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What do you find most difficult in case interviews?

Anonymous asked on Oct 31, 2016 - 4 answers

Hey everyone, quick questions to candidates - what do you find most difficult when preparing and practicing case interviews?

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replied on Nov 10, 2016
Case by case, step by step... till you're ready!
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Completely agree with Guennael especially on use VC frameworks and enjoy the process!

To my experience as expert, what people are often forgetting is the following (put in very simple terms)

Consulting is about improving the clients situation. Therefore, you need to understand the situation of the given business. And at the very basic of every business is the question "How do you make money?"

Once this is really understood (and given it sounds so simple many people actually forget about it), the rest of the case becomes much easier... Then just be client-friendly and you ace it!


P.S.: Do understand many business types, regularly pick up business journals (WSJ, FT,...) and make your own cases!

P.S.2.: the question also includes "how do you add value?" :)

replied on Oct 31, 2016
Ex-MBB, Experienced Hire; I will teach you not only the how, but also the why of case interviews
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To those of you concerned about learning the framework... throw that "case in point" book in the garbage (ok, you are allowed to keep the section about companies and the one about market sizing".

There is no 1-size fits all in strategy consulting. you may want to understand how to approach a case, but will probably never be able to just apply a cookie-cutter framework. My own approach is to reuse Victor Cheng's 2 frameworks (profitability and business), then adapt them to the case. I have cracked all my practice cases that way, and even got into BCG so that was good enough then too.

Remember, less is often more. Keep it simple (and MECE), and don't forget to enjoy the process.


Guennael -

Ex-BCG Dallas

Anonymous replied on Oct 31, 2016


Here, I would say it depends on the stage of learning. ​

  • 1 Stage: Learning all frameworks. Good overview/understanding what framework is required in which situation.
  • 2 Stage: Being able to use and adjust the framework. Recognizing that a standard framework does not always work and then know how to deal with it.
  • 3 Stage: Structure thinking throughout the process (pyramid), this is especially helpful for conclusion.

On top of that it is helpful to know what kind of calculations can be expected.

Personal Fit:

  • Find answers to questions that show personality but also implicitly demonstrate that the applicant has the desired skills.
Anonymous A replied on Oct 31, 2016

For me, trying to absorb all the different structures and methods into my thinking

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In order to repeatedly demonstrate prerequisite skills under the pressure of a real case interview, you need to learn the basics and practice cases.