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What factors will you consider to tackle the problem?

3K asked on Aug 22, 2017 - 2 answers

Hi, folks!

As many of you know, the first question at McK case interview is the following:

What factors will you consider to tackle the problem?

My question is which approach should I use at my interviews:

Approach I: a) branstorm all factors to the level 3-4 and tell all them to the interviewer

b) develop criteria and prioritize

Approach II: a) choose the criteria for prioritization

b) brainstorm Level 1 factors

c) pick up the most important factor based on the criteria and brainstorm ideas to the level 3-4

For me, it seems that Approach II is more rational than Approach I. What should I do?

Thank you


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replied on Aug 23, 2017
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Hi 3K,

I would definitely go for Approach II; with Approach I indeed you may spend a lot of time structuring areas you will not likely cover. You may also find slightly better to first brainstorm the elements at Level 1, and then define the priorities, that is:

  1. Structure Level 1 factors
  2. Develop criteria and prioritize
  3. Go down till Level 3,4 for the option satisfying the criteria

That could sound more logical and help you to initially brainstorm/structure more easily Level 1; if you start with the criteria and prioritization, it may indeed seem weird to the interviewer that you borught Level 1 factors not fitting your already mentioned criteria.

Hope this helps,


Joe replied on Aug 22, 2017

Based on my experience so far, I agree with you Approach II is better because it is more hypothesis driven and tailored to the problem. Doing an issue tree with this approach will probably allow you to crack the case faster. Approach I is useful in the case where you're really stuck and have no idea what to prioritize. However, you should make sure to say your ideas to the interviewer only after you have organized them.

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