This is a little overdue but I wanted to send you a note with a big thank you for all the prep material on the website. I found it several months ago and started prepping immediately and had done 40-50 practice interview cases before recruiting season.
The frameworks are an excellent way to guide your thinking during the interview rounds, but the key to doing well is to tackle as many cases before the interviews, especially since I came from a liberal arts background!
I must have called everyone I knew in consulting to give me a case to solve every weekend (Phone/ Webcam prep interviews too!) The more I did, the more I was made aware of my short-comings and had time to improve on them.
I got offers from all six consulting firms I interviewed with in Toronto, including all Top 3 firms. I have since decided on [one of the Top 3] given that I feel it is the best fit for me, and cannot wait to start.
Thank you so much.
I did not use any books or websites and relied heavily and entirely on your frameworks; they work and they work really well! 🙂
After I sent this person a private congratulatory note, a few thoughts came to mind that I thought would be helpful to point out to others.
Notice how much time this person put into case interview preparation.
My best guess, at least 100 hours and probably several hundred hours. Practice really does make perfect.
In addition, I totally agree with the following phrase, "The more I did, the more I was made aware of my short-comings and had time to improve on them."
As you improve in performance, the differences are somewhat subtle. So rather than "learn" the difference between B+ performance vs. A- performance, you really sort of discover it, appreciate it better, or become more aware of it.
This is why those who practice tend to do better.
And in this case, this person practiced a lot -- even more than I did when I was recruiting.
When I was recruiting, there was no publicly available information on case interviews at all. I didn't know anybody working in consulting, except one person who I barely knew who did an internship the year before.
So while I probably put in the same amount of time as the person who wrote it, it was not nearly as effective -- and in hindsight terribly inefficient.
The big reason I put together caseinterview.com was I thought the preparation process could be more efficient (but the time commitment I think is still quite high).
And from the employers standpoint, making the preparation process easier allows more people with raw talent to improve their skills to the point of qualifying to work in the top firms. So it's a win-win.
The other thing to note is this person did have an advantage. The person knew people already working in consulting.
And to the extent you know people already working in consulting, or even friends who are going through the recruiting process at the same time, it is very useful to get "live practice" with a real human being sitting across from you, on the other end of the phone, or on the other end of skype.
However, I get many, many emails from people saying they don't know anyone who works in consulting or none of their peers or colleagues are applying (often with APDs, industry hires, and schools where the Top 3 don't necessarily come on campus).
Up until a few weeks ago, if you didn't know anyone who works in consulting who you could beg to give you a practice case, or if you didn't have a friend recruiting at the same time to be a "practice buddy", you were out of luck.
Your only choice was to review my introductory videos online (or other people's intro books), understand the case process in a concept (though not in practice), and hope for the best.
And certainly many, many people globally succeeded using just this approach.
But, what I realized was there was an entire pool of people who lacked practice partners, came very close to doing well, but just need a little more practice of some sort to take conceptual knowledge and turn it into second nature skills.
That was the motivation behind Look Over My Shoulder®, and why I made the 100+ hour investment on my end to create it.
I did receive an email the other day asking why I mention Look Over My Shoulder® so often.
In general, I mention it when it is relevant to the topic or situation at hand. It fills a very specific need in the preparation process -- the option to prepare 1) more than studying concepts, and 2) without requiring someone else's assistance to do so.
So when it's relevant, I mention it and when it's not, I don't.