MBB Interview help

Newest chimp's picture
Rank: Monkey | 46

Hello! I need some help with structuring a framework during case interviews.

I recently went through a couple of consulting interviews, 2 of which were final rounds for Bain and A.T. Kearney. I just heard back from A.T. and good dinged for the fall 2019 internship. However, the response was really good otherwise (good quant skills, analytical etc..), and they invited me back for another final round for the spring 2010 internship in a few months.. However, the thing that made them hesitate to extend me an offer was that my framework seemed a bit too comprehensive (/artificial) and that I should improve my skills in terms of being more flexible with my framework and adapt it to the case in question.

I have received the same feedback 2 times before and do not exactly know what to do and how to proceed to improve further. I think my issue is that I am afraid that I will leave something important out if I don't include it in my framework. Any concrete advice on this (and if you could give some examples swell, that'd be great!).

Comments (7)

Jan 30, 2019

Hi Newest chimp, no, I never sleep and so I can respond to any lonely threads (like this one) at all hours of the night. Impressive, I know ;-)

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Fingers crossed that one of those helps you.

Feb 5, 2019

Sounds like you're maybe focusing on prepared frameworks too much? They're often looking for a less canned response and one that really targets the case question in hand. Effectively you want every single framework you draw out to be different - if this isn't the case then the problem is likely here.

To solve this I found it useful to sit and go through loads of case starts and be as creative as possible in the framework. Also an easy fix to make things appear unique is instead of generic titles for a framework e.g. on a soap company called XYZ use soap market (instead of just 'market'), varieties of soap (instead of just 'product'), the actual company name, XYZ (instead of just 'company')

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Feb 13, 2019

A good note here ! play on the generic terms/words !


Feb 5, 2019

You may want to practice a more conversational delivery too. It sounds like you're being a bit robotic / rigid. They want to see how you connect with humans to sell your ideas (they don't necessarily have to be right - you'll learn that stuff - they just have to come across in a client friendly manner.)

Feb 5, 2019

First off, congrats on getting those interviews! That's some big time stuff.

As for your post, a question If you cover up your notes on the side of your page, could you differentiate your framework from any of your past frameworks? If not, you have a canned framework, and you're not doing it right. They want a framework, not a template. It sounds like you've copied a template. That's not good.

Templates force you to outsource your thinking, which isn't what they are hiring you to do. You're being hired to think critically and analytically: a template "framework" shows that you don't actually do that. It shows that you decided to take the easy way out instead of thinking about the problem in front of you and actually looking for levers. A template model is sort of a like a "I'll look in all the usual places, and I betcha I'll find it eventually" instead of "I hypothesize that the problem is here or there."

Newest chimp:

I should improve my skills in terms of being more flexible with my framework and adapt it to the case in question.

You probably need to break a couple of bad habits. I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I would imagine that you have dedicated a couple of Victor Cheng's or Marc's frameworks to memory, right? If so, you've gone about it in the wrong way. You need to adapt and use the best categories relevant to the situation to figure it out. Frameworks, by definition, need to be flexible and fluid: they're primarily used to demonstrate your thinking patterns, not to solve a business problem. Frameworks are interdiciplinary: you should be able to make a framework for how to best attack your homework during the weekend, how to effectively date and prepare for marriage, or how you structure your life so that you are spiritually and emotionally healthy. It's not explicitly about business.

Newest chimp:

Any concrete advice on this (and if you could give some examples swell, that'd be great!)

I'd recommend doing some non-standard cases to break the habit. Make frameworks for questions like, "A Russian Pastor is concerned that the number of individuals in his congregation is decreasing" or "Wyoming Fish and Game want to know what they can do to increase the number of out-of-state fisherman each summer," which are problems but not explicitly business ones.

If you want more examples, then make them yourself, and try them out with friends or your consulting club. There's tons out there, but MC is really about being creative working through hard problems. It's somewhat obvious, but if you can't figure out how to break your habits and redirect, then you probably don't have the acumen and flexibility to do well in MC.

Anyway, keep it up and let us know how it goes. Remember, I'm praying for you! We're all in this together.


Remember, always be kind-hearted.

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Feb 9, 2019

Excellent post!

Feb 9, 2019

Remember, always be kind-hearted.

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