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Vlad

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5

Victor Chen vs PrepLounge vs IGotAnOffer vs Case in Point (Only 1 week prep time)

Hey everyone,

Got an interview in a week with BCG. Where would you recommend I start - considering that I have little to no knowledge on case-studies.

Victor Cheng, PrepLounge, IGotAnOffer or Case in Point?

Any recommendation would be much help!

Thanks a lot in advance!

Cheers,

Hey everyone,

Got an interview in a week with BCG. Where would you recommend I start - considering that I have little to no knowledge on case-studies.

Victor Cheng, PrepLounge, IGotAnOffer or Case in Point?

Any recommendation would be much help!

Thanks a lot in advance!

Cheers,

5 answers

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Hi,

I strongly recommend you rescheduling the interview - the chances of preparing in one week are close to 0. Please save you time and the chances of getting an offer. There is absolutely no penalty for rescheduling if it's not the internship / on-campus recruiting!

Take a month or so. You can't imagine how many people have failed just because they didn't take enough prep. Again, there is absolutely no penalty for rescheduling.

Overall, I recommend the following approach:

1) Start with "Case in point" book - you can download this book for free everywhere. It's not the best guide on how you should approach the cases, however, it will give you the basic understanding.

2) Start practicing cases with partners here or find them locally. !!! Find experienced partners or coaches who can provide a good feedback!!!

3) Purchase and read Viktor Cheng Book (Amazon Kindle store) and listen to LOMS (his website).

4) Start with the following cases (in the order of priority, relevant for pwc) and apply some high-level recommendations on structuring:

  1. Market sizing - structuring from the supply or demand side. Structuring using a formula or using an issue tree
  2. Profitability - basic profitability framework. Remember about different revenue streams and product mix
  3. Market context cases (Market Entry, New product, Acquisition, etc). Always start with the big picture "market". Finish with something specific to the case (e.g. How to enter?"). Structure it as if you are defining the work streams for the real project.
  4. Operational math problem (e.g. Should we increase the speed of an elevator or just buy a second one? How should we reduce the queues? Etc.) - Structuring as a process / value chain, with inflows, operations, and outflow

Here is a good list of articles regarding the different parts of the case:

1) Start with clarifying questions:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/clarifying-questions-1786#a3956

2) Communicating while structuring. Here is a long post by me on how to communicate the structure during the case study:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-communicate-its-structure-for-the-case-study-1313#a2806

3) Using hypothesis. I made a post about hypothesis here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-state-a-hypothesis-and-match-to-the-structure-1156#a2268

4) Communicating while making calculations:

  • Always tell the interviewer your approach
  • Check with the interviewer that your approach is correct
  • Come to the interviewer with some preliminary answers
  • Check your assumptions with the interviewer

5) Communicating during the analysis of graphs / tables

  • Take a minute to look at the graph. Read the graph title. Look at the graph type and define the type (pie chart, line chart, etc). Look at the legend (ask for clarifying questions if necessary). Identify whats going on on the graph. Look for: Trends, % structures. Look for unusual things - correlations, outliers,
  • Make 3-4 conclusions from the graph. Think out loud on potential hypothesis on what could be the root cause / what are the consequences
  • Prioritize the most important for your current analysis and move forward with the case

6) Communicating while having questions on creativity

  • Ask an interview for a minute to think
  • Think of several buckets of ideas (e.g. organic growth / non-organic growth / differentiation). Remember to think as big as possible
  • Narrow down to each bucket and generate as many ideas as possible
  • Present the structure (buckets) and then your ideas

7) Communicating your conclusion. You can find a good example I've posted here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-much-answer-first-should-the-conclusion-be-1231#a2493

8) Communicating your FIT stories

Use the top-down approach while communicating your stories. "The Pyramid Principle" is the must-read by ex McKinsey on this topic.

I recommend using the STAR framework:

  • In Situation, you should briefly provide the context, usually in 1 or 2 sentences
  • Task usually includes 2 or 3 sentences describing the problem and your objective.
  • Then you provide a list of specific actions you took to achieve the goal. It should take 1 or 2 sentences per action (Usually 3-4 actions). Note that the interviewer can stop you any minute and ask for more details.
  • The results part should have 1 or 2 sentences describing the outcomes. This part is finalizing your story - make sure it can impress the interviewer and stay in the memory.

Best!

Hi,

I strongly recommend you rescheduling the interview - the chances of preparing in one week are close to 0. Please save you time and the chances of getting an offer. There is absolutely no penalty for rescheduling if it's not the internship / on-campus recruiting!

Take a month or so. You can't imagine how many people have failed just because they didn't take enough prep. Again, there is absolutely no penalty for rescheduling.

Overall, I recommend the following approach:

1) Start with "Case in point" book - you can download this book for free everywhere. It's not the best guide on how you should approach the cases, however, it will give you the basic understanding.

2) Start practicing cases with partners here or find them locally. !!! Find experienced partners or coaches who can provide a good feedback!!!

3) Purchase and read Viktor Cheng Book (Amazon Kindle store) and listen to LOMS (his website).

4) Start with the following cases (in the order of priority, relevant for pwc) and apply some high-level recommendations on structuring:

  1. Market sizing - structuring from the supply or demand side. Structuring using a formula or using an issue tree
  2. Profitability - basic profitability framework. Remember about different revenue streams and product mix
  3. Market context cases (Market Entry, New product, Acquisition, etc). Always start with the big picture "market". Finish with something specific to the case (e.g. How to enter?"). Structure it as if you are defining the work streams for the real project.
  4. Operational math problem (e.g. Should we increase the speed of an elevator or just buy a second one? How should we reduce the queues? Etc.) - Structuring as a process / value chain, with inflows, operations, and outflow

Here is a good list of articles regarding the different parts of the case:

1) Start with clarifying questions:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/clarifying-questions-1786#a3956

2) Communicating while structuring. Here is a long post by me on how to communicate the structure during the case study:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-communicate-its-structure-for-the-case-study-1313#a2806

3) Using hypothesis. I made a post about hypothesis here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-state-a-hypothesis-and-match-to-the-structure-1156#a2268

4) Communicating while making calculations:

  • Always tell the interviewer your approach
  • Check with the interviewer that your approach is correct
  • Come to the interviewer with some preliminary answers
  • Check your assumptions with the interviewer

5) Communicating during the analysis of graphs / tables

  • Take a minute to look at the graph. Read the graph title. Look at the graph type and define the type (pie chart, line chart, etc). Look at the legend (ask for clarifying questions if necessary). Identify whats going on on the graph. Look for: Trends, % structures. Look for unusual things - correlations, outliers,
  • Make 3-4 conclusions from the graph. Think out loud on potential hypothesis on what could be the root cause / what are the consequences
  • Prioritize the most important for your current analysis and move forward with the case

6) Communicating while having questions on creativity

  • Ask an interview for a minute to think
  • Think of several buckets of ideas (e.g. organic growth / non-organic growth / differentiation). Remember to think as big as possible
  • Narrow down to each bucket and generate as many ideas as possible
  • Present the structure (buckets) and then your ideas

7) Communicating your conclusion. You can find a good example I've posted here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-much-answer-first-should-the-conclusion-be-1231#a2493

8) Communicating your FIT stories

Use the top-down approach while communicating your stories. "The Pyramid Principle" is the must-read by ex McKinsey on this topic.

I recommend using the STAR framework:

  • In Situation, you should briefly provide the context, usually in 1 or 2 sentences
  • Task usually includes 2 or 3 sentences describing the problem and your objective.
  • Then you provide a list of specific actions you took to achieve the goal. It should take 1 or 2 sentences per action (Usually 3-4 actions). Note that the interviewer can stop you any minute and ask for more details.
  • The results part should have 1 or 2 sentences describing the outcomes. This part is finalizing your story - make sure it can impress the interviewer and stay in the memory.

Best!

(edited)

Thanks very much for the detailed answer, much appreciated! — Canberk on Sep 04, 2019

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Hey,

I would strongly recommend that you shift your interview. You will need to be very, very luckly to pass after only one week in preparation time, even if you practice full time every day. Recruiting people will not mind if you shift if you tell them a week in advance.

If you still want to try, I would recommend craftingcases.com as a very good source of material. And doing as many live cases as you can.

Best,

John

Hey,

I would strongly recommend that you shift your interview. You will need to be very, very luckly to pass after only one week in preparation time, even if you practice full time every day. Recruiting people will not mind if you shift if you tell them a week in advance.

If you still want to try, I would recommend craftingcases.com as a very good source of material. And doing as many live cases as you can.

Best,

John

Book a coaching with Francesco

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Hi Anonymous,

I agree with the suggestions to reschedule. Many people invest 100-150 hours and do 50+ cases before approaching interviews – it is unlikely you can get an offer without more time to prepare.

In terms of the preparation, I would suggest the following

  1. Define a calendar for your preparation. Identify how many hours you have before your expected interviews, then allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the following points.
  2. 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.
  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. Whenever you see there is something missing, upgrade your structure with the new insides. Try to read at least a new case per day – in this way you will absorb a lot better the information with constant learning. Structure your remaining daily preparation with at least 5-10 minutes per day for each of the following: market sizing, fit questions and mental math.
  4. After you have read the first 10 cases in books/handbooks and basic theory, start to practice live, for which PrepLounge can help. 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 fit and case.
  5. 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
  6. If needed: be sure to prepare at least one week in advance for the Potential Test.
  7. Before the interview, be sure to prepare your questions for the interviewer –great way to show you prepare in advance and to connect more with the interviewer for a good final impression.

Best,

Francesco

Hi Anonymous,

I agree with the suggestions to reschedule. Many people invest 100-150 hours and do 50+ cases before approaching interviews – it is unlikely you can get an offer without more time to prepare.

In terms of the preparation, I would suggest the following

  1. Define a calendar for your preparation. Identify how many hours you have before your expected interviews, then allocate a time slot for preparation in your calendar for each day, working on the following points.
  2. 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.
  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. Whenever you see there is something missing, upgrade your structure with the new insides. Try to read at least a new case per day – in this way you will absorb a lot better the information with constant learning. Structure your remaining daily preparation with at least 5-10 minutes per day for each of the following: market sizing, fit questions and mental math.
  4. After you have read the first 10 cases in books/handbooks and basic theory, start to practice live, for which PrepLounge can help. 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 fit and case.
  5. 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
  6. If needed: be sure to prepare at least one week in advance for the Potential Test.
  7. Before the interview, be sure to prepare your questions for the interviewer –great way to show you prepare in advance and to connect more with the interviewer for a good final impression.

Best,

Francesco

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Hi!

Vlad is absolutely right - pick up the phone and reschedule your interview. YOU decide when you interview, not the firm! If you are serious about joining BCG, you prepare properly before walking into the interviews.

Cheers, Sidi

Hi!

Vlad is absolutely right - pick up the phone and reschedule your interview. YOU decide when you interview, not the firm! If you are serious about joining BCG, you prepare properly before walking into the interviews.

Cheers, Sidi

How should I propose rescheduling? "I'd like to reschedule because I realized that I need more time to prepare?" — Canberk on Sep 04, 2019

You don't need to justify yourself. Just say you can't make next week and would be free to interview from October on. — Sidi on Sep 04, 2019

Book a coaching with Andre

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Dear A,

I would highly recommend you to purchase and read Viktor Cheng Book (Amazon Kindle store) and listen to LOMS (his website). I recommend rereading the book and listening to LOMS every 15 cases. Every time, having more experience, you’ll be finding something new.

Best,

Andre

Dear A,

I would highly recommend you to purchase and read Viktor Cheng Book (Amazon Kindle store) and listen to LOMS (his website). I recommend rereading the book and listening to LOMS every 15 cases. Every time, having more experience, you’ll be finding something new.

Best,

Andre

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