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Do you guys agree? Is it (ending their use) already happening?

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I wholeheartedly agree that cases are a waste of time, but I also don’t see them going away.

The ability to pass a case interview primarily demonstrates the amount of time/effort someone put in to practicing. Yes, there’s an element of thinking quick on your feet, but I strongly disagree with people who say that a case is reflective of real world consulting situations we find ourselves in. I don’t believe case interview success would be an indicator of future success as a consultant.

This is coming as someone who has gone through case interviews myself and passed in the past, as well as someone who has sat on the other side and delivered case interviews to candidates. I don’t think they’re going away any time soon, but I don’t think they are useful in determining someone’s true skill set.

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I think case interviews should stay- but be more realistic. I’ve done case interviews on high level strategy questions (for example- optimizing the health outcomes in a foreign country). Realistically, entry level/ post MBA folk won’t get to work on these type of problems from the bar. We’ll likely be problem solving in more “in the weeds” situations. For example, you’re trying to build an XYZ model, but you’re struggling to find data to fill the gaps. What do you do? What’s your first step? I personally aced my case studies, and then proceeded to do a ton of modeling / slide building in my first year, neither of which were tested in the slightest during my interview.

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Bcg5 - that sounds stressful but also like pretty freaking cool test honestly

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Highly unlikely that these go away. Personally, I think they’re a good way to evaluate how someone thinks, especially under pressure.

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Someone clearly got dinged by McKinsey

likefunnysmart

In addition, they are a way to evaluate persistence and hard work to learn & excel in the interview format, key traits needed in consulting

likesmartfunny

A bunch of people who got their jobs by doing well in case interviews are going to think case interviews are a good way to judge candidates.
I’d prefer a modified version of:
1) a take home “assignment” of tell me why/how consulting fits into your goals/story in a <7 minute presentation with some opportunity for Q&A and
2) A written prompt with some very basic analysis needed and 45 minutes to do the analysis and come up with a way you’d approach solving the problem.

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Oh yeah, true, design take-home assignments often cross into double digit hours, a short presentation would definitely be a more manageable time commitment.

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They evaluate how well you bullshit under pressure. If that’s what elite consulting firms want to evaluate, go for it.

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I know you are trying to be sarcastic, but you might be onto something there.

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I came in with industry experience and I'm pretty sure I did not do well on the case study. I'm sure I did ok, but doubt I would have passed without the prepared presentation and the work experience to back me.

My issue with the case study is that it disproportionately favors those who come from schools where consulting firms recruit. Those schools have the resources to prepare the students.

And it also favors students who lets say don't have part-time jobs and can push aside or lessen other commitments to devote all those hours to prep, while also taking classes.

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I think standardized technical tests would be better like making a PowerPoint deck to include the information I provided to you in 30 minutes, or an excel test to have people make a simple cashflow model.

funny

What’s the justification that they’re terrible, a waste of time and what is suggested to replace them?

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The general assertion is they measure the time people spend preparing for case studies and the facilitator more than the intellect of the candidate. A complicating factor is those from backgrounds of privilege have more resources to prep which leads to diversity challenges.

I generally agree with the assertion above, but really can’t give you better alternatives. I do think creative problem solving (which a case study isnt) may be of import.

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Whats the alternative?

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AP would give you a document with the problem and then give a brief intro. You then had 45 minutes to make a 5 slide flip chart presentation on your recommendations. It allows people to process it and develop a solution and interate versus being on the hot seat and requiring them to ask the right question to get information they need. I thought it was a way better experience. Shows more consulting skills in figuring out what’s important quickly, developing a recommendation, and then telling a story.

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Yea some random academic knows better than the elite consulting firms how to most effectively recruit consulting talent. Give me a break. What a waste of pixels

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Sure the author is only one person, but plenty of others share the view 🤷🏻‍♂️

Haha!!! Totally agree - sheer waste of time, interviewers, especially those at early stage of their consulting career blindly follow rigid frameworks. It’s all about how many hours you can put in to practicing and memorizing methodology. Once you get the job you hardly hardly ever use those frameworks to solve real life client problems

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Case interviews are awful. Not everyone thinks & processes information in the same way. I, for example, am a visual learner. In order to process information, I storyboard it. Definitely can’t do that in a case interview, and it doesn’t make me any less qualified to be a strategy consultant (I’ve been doing it for 10+ years). Case interviews remove all diversity of thought, which creates inferior teams.

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What would you do instead of case interview? Is there better (and practical) way to do the interview?

I personally like case interview method as an interviewer and disagree with a statement, ‘waste of time’.

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Might be worth posting the link to the article since the author might present evidence.

funny

Let’s play checkers instead. You win you get the job.

I think the value of case interviews cuts two ways:
- for employer it’s a way to see if you are creative, can think on you feet, have a growth mindset/can-do attitude etc., are able to collaborate, able to deduce insights from lots of information quickly, perform under pressure, have business accumen etc etc
- for me (read: interviewee) it was a way of testing whether I would actually like the job.. Does the content excite me, does the way of thinking fit how I think, how do I react when thrown a curveball!

So I think there’s definitely value in it, maybe shouldnt have the weight it carries now but I dont think it should disappear 😊

Fwiw, I think most evaluation methods are terrible. It’s difficult to know how great an employee is from 5-6 30 minute meetings. Skills tests ftw.

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