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4 Steps to be successful in a case interview

Published on: February 06, 2015

Step 1 (Understanding Case Interviews): Read the 'consulting bibles' such as Case in Point by Marc Cosentino and some guides by Victor Cheng to gain a flavour of what case interviews are like. Just a brief read-through should suffice to prevent rote memorising of their suggested frameworks.

Step 2 (Initial Practice for Case Interviews): Scoured for Consulting Case Books from MBA schools (any kind will do) and practice with a few friends who are in the same stages of applications as me (i.e. novice case interviewees). This is the stage where formulaic structures and frameworks are applied to analyse business situations and where the cases are very standard (i.e. profitability decline, what is the issue?) and uncreative.

Step 3 (Engagement with Case Interviews): Attended one of case workshops series held by Imperial Consultancy Society conducted by Dennis (one of the ex-McKinsey Premium experts). A five-week course to understand what McKinsey and other top consulting firms look out for in a case and personal interview with mock practices. Was recommended to try out PrepLounge with a discount code for premium membership. Also applied to more than 20+ consulting firms of all sizes and specialties for formal case interview experiences.

Step 4 (Full Force Practice for Case Interviews): Used PrepLounge and scheduled meetings almost once every two days with different candidates. Important to play both the roles of interviewers and interviewees to learn from others' strengths and mistakes and listen to their useful feedback. Also essential to find reliable and helpful practice candidates who are invested in helping you improve (or finding better cases than what PrepLounge offers). Did about 50+ interviews within two months till the point of being jaded / sick of cracking a case; this is where I became confident with my case skills even in a formal interview setting. The ease and comfort with case interviews will allow me to spend my energy on actually cracking the cases and building rapport with the interviewer instead of being anxious about calculation mistakes and memorising rigid frameworks.