Write down exhibit insights?

Exhibit
Edited on Jun 27, 2021
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jun 25, 2021

When I take a moment to analyze the exhibit, is it good practice to write down insights before verbalizing them? Or should I just be "mentally storing" them and then verbalizing?

also how much time is it acceptable to take between receiving an exhibit and sharing insights? 1 minute? 30 seconds?

(edited)

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Jun 25, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ InterviewOffers.com) | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

Answering your questions:

  • When I take a moment to analyze the exhibit, is it good practice to write down insights before verbalizing them? Or should I just be "mentally storing" them and then verbalizing?

While you take time, it is totally fine to write down key information

  • Also how much time is it acceptable to take between receiving an exhibit and sharing insights? 1 minute? 30 seconds?

30 seconds is fine. You may take more time but possibly the interviewer may interrupt you and ask if you are ready.

As general structure for graph analysis I would recommend the following:

1. Read the graph

  • Ask for 30 seconds to understand the graph
  • Summarize what the graph is about. Read in particular the graph title (often forgotten), the axes and the legend

2. Analyze the graph and find the main insights

  • Repeat the question you have to answer. Many people don’t spend time to clarify the question; consequently, they answer the wrong question. Don’t be one of them and be sure to restate what is the main insight you have to derive
  • Provide an analysis related to the question. Analyze how the graph can help to answer the question you just repeated and provide an answer

3. Propose the next steps

  • State your hypothesis or suggestion or what to do next. As a last step, a great candidate will present what should be done next to help further the client
  • Ask a question related to what you need to move forward. This will show you are a proactive candidate

Best,

Francesco

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Henning
Expert
updated an answer on Jun 27, 2021
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

Generally I would not take more than 30 seconds to look at an exhibit. This is typically enough to get the main points. 

During that time, you can write down whatever you want. Figure our a way that works for you, not for others. In my experience that is not needed. I'd rather recommend to only note down the key insihgts at the end of every branch of your framework. Taking notes is a supporting tool for you, not for the interviewer, so if it helps you focus, note down everything you want.

Here's a post I wrote on note taking that might be helpful: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-improve-notes-taking-during-case-interview-8965

(edited)

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Ken
Expert
replied on Jun 25, 2021
Ex-McKinsey final round interviewer | Executive Coach

30-60 seconds is completely acceptable and even encouraged. It's always a good thing to structure and prioritise your thoughts before verbalising. That's very much how management consultants usually work and so it's a good habit to start getting used to.

Good luck!

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 25, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

If you feel that you can get strong insights immediatedly, go ahead. However, if you need the time take it! A quick but wrong answer does you no good!

I always recommend taking around 30 seconds to think through AND write down (in shorthand) the key insights.

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jun 26, 2021
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi, it is totally fine and recommended to take 30-60 seconds to analyze the exhibit and structure a top-down pitch about the main evidence. If you have time 3 written bullet can help in it

Best,
Antonello

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Francesco gave the best answer

Francesco

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