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What's best - reading frameworks, reading cases or practicing?

Hi guys, I am a newcomer.

So as I understand it, there are three steps to preparing for a case interview - reading frameworks and basics, reading interview experiences and practicing. What should I look to gain from each of these steps? When should I move to the next step? After I am fully comfortable? Or should I just start with case interview practice and come back to frameworks when I feel the need? Thank you!

Hi guys, I am a newcomer.

So as I understand it, there are three steps to preparing for a case interview - reading frameworks and basics, reading interview experiences and practicing. What should I look to gain from each of these steps? When should I move to the next step? After I am fully comfortable? Or should I just start with case interview practice and come back to frameworks when I feel the need? Thank you!

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Book a coaching with Paulo

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Hi there,

You are correct in terms of what ways are there for you to practice. However, more than how you can prepare yourself it is good to have in mind what skills you need to master and how each of the steps you listed will help you in that task. n my perspective there are four key skills:

a) Clarifying the problem at hand b) Structuring an approach to the problem (a.k.a. find / apply a framework to the problem) c) Based on the approach structured, conduct the analysis d) Draw, synthesize and communicate conclusiongs / insights / recommendation or next steps

Referring back to your first question - "What should I look to gain from each of these steps?" and the three steps you listed. Steps 1 & 2 will give you a good perspective on what is expected from a top-notch candidate in each of the four skills. Step 1 will help you with understanding what is a good and structured approach to the different problems. Step 2 will help you understand the best ways to clarify the problem at hand, how to go about your approach conducting the analyses and how to synthesize your findings, conclusions and recommendations. Finally, Step 3 will help you become fluent in all the four skills.

In terms of "When you should move to the next step?", there is no general rule, as those three steps will probably overlap (i.e. you'll probably refer back to the frameworks while practicing actual cases). Anyhow, my advice would be:

a) read the materials that you find relevant (I personally recommend Case Interview Secrets by Victor Cheng, that will cover steps 1 & 2); b) Start practicing after having read the materials - this should take ~80% of your prep time (e.g. if you have ten days to practice, you should dedicate ~8 days for practicing cases)

I hope it helps!

Best regards,

Paulo

Hi there,

You are correct in terms of what ways are there for you to practice. However, more than how you can prepare yourself it is good to have in mind what skills you need to master and how each of the steps you listed will help you in that task. n my perspective there are four key skills:

a) Clarifying the problem at hand b) Structuring an approach to the problem (a.k.a. find / apply a framework to the problem) c) Based on the approach structured, conduct the analysis d) Draw, synthesize and communicate conclusiongs / insights / recommendation or next steps

Referring back to your first question - "What should I look to gain from each of these steps?" and the three steps you listed. Steps 1 & 2 will give you a good perspective on what is expected from a top-notch candidate in each of the four skills. Step 1 will help you with understanding what is a good and structured approach to the different problems. Step 2 will help you understand the best ways to clarify the problem at hand, how to go about your approach conducting the analyses and how to synthesize your findings, conclusions and recommendations. Finally, Step 3 will help you become fluent in all the four skills.

In terms of "When you should move to the next step?", there is no general rule, as those three steps will probably overlap (i.e. you'll probably refer back to the frameworks while practicing actual cases). Anyhow, my advice would be:

a) read the materials that you find relevant (I personally recommend Case Interview Secrets by Victor Cheng, that will cover steps 1 & 2); b) Start practicing after having read the materials - this should take ~80% of your prep time (e.g. if you have ten days to practice, you should dedicate ~8 days for practicing cases)

I hope it helps!

Best regards,

Paulo

Related BootCamp article(s)

Case Studies

The case study is the most important element of the case interview, which you'll have to nail in order to get into strategic consulting. Here you can learn the specific skills and concepts necessary to solve them.

Focusing on The Core: Mock Interviews

It is to practice as many cases as possible - both as interviewee and as interviewee. Here are a couple of guidelines to help you get started

Getting Up to Speed

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

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