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Mehdi

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4

Where to find really hard cases

Hey everyone,

I was wondering where (apart from preplounge) to find really hard or unusual cases, in which even advanced candidates may struggle. Some examples would be governmental cases with no clear objective in the beginning or just "out of the norm" cases.

Background:
I hit a point in my preparation where most of the cases seem to flow pretty naturally and easy. At the same time, I feel like I still can and want to improve to get the best result possible, which is hard with "normal" cases.
Furthermore, I actually got to really enjoy doing challenging cases, it's kind of a fun mental game.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Best
Tobi

Hey everyone,

I was wondering where (apart from preplounge) to find really hard or unusual cases, in which even advanced candidates may struggle. Some examples would be governmental cases with no clear objective in the beginning or just "out of the norm" cases.

Background:
I hit a point in my preparation where most of the cases seem to flow pretty naturally and easy. At the same time, I feel like I still can and want to improve to get the best result possible, which is hard with "normal" cases.
Furthermore, I actually got to really enjoy doing challenging cases, it's kind of a fun mental game.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Best
Tobi

4 answers

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Best Answer
Book a coaching with Mehdi

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Hi Tobias,

I join Henning in questionning the method you are following to prepare for your upcoming interviews. Are you practicing cases with case partners (experts or candidates) or are you going through the cases alone?

I think that the complexity of the case does not lay only on the difficulty of the topic covered or the challenge faced, but also in the capacity to structure your toughts, to do math quickly, to make yourself understood easily, etc. and those things can only be practiced with real case partners. Those partners can also provide some challenging cases, but I want to make sure you that you are following the right approach in your prerparation first, before discussing how to increase the complexity of the cases you are doing.

I will be happy to discuss this further with you if needed.

All the best,

Mehdi

Hi Tobias,

I join Henning in questionning the method you are following to prepare for your upcoming interviews. Are you practicing cases with case partners (experts or candidates) or are you going through the cases alone?

I think that the complexity of the case does not lay only on the difficulty of the topic covered or the challenge faced, but also in the capacity to structure your toughts, to do math quickly, to make yourself understood easily, etc. and those things can only be practiced with real case partners. Those partners can also provide some challenging cases, but I want to make sure you that you are following the right approach in your prerparation first, before discussing how to increase the complexity of the cases you are doing.

I will be happy to discuss this further with you if needed.

All the best,

Mehdi

Hey Mehdi, I'm practising with consultants and going through them alone. I actually began to like doing these cases and not really prepare for an interview, but more as a "hobby". That's why I'm looking for more cases as well. — Tobias on Oct 22, 2020 (edited)

Book a coaching with Henning

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Tbh I'm not sure if the approach you're describing is the best one to prep for cases. When you can deliver cases really well, my recommendation to fine tune your skills is to practice with someone who knows how to give good, qualified feedback and work on the points they highlight (and yes, there is always something to improve!). This can be either a friend working and interviewing for a large consulting firm or a coach here on preplounge.

Practicing ever more niche cases does not appear to be a good idea, for two reasons:

  • With such cases, you'll not practice good case delivery, but specific knowledge or experience which will not be helpful in the actual interviews
  • You might even "over prepare" to a case where you expect the most complex background to any case presented, so you'll eventually go completely overboard with searching for fringe exceptions to a pretty standard case in the interview.

Bottom line: At this point in your case prep, it's about making the delivery really solid, not about cracking more complex problems.

Tbh I'm not sure if the approach you're describing is the best one to prep for cases. When you can deliver cases really well, my recommendation to fine tune your skills is to practice with someone who knows how to give good, qualified feedback and work on the points they highlight (and yes, there is always something to improve!). This can be either a friend working and interviewing for a large consulting firm or a coach here on preplounge.

Practicing ever more niche cases does not appear to be a good idea, for two reasons:

  • With such cases, you'll not practice good case delivery, but specific knowledge or experience which will not be helpful in the actual interviews
  • You might even "over prepare" to a case where you expect the most complex background to any case presented, so you'll eventually go completely overboard with searching for fringe exceptions to a pretty standard case in the interview.

Bottom line: At this point in your case prep, it's about making the delivery really solid, not about cracking more complex problems.

Book a coaching with Robert

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Hi Tobi,

Reality is that it isn't so much about the case than your interviewer.

I can have the exact same case and make it really easy to navigate around and analyze. Or be a very 'nasty' interviewer and not release any information unless you ask for it in a very targeted way, challenging your rationale at each single step, etc.

Recommendation: Focus on strong (ideally even professional) case interviewers and you will see the difference that makes.

Hope this helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the upvote button below!

Robert

Hi Tobi,

Reality is that it isn't so much about the case than your interviewer.

I can have the exact same case and make it really easy to navigate around and analyze. Or be a very 'nasty' interviewer and not release any information unless you ask for it in a very targeted way, challenging your rationale at each single step, etc.

Recommendation: Focus on strong (ideally even professional) case interviewers and you will see the difference that makes.

Hope this helps - if so, please give it a thumbs-up with the upvote button below!

Robert

Book a coaching with Ian

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Hi Tobias,

The following casebooks have a table of contents that categorize their cases by difficultly level. I'd check them out!

  • Colombia
  • Ross
  • Hass
  • Stern

Furthermore, you need to ask your fellow preploungers (and coaches) to make the case tough. They can make it harder by cutting you off, not readily offering information, asking for brainstorming, etc. etc.

Hi Tobias,

The following casebooks have a table of contents that categorize their cases by difficultly level. I'd check them out!

  • Colombia
  • Ross
  • Hass
  • Stern

Furthermore, you need to ask your fellow preploungers (and coaches) to make the case tough. They can make it harder by cutting you off, not readily offering information, asking for brainstorming, etc. etc.

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