Would it be recommended for us to learn the calculations from this article ?

balance sheet
New answer on Apr 03, 2021
6 Answers
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Lauriane asked on Feb 02, 2021

I'm currently applying for end-of-study internships and have an interview soon with Strategy&. I have no idea if this is the kind of knowledge that can be asked from me

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Ian
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updated an answer on Feb 02, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi Lauraine!

Yes and no...let me explain :)

This is all about tradeoffs. So, you want to learn as much as possible, but we all also only have limited time (and brainpower!).

So, of that list, here's what I view to be priority to learn (concepts as well as formulas, where applicable):

Tier 1

Breakeven

Cost-benefit

NPV

Fixed Variable Costs

CAGR

Benchmarking

Supply and Demand

Tier 2

Balance sheet (be able to read a basic one)

Income statement (be able to read a basic one)

Cash flow statement (be able to read a basic one)

SWOT analysis

Tier 3

The rest

Of course, this is not the full list. Feel free to PM me and I can help you make sure you have all the checkboxes covered!

(edited)

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Gaurav
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replied on Feb 02, 2021
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

Hi Lauriane,

anything that can help you solving the case is worth taking a look at and eventually learning / knowing how to apply.

It makes more sense to concentrate on practicing the cases than on learning the calculations by heart.

Feel free to reach out for any further questions.

Cheers,
GB

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Henning
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replied on Feb 02, 2021
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Other coaches might disagree, but I don't recommend to do so. If you're a business major, you should know some of these (and even then not all).

If you're not a business major, you should aim at building a basic level of finacnce and accounting knowledge. Understanding the basic terms of the P&L and Balance sheet is sufficient to pass a case interview. But you don't need to know how to calculate a Cash Ratio or a Quick Ratio.

The much more important skill is to be able to deliver cases effectively (so the practical side of the interviewing).

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Ken
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replied on Feb 02, 2021
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

I agree with Henning and would say it's particularly so in your case. Needless to say, Strategy& is the strategy consulting arm of PwC not audit or corporate finance.

Strategy consulting in reality, with a few small exceptions (e.g., working capital in restructuring), is largely about the P&L of a company and so I wouldn't worry about learning calculations related to a balance sheet or cashflow. Top consultancies like Strategy& will also avoid asking technical business and financial questions as it would create a bias towards business management or accoutning & finance students who have prior knowledge from the degree courses.

Good luck!

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Anonymous A replied on Apr 03, 2021

Hello can i ask you what question did you get during the case interview?

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Clara
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replied on Feb 03, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Yes and no.

There are for sure mathemarical concepts that you should know:

  • Break even exercises
  • NPV in particular years and perpetuity
  • etc.

Knowledge in financial statements is not something you must know -I am an architect and had zero idea about this-, but it does not harm either.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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