What is the proper length for framework part?

Framework
New answer on Jul 19, 2020
7 Answers
854 Views
Anonymous A asked on Jul 17, 2020

Hello everyone. I am an advanced degree candidate and I have been practicing cases with people from different backgrounds. At first, someone (interviewed with McK) told me my framework part is relatively short, and they suggested me to extend to 5-7 mins. Then when I spend about 5 mins on explaining my framework with another case body (interned with BCG), she told me my framework is a bit long and suggest me to keep it around 3 mins. So now I am just confused. What is the proper length for my framework? How long should I spend on explaining my framework? Would the situation be different for candidate-led vs interviewer-led?

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Udayan
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Jul 17, 2020
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience

There is no formula for the right length, many factors go into it including how quickly you speak and the type of question asked. I think 4-6 mins is a reasonable amount of time to aim for. Remember the following things however

1. Be MECE - which is to say you dont be repetitive (e.g., consumers as a factor should show up once not 3 times in 3 places)

2. Make sure you explain the reasoning behind the factors you choose not just stating the factors (this can take some time but it is beneficial)

3. Don't go overboard - prioritize 2-3 factors per bucket

All the best,

Udayan

(edited)

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Sep 25, 2022
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

5-7 minutes is definitely too long to present your initial structure. 3 minutes is also on the long side.

As a general benchmark, I would consider the following:

  • 1-2 min to write down the structure
  • A few mins to present (also depends on the company, at McKinsey usually you have more time to present due to the interviewer-led format – you can find more on the differences here)

They are not strict rules. If you spend more than 2 min to write down the structure, you won’t lose any points. However be ready to have the interviewer ask if you are ready.

It doesn’t mean that initially you will be able to be so fast – it also comes with practice.

Finally, it is a good idea to double-check the information you get from peers, as you are doing, as it may not be accurate.

Best,

Francesco

(edited)

Was this answer helpful?
Anonymous replied on Jul 17, 2020

Dear A,

May be you can choose smth in between? Like 4 min?

Actually to provide a feedback, I wish to spoke to you personally.

What I would recommend you in general is to follow the logic sense, not the time. If you try pitch it into 3 min, but you smash it all together - so rather take your time. On the other hand, if you try to pour water into framework, then rather be closer to the point.

Hope it helps,

André

Was this answer helpful?
7
Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 17, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

First of all, and this a general comment for other general questions regarding casing too, try not to look for "absolute truths" or recipies.

What makes the casing method unique, and the reason why it´s used in consulting, is precisely for the fact that you need to tailor your thinking to each case specifically. Hence, in some cases, a 5 mins structure is the adequate length, whereas in others, it´s better to be more in the 2 mins timing.

In any case, if you are too short and shallow, the interviewer will make you some follow-up questions to better understand. As well, if you are too long, they will cut you.

Hope it helps!

Best regards,

Clara

Was this answer helpful?
Giulia
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 17, 2020
McKinsey | 4+ years in Consulting + Health Tech |Certified High Performance + Systemic Coach | Women Empowerment

You can't generalize that.
This depends on several factors, including:
A) The duration of your case interview session
B) The complexity of the case question
C) The speed at which you speak

The rule of thumb is ± 3 minutes. At BCG, the structure presentation doesn't usually have to take as long as at McKinsey.

But let's not make it too complicated: Work on a crisp structure.
1) MECE structure
2) 2-3 levels
3) 2-3 aspects per lowest level bullet point
4) If necessary, prioritization of aspects including rationale
5) Speak clearly and structured (top down communication)

All the best, Giulia

Was this answer helpful?
6
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 19, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi,

5-7 minutes is most definitively too long.

Not only are you leaving yourself precious little time for the actual case, but your interviewer will just zone out after 3 minutes anyway!

Spend a maximum of 3 minutes writing it down (ideally 1-1.5 minutes).

My advice to achieve this:

  • Write in shorthand
  • Just write down the main ideas/concepts (let your verbal walk-through fill in the color)
  • Practice thinking/writing quickly with a timer
Was this answer helpful?
Axel
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 17, 2020
Bain Consultant | Interviewer for 3 years at Bain |Passionate about coaching |I will make you a case interview Rockstar

Hi,

I would recommend that you spend ~3 minutes on thinking through your structure. Remember that more time thinking will usually lead to a better approach.

For communicating the framework itself I would say 3-4 minutes is reasonable as a general guideline. However, this highly depends on the case and the situation.

Just remember to prioritize the issues, explain which ones you think are most important, and how it will help you answer the client's question.

-A

Was this answer helpful?
Udayan gave the best answer

Udayan

Content Creator
Top rated McKinsey Case & PEI coach/Multiple real offers/McKinsey EM in New York /6 years McKinsey recruiting experience
179
Meetings
7,524
Q&A Upvotes
45
Awards
5.0
90 Reviews