Using Marc Cosentino's and Other Case Interview Frameworks

Question:

My first question relates to the utilization of all the various frameworks out there. I'm not sure how familiar you are with Marc Cosentino's and other case interview frameworks out there, but do you have a suggestion on how to incorporate your frameworks with the other tools out there?  I've been thinking about the best way to use your frameworks along with Marc Cosentino's frameworks, in order to get the best from both worlds.

I want to sincerely thank you for all the great material you've provided and your daily emails. Along with the book Case in Point, I've utilized your resources in preparation for my first round interview at one of McKinsey's European offices.

I have been fortunate enough to get in touch with a consultant at the office I'm interviewing with. He has generously offered to help me answer any questions I might have about the first round interview or about the firm in general.

In that regard, I was wondering whether you might have any suggestions in terms of what questions would be useful to ask him to best prepare for round one of interviews?

My Reply:

I'm familiar with Marc Cosentino, but am not that familiar with his materials. All I remember is that his book had a really good section on estimation questions. If I recall, I think he was an advocate of using a lot of frameworks, which I tend to disagree with, as under pressure it is very hard to remember that many things.

When I went through my 60+ case interviews as a candidate, I basically relied on three things: a) profitability framework, b) business situation framework, and c) the custom issue tree (basically making up your own framework).

Better to truly master three "frameworks" than to to be half competent across 15 frameworks. But that's only my opinion.

Based on the emails I receive, I find that a lot of people start the preparation using both resources, but at some point find they are a bit in conflict... and people tend to adopt the simpler approach I use.  (And there is a risk of selection bias here because the people who might have gone the other way would be unlikely to email me... so take it for what its worth).

In terms of your interview "buddy", the question to ask is for the particular office you're interviewing at what to expect in the 1st round. 1st round McKinsey does vary a bit from country to country.  Rounds 2+ tend to be much more consistent.

So the questions to ask, or find out the answers to, is will the 1st round be case only or case + leadership questions. Will the case be interviewer-led, which has a different flow to it than the more traditional interviewee led cases?

Will this round include the McKinsey Problem Solving Test, or was that done before the 1st round (may vary by country).  So basically just figure out what that particular office does for 1st round so there aren't any surprises.

For more information on preparing for your case interview, see my Case Interview Guide.

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1 comment… add one
  • Tim Maguire May 14, 2012, 1:19 am

    This was a fantastic article.

    You addressed the major dilemma I am facing, that of running the two approaches in parallel (Case Interview, Case in Point). Ill complete Case Interview tonight and provide my top choice with a rationale tomorrow.

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