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Written case preps for LEK & Bain 2nd round

Amos

Dear all,

Would any of you shed light on me about the prep of the written cases for some firms like LEK and Bain. I did a lot of online research now but rarely found some strutural guideline or tips. Any experiences/tips/discussion are welcome!

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Quirin replied on 09/17/2017

Hi,
I successfully went through internship interviews at L.E.K. earlier this year. Written cases were not specifically a part of my interviews but one included printed-out charts which I had to interpret. There is a firmsconsulting podcast called "strategies for written case interviews" which I used as part of my preparation.

Hope this helps,
Quirin

Francesco replied on 09/20/2017
Ex BCG | MBB Specialist | #1 Expert for meetings done (900+) and recommendation rate (100%)

Hi Amos,

as for a previous post I wrote, I would recommend you to focus on 5 areas to crack a written case; I have reported them below with some suggestions on how to prepare for each of them.

1. Learn how to define a plan of action and stick to that

The first thing you should do in a written case is to define a plan and allocate in the best possible way your time. Assuming 60 minutes for the analysis, a good approach would include:

  • initial quick reading – 5-10 min
  • structure the approach – 5 min
  • make slides/answer to the questions adding detailed analysis and math – 35-40 min
  • final review – 10 min

You should then practice to stick to the time allocated, in order to maximize your final performance.

2. Practice graph interpretation

You will normally have to analyse graphs in a written case. The best way to practice is to take graphs from online resources and use a timer to test in how much time you can understand the key message. McKinsey PST graphs could be a good practice for that.

3. Work on quick reading and understanding of key information

You will not have time to read and prioritize everything (some information may even be misleading), so you have to understand where to focus. The ideal way to practice is to use long cases such as HBS ones, and practice on reducing the time needed to absorb the key information that can answer a defined question. Quick reading techniques could also help.

4. Practice math

You will normally have math to do in a written case. GMAT and McKinsey PST math should work well to prepare on this.

5. Learn how to communicate your slides/answers (if required)

You may have to present your findings at the end of the case. I would apply the same structures of final sum up in a live interview case, that is:

  1. Sum up the main questions you have to answer
  2. Present your proposed answer and detail the motivation behind
  3. Propose next steps for the areas you have not covered

As you will not be able to double check hypothesis with the interviewer as in the live case before the presentation, it could make sense to clearly state when you are making hypotheses and that you will have to verify them with further analysis.

Hope this helps,

Francesco

Vlad replied on 09/18/2017
McKinsey / Accenture / More than 300 real MBB cases / Collected all Big 3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

Unfortunately, can't help with LEK.

Based on my experience Bain Written Case has 2 parts:

  • Case information you have to go through
  • Slides with missing info you have to complete

Since each question in a written case has an exact correct answer, the success criteria is the number of questions answered correctly.

The best way to prepare is the following:

  1. Check if the calculator is allowed. If not - you have to train mental math. I posted the main tips here: https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/tips-to-do-big-multiplications-in-my-mind-726#a1422
  2. Prepare for a regular case interview - it helps a lot. Basically, prep lounge website is about it
  3. Practice reading cases fast and prioritizing the information. I found useful two sources:
  • Written cases you'll be able to find in google or in case books. I've seen a couple in "Vault Guide to the Case Interview" and "Insead Business Admission Test"
  • Harvard cases - either buy or try to find online. You can find a couple of MIT cases here for free: https://mitsloan.mit.edu/LearningEdge/Pages/Case-Studies.aspx Unfortunately free cases don't have the prep questions.

Good luck!

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