short description and basic idea of the frameworks and concepts, but also a step-by-step guide on how to actually use and implement them (you would be surprised how many candidates don't have a clue about that!).

As soon as you master the case interview basics, start preparing the behavioural part
of the interviews; this is especially important for McKinsey as this is the part where most candidates really fail. In respect to the McKinsey PEI I have recently added a blog with free expert advice on the McKinsey PEI where I am sharing some answers on the most common PEI questions that I receive from candidates which you can find at https://pei.consulting-case-interviews.com/blog/. Also, I am offering a good discount on The Ultimate McKinsey PEI Prep eBook for my coaching candidates which is available here https://pei.consulting-case-interviews.com/.

Hope that helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Dear anonymous,

In order to prepare for case interview, I suggest the following approach:

  • Read the Case in Point (Cosentino) in order to get a first approach with the Case interviews
  • When you have read most of it, start doing cases on yourself practicing with frameworks, math and structure of the interview.
  • Practice with other people (candidates/coaches)
  • Start developing your application strategy considering your target companies and timeline
  • Read some chapters of the Case Interview Secrets and listen to the recordings of the LOMS program

While you are practicing for your cases, you have to consider also some time to prepare your CV/Cover Letter and the Fit Interview that is a fundamental part of the interview.
Consider that you will need around 1.5/2 months to prepare and at least 40/50 cases.

Feel free to contact me if you wan to discuss further.

Best,
Luca

Dear anonymous,

In order to prepare for case interview, I suggest the following approach:

  • Read the Case in Point (Cosentino) in order to get a first approach with the Case interviews
  • When you have read most of it, start doing cases on yourself practicing with frameworks, math and structure of the interview.
  • Practice with other people (candidates/coaches)
  • Start developing your application strategy considering your target companies and timeline
  • Read some chapters of the Case Interview Secrets and listen to the recordings of the LOMS program

While you are practicing for your cases, you have to consider also some time to prepare your CV/Cover Letter and the Fit Interview that is a fundamental part of the interview.
Consider that you will need around 1.5/2 months to prepare and at least 40/50 cases.

Feel free to contact me if you wan to discuss further.

Best,
Luca

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Hi,
there are 4 aspects of the application process you have to focus on:

  • CV and cover letter: prepare impactful documents that highlight your achievements, skills, and motivation.
  • Test: you should understand if your office assesses candidates with PST, SHL or Imbellus, since every McK office can use one of these 3 standards.
  • Personal Experience Interview: fit and CV questions to assess your personal impact, leadership skills, and entrepreneurial spirit. You should prepare impactful stories about your experiences that cover these 3 main pillars.
  • Case Interview: typical business case to evaluate your structure in approaching problems, problem-solving skills, and business sense. This is the most time-demanding aspect to work on. I recommend reading Cosentino's Case in point to fix the theory. Then, what will be really important is practicing mock cases with other candidates here on Preplounge.

Hope it helps,
Antonello

Hi,
there are 4 aspects of the application process you have to focus on:

  • CV and cover letter: prepare impactful documents that highlight your achievements, skills, and motivation.
  • Test: you should understand if your office assesses candidates with PST, SHL or Imbellus, since every McK office can use one of these 3 standards.
  • Personal Experience Interview: fit and CV questions to assess your personal impact, leadership skills, and entrepreneurial spirit. You should prepare impactful stories about your experiences that cover these 3 main pillars.
  • Case Interview: typical business case to evaluate your structure in approaching problems, problem-solving skills, and business sense. This is the most time-demanding aspect to work on. I recommend reading Cosentino's Case in point to fix the theory. Then, what will be really important is practicing mock cases with other candidates here on Preplounge.

Hope it helps,
Antonello

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