What time will someone without interview experience approx. need to prepare?
Overview of answers
As always: It depends.
And of course, there's Parkinson's Law: A task will take as long as it is given time to take.
But, in all seriousness, it is impossible to answer that question without knowing you. You may be ultra-talented, super-smart, have the personality that people want to marry you after one date, so you may be fine with just winging it.
Or you are a nervous wreck with the social skills of Rainman so you may never be ready...
The answer is probably somewhere in the middle. Do a couple of cases, maybe do a practice run here on preplounge and see how it feels. At some point you will start to feel at ease - then you're ready
Most people need to study > 100 hours to become proficient and not rely on luck too much. A typical preparation template here on PrepLounge looks like this (most common package is 5 sessions):
1. Early in the prep, do a couple of cases with coaches, to help you understand what "good looks like" and figure out where you need to go
2. Then, do a number of practice cases with fellow candidates
3. Mid-way through the prep, do another case with a coach, for course correction
4. More practice cases with fellow candidates
5. Near the end, do the last 2 cases with a coach for tune-ups and start preparing the fit
6. As needed, do some mental math as well
Obviously, you don't have to pay for a coach to give you pointed, personalized and actionable feedback... but it helps! Yes, I have a conflict of interest here - but I wouldn't coach if I didn't think I was making a difference, and the same applies to every other coach on PL.
I studied over 120 hours, and that's with a business background and >10 years of business experience. Some enter MBB after 10 hours of prep, but they are definitely the exception
It depends on several factors:
- Role (e.g. it's much easier to pass the interview applying from a top MBA)
- Company (McKinsey PST may require a lot of prep)
- Prior background
- Time you can dedicate per day (if you are working full-time it may take much longer)
Purely case prep requires a couple of months with dedicated 2-3 hours per day.
I would say if you practice with a coach, it approximately takes 8 to 12 weeks. If you do it on your own without interview experience- it can last even longer.
If you want I can send you some useful materials for your efficient preparation so that you could understand the specifics of the whole interview process.
Just drop me a line.
Hope it helps.