What should I start with in interviewer-led case?

Interviewer-led McKinsey
New answer on Oct 24, 2020
4 Answers
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Anna
Skilled
asked on Oct 07, 2020
Preparing for 1st round interviews, starting to apply, mid-advanced with casing

My question is in general to Interviewer-led cases. After receiving the initial info should we:
1) Ask clarifying questions
2) Start preparing framework
3) Wait for instructions/questions

Thank you in advance,
Anna

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Henning
Expert
replied on Oct 07, 2020
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate
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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 07, 2020
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi Anna,

In general:

First: Ask Clarifying Questions

Second: Ask for some time to prepare your framework

Third: Always "drive", even with interviewer-led. They'll tell you where to go, or have info for you, but you still need to aim to drive forward AND feel like you understand where the case is going.

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Robert
Expert
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replied on Oct 07, 2020
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author

Hi Anna,

In principle there is no difference to a candidate-led case, and no need to overcomplicate things - just think logically and practically what makes sense to do. Finally it should resemble a real-life interaction, so just behave and do as you would do in any reasonable business conversation. Also the interview is not a one-way street and you can clarify whenever required. In case of doubts, just clarify with your interviewer - don't assume anything implicitly about the interviewer's question and the client goals to achieve.

The general rule is:

  1. Clarify and double-check the objective
  2. Ask clarifying and eliminating questions (and communicate them properly)
  3. Prepare and present your framework (and communicate it properly)

If the interviewer immediately asks a specific question and you have still something to clarify, ask if it's ok to still clarify something before answering his question.

If the interviewer gives you the case outline without a specific question and he doesn't seem to ask a question in the next few seconds, then just ask and clarify if you should think about a general structure to approach this issue.

Hope that helps - if so, please be so kind to give it a thumbs-up with the green upvote button below!

Robert

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Oct 24, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi Anna,

To start preparing the structure you will need the information that you can find out after asking clarifying questions. Then you can ask for some time before finally presenting your structure.

Sometimes an interviewer can directly start asking questions. If so, you can either just wait and answer the interviewer's question, or say "I would like to clarify a couple of things first. They would be:..."

After all, you should clarify all the needed data first, to layout a suitable structure, and then dive right into the case.

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GB

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Henning gave the best answer

Henning

Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate
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