Why are preplounge cases so weird/unrealistic?

New answer on Dec 01, 2020
7 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Nov 28, 2020

I have done several case interviews and now tried to prep with preplounge since I don't have any colleauges to prep from B-schools anymore.

What I gathered till now:

- most cases are just a very long calculation

- there is very little room for frameworks or problem solving, I had several market entry questions were there was ZERO information on the product mix, customers or the client - the cases follow a very strict way and you have to only focus on very few limiting factors

- cases always evolve the same way, there is a short intro and then usually on most basic clarification questions (such as are we are market leader, which markets do we serve) there is absolutely no information. Then the case proceeds by showing a ton of exhibits and prompts you to calculate something

Just a general feedback from someone who has gone through many consulting interviews. Really dissatisfied with the cases on here


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Best answer
replied on Nov 28, 2020
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

It's an interesting observation where having a filter with publicly available information (i.e., cases) is super important in times where we are overwhelmed with more than less.

I would say its the same for answers on this Q&A forum. I am often shocked to see experts who have not worked at a specific consultancy/geography make wrong or misleading comments. It's great that you get free information but it's crucial to vet the source. For example, as much as I have a decent appreciation and have helped candidates get offers from other MBBs, you will not see me respond to questions that are not related to McKinsey or McKinsey London, etc.

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Anonymous B on Nov 28, 2020
Thank you for touching on the topic of coaches making misleading or inappropriate comments. I often wish there's a downvote button. Especially for questions where it seems that popular coaches' comments get chosen as the top comment just for the sake of their popularity whereas less popular coaches often have better comments but don't get as much attention.
Content Creator
replied on Dec 01, 2020
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I'm sorry to hear this! I have three comments/suggestions:

  1. Case practice is not about learning everything, but rather learning how to learn - worry less about cases specifically matching your interview...they never will! Honestly, I went through dozens of casebooks to prepare for my interviews, and I never got a real-life interview case where I could say to myself "Oh, this is just like x case I've already done!" The cases aren't important. Learning to thinking about a brand new, vague/obtuse question, processing it, asking appropriate questions, driving towards insight, communicating clearly, etc. are what you're practicing
  2. Expert cases are designed and created by coaches that have been interviewed by AND interviewed for the major consultancies. Take a look at these! (Go here and filter on "Expert Case" https://www.preplounge.com/en/management-consulting-cases)
  3. The interviewer matters - it's great to practice with other Preploungers, but it is a bit of blind leading the blind! A great case can be made bad by the wrong interviewer (and a bad case can be made great by a good one). Oftentimes, fellow candidates give away too much information, can't clarify properly, etc. Keep practicing with other Preploungers, but also get a coach if you want a real mock!
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Anonymous B replied on Nov 28, 2020

I couldn't agree more on this. Very very disappointing quality of cases. I also have done several interviews and my first reaction to most of the cases on here is "I can never imagine something like this ever coming up in an interview".
This is so much the case that I have started using this as a filter for good and bad prep partners. It seems to me that good candidates are the ones that explicitly mention that they want non-preplounge cases.

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CoachingPlus Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 28, 2020
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience

Few thoughts:

  1. If you are working on a specific expert case created by a coach, feel free to message them directly with feedback and/or ask clarifications
  2. Isnt it great that the PrepLounge cases are baffling you, stretching you to think? If you got to the answer easily, thats not good enough. Check with some of your peers on recent Deloitte interviews, they are giving cases 10 pages long with ton of info and candidates are expected to analyse everything and create a presentation in an hour. The idea is to test how you approach, remain focused and get to a solution under stress and when bombarded with information
  3. Use frameworks cautiously please and don't get hung up on using a rigid approach for every case. Frameworks give you a head start
  4. Absolutely ask for non-prep lounge cases, most coaches will have a treasure trove of cases. E.g. MBB cases will be different to BIG4 (e.g. written cases) but the approach to tackle them will the same. When you prep holistically you cover everything

Hope that helps. Feel free to send me a personal message if you want to clarify anything more specific.

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Anonymous A on Nov 28, 2020
They don't stretch me to think - it is just that so many cases are not cases but just like GMAT integrated reasoning tasks. "look at diagrams, calculate something, tell me which one is the best"
Adi on Nov 28, 2020
As Ken points above, run some filters to narrow down, or messages coaches directly to see if they can help with specific cases
replied on Nov 30, 2020
PrepLounge Community & Marketing Manager

Dear Anonymous A,

Thank you for your feedback. We regret to hear that you are not happy with our cases but we really appreciate you taking the time to write down your thoughts on our case library and possibilities for improvement. This will help us to enhance the quality of the case library which we continuously work on.

If you are interested in giving more specific feedback on certain cases, you can directly rate them within the case library and write a comment. We would be happy to read through your feedback!

All the best for you and your case interview.

PrepLounge Community Management

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Content Creator
replied on Nov 30, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

I am sorry to hear that. Have you already tried to check cases by experts? I am sure you will find them very useful. You can also contact these experts if you have any questions and they will explain to you.
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Content Creator
replied on Nov 28, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


I would recommend you to try expert cases, since those are indeed realistic and also current.



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Ken gave the best answer


Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer
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