After experiencing some success last week, I thought it might be nice to give back with a few bits of advice for others trying to decide how best to prepare for consulting case interviews. I went to a bunch of the sessions provided by the consulting club & career services (including Case In Point and MBACase), but in the end, I think I wasted a lot of time that could’ve been far better spent.
If I could do it over again, I would:
- Watch the first five videos on the free CaseInterview.com while folding laundry.
- Schedule 3 mock interviews / week with former consultants in the 3 weeks prior to the actual interviews (so – 9 interviews total).
- The weekend before, skim a few real cases from a consulting club case book (not Case in Point).
That’s it! You really don’t need to do much more than that. Memorizing frameworks? Useless. Attending case prep lectures and sessions? Equally wasteful. If you truly feel behind, I’d say that the time would be much better spent receiving (or giving) a mock interview than learning techniques that can only be effectively applied 5% of the time.
That said, here are my top 10 tips for case interviews:
- Listen carefully. Information isn’t typically given without a purpose.
- Start with the basic metrics: industry size, market share, growth, margins.
- Framework #1: Revenues – Costs = Profits
- Framework #2: Client/Product, Customers/Market, Competitors, Risks
- Don’t try to explore a laundry list of ideas. Categorize and group.
- In contrast, segment everything they give! Averages hide the truth.
- Drive the interview forward with probing questions.
- Hypothesize constantly! Let this drive your search and analysis.
- Structure your answers: “I think about this in three ways…”.
- Conclude holistically and succinctly. Answer the original question.
That’s it! Good luck…