HELP: I have an MBB interview in 3 days and I have never cased before

Currently interning in banking at a BB & got an email from an MD I networked with at an MBB saying he can get me an interview and process it will move fast. I didn’t recruit at all for consulting in undergrad, & have only ever read “cracking the case interview” book. I’ve watched a ton of rocket blocks & management consulted videos on YouTube to try to prep, but can anyone else give recommendations? Literally anything will help - THANK YOU

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My advice if you are serious about joining MBB:

Go to Casecoach or Preplounge, read all the material you can tonight about casing (focus on: Opening the Case, Frameworks, Maths, Closing the Case. In bold is what's most important, because Maths will be hard to improve over 3 days, so for the Maths just: Stay Focused and Detail ALL of your steps).

Next, immediately register to practice cases with those people on those platforms. Have 3-4 each day (2 minimum) and make sure to be as progress-focused as you can (take in all the feedback you receive, and address it every time in the next session).

Go look for NYU Stern's casebook (there's a pdf somewhere online), alternatively other good Casebeooks are from MIT, Wharton, HBS, INSEAD.

Pick one and focus on that one alone, let others give you the case they give you. Check this video too if you like:

. But practice should take most if not all of your time.

Pro tip:

  1. For the cases you give, focus on 1 or 2 only so you can learn to become a better case interviewer. Becoming a better interviewer will help you understand the process better and make you a better candidate.
  2. Focus on interviewee-led cases (ask your partners to give you those). It will be a steeper learning curve, and it will be rough at first, but you will learn the most and the quickest that way.
  3. If you know ANYONE at MBB or at a good consulting firm, ask if you can get a mock interview with them at the end of Day 2/beginning of Day 3.
  4. Failing that (and if you are very serious about MBB), hire a coach for a mock interview.
  5. For the behavioural part: be honest, have a good story why you want to join, be polite, be friendly, be genuine.

Best of luck. Remember that if you pass Round 1, you should have some time before Round 2, so plenty of time to get better at it.

At this point, I'd hire a coach. With the money that you make in IB you should be able to afford it. 

The behavioral should be similar to a typical behavioral interview (questions about leadership, etc...). When I recruited for consulting I never answered a "why xyz firm" or "why consulting?" unless the firm was a very niche boutique (and in that case they were testing that you actually knew what the firm specializes in).

Here are some last minute tips:


Memorize key buckets: Competition, Financials, Synergies, Customer, Market, etc... so whenever you get a question, you just pull the relevant ones from your repository and customize them (instead of saying "competition" say "competitive beverage companies"). That way you aren't memorizing frameworks, but you are creating a new one tailored to the case. This is the method taught in the book "Hacking the Case Interview" which I think is very underrated.

Charts & Problem Solving

Ask for ~30 secs to gather your thoughts before jumping right into the analysis. For charts, briefly summarize the chart to the interviewer. Then when you come to a conclusion, don't just say the number- follow up with what the number means in the context of the case. For example, "My calculations show that we will need to charge "$4 per beer to break even, which seems like a reasonable price to customers. I anticipate this brewery can be profitable if we price a beer at $7-$9.


When working with numbers, don't write 5,000,000; instead write 5M. That way you don't mess up the zeros. Then know that M*K=B, so 5M*7K= (5*7)(M*K)=35B


Think of this like the conclusion of a high school argument paper, where you give your recommendation and give 2-3 supporting details (the conclusions from the graphs/math) and then the "so what" which is the next steps. For example: "I would recommend opening a brewery in Miami for three reasons. First, the young adult population is growing, which indicates an increasing customer base. Second, the investment will be profitable if we sell 1,000 beers/week. Third, there are fewer competitors in Miami than in our home city. Some risks of this investment are the fact that we are new to the Miami market and the demographics are different than NYC, so I would recommend further research on the types of beer people in Miami like to drink."


Gotta be clear when you communicate. For example, when reading your framework, precisely say things like "I see three key factors in determining whether this investment should be profitable. The first factor is competitive breweries. The second factor is the customer base, specifically who will be coming here. The third factor is financial information- is this a profitable investment?"   It might seem odd, but this is how consultants articulate their thoughts. This is especially the case in virtual interviews, where the interviewer cannot see your notes so you have to be very clear on your thinking.

You going above and beyond - thank you so much for the color. I’m already set on using the approach of having a “repository”, per se, but using the 8 bucket approach from ‘Hacking the Case Interview’; nonetheless, will implement your tips. Been having trouble conceptually framing my closing/suggestion so the analogy you gave helps a ton. Like I said, only did banking recruiting last year so I’m trying to cram all of this and all this insight is truly invaluable. Thank you so much

Long story short: not well. Interview started & jumped right into case. Did well in asking clarifying questions (sounds funny to say I did that well, but it was surprisingly one of the toughest things for me to do as I’ve always been a “take down the data and figure it out” type of person) and creating a framework. Interviewer liked the framework & wanted me to lead the case. I went though my buckets and had to some revenue calculations - all good up to this point. From here it went downhill rather fast….

I knew this firm was heavy on the quantitative aspect of casing so I prepped for that. At this point in the interview it switched from a case interview to legit a math problem, putting all business intuition aside. Had to do calculations on 4 possible scenarios for business solutions and relay which would be the optimal approach. Forgot to annualize the numbers (they were given in months), and interviewer asked if I was missing anything. My dumbass said “I don’t think so” and he told me I didn’t annualize, so I corrected that with a mis-calculation in 2. From there he introduced a final question regarding the structuring of a non-refundable “down payment” on the good and a correlated return rate for said item. Made another math error in this part.

From here I gave my final recommendation, he said thanks and wanted to end the interview. I felt bad on a personal level for wasting the guys time so I told him this was my first case interview (is this a mistake?). Felt weird to say but also there was no other opportunity, he joined interview and we were casing 30 seconds later.

On the bright side: my banking internship at a BB is rapping up and feel confident I will be getting a return offer from them. Additionally, I heard from another MBB (emphasis on one of the B’s) today and got a first round.

Cheers and hope this wasn’t more info than you were looking for.

That's ok, the process is noisy and some interviews are (sometimes unnecessarily) tougher than others. If you already got the rejection, fair enough, but otherwise, don't feel too bad and wait for their response, you could be surprised (I thought I had washed out twice, because I thought you had to be perfect too).

Take the extra time before the R1 interview at the other MBB to continue prepping, and build confidence (if others did it, so can you). Remember that whenever an interviewer asks "Are you missing anything?", the answer is "Yes" like 99% of the time. In my final round with a partner at Bain, I also gave a market size in millions (I forgot to multiply by frequency of purchase) instead of billions. I did catch it because the number was small for a market in a decent size country, and I didn't see a whole market be worth so little and be interesting.

So, do sense check yourself all of the time. You just calculated something? Does it sound right? If you divide by the number of customers/product lines/markets/units/etc. does it also make sense? This is a very good habit to get into and one they like. They know you'll make mistakes sometimes, we are human. What they want is for you to be coachable and to have processes in place to catch those mistakes. Do the % in a breakdown add up to 100%? etc.

Best of luck in your next R1 and I hope you do get a return offer from your internship. 

EDIT: I also think that, all things considered, you did pretty well, seeing as you only had 3 days to prep. This is excellent news for you that with more time, you can be competitive!

Honestly you'll be surprised at how many people do very poorly in the interview. The fact that you did very well in the business intuition part only after 3 days of prep shows something. 

If this is McKinsey (Which I assume because it had a lot of quant in the case), then it really isn't abnormal to bomb the quant. I remember my M interview had this massive table that I got stuck on, resulting in rejection. I ended up getting offers at one of the B's. 

Also, I would probably say it's a mistake telling them you've never cased before, but definitely don't feel bad wasting his time.

Few reasons honestly:

1 - I was not expecting to get these interviews in the slightest (hence the 0 preparation), but figured if you get interviews from an MBB that’s not something you turn down…

2 - better hours

3 - more creativity at work as opposed to IB. I feel like I border on the edge of automation doin what I do currently

4 - the ability to get an MBA from an elite b-school. Went to a very deep non-target state school, and always wanted to get an Ivy education. Not even for the image; but for myself to prove I can


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