Case interview: the ultimate guide


Preparing for case interviews does not have to be complicated. Over the years we have managed to develop a simple step-by-step system to get you from "What are case interviews?" to "I am confident I can get a job at McKinsey, BCG or Bain". We have summarised some of the key things we have learned in this free guide.

At IGotAnOffer, we have helped more than 30,000 candidates prepare for their consulting interviews. Students who go through our full training programme are a happy bunch: more than 80% of them get an offer at McKinsey, BCG or Bain.

Part 1: Case examples and tips

1.1 What are case interviews?

Strategy consulting firms like McKinsey, BCG or Bain use case interviews in their recruiting process for new hires. Case interviews last about 30 minutes during which you will analyse and solve a business problem. These cases are usually inspired from past consulting projects your interviewer will have worked on.

The objective of a case interview is to recreate the conditions you will face in a real consulting project so that your interviewer can get an idea of how you will perform on the job.

Case interview examples

Here are a few typical examples of case interviews you could come across in your consulting interviews:

  • "Your client is Coca-Cola, and their profits have been declining in recent years. Can you help find the root-cause of the profit decline and turn the situation around?"
  • "Your client is Nike, and it wants to launch a new line of sneakers in Europe. How would you go about advising the CEO what new product to launch?"
  • "Your client is the UK Department of Foreign Affairs who is seeking to restructure its organisation. What are the different elements you would consider to make a recommendation?"
1.2 Case interview examples

We have created a comprehensive list of case interview examples in the past. Here are some for McKinsey, BCG and Bain to get you started.

McKinsey case interview examples
BCG case interview examples
Bain case interview examples
Deloitte and Accenture case interviews

We have also written comprehensive guides about Deloitte case interviews and Accenture case interviews that we recommend reading if you are preparing for these firms.

1.3 Case interview tips

We have written a comprehensive list of 15 case interview tips in the past. Here is the five most important ones that the best candidates seem to be focusing on.

Tip #1: Listen carefully and ask clarification questions

At the beginning of the case, your interviewer will layout the situation of the company you are trying to help (e.g.: Coca-cola's profits have decreased by 10% over the past 12 months). Your job in that part of the interview is to make sure that you understand the situation correctly by asking the right clarification questions (e.g.: in which countries have profits declined? And for which products?).

This is what partners at McKinsey and other firms do with clients. They sit down with them, listen carefully to the problem they have, and ask clarification questions before trying to solve the problem. They do this because it's impossible to solve a business problem you don't understand in details. And you should therefore follow a similar approach in your cases.


Tip #2: Don't reuse frameworks

One trap many candidates fall into is to reuse pre-existing frameworks in their interviews. As we explain in our case frameworks guide, interviewers will immediately notice if you do this and you will get penalised. Each case is unique, and you should therefore create a custom framework for every case you do. This might sound difficult but it actually isn't if you take the right approach. This is one of the things we teach in our McKinsey and BCG & Bain case interview training programmes.

Tip #3: Brush up your maths

Virtually all case interviews involve doing maths computations without a calculator. Having rusty maths at the beginning of your preparation is normal. But in our experience successful candidates take some time to brush up when they start practicing. You should take the time to refresh your memory and be 100% comfortable doing basic additions, subtractions, divisions, multiplications and growth rate calculations mentally. We really encourage you to take the time to do this. Trust us, it's really worth it!

Tip #4: Give a clear recommendation

Consultants get paid for making recommendations. One of the things clients hate is to pay a large sum of money and not get a clear answer or opinion about the problem they are trying to solve. Even if they are halfway through the project, consultants avoid telling their clients: "We don't know." What they say instead is: "Based on what we have seen so far, our current hypothesis is that the profit decline you are experiencing is mainly driven by the Chinese market. We think this is the case for 3 reasons. Reason #1 is etc."

You need to do the same in your cases. At the end of the interview, your interviewer will ask for your conclusion. You can't dodge the question. You've got to give a clear answer with supporting arguments based on what you have learned doing the analysis. The trick is to caveat your answer with a sentence such as "Based on this initial analysis, etc." And to also highlight additional areas to explore to confirm that your current understanding is the right one.

Tip #5: Catch the hints

Finally, 99% of interviewers have good intentions. They're here to help you perform at your best. During your interviews they will give you hints about whether you are doing well or not. If they try to steer you in a direction, follow them, they're trying to help you. This might sound obvious but candidates sometimes get so stressed out that they don't pick up on the hints interviewers give them.

Part 2: Case frameworks

We have created a comprehensive list of case interview frameworks in the past. Here we cover the most important frameworks to know about. And we also explain why you should NOT reuse pre-existing frameworks in your interviews.

2.1 Frameworks to know about
Profitability framework

The profitability framework is the most basic framework in business analysis. It simply breaks down profits into its basic revenue and cost components and is commonly used to identify the root cause of profitability issues.

Profitability framework

  • Revenue can simply be broken down in the Number of units sold by the business times the Price per unit.
  • Costs can be broken down in Variable and Fixed costs. And Variable costs can then in turn be broken down in the Number of units produced and the Cost per unit.
Market entry framework

The market entry framework is commonly used to make decisions on whether a company should enter a new market or not. For instance, you could use it to decide if Startbucks should enter the Chinese market. Or if Nike should enter the sports broadcasting business.

Market entry framework

  • Market: What are the characteristics of the market we are trying to enter? Key elements to consider include: market size and profitability, products already available in the market, intensity of the competition, heaviness of the regulation etc.
  • Client capabilities: Does the client have the right capabilities to enter that new market? Key elements to consider include: differences between the client's current market and the new one they are now targeting, number of times client has entered new markets and success achieved, other companies already in the new market, etc.
  • Financials: Does it make financial sense to enter the new market? Key elements to consider include: current financial situation of the client, cost to enter new market, ongoing costs once market entered, expected revenues and return on investment, etc.
  • Entry strategy: How should the client go about entering the new market? Key elements to consider include: timing of market entry (now vs. delay), speed of market entry (test region vs. whole country), opportunity to buy competitor or do a JV, management approach (control from HQ vs. decentralise), etc.
3Cs framework

The 3Cs framework is also commonly used to put together strategies for companies. As you will notice below, a lot of its components overlap with the Porter’s 5 forces.

3Cs framework

  • Customers: Who is the customer? Key elements to consider include: customer demographics (E.g.: age, sex, income, etc.), customer needs, customer segments size and growth rates, customer willingness to pay and price sensitivity, etc.
  • Competition: What are the competitive dynamics? Key elements to consider include: competitors’ value proposition and brand, competitors’ market share and growth, competitors’ financial health, etc.
  • Company: What defines the company? Key elements to consider include: product offering, profitability, core competencies, unique selling point, financial performance and resources, etc.

Merger and acquisition framework

Finally, the merger and acquisition framework is used when companies are looking to acquire or merge with competitors. These situations are not very frequent in a CEO's life but highly stressful which helps understand why consultants are often asked to support such initiatives.

Merger & Acquisition framework

  • The market: What are the characteristics of the market in which the target evolves? Key elements to consider include: market size and growth, market profitability and intensity of the competition, market regulation, etc.
  • The target: How attractive is the target to be acquired? Key elements to consider include: current and future financial position of the target, important assets or capabilities owned by the target, quality of the target's management team, target / buyer culture fit, etc.
  • The buyer: What's driving the buyer to make the acquisition? Key elements to consider include: acquisition rationale (e.g. target undervalued, etc.), acquisition financing, buyer's acquisition experience, acquisition timing, etc.
  • Synergies and risks: What are the acquisition synergies and risks? Key elements to consider include: value of individual and combined entities, cost synergies, revenue synergies, biggest risks of failure, etc.
2.2 Do not reuse pre-existing frameworks

Once you are familiar with frameworks, the question then becomes: how do you now use that knowledge in case interviews? There are a lot of opinions about how you should do this on the Internet. But the main two schools of thought seem to be: Marc Cosentino’s Case In Point and Victor Cheng’s LOMS.

In Case In Point, Marc Cosentino attempts to classify case interviews into 10+ categories and then suggests that candidates should learn a specific framework by heart for each of them. This is an interesting exercise as it exposes you to a range of business problems and helps you think about them in different ways. However, in our experience, learning 10+ frameworks is difficult and time consuming.

More importantly, in live case interviews, trying to recognise one of the 10+ case categories and the framework they are associated to is a real nightmare! Instead of focusing on solving the problem at hand, you end up trying to remember a framework that will not even perfectly fit the case you are solving. In our experience, the best candidates avoid this strategy.

In his LOMS programme, Victor Cheng advocates for a much simpler method than Case In Point and suggests you should only learn two frameworks: the profit framework for profitability cases, and a general framework for all other cases (Product, Consumer, Company, Competition). The benefit of this approach is its simplicity. It gives you a starting point that’s easy to remember when you are putting a framework together.

However, in our experience, this approach has got a fatal drawback. In practice, there aren’t that many profitability cases, and as a consequence you always end up using the general framework. Even if you adapt this general framework to the case you are given, it will not be perfectly tailored to the case you are trying to solve. More importantly perhaps, your interviewer will quickly realise that you are using a pre-cooked framework and that will reflect very negatively on you.

Both Case In Point and LOMS share the same flaw: they try to force pre-defined frameworks onto cases. In our experience, this is bound to produce average results because all cases are unique.

So here is the hard truth about case interview frameworks: the best candidates DO NOT learn frameworks by heart, instead they learn a consistent METHOD to craft bespoke frameworks for each case.

A good framework is a bit like a tailor made suit: it is adapted to the problem you are trying to solve, the company, the industry and it is also as MECE as possible. If you use pre-defined frameworks, you run the risk of missing important elements of the specific problem you are trying to solve. This will therefore mean you perform less well than you could have if you had created a framework adapted to the specific problem from scratch.

In real life, consultants extremely rarely use pre-defined frameworks. They are familiar with them because they have studied them but they do not directly re-use them as-is on projects. Instead, they create a framework or issue tree specific to the problem they are working on. To do so they rely on conversations with their client as well as past experiences.

This might sound intimidating but the good news is that creating bespoke frameworks is actually much simpler than you think. It requires a few things:

  • Changing your approach from adapting frameworks to creating them from scratch
  • Learning a step-by-step method to create bespoke frameworks
  • Practicing this step-by-step method on multiple examples

Part 3: Fast case maths

We've covered in detail how to improve your speed in our case interview maths guide. Let's discuss the main maths formulas you need to know here and also walk through a few maths tips and shortcuts.

Case interview maths formula

3.1 Must-know maths formulas

Revenue = Volume x Price

Cost = Fixed costs + Variable costs

Profit = Revenue - Cost

Profit margin (aka Profitability) = Profit / Cost

Return on investment (ROI) = Annual profit / Initial investment

Breakeven (aka Payback period) = Initial investment / Annual profit

If you have any questions about the formulas above you can ask them at the bottom of this page and our team will answer them. Alternatively, you can also read our in-depth articles about finance concepts for case interviews and for the McKinsey PST or watch this video where we explain these concepts in great detail. In addition, we've also covered more advanced maths formulates here.

3.2 Fast maths tips and tricks

Let's talk about fast maths tips and tricks now. Standard long division and multiplication approaches are great because they're generic and you can use them for any calculation. But they are also extremely slow. In our experience, you can become MUCH faster at maths by using non-standard approaches.

We've listed a few approaches below but you can learn more about this in our case interview maths guide. All these approaches have ONE thing in common: they aim at rearranging and simplifying calculations to find the EASIEST path to the result.

Rounding numbers

The first step towards becoming faster is to round numbers whenever you can. 365 days becomes 350. The US population of 326m becomes 300m. Etc. You get the idea.

The tricky thing about rounding numbers is that if you round them too much you risk a) distorting the final result / finding, and b) your interviewer telling you to round the numbers less.

Rounding numbers is more of an art than a science, but in our experience the following two tips tend to work well:

  • We usually recommend to not round numbers by more than +/- 10%. This is a rough rule of thumb but gives good results based on conversations with past candidates.
  • You also need to alternate between rounding up and rounding down so the effects cancel out. For instance, if you're calculating A x B, we would recommend rounding A UP, and rounding B DOWN so the roundings compensate each other.

Note you won't always be able to round numbers. In addition, even after you round numbers the calculations could still be difficult. So let's go through a few tips that can help in these situations.

Handling large numbers

Large numbers are difficult to deal with because of all the 0s. To be faster you need to use notations that enable you to get rid of these annoying 0s. We recommend you use labels and the scientific notation if you aren't already doing so.

Labels (k, m, b)

Use labels for thousand (k), million (m) and billion (b). You'll write numbers faster and it will force you to simplify calculations. Let's use 20,000 x 6,000,000 as an example.

  • No labels: 20,000 x 60,000,000 = ... ???
  • Labels: 20k x 6m = 120k x m = 120b

This approach also works for divisions. Let's try 480,000,000,000 divided by 240,000,000.

  • No labels: 480,000,000,000 / 240,000,000 = ... ???
  • Labes: 480b / 240m = 480k / 240 = 2k
Scientific notation

When you can't use labels, the scientific notation is a good alternative. If you're not sure what this is, you're really missing out. But fortunately Khan Academy has put together a good primer on the topic here.

  • Multiplication example: 600 x 500 = 6 x 5 x 102 X 102 = 30 x 104 = 300,000 = 300k
  • Division example: (720,000 / 1,200) / 30 = (72 / (12 x 3)) x (104 / (102 x 10)) = (72 / 36) x (10) = 20

When you're comfortable with labels and the scientific notation you can even start mixing them:

  • 200k x 600k = 2 x 6 x 104 x m = 2 x 6 x 10 x b = 120b
Factoring

To be fast at maths, you need to avoid writing down long divisions and multiplications as they take a LOT of time. In our experience, doing multiple easy calculations is faster and leads to less errors than doing one big long calculation.

A great way to achieve this is to factor and expand expressions to create simpler calculations. If you're not sure what the basics of factoring and expanding are, you can use Khan Academy here and here. Let's start with factoring.

Simple numbers: 5, 15, 25, 50, 75, etc.

In case interviews and tests like the McKinsey PST or BCG Potential Test some numbers come up very frequently and it's useful to know shortcuts to handle them. Here are some of these numbers: 5, 15, 25, 50, 75, etc. These numbers are frequent but not particularly easy to deal with.

For instance, consider 36 x 25. It's not obvious what the result is. And a lot of people would need to write down the multiplication on paper to find the answer. However there's a MUCH faster way based on the fact that 25 = 100 / 4. Here's the fast way to get to the answer:

  • 36 x 25 = (36 / 4) x 100 = 9 x 100 = 900
Here's another example: 68 x 25. Again, the answer is not immediately obvious. Unless you use the shortcut we just talked; divide by 4 first and then multiply by 100:
  • 68 x 25 = (68 / 4) x 100 = 17 x 100 = 1,700
Factoring works both for multiplications and divisions. When dividing by 25, you just need to divide by 100 first, and then multiply by 4. In many situations this will save you wasting time on a long division. Here are a couple of examples:
  • 2,600 / 25 = (2,600 / 100) x 4 = 26 x 4 = 104
  • 1,625 / 25 = (1,625 / 100) x 4 = 16.25 x 4 = 65
The great thing about this factoring approach is that you can actually use it for other numbers than 25. Here is a list which we find helpful to get you started:
  • 2.5 = 10 / 4
  • 5 = 10 / 2
  • 7.5 = 10 x 3 / 4
  • 15 = 10 x 3 / 2
  • 25 = 100 / 4
  • 50 = 100 / 2
  • 75 = 100 x 3 / 4
  • Etc.

Once you're comfortable using this approach you can also mix it with the scienfic notation on numbers such as 0.75, 0.5, 0.25 etc.

Factoring the numerator / denominator

For divisions, if there are no simple numbers (e.g. 5, 25, 50, etc.), the next best thing you can do is to try to factor the numerator and / or denominator to simplify the calculations. Here are a few examples:

  • Factoring the numerator: 300 / 4 = 3 x 100 / 4 = 3 x 25 = 75
  • Factoring the denominator: 432 / 12 = (432 / 4) / 3 = 108 / 3 = 36
  • Looking for common factors: 90 / 42 = 6 x 15 / 6 x 7 = 15 / 7

Part 4: Consulting fit and PEI questions

Interviewers typically ask both a case question AND a few fit / behavioural interview questions to get to know you better and to gauge whether you’d be a good fit for their firm.

While case questions are used to assess your problem solving skills, fit questions are more focused on the three other attributes consulting firms look for: leadership abilities, entrepreneurial drive and personal impact.

Difference between Fit and PEI questions

Behavioural interview questions can be categorised in two buckets:

  • Fit questions. These are generic questions such as “Why consulting?” or “Why McKinsey / BCG / Bain?”
  • Personal Experience Interview (PEI) questions. These are questions such as “Tell me about a time when you lead a team through a difficult situation.” Or “Tell me about a time where you had to manage a team conflict”

All firms ask a mix of these two types of questions but some are more focused on one type than others. For instance, McKinsey almost exclusively asks personal experience interview questions. But Bain tends to put much more focus on typical fit questions such as “Why Bain?” or “Walk me through your resume?”

So what specific questions do you need to prepare for? We have analysed hundreds of interview questions on glassdoor.com for McKinsey, BCG and Bain and have summarised our findings below. These questions are also consistent with the type of questions the candidates we work with are currently getting in interviews.

4.1 Top 5 fit questions

Top 5 consulting fit interview questions

Let’s step through the top 5 fit questions you will come across in your interviews and briefly discuss each of them.

Please note that the percentages listed below are of total fit questions. For instance, for 100 fit questions 26 will be “Why firm X?” As mentioned above, the balance between fit questions and PEI questions varies from firm to firm.

#1 Why firm X? (26% of fit questions)

We've covered the "Why McKinsey / BCG / Bain?" question in detail in the past. Almost all consulting firms will ask you that question at some point. This is to check that your interest in their firm is genuine and not only based on their reputation.

As you prepare for consulting interviews you should try to grasp what sets each of the different firms apart by talking to consultants in your network or at recruiting events. If you know anyone working at the firm you are interviewing with this is the right time to mention them and to say that they recommended the firm to you.

If you are interviewing off-cycle and do not know anyone working at your target firm that’s fine too. If your interviewer asks you that question you could say something like: “I’ve done my research on the firm and I’m excited about the type of work you seem to be doing. For instance I’ve read about project X and Y. But to be honest, I have not met anyone from the firm before today. So I’m actually excited to be interviewing to get a sense of whether I’d be a good fit. ” This will show that you have a genuine interest about finding out about the company. This after all is what your interviewer cares about.

#2 Why consulting? (24% of fit questions)

Consulting is an intense job. Consulting firms will therefore want to check that you have actually done your homework and that you have thought about why you want to be a consultant.

There are many great reasons to go into consulting. But here our three favourite ones:

  • You will work for senior execs from early on in your career. This opportunity is unique. In most industry jobs you have to wait for many years to have the same level of exposure to CEOs / CFOs.
  • You will learn a lot - very quickly. Changing industry and project every 3 to 6 months is one of the things that make the job challenging. But it also means your rate of learning will be much higher than in other industry jobs.
  • You will work with bright people. Getting into consulting is hard and as a result your teammates will be extremely intelligent people. Consulting is one of the most stimulating environments you can be in.

#3 Introduce yourself / Walk me through your resume (14% of fit question)

This question is a great opportunity to summarise what you have done in the past in a way that illustrates you would make a great consultant.

For instance you could say something like: “I’m Chris, I’m currently doing a master’s degree in economics at Cambridge. I think I’ve done three things in my studies / career so far that are relevant to consulting and motivated me to apply for this job. First, etc. ” And you could then enumerate the three most relevant points on your resume.

#4 Tell me something that’s not on your resume (6% of fit questions)

Some interviewers will also want you to tell them something that’s not on your resume. This might be surprising if you have not prepared for it so it’s worth thinking about ahead of your interview. This question is particularly popular at Bain.

When your interviewer asks that question they are trying to get to know you on a more personal level. They are trying to find out what kind of fun stuff you do outside of work. It could literally be anything: playing basketball, being part of band, writing a book, etc.

WHAT you do outside of work does not really matter. In fact the more differentiated the better. What’s more important is HOW you do it. Your interviewer will be looking for signs that you are pursuing that activity with passion, drive and intensity.

For instance, answering that you are part of the Northern Irish team for a niche and obscure board game (!) will get you noticed and your interviewer will think: “Cool that’s pretty unique.” Whereas if you just say you play basketball once or twice a month your interviewer will probably think: “Ok, that’s not unheard of.”

#5 Tell me about your greatest accomplishment (4% of fit questions)

Unless your interviewer specifies that it’s ok to talk about an accomplishment outside of work / university you should stick to these two areas. A great answer will focus on a recent achievement that’s relevant to the skills you need to be a good management consultant.

The best thing to do for this question is to reuse one of the stories you will be preparing for Personal Experience Interview questions which we will cover below.

#6 Other (26% of fit questions)

Finally, there is a long tail of fit questions that consulting firms ask. You should prioritise the top 5 we have listed above first, as well as your case interview preparation over those questions. But if you do have time towards the end of your preparation we suggest coming back to them. In particular, we recommend covering the following:

  • What are your strengths / weaknesses? (3% of fit questions)
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? (3% of fit questions)
  • What do consultants do in your opinion? (2% of fit questions)
  • Why do you want to work for this specific office? (2% of fit questions)
4.3 Top 5 PEI questions

Top 5 consulting PEI questions

Personal experience interview questions are different to fit questions because they are less generic. They aim at testing the SPECIFIC skills you need to be a good management consultant.

Here are the main five themes that will be covered in these personal experience interview questions:

#1 Leading others (23% of PEI questions)

E.g.: Tell me about a time you led a team through a difficult challenge

#2 Managing a team conflict / situation (22% of PEI questions)

E.g.: Tell me about a time you worked in a team and had to manage a conflict

#3 Managing a personal conflict (21% of PEI questions)

E.g.: Tell me about a time you had a disagreement with a colleague / your boss

#4 Influencing others (17% of PEI questions)

E.g.: Tell me about a time you changed the mind of a group of people / an individual

#5 Overcoming challenges (11% of PEI questions)

E.g.: Tell me about a challenge you had to push yourself hard to overcome

#6 Other (7%)

People remember stories. On the day of your interview, your interviewer will see 6 to 8 other candidates. You therefore need to build strong stories that they will remember to make sure you stand out. In fact the way the question is asked (“Tell me about a time …”) is really an invitation to tell a story.

There are multiple ways to tell a story. But we like to keep things relatively simple with the framework below. We would encourage you to use it to create five stories for your interview:

  • Situation: start by giving the necessary context
  • Problem: outline the problem you and your team were facing
  • Solution: explain the solution you came up with to solve the problem outlined
  • Impact: if possible, quantify the impact you had in solving the problem
  • Lessons: conclude with any lessons you might have learned in the process

Once you’ve written down your five stories, rehearse telling them out loud. Getting into this habit will help you tremendously on the actual day of your interviews.

Finally, if you are preparing for McKinsey we would also encourage you to read our article on McKinsey PEI questions. The same five themes are used by McKinsey but in slightly different proportions. And we also share common mistakes to avoid in that article.

Part 5: Case interview preparation

So how do you make sure you succeed at case interviews and land your dream job? In our experience, the following four-step approach makes for a great preparation.

Case interview preparation plan

  • First, develop fast and reliable maths skills
  • Second, master a consistent method to crack cases
  • Third, practice case interviews
  • Fourth, work on fit / PEI interview questions

For full disclosure, this is the approach we take in the McKinsey Case Interview Training Programme and BCG & Bain Case Interview Training Programme and more than 80% of people who used it ended up being successful. But even if you don't end up using these programmes, we still encourage you to take this four-step approach. Trust us, it really works!

Let's step through each stage of the preparation plan to give you more details about what you should do in each.

5.1 Develop fast and reliable maths skills

The first step of your preparation should be to develop fast and reliable maths skills. Virtually all case interviews involve maths. As a consequence, doing maths quickly and accurately is essential to have good chances of success.

To be clear, you don't need to become a maths Phd to crack case interviews. You just need to be able to do basic maths extremely efficiently. Our advice is to proceed in two steps here.

First if your maths are really rusty, you should review how to do basic operations such as additions, subtractions, divisions and multiplications mentally. This might sound very basic, but 80% of the maths mistakes people make are basic calculation errors. You can avoid this by spending sometime upfront making sure you have solid maths fundamentals.

Second, you should spend some time learning slightly more advanced techniques that can greatly increase the speed at which you do maths calculations. This includes techniques such as how to apply growth rates over multiple years, or how to factorise / expand maths expressions efficiently. The following blog post covers some of these interview maths techniques. It is focused on the McKinsey PST but applies to case interviews too.

5.2 Master a consistent method to crack cases

The second step of your preparation should be to master a consistent method to crack case interviews. On the day of your interview, you will likely be extremely stressed. Being able to fall back on a consistent method you have mastered will be invaluable as a result.

In case interviews, you will encounter 7 different types of questions. In our experience, the best way to consistently crack cases is to learn how to consistently crack each type of question in isolation. When you are able to solve each of the distinct question types, then you will be able to solve the case as a whole. You can learn what these 7 question types are, in the video below:

This makes the whole learning process much more manageable. It means you can more easily measure your progress and focus your preparation on the areas of consulting interviews you are less comfortable with. For each of the 7 question types you should therefore develop a step-by-step method that you always use.

5.3 Practice case interviews

The third step of your preparation should be to apply the method you have developed in actual case interviews. The best way to do this is to find peers to practice with either at University or online. You can also ask friends who are not necessarily preparing for consulting interviews to help and give you a few cases. If you know any former consultants you should also not hesitate to ask them to do one or two interviews with you.

In addition, it can also be helpful to practice case interviews by yourself. This is one of the top reasons people use our case interview training programmes. They include live case interview videos which are structured so that you can listen to the interviewer's question, hit pause, and answer the question as if you were in a real interview. This is an extremely efficient way to progress quickly. And here is a small selection of the case interview tips we provide in our programme.

5.4 Impress your interviewer on fit / PEI questions

Finally, one of the most common mistakes candidates make when preparing for consulting interviews is to focus too much on cases, and to neglect fit / personal experience interview questions.

We recommend putting about 25% of your preparation time aside to prepare good answers to common fit and PEI questions. We are currently working on adding a section about this specific topic to this guide. In the meantime you should read this blog post on frequent McKinsey PEI questions how to answer them.

Additional resources

If you would like to fast track your case interview preparation and maximise your chances of getting an offer at McKinsey, BCG or Bain, come and train with us. More than 80% of the candidates training with our programmes end up getting an offer at their target firm. We know this because we give half of their money back to people who don't.

McKinsey Case Interview Training Programme
BCG & Bain Case Interview Training Programme
McKinsey Case Interview Training Programme

BCG & Bain Case Interview Training Programme

Any questions about case interviews?

If you have any questions about case interviews, do not hesitate to ask them below and we will be more than happy to answer them. All questions are good questions, so go ahead!

The IGotAnOffer team