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Case Interview Secrets

A Former McKinsey Interviewer Reveals How to Get Multiple Job Offers in Consulting

By Victor Cheng
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Case Interview Secrets by Victor Cheng

Case Interview Secrets (2013) is a practical guide to nailing your interview at a big consultancy, such as Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey or Bain and Company. These blinks offer a crash course on the questions you’ll be asked and how you should answer them.

Key idea 1 of 6

Even if you are a world champion mathlete, you’ll need to practice hard for your interview.

Have you ever gone for an interview at a major consulting firm? If so you’ll know that it won’t just be a conversation about your qualifications; rather, it will entail solving hands-on business cases. These are called case interviews and they tend to feature quantitative questions that come in two types.

The first is math questions – problems that involve some sort of arithmetic, percentage calculation or interpretation of data. An example of such a question would be, “if the total innovation capital of company A is X and it were to grow at five percent per year, which of the following is the minimum annual growth of human capital necessary for the firm to represent more than half of total innovation capital within ten years?”

Questions like this can be daunting. But the key is to answer them as quickly as possible, which takes lots of practice. No matter how much of a math whiz you are, your brain is a muscle that needs regular training to perform optimally.

In fact, even candidates with PhDs in physics or the highest marks in college math classes can fail at these questions if they don’t practice enough. So, it’s essential to take on daily drills that improve your speed and confidence.

But how?

One way is to practice old interview questions. For instance, you can become faster by searching for the types of questions asked by firms like McKinsey or the Boston Consulting Group. By doing so, you’ll begin to “automate” your reasoning and be able to respond to such questions in a snap.

But keep in mind that test questions are always changing, and it’s important to get the most recently administered tests so that you’re up to date.

Now that you know about math questions it’s time to learn about the second style of quantitative questions: computational-level estimates.

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