Consulting Case Interview Course

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Comments (12)

Jan 25, 2012 - 10:54pm

the Toronto office actually. One case was very open and it took lots of guessing just to get the exhibits (I was actually told to guess). I had a feeling that the interviewers weren't looking for a summary. Does this happen often?

Jan 25, 2012 - 11:41pm
FreedayFF:
the Toronto office actually. One case was very open and it took lots of guessing just to get the exhibits (I was actually told to guess). I had a feeling that the interviewers weren't looking for a summary. Does this happen often?

Seriously, no offense meant here, but it sounds like you didn't do so hot. Guessing and consulting are practically antonyms. He probably told you to guess because he just wanted to push you forward past whatever you were missing.

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Jan 26, 2012 - 1:39am
FreedayFF:
Well, hot or not I will know tomorrow. I just want to ask if a summary is always required in case interviews or it depends on the interviewers.

Right, and my point is that the reason the interviewer didn't really ask you for one is most likely (not definitely, just IMO) because he had already made up his mind about you. Every consulting interview I have ever had has concluded with something along the lines of "great, synthesize for me"....."awesome, partner/CEO walks into the room, summarize in 30 seconds" etc. etc.

For them to just be like "all right....cool.....thanks, guy. Have a nice day." just sounds like a pretty rough sign to me.

Again, none of my statements are backed by anything empirical beyond my small personal sample size, so take it with a grain of salt.

Jan 26, 2012 - 2:29am

Hi, I think it's very hard to say. I was given 2 cases in my first round with BCG (this is for Asia Pacific btw), and in both cases I was asked to summarize ("You are in an elevator with the CEO, what would you tell him...."). Anyway, just like you said, there's nothing you can do about it now, just wait and move on with your other interviews!

P/S: Is the "guess" question similar to "brainstorm" question? I was told to "guess the reasons why this happened" in my first case and then "can you brainstorm the reasons why.." in my 2nd case. I treat them all like brainstorming questions though.

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Jan 26, 2012 - 9:51am

Quarterlife: yes exactly. My first case was just purely brainstorming. The second was more structured, maybe because it was actually a real-life case. Anyway, would love to hear your stories with BCG. If you feel like chatting up, pm me (:

Jan 30, 2012 - 6:24am
FreedayFF:
Quarterlife: yes exactly. My first case was just purely brainstorming. The second was more structured, maybe because it was actually a real-life case. Anyway, would love to hear your stories with BCG. If you feel like chatting up, pm me (:

Don't read too much into not getting a chance to summarize the case. When I got my MBB offer I had done a number of cases with that firm. In some of them I was asked to summarize at the end, but in others I was interrupted at a certain point and that was that. There could be many reasons for this other than doing poorly. For example, you were running out of time or the interviewer had already seen what they needed to see. This last possibility includes instances were you've proven yourself already and the interviewer feels that listening to a summary will add little value.

Cases often (not always) test whether you can figure one or two things out (in addition to your personality, your communications skills, etc). Once you've done this the rest sometimes adds little. Even failing to pass to the next round would not prove that you were not asked for a summary because you did poorly, as it could also be that you did very well, but BCG chose other people that did so as well.

Feel free to share the result.

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