"What if I get a Public Sector case??"
This was one of many questions that went through my mind as I was burying my head in books and printed PDFs that were supposed to help me get my dream job at McKinsey.
I was doing two or three cases per day, listening to audio programs, watching Youtube videos and combing through the internet for answers for all the "what-if" questions that would pop-up in my mind.
I wanted to be in the best shape possible before my first rounds.
But unfortunately, it didn't work as planned...
Once the interviews came along, nothing seemed to work anymore.
Compared to my mock-interviews, all the cases were odd, all the questions were harder.
Here are some examples of cases I had to solve in my interviews:
How would you help a government structure its basic education curriculum? (McKinsey)
How would you determine the internal pricing for cargo between multiple airline companies within the same conglomerate? (BCG)
- Why do these inventories exist? (pointing with a finger to a part of a drawing explaining the supply chain of deep oil extraction) (Bain)
Beginner books and resources didn't prepare me for that.
These questions were much, much harder than the ones I'd find in casebooks or when practicing with other candidates.
It felt like I was studying for a test with materials that were not at the difficulty level I'd find in the real test.
And the worst part is that the frameworks that were working so well in the cases provided by my books, PDFs and audio files, suddenly weren't working anymore.
It was like the interviewers were designing the cases so that recalling frameworks was useless to solve them.
All my fears came into being...
I got Public Sector cases...
I got cases about strategy topics I'd never seen before...
Simple profitability cases would become a never-ending stream of complex charts to be understood and interviewers expected me to know the nuances of industries foreign to me.
And even though interviewers were telling us not to worry too much and just show how we thought about the problem, it was hard not to worry when so much was at stake.
"It feels like a piece of the puzzle is missing..."
A friend said this phrase to me one night when we were out having a beer.
He was ranting about the interview process after being rejected from a Bain Final Round, his last shot at an MBB.
And it's a phrase I will never forget, because it's exactly how I felt at the time.
We both agreed at the time that solving cases was FUN, but that we didn't have the tools we needed to really feel confident during the interview.
It felt like all the advice was generic. They made conceptual sense but weren't tangible enough to use in practice.
I didn't understand why nobody was talking about the cases that wouldn't fit the frameworks and how to solve those.
I even started thinking that maybe I just wasn't born to be an MBB consultant.
And then, I got into McKinsey.
Okay, it didn't happen this quickly.
It actually took me another year to get in. I got rejected of all consulting firms the first time I applied.
But the second time was different.
The second time I applied, I got an offer from McKinsey and another one from Bain.
Even better, I knew I could get into virtually any consulting firm I applied to.
All the cases I was doing were easy to me, even the tough ones.
I knew what my interviewers would ask me next in the interview, and I knew how to answer their questions perfectly.
So, how did I get to that point?
Well, there was, indeed, a missing piece!
I was no more of a natural-born consultant when I got multiple offers than when I was rejected from every firm I applied to.
My genes didn't change.
But as soon as I decided to try again, I made a commitment with myself: I was not gonna do what everyone else was doing.
It didn't work for me once, it wasn't gonna work this time.
And honestly, I suspected it wasn't working for most people either.
Most of my friends were being rejected and they were smart, went to a target school and were dedicating hours and hours to prepare.
And so I decided to try what felt intuitive to me: I would learn to think and speak like a real consultant. And I would start with learning to structure cases from scratch.
This approach made my case resolution and even my fit nearly perfect.
As soon as I "programmed" my mind to think like an MBB consultant, solving the cases just like they solve their client's problems became second nature to me.
Even structuring problems, a real challenge for me before that shift, became easy and effortless. A perfect structure would just flow naturally as I talked through the problem with my interviewer.
And then, something amazing happened: the interviewers started seeing me more as a future colleague than as a candidate.
That was the missing piece.
How did I do that?
Well, through a combination of getting an internship where I'd surround myself with ex-consultants, by cautiously studying real structures used by consulting firms and by nearly exhausting the patience of all my friends who had gotten in...
I had to do all that because there were no practical resources to learn to solve business problems as consultants do.
It was the long, hard path but it was the path that worked for me.
And a few years later I partnered up with Julio to make the path easier for you...
- How to identify and answer each of the six (and only six) types of questions that you will have in your case interviews (these happen in ALL types of cases!)
- How to structure ANY case with a customized structure and how to keep structured throughout the case (even if you've never seen a case like that before)
- How to use practice drills to optimize your learning (this helps you put theory into practice and focus on your weaknesses, even if you don't have the time to do mock-interviews every day)
We've created Case Interview Fundamentals because we've noticed there are two problems with other case interview methods.
The first is that they don't prepare you for every possible situation.
Now, being prepared for anything might seem like an overkill, but it is not.
You see, management consulting (at least in the top firms) is all about tackling a new problem that no one else has solved before.
And this is exactly the type of skill your interviewer wants to see from you.
Which means they're going to go out of their way to ask you a question that they're as sure as possible you've never seen before.
(This is the reason why real cases are often unusual and more difficult than the ones candidates practice with.)
And how do you prepare for the unexpected?
Well, you have to learn the fundamentals really well.
If you've ever watched MasterChef (the cooking reality show), you might have noticed that the best participants can cook dishes they've never seen before, work with ingredients they've never tasted before and still have a great meal at the end.
How can they do that, especially considering the big time pressure the show puts on them?
They have mastered the fundamentals.
Similarly, if you want to do really well in a case interview, you have to learn the fundamentals well.
You have to learn to structure a problem from scratch, just like an MBB consultant would.
You have to learn to generate hypotheses and ideas quickly using the same brainstorming techniques real consultants use.
You have to learn to take a look at a chart or exhibit and take insights from it with the same level of skill a partner would.
These fundamentals aren't easy to learn, but they're not impossible if you have the right tools.
And the good part is that most candidates go to their interviews completely unprepared.
(I say this is good because if you're reading this, you now have access to the tools to prepare effectively for your interviews.)
They memorize frameworks and "tips and tricks" and hope for the best.
And why would they do it differently? That's what everyone else is doing. That's what the books are saying.
Well, ask anyone who's been through the process and they're gonna tell you that the books are useful to get you started but they won't help you once you're past the very basics. After your first 10 or so cases, you're pretty much on your own.
We've created the Case Interview Fundamentals course so you can learn how to think like a consultant in a systematic way.
You'll know exactly what's expected of you in every part of the case and you'll know how to solve it, step-by-step.
Which brings me to the second problem with traditional resources...
The second problem with traditional resources is that they don't give you the tools to apply their advice.
They'll tell you what to do and then tell you to "do cases" and pay attention to that.
They won't show you how to do it, and if they happen to show you, they won't show you how to practice it.
Sure you can practice it doing mock-cases, but that's very time-consuming.
Say you're trying to improve your hypothesis-testing (something no material I know of teaches you how to do).
You'll need to go through a whole case (which will take you up to two hours between doing your case and giving a case to another person) and test maybe three or four hypotheses during that case. Not very efficient.
Instead, we've added practice drills to Case Interview Fundamentals.
Right after you learn the technique to solve each of the six types of questions there are in a case, you'll be able to apply the learnings immediately with practice drills.
This makes your learning much more solid and efficient.
And it's actually a pretty intuitive approach.
For example, imagine you were trying to improve your basketball. You've identified that your weak spot is to shoot the ball more precisely. What would you do?
If you're like most people, you would look for a better technique, then practice that technique on your own and in isolation and only then would you put it into practice while playing a game.
Then why do most people "just do more cases" when trying to improve a specific aspect?
I don't know, but I know it's not the best way.
And candidates who have taken our course think so as well:
"Before finding Crafting Cases what I would do was to read Case In Point and then practice with friends.
I figured: 'OK, I have some theoretical stuff, and now I'm gonna practice with friends and it's going to work'.
But it didn't really work because it's not an approach that works for all types of cases. I think it works for some cases, usually the ones made by the people who wrote the book.
In the end just practicing cases with friends didn't help... [At the time] I was practicing for two months and a half, doing 3 to 5 cases a week.
The biggest improvement in my actual case performance came within winter break where I used your program and I went through every single drill. [Other than that] I did maybe three or four cases on the phone with friends.
Another big thing I liked about Crafting Cases... Everybody was saying that you have to practice with friends, [that] you have to practice actual cases... But I kind of felt like you should be able to practice on your own the entire time. Everybody kept saying you can't practice on your own. And then I used your materials and you can!"
Jaqueline (got an offer at McKinsey)
"The best resource for case interviews.
End of story :)"
- Mariana Z. (Offer at McKinsey)
"After dozens of cases done, I did not feel that I was progressing in my learning at all.
Out-of- the-box problems seemed very difficult to structure and the quantitative steps of a case study often made me want to run away.
At that time friends of mine had done fifteen or twenty cases and received offers and I was thinking that the problem was me. However, giving up was never an option. I was absolutely sure that if I tried hard, the improvement would come eventually.
One day, after a frustrating case which I was able to finish thanks to a colleague's support, CraftingCases was introduced to me. Oh boy, what a day :-)
From that point on, my studies have completely changed!
I was finally able to understand in depth the fundamentals to structure a problem, how to calculate more efficiently and how to properly make brainstorms (yes, there is a proper way!).
The Framework course specifically made a huge difference in my performance and through it I was actually able to give better feedback to my colleagues. Besides the course, the articles and videos helped me a lot, they are thorough and practical. My favorites: (1) The 5 Ways to be MECE and (2) The overpreparation myth (an amazing source of motivation to keep going!).
Long story short: willpower, the support of the people around me and the outstanding material provided by CraftingCases are the three main factors that led me to get an offer from McKinsey!
I have lost count of how many times I indicated this course to my friends, it is by far the best material I found. A huge thanks to Bruno and Julio for dedicating themselves to providing such high-quality content that is accessible to all!
I am so grateful for that, you guys rock!"
"When McKinsey consultants came to talk to us, all I could think about was that they were such outliers and I’d never get there"
- Ana C. (Triple offer at McKinsey, BCG and Bain)
"I’m from a non-target school, far from where most of the recruiting happens.
When I joined the local Consulting Club, six months ago, they told me, ‘use Crafting Cases, it’s been useful to us, you’ll see how you’ll evolve much faster than people using other sources’.
Some of them had gotten offers at Bain and McKinsey, I saw what was working for them, so I started straight with your material. And I started to learn and felt no need to use anything else.
Also because I didn't want to get stuck in that ‘A-type case, B-type case, C-type case, learning frameworks by heart’ approach. And we hear all those stories from consultants of people who got to their interviews and the interviewer noticed they were using a pre-made framework, and along with not passing they were held from the next recruiting cycle.
So I was afraid of all that, too.
So with Crafting Cases I started moving forward, building my own logic in my mind. And all the knowledge I got in these six months I got from you, basically.
Like I told you in the e-mail, I didn’t even open any other book, I might have listened to two or three LOMS cases at most.
I was always practicing, though.
Something else that stuck with me that I learned from you was that everything can be a case.
So something I did all the time was, I’d listen to the beginning of a drill, just the case question, and paused it and went along with my day. During my day I thought about it extensively, thought about various things I could do in that case. Then a while later I came back, wrote down everything that I had thought, and watched the rest of the drill to see if it made any sense.
I developed the habit of doing that in my day-to-day life. I’d be in the mall, and I’d be estimating how many people go into that mall every Sunday. So because you showed me those short and direct drills, I learned to be always thinking in a structured way.
I couldn’t always stop my life and do full cases, but in my daily routine I could do shorter exercises, and they kept my mind always going, and the information always fresh.”
[In my interviews] I solved all my cases using the context-driven approach.
In my first round in McKinsey, I got a very peculiar [Public Sector] case.
And the structure to that case was only clear to me because of a public sector I watched you solve, so I thought about what the stakeholders were, which role each of them played, and what we could do to solve that issue. Only then was the case clear to me.
I'd recommend this course to everyone because at the end of the day there's no drawback - it opens a range of possibilities to solve problems using what you already know, but are not aware how to use yet."
CraftingCases content has the advantage of being the closest one to a real case interview. Along with teaching you a more practical and more effective practi...Read More
CraftingCases content has the advantage of being the closest one to a real case interview. Along with teaching you a more practical and more effective practice routine, the courses provide you with real opportunities to stand out in your interview in full, not only in the case. Every time I would read case interview material on the internet, I’d be met with anguish for thinking I didn’t have the time for all that, not to mention having no idea where to start. CraftingCases seems to have found a way to minimize this anguish faced by many and teaches efficient practice routines to improve in your cases and even help you start out from scratch. Two points caught my attention and helped me the most: 1. Dividing the case into modules, allowing you to practice specifically what you find the most difficult. Also, showing you many different kinds of structures and how to practice each one! 2. Their concern and tips on the aspects that are “not a part of the case”, like communication and structuring your thoughts. These tips are both explicitly in the texts and videos and implicitly in the examples Julio and Bruno show. The result of this training was an offer from BCG, final round interviews with McKinsey, and a final round with a smaller firm, Mirow & Co, even though I could only practice just under two hours per day due to my job. I can only thank CraftingCases for all the help; it certainly put me in a completely different level than other candidates.Read Less
Before Crafting Cases, I was very insecure while doing cases and really had difficulties controlling this in interviews, mainly because I didn't know how to ...Read More
Before Crafting Cases, I was very insecure while doing cases and really had difficulties controlling this in interviews, mainly because I didn't know how to handle the several possible situations of a case interview. My study method was not objective at all and I never knew exactly where I had to improve. I studied random industries, read complex MBB articles that did not help much, and did cases with partners who weren't greatly improving my performance over time. LOMS, Case Interview Secrets and other sources were not helping me anymore. This made me get rejected at a BCG final round last semester. I always felt that something was missing in my study, an exhaustive and organized way to prepare for cases. Crafting Cases had all these things I was looking for: a well structured form of learning that made sense and that allowed me to solve several types of cases, no matter how strange the situation presented by the interviewer was. The aspects of CraftingCases that added the most value for me were: 1.The six building blocks, which made very clear how to answer questions in an interview and the WHY behind each question. Among the building blocks, I highlight the objective-driven frameworks, which really opened my mind on how to structure questions to solve any problem and make any decision (My uni consulting club even used it to build a framework to decide which people should join the club). The brainstormings part also helped a lot in differentiating when to structure different hypotheses/solutions and how to do it in an ideal way, which impresses interviewers. 2. The drills practice mode, which gave me much more time for practical study and didn't require extensive training with partners. I would say that after getting to know Crafting, my study time was divided into 60% theory, 30% drills and 10% partner practice. I would say that I exaggerated a bit in the theory and practiced little with partners though, my final suggestion would be 40/40/20. In the end, I got an offer from a boutique consulting firm! Now, I didn't have that many chances to interview this semester: my options were with this boutique, Bain and a startup (yes, they are using case interviews to hire BAs now too). In every single one of these firms, I got to a final round. My Bain offer rejection was more of a fit problem: I must add that in the entire Bain process interviewers were giving me feedback of how good my structuring and brainstorming skills were and how well prepared I was. Also, I feel quite "ready" for the problem solving part of the consulting job, since the content produced by CraftingCases always focus in how things are done in real life. If somehow I managed to pass the BCG final round last semester, I would probably struggle a lot in the problem-solving part of the job in the first months, since I was still in "la-la land". Overall, I would recommend the course for both beginners who already have an idea of what a case is about, as well as advanced people who are frustrated with their preparation from other sources. Many people study from very limited books and get an offer depending on luck/fit, others do an insane amount of cases with partners (120+) and also get an offer mostly because it's overkill. CraftingCases offers an interesting alternative to these two: it caters to those looking for a balanced study that will require dedication from you but at the same time won't leave you in burnout mode, uneasy and discouraged with the entire learning process until the offer. All content produced by Bruno and Júlio is worth it, including the course, blog, newsletter, casebook and now youtube! Highly recommend these guys!Read Less
I have just started reviewing your course, but I can already say that this is an excellent resource and you have done an incredible job. It is definitely one...Read More
I have just started reviewing your course, but I can already say that this is an excellent resource and you have done an incredible job. It is definitely one of the most useful preparation materials for consulting interviews ever. Thank you so much.Read Less
I've already done [20/50/150] cases and studied all books and guides. How can a 7-day course add value to me?
Back when I was preparing I was doing a ton of mistakes even after doing 100 cases.
That happened for three reasons: (1) most case prep material is for beginners, (2) most other candidates couldn't find my mistakes, as I was already better than they were, and (3) real consultants saw my flaws but couldn't tell WHY I was making mistakes.
#3 is actually surprising to a lot of people, but here's the deal: most consultants are so good at structuring and solving their client's problems that it has become second nature to them. Very few are good at teaching those skills.
This course is designed to show you all the nuances and techniques that are holding you back, even after doing dozens of cases.
I am just starting out, I haven't even done a case yet. Is this for me?
This course is designed to help you IMPROVE, not start. However, it's still beneficial for people who are starting out to at least take the first three modules so you can learn the right mindsets and the two most basic skills that will help you deal with numbers (estimations) and with hypotheses (brainstormings).
This will help you start with the right foot from the beginning. You'll also have an idea about what's available to you after you do your first 10-20 cases.
The course will be here for you then.
How is this different from [Case in Point/LOMS/Other case interview materials]?
Usually we get this question from people who have used several materials and they find that every resource is almost a copy-paste from the next one.
If this is your case, you will not regret having taken this course
This is a completely different method.
It was designed to work well with the knowledge you already have because we know you don't want to throw everything you've learned away.
But even though it works on top of what you've already learned, it will take you to a whole new level of performance and understanding about how consultants solve problems and how to impress your interviewer on interview day.
How many hours do I need to invest in this course?
To take it in 7 days (as it is intended), you will need to invest 2-3 hours per day between watching the videos and doing the practice drills.
Some people have less time and choose to do it in a longer period of time, which is fine.
Another option if you have very little time, is to focus on the module that you need the most (for most people these are the Brainstorming and Framework modules, which are the backbone of structuring cases).
(Just be aware that you might be making mistakes or fogetting important steps in skills that seem "simple", such as estimations or interpreting charts).
Why do you give so much good content away for free? What's the catch?
We've actually had someone ask this before, so I will answer...
There's no catch! We just know from first-hand experience that case prep materials suck and that no one really knows how to teach this stuff, so we decided to change that.
Of course we need a healthy business so we can keep doing this for a living, which is why we have paid courses that go in-depth in some topics.
But we decided we don't want your money if you can't trust us and that the best way for you to trust us is to have you going through a course filled with our best stuff.
This is why we've dedicated literally thousands of hours to have our free course be better than everyone else's paid materials and this is why we continuously put more effort to improve it.
(Oh, and you don't need a credit card or anything to join it - someone has asked us that before too :) ).