Consulting Case Interview Course

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Comments (12)

Mar 23, 2014 - 3:51pm

Yeah, something like what the above poster said. One of my final round MBB interviews was like that. He was a partner at the firm and he simply asked me "An automobile parts manufacturer is thinking about expanding. What should they consider?"

I totally bombed that interview, because it was so unstructured. But I think those kinds of questions give you the most opportunity to show how unique/creative you are!

Mar 23, 2014 - 6:01pm

I would guess unstructured means it's your job to make up a structure. I've had cases at MBB ranging from just a broad talk about the infrastructure and public transportation in a large city and looking at a number of slides and drawing conclusions as well as the classical ones. Generally, the more unusual cases are given by senior people, just because they are most likely too bored to give out the same cases all the time and like to just make something up.

Mar 23, 2014 - 10:08pm

TheSanchize:

...unstructured means it's your job to make up a structure....

This.

Partners tend to give "cases" based on recent experience rather than designed/vetted cases with handouts etc. These can be one line prompts similar to the examples given above and, as with any case, it behooves you to impose structure and ask probing questions. Try not to think about it any differently. What info do you need? How can you collect it? What will you do with it? Where might that lead?

There are certainly more intimidating, but really shouldn't be.

Mar 24, 2014 - 3:02pm

How can the interviewer incorporate math or data analysis if it's an unstructured case? Can anyone comment on their experiences with this?

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Mar 25, 2014 - 11:13am

moosen:

How can the interviewer incorporate math or data analysis if it's an unstructured case? Can anyone comment on their experiences with this?

I had a partner case that was similar to this:
Assume revenue is $1m/yr divided in to 3 categories with 30/30/40% splits. Proposed change decreases prices by 5/10/15% and increases volume 10% across the board. Also, mix shifts to 25/25/50. What's new rev?

Multiplying %ages isn't tough, but there are a few layers here. If an interviewer is off script anyways, they'll just wing some numbers to make sure you can keep your calcs structured.

Mar 25, 2014 - 12:13pm

Thank you everyone for your responses. It seems that one definitely needs to practice with such 1-line prompts to do well in the partner cases. I would assume that you are allowed to setup the structure on paper and approach the case, just like any other regular structured interview, once the partner gives the 1-liner. Please correct if this is not the case.

@NoName - How would you approach that case? I would divide into 3 branches - current market, new market, and diversify. Within current market, two sub-branches - increase penetration and increase wallet share (by cross-sell/up-sell). Then, ask for data about customers, competitors, products, etc. to validate/invalidate each option. Would be interested to see how others would approach this.

@brj - I attempted the problem that you mentioned but was not able to work in the new mix %. How did you setup your math structure?

Mar 26, 2014 - 12:16am

My response for @"NoName"'s case is similar to your response but worded a little different: assessment, strategy, and execution.

For @"brj" it's a simple PV=Revenue formula you apply to each set of revenue streams with new volume and new price. Total revenue is about $1.018 million

Broken down it's 300k = .95P*1.1V.... 300k = .9P*1.1V.... 400k = .85P*1.1V. Find then new revenues by dividing out the new PV.

EDIT: Didn't see the 25/25/50 shift.... oops

Mar 28, 2014 - 12:38am
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