I have done mock cases, but am I practicing correctly?

BCG Full Time Associate Recruiting Process at Stanford University

Getting into a top consulting firm is tough, the graph above shows the total number of candidates that applied to BCG full time associate positions in my year and the number of candidates left at the end of each round. 450 applicants only yielded 7 offerees in the end.

Notice, almost half of the 80 candidates that got a first round interview had practiced over 30 cases, why did only 7, or 18% of those candidates pass the case interview and get an offer?

This graph shows why!!

Type 2 candidates are able to master the case interview faster than type 1 candidates. Unlike most candidates, who are type 1, type 2 candidates don’t plateau in their performance after having done around 20 case practices.

Here at CasePrep Master, our team performed interviews on a large sample size of candidates who were in the BCG full time associate recruiting process at Stanford, and we found 4 secrets that type 2 candidates(offerees) had over type 1 candidates.

Secret 1: Document Your Mistakes

Secret 2: Practice with the Right Partners

Secret 3: Develop Your Own Insights

Secret 4: Learn from the Best Case Prep Resources

Secret 1: Type 2 candidates(offerees) document their mistakes after every mock case

Through our interviews of type 2 candidates, the #1 secret that most of these candidates have is the good habit of documenting their feedbacks and mistakes after every mock case. These feedbacks can be as simple as “turn your notes to the interviewer when explaining ideas”, but type 2 candidates explained that jotting down these feedbacks helped them avoid the same mistakes in their future cases.

Say if your mock case partner gave you a feedback that you should ask clarifying questions in the very beginning after you have received the case prompt. Sure you may remember it at the moment. But not until you jot that piece of feedback down, review it every time before you do a new case interview, and put it to memory by implementing it in the new case, can you truly remember that feedback and apply it comfortably and consistently moving forward.

Type 2 candidates have different ways of jotting down their feedbacks. The case journal below is one example of how you can keep track.

Secret 2: Type 2 candidates practice with partners who have experience or have landed offers

Don’t be like the picture above. If you are a newbie or relatively inexperienced in case interviews, don’t let the blind lead the blind and practice with other newbies that will get you more confused.

Through our interviews with type 2 candidates(offerees), these candidates shared their second secret to success, which is that type 2 candidates practice with experienced partners and the right partners. More specifically, they shared the two type of partners they practice with.

Practice with partners with experience and have landed offers:

Once you shape bad or erroneous habits in case interviews, it will be hard to correct them in the future. So type 2 candidates make sure that they practice with the crème de la crème right from the beginning. If your friend got an offer from a top firm, hold onto them and never let go.

Practice with not just one or two, but multiple partners:

Every candidate has an insight or a gem, take the best of everybody by practicing with multiple partners and getting quality diverse feedback from many people.

What if I don’t have resources to experienced candidates?

The question to this is quite simple. If you want to succeed and pass the case interview, then go above and beyond to find those experienced partners. Linkedin. Friend’s friend. Friend’s friend’s friend. Don’t stop until you’ve found your gem.

Secret 3: Type 2 candidates developed their own case solving approach

During a case interview super day, an interviewer will take on 8 to 12 candidates a day, each for 45 mins. If a candidate just applies the same case framework like what everyone else has read in a case book, then your interviewer will feel inside like this picture to the right.

Most type 2 candidates through our interview told us that they developed their own case solving tricks or framework that were effective in their mock cases. When you use a unique framework or method, the interviewer will definitely add points to your performance for innovation.

Take a look at the two profitability frameworks below. While 95% of the candidates use the one on the left, if you are the 5% to use your own framework like the one on the right, then you will stand out of the crowd

Secret 4: Type 2 candidates learn from the Best Case Prep Resources

“Failures and mistakes are the mother of success” is an old Chinese saying that everyone holds true.

But nobody said that the “mistakes” need be your own “mistakes”. Instead, smart people learn from other’s “mistakes” so that they can succeed without making mistakes of their own. Type 2 candidates, those who stand out from the rest, the 7 who got the offer out of the 450 applicants, are these smart people, and they learn from other’s mistakes through the best case prep resources.

The “Ace The Case” Program has helped hundreds of candidates just like yourself crack the case interview by allowing you to watch real case interviews with real candidates. It allows you to learn the strengths and tricks from the candidates who got an offer but also learn to not make the same mistakes that weaker candidates made. Learn more below.
Management Consulting Interview Preparation

Ace The Case Program

Ace The Case program offers 9 live case interview videos with actual candidates of varying case interview experiences. During each of these live cases, we provide comments on the candidate’s strength or mistakes. With this program, you will master all 100+ tricks on how to “Ace The Case” and learn the secrets of why certain candidates receive final offers from top consulting firms.

Welcome to CasePrep Master

(from Case Interview Experts and ex-BCG, ex-Bain consultants)

Hi, my name is Jackie Zhao, a case interview expert. As a candidate, I passed 15 out of 16 case interviews and landed 5 consulting jobs offers in BCG, Deloitte S&O, Roland Berger, etc. Here at CasePrep Master, our group of case interview experts and ex-BCG, ex-Bain consultants have helped hundreds of aspiring candidates get offers from top firms like Mckinsey, BCG and Bain.

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