Thursday, February 26, 2009

My first Case Interview

I had my first case interview -- actually got out about an hour ago. I've got a few takeaways I'd like to remember.

Last night, a good chunk of my evening was spent figuring out what a case interview even is. I found a few good resources for this:
So the interview wasn't quite what I expected. I was anticipating a full on role-play so I was thrown off when I started. Actually, it was more like studying an actual case: here is the situaiton - what to do?

I was expecting to be able to ask more questions than I was allowed. I thought I'd be judged on my probing skills, once I figured out they wanted to see what I brainstormed, I was on my way. I estimate that getting accustomed to the interviewer took about 1/3 of the time. I was much happier with my performance in the latter half of the interview.

and so what did I learn?
  • The 3 C's Cool Calm & Collected. I could have handled this a little better I think. As I realized my assumed structure wasn't going to play out, I probably showed a bit of confusion. This also stopped me from taking the notes that I wanted so I could analyze better.
  • Could you ask about structure before actually start? Judging by what I saw in this interview and what I read about on McKinsey's website, there are probably quite a few variations out there. To better play the role that is meant for me, it might be good to ask what to expect in the structure.
    Who are you in this?
    Am I allowed / should I be asking for more information?
  • Brainstorm Options Things finally started clicking when I just said: there is this huge amount of info. If it were this, I would do this.......... He liked seeing that I wasn't sold on one solutions
  • How will get Buy-IN I didn't see this one coming. I had a few ideas, and I really tried to focus what I've learned in negotations class and working with the stakeholders. Hmmmm........ if anyone has more ideas here please comment Obviously people don't just accept your ideas because you are a consultant.
  • Articulate Well I always know I've got to improve here. I should practice saying what I mean. I often do have great pictures in the back of my mind; somehow it all gets translated into mumbo-jumbo :)
I look forward to a few more of these. Remembering what I learned should help me move from my earned 70% of all wow to a solid 100% Wow Factor.

New Goal in the MBA Program : 100% Wow!

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