Monitor Case Interview. Help needed ASAP!

Hey everyone,

I have an interview coming up with Monitor very soon, and I am trying to find some time to prepare for it. I have looked up some cases online and checked out the Victor Cheng materials. I even did some Deloitte interviews, but it seems like Monitor does theirs differently than Deloitte S&O. The thing is, after a few days of practice, I think I do well on the traditional cases. Nevertheless, I finally came across an old Monitor Case called footloose, and tried to do it in the 30 minute time frame. Unfortunately, I don't believe I performed as well as I could have. What I am kindly asking from you fellow monkeys is the following:

Any Monitor cases that you could share with me?

I am also looking for a document with the main consulting math formulas. Not sure if such document exisits. I just don't want to encounter any curve balls of such nature during the interview?

Anyone who would be willing to do a mock interview via skype?

Any valuable information would very very much appreciated!

Thanks to you all in advance.


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Comments (9)

May 6, 2014 - 10:43am

Huh, I thought Deloitte acquired Monitor a couple years ago.

I googled the "Footloose" case and it doesn't really look any different than the typical business case. What specific problems did you encounter with it?

I think the two key formulas to know is 1) profit margin (net profit/revenue) and 2) how to calculate breakeven (i.e. when does revenue=cost). I've encountered some cases (and more commonly, quantitative tests) that require more finance/accounting-related knowledge of things like discounted cash flow and CAGR but I've had several consultants tell me that those don't commonly show up during case interviews and I'm not ever expected to do math that contains exponents.

May 6, 2014 - 4:21pm

Thank you, Deerhunter. First yes, you are right. Monitor was acquired by Deloitte. However, I believe that Deloitte is not proceeding well with the post merger and integration process. Monitor exists now under the S&O practice but has its own projects and recruitment process. If it were me, I would rebrand the whole Deloitte Consulting entity as Monitor Deloitte, kind of like what PwC is doing with Booze... yet again, Monitor is a very small company.

As for the case, I am not too sure we are talking about the same one. Unfortunately, I am not senior enough of a monkey to be able to post links yet, but if you type footloose monitor group, the first three links should normally all direct you to it. It was rather a market sizing case with some business/qualitative questions about product mix.

Anyway, it was far from being rocket science. However, I tried doing it in 30 minutes (as my actual interview would be); and I failed as I was only able to get to question 1. Now, I think I might have taken the wrong approach perhaps. I was taking notes on my notebook as I was reading the case on the computer, which is a pretty lengthy process given the amount of data the case provides. In other words, I was summarizing the case as I would do if the interviewer was telling me the data. I thought this could be a good exercise to ensure a solid understanding of the case. May be I should just highlight the important information during the interview and proceed directly to the questions?

As for cases that require finance and accounting formulas, I am not gonna lie to you I am a bit concerned about these, as I have spent the past year and a half in a different field away from finance. So, I am a bit rusty. Would you be able to provide any accessible sources where I can find such practice cases?

Thanks again!

May 6, 2014 - 4:55pm

Here is the version I was looking at:

Key question of the case: Should Duraflex try to compete with Badger in the work boot market or focus their efforts on strengthening their position with casual boots instead?

The difference with this case is that it seems like an interviewer-led case where you're asked a series of questions within a bigger question. I don't think that should dramatically change the way you approach the question though.

If this was an ordinary business case, I would come up with the factors that would be important to look at in order to determine what Duraflex should do. So perhaps I would look at: 1) Market size/profitability i.e. How big is the work boot market? How profitable is it compared to casual boots? 2) Competition i.e. How strong of a competitor is Badger? Do we have any hope in overtaking them in the work boot market?

Then, if the answers to 1 and 2 and "very large, quite profitable" and "strong but perhaps defeatable", the next question would be how can Duraflex position itself in order to better compete with Badger in the work boot market.

This is more or less the questions that the case asks after showing you the exhibits. I think it would be ideal if you could predict these questions before they were shown to you so you could interpret the exhibits in a useful way.

Since this is an interviewer-led case, I think you would be expected to summarize key insights of each slide and use the implications to answer questions 1 and 2. The insights + implications are probably the only notes you should be taking. If you were spending a significant amount of time notetaking and summarizing information (that are not insights you've gleaned) from the exhibits, that's probably the wrong way to go.

I've encountered bits and pieces of finance in cases. It has not been significant. Have you been practising cases from business school casebooks? The Winter Olympics case in the Kellogs casebook has a bit of finance flavour to it: Again, I've had multiple consultants (at MBB firms) tell me that formulas and finance/accounting are unlikely to make or break you.

May 7, 2014 - 4:54pm

That is indeed the right version. I couldn't agree more with your approach. The thing that I have more of an issue with I guess is the structure of the case. Unlike other interviewer led interviews where the interviewer starts feeding you information little by little while engaging in a conversation while asking you direct questions, the Monitor folks have you sit in a room and throw a stack of paper at you, and give you 30 minutes to read the data and answer all of the questions. My problem was more of a time management issue. I couldn't do it all in 30 minutes. In fact, I was thinking along the same lines of what you said about predicting the questions. I don't have to predict them, as they are already given to me with the package! Hence, a good approach might be to start reading the questions first and deciding on what kinds of inquiries they are (i.e., marketsizing, breakeven, profitability...) then reading the case while highlighting the most important data.

Thanks for sharing the link with me. I would be surprised if their cases involve any heavy finance/accounting problems, but I will do my best to review as many as I can prior to the interview. Thanks again for your insight, deerhunter!

May 7, 2014 - 5:10pm

Ah, so is it a written case? Then I think you're absolutely right - start by reading the questions first so you're not just staring at the exhibits spending time on deciding what's important and what's not.

Have you read this post? Might be helpful.

The key here might be math - are you spending a ton of time doing the calculations? If so, time to brush up on that.

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May 13, 2014 - 4:39am

You have the right idea - definitely invest some time upfront by reading the questions first and then figuring out what data you need to look for in that stack of papers. As they say at BCG: 'thinking drives doing, not the other way around'. Also, don't worry, it's not the end of the world if you don't solve all the questions when the 30 mins is up. I went through the Monitor interview process and had this type of case during the first round. I didn't have all the answers when my time ran out, but I was up front about it and when the interviewer came in I said 'I didn't have time to do all the calculations, but I know what I need to do, do you mind if I talk you through it?'. He was open to it and we talked through the rest of the questions. Of course it was more stressful because I had to think/calculate on the spot, as opposed to just presenting answers... but it clearly wasn't a dealbreaker because I made it to the final round and got an offer in the end.

Also, quick tip: sometimes the numbers you need in that stack of papers are actually in the footnotes of a graph, not in the graph itself, so watch out and don't ignore the footnotes!

Good luck!

May 14, 2014 - 4:44am

Thanks, Blueskyoasis. Good to hear. As for the footnotes, I definitely agree with you! I made the mistake of ignoring it on the practice case I mentioned earlier, and paid the price for doing so. A friend who went through the interview process a few months ago told me to focus on the first question, which is the quantitative one, because you can always walk them through the qualitative (business/marketing) questions. Thanks again! Would you know of any good source where I can practice purely quantitative questions? Also, are there any case studies available on the net?

Sep 22, 2014 - 5:00pm

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