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What are some of the best cases of all time?

Bain Casebooks MBB
New answer on Nov 18, 2019
2 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 15, 2019

Just wondering what are some of the most difficult/interesting cases of all time (ideally candidate-led), either recommended by casebooks lying around or your personal favourites? Think some of the best cases would be those with some sort of nuance and would act as strong differentiators between average and strong candidates. Thanks!

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replied on Nov 18, 2019
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hello there,

Generally, the most distinct cases draws out a combination of multiple case types, e.g. profitability, market sizing, business case situation (customer, company, competitior, product), marketing strategy (product, price, place, promotion), while also includes specific aspects of a particular industry.

The latter part typically involves disaggregating value chains of the sector such as increasing profitability of pulp & paper manufacturer by figuring out ways to reduce the increasing cost of dyes utilizied in the coloring process, in which case the high cost compared to the industry average is due to sub-optimal supplier portfolio. This particular aspect might varies depending on specific practices that the firm is recruiting for.

These types of cases test prospective candidates logical flow and the ability to shift fluidly between different strategic aspects, differentiating the average ones who are simply using singular frameworks to get through interviews with the strong ones who are able to structure their thoughts on the fly and invent their own approach to the issue at hand.

As consultants, cross-functional work is something of a norm.
Hence, these cases emulate practical situations at work and provide assurance on the capability fit of candidates that are able to excel on such cases.

Kind regards,

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Content Creator
replied on Nov 17, 2019
5+ Years at BCG & Kearney Dubai & Istanbul | 400+ Trainees | Free 15-min Consultation Call


There are plenty of cases that I like to ask my trainees because of many reasons, but my recent favorite is as follows (which was asked by Strategy& NY office recently):

  • How many people ever lived on earth to date?



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Nathaniel gave the best answer


McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge
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