Case Interview Secrets: A Former McKinsey Interviewer Reveals How to Get Multiple Job Offers in Consulting
In Case of Interview Secrets, you’ll discover step-by-step instructions on how to dominate what many consider to be the most complex, most difficult, and most intimidating corporate job interview in the world—the infamous case interview. Victor Cheng, a former McKinsey management consultant, reveals his proven, insider’s method for acing the case interview. Having personally secured job offers from McKinsey, Bain & Company, Monitor, L.E.K, Oliver Wyman, and A.T. Kearney, he has also been a McKinsey case interviewer—providing you with a hands-on, real-world perspective on what it really takes to land job offers.
Cheng’s protégées work in all the major strategy management consulting firms, including McKinsey, The Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company, Monitor Company, A.T. Kearny, Oliver Wyman, L.E.K, Roland Berger, Accenture, and Deloitte, as well as in the strategic planning departments of numerous Fortune 500 companies. Whether you’re an undergraduate, MBA, Ph.D., or experienced-hire applicant candidate, you’ll discover:
- What case interviewers really say about you behind closed doors but wouldn’t dare tell you—until now;
- The subtle yet specific performance differences that separate those who get management consulting offers from those who don’t;
- The 10 biggest mistakes candidates make in case interviews (and how to avoid them);
- The 3 specific things interviewers expect in the first 5 minutes of a case that often decide the outcome on the spot;
- An insider’s take on what interviewers really look for and why—and how to give them what they want.
About the author:
Victor Cheng is a strategic advisor to Inc 500 CEOs. He has been featured as a business expert by the Fox Business Television Network, MSNBC, Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Harvard Business Review, Fortune Small Business, SmartMoney, Forbes, Inc., and Entrepreneur magazine.
Victor is a former McKinsey & Company consultant and has been a senior executive in several publicly owned technology companies. He’s a graduate of Stanford University and is the author of Extreme Revenue Growth, The Recession-Proof Business, and Case Interview Secrets.
Reviews about the ebook Case Interview Secrets:
I’m making a career change and have been interviewing for executive-level positions in the industry. As part of the interview process, I have been asked to solve cases so the interviewer can get a sense of my thinking. Though I have never worked for a management/strategy consulting company, I have a strong business background and extensive educational experience so have been able to give reasonably coherent answers. I realized that I didn’t have a good structure or a way to present my thinking in a succinct way. I devoured Case Interview Secrets and immediately saw ways I could apply the concepts Victor Cheng lays out in the book to exponentially improve my approach and presentations during the interviews. Victor Cheng is the real deal, the concepts in this book can be used by anyone running a business to think about problems and to come up with the right questions so he or she can solve problems for their own business and for the customers they serve.
- Brad Revell:
Case Study Secrets is a compressive all-in-one ebook for an interviewee looking to be successful during the interview process with firms such as BCG, McKinsey Bain, et al.Cheng writes this book based on his experience on both sides of the interview process. He recommends a number of tools, approaches, frameworks, and uses case examples based on his experience and the feedback provided by hundreds of candidates that have gone through the process. Furthermore, Cheng provides a number of links to his website to learn more about his recommended frameworks as well as practicing mathematical concepts
There is so much good information in Case Interview Secrets ebook and with practice, one can become confident and successful during the interview process whether it be a candidate-led or a written case interview.
1. There are many interviewing approaches; known better as evaluation techniques. This can be simple as a quantitative test or estimation question to hypothetical situations.
2. Always have a few frameworks that are memorized and ready. Cheng recommends knowing profitability, business situation, and merger/acquisition framework as they are the most commonly used frameworks
3. Practice! These frameworks become easy when you have spent 50 – 100 hours of practice. The chance of an offer is increased significantly
With Victor’s help, I went from not knowing anything about consulting to securing offers.
- Y. Guo:
I would recommend this book as a starting point for any recent graduate/senior looking to go into consulting with no prior experience. Victor Cheng tosses all the fancy frameworks aside and leads you through the thinking process that is key to solving cases and that firms actively look for in their candidates.
That being said, sometimes the explanations seem “dumbed-down”, and other times it sounds as if Cheng’s endless plugging in publicity for his website…yet overall, this book helped me tremendously as a rookie in a liberal arts program.Update: I got into a “top three” consulting firm and I think this book helped tremendously. 🙂
- Prerit Jain:
Good to understand the perspective of consultants and the basics of the case interviews.
Case Interview Secrets is practical, clear, and concise. It delivers just what you need to know to nail a case interview. It worked for me and I got the job.Here’s how Case Interview Secrets ebook helped me. I came across this book just 24 hours before my case interview. I worked through the book and zeroed in on sections I thought were most important for me. I focused mostly on the frameworks that Victor Cheng presents. I learned the frameworks and created practice scenarios using situations I had experienced.
At the end of my preparation, I felt very confident that I could lead a case interview conversation. And that is what mattered most. Confidence. Because, of course, in the interview, none of the frameworks exactly applied. But my mind was prepared to think in terms of frameworks. That was really helpful. When I arrived at the interview, I was ready to go to the whiteboard and lead a discussion knowing I had frameworks to draw on.
- Thao Ngo:
A well-written book that provides some clear insights into the thought processes and the tools that management consultants use. Referring to his websites and other (chargeable) services at the end of every chapter was unnecessary and strange. The ebook didn’t get a 5-star rating for two reasons:
1) It did not contribute any new insights or ways of understanding to an existing body of knowledge like most great books (that I read) did,
2) This is the first book about management consulting that I’ve read, thus I have no benchmark. In general, I enjoyed the book and will refer to it many times in the future.
I thought Case Interview Secrets book was pretty helpful, but sometimes it felt like it was just an advertisement for the author’s website. It was definitely helpful, but I think Case in Point is more helpful. If you only want to get one case interview prep book, I’d go with Case in Point. This book would be a good secondary guide. (FTR I didn’t get the job ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )
- Eugenia Turculet:
Definitely, a must-read for people aiming to land a consulting job. Very clear summary and useful tips on how to break down business problems. I found the frameworks and the analytical structure useful for other fields too, not just business.
The good first ebook for prepping for case interviews, you will need to get some additional books/material for practice cases. Remember you will need about 50-100 hours of practice depending on how natural the process comes to you. Case Interview Secrets is a good introduction and a pleasant read if you can get past the author’s lack of modesty.
- Alvin Setiawan:
I should have read this earlier. I think it would be great gateway books to start prep for a case interview. Content included a good overview of how consulting industry works. The tips are mostly general advice to solve case interview problems. After reading this, now I know what to do to polish my case interview skill.
Succinct, insightful, comprehensive, entertaining – a valuable read that left me with new everyday communication skills, besides the ones needed to succeed in consulting recruiting processes. Victor’s focus is not on case frameworks or “packaged answers” but rather on how to quickly acquire a consultant’s mindset and on the key “behavioral nuances” that can help a candidate be seen as a colleague rather than as an interviewee. If you are serious about giving consulting a shot, this is the right starting brick for your preparation!
A decent book on ways to ace the case study interview process, adopted by top international consulting firms as part of their hiring process. The author, a Stanford and Mckinsey alum, cracks the process for solving complex cases, using different frameworks and models. A good read for those looking to take up careers in consulting.
Very useful to have when preparing for Case Interviews for Consulting roles, definitely a must-read. It explains the different types of case studies and provides you with clear methodologies and analyses to use.
- Rodrigo Garrido:
An excellent ebook even if you are not currently interviewing. It helps you get a good structure for solving any kind of problem. Especially helpful if you are currently working in consulting.The only thing that I didn’t like is that Victor tries to sell you his programs and services at the end of every chapter. Besides that, I really liked the ebook.
A very well-written book about case interview techniques for management consultants. I really really Enjoy the language of Cheng, so logical, convincing, and goes straight to the heart. He outlined the types of case interviews and the essential techniques. This is definitely one of the better books I have read for career development.So there are four essential tools one must master in doing a case interview: hypothesis, issue tree, analysis, and synthesis. Some important things to remember:
– hypothesis is always the core. Do not forget to state it and whatever framework to choose, the fundamental purpose is always to test the hypothesis. The hypothesis can be changed as new insights are gained during the interview.
– there are existing frameworks to help construct the issue trees. The price framework, taking into account the profit = Revenue – cost baseline, is good to review quantitative facts, while the business framework (customer, product, company, competitor) is useful to review the qualitative “why” question. The frameworks should be used flexibly based on the hypothesis to test. Why constructing the branches, always keep in mind the MECE concept: mutually exclusive collectively exhaustive.
– drill-down analysis of the issue tree branches is basically using the process of elimination to find the supporting evidence for the hypothesis. It is ok to skip a branch either when one hits a dead end or encounters the aha moment to revise the hypothesis. Always follow a linear logical order through the branches and do not jump around.
– In the synthesis phase, always follow the structure starting with the recommendations and then state supporting evidence 123, finally restating the recommendation again to the emphasize.
– generally, practice is the most most most important thing after learning the theories. Being a consultant’s confidence is highly important and this can only be solidified with strong technical competence. Keep learning and adjusting. Last but not least, do not ever insult the clients!!!
- Bryan Keyes:
If you are unaware of how to prepare for a consulting interview but think you want to become one, this book is perfect for you. As a transitioning military officer, I found his frameworks more helpful than any online blogs or posts I have seen elsewhere.
It made me really realize that there is most likely one framework that we all use to problem solve with, and we lean on it automatically, and when we are faced with a problem we cannot solve it because we know no other way to solve a problem other than with our own innate style, we are stumped and leave frustrated.
This allows you to identify what type of problem is being asked and being able to instantly work using that framework he has given you. Note: reading the book, like finance or language ebooks, does not mean you will be good at case interviews.
You are merely taught how to prepare properly. It is up to you to put in the time to practice and prepare for an interview IF you are lucky enough to be offered an interview.
Fantastic book helping you prepare for case interviews at consulting firms. The author does a great job of explaining the different processes that one should follow during case interviews. Highly recommended even if you are not looking to get into consulting. The book teaches a great method of approaching business problems in a very rational and structured way. Offers good insights into the typical problems consultants face during their careers and how to approach these with the “consultant mindset”.One negative comment is that there is a lot of promotional adverts throughout the book referring to the author’s own products.
Unsure whether or not I’ll end up spending the time to attempt the interviews, but the idea of using problem-solving frameworks has been a useful tool for software problems and thinking about how to present my logical solution path.
I especially like the MECE (mutually exclusive collectively exhaustive) principle, as it encourages thinking about problem structure before the solving process and helps to minimize redundancy during the process.
- Eva Zeman:
The great thing about this book is that Victor is really trying to teach us how to think differently. It’s not about memorizing frameworks (he’s repeating it several times), but rather changing how you see things, how you look for solutions, how you combine everything you’ve learned, and how to present your findings.
These are invaluable lessons, that you will not find anywhere else.
This is definitely something I will have to read over again after some time will have passed.
- Mujeeb Ahmed:
Buy this ebook if you need to build the right mindset for case study interviews. One may or may not crack consulting interviews solely based on this book, but the thought process training that the Author provides will help to structure every other business problem you encounter every day.
- Matheus Strapasson:
The ebook is really good and well structured and gives a general idea of what is a case interview and how to prepare for it, so I – was a very inexperienced person in this subject – was able to learn a lot. The negative point is that Cheng keeps continuously trying to sell his products, recommending the reader to access his website which is very annoying sometimes.
This book Case Interview Secrets prepares you for the case interviews incredibly well. Definitely couple this with his LOMS program (although pricy, it works!). The frameworks are easy to follow and the examples offer a useful mental guideline.
- Stephan Ye:
Great ebook on techniques and methods for approaching an interview at a management consulting firm. Some of the methods and techniques can also be applied to real-life case scenarios, which is what I found most useful since I am not considering a management consultancy career.
No matter whether you are in the consulting industry, Case Interview Secrets book is a great tool for cultivating logical thinking patterns for problem identification and solving, and definitely serves the purpose of helping develop habits of concise strategic communication.
- Felwa Altamimi:
Case Interview Secrets book helped me understand the proper steps in approaching a case interview, it simplifies each phase for you and has a couple of examples. You’ll still need to practice cases and watch videos. The book alone is not enough.