“Case Interview Frameworks” is one of the most searched phrases in consulting prep. Indeed, it’s one of the core concepts in case interviews that every candidate should understand really well. Simply put, case interview frameworks are like standard templates, used to structure and break down common business problems. Since it’s a template, it is usually very well organized and written. However, as you know, a template won’t fit every situation. You have to choose templates for different purposes and sometimes even customize them.
Myth No.1: The more frameworks I know, the better!
When I was interviewing with the Big 3, I only studied several “building-blocks” frameworks. I emphasized more on the ability to draw specific case interview frameworks suitable to each context. By doing this, I was well prepared for anything the interviewer threw at me.
Myth No.2: There must be a framework out there that fits this case
The truth is: there are a lot of cases to which no framework ever built can be applied.
Myth No.3: The fancier the framework, the more impressed the interviewers are
In actual fact, whether a framework is fancy or not is none of their concern. What would impress them is an appropriate framework that really applies to the provided context.
Myth No.4: The ability to draw frameworks is only relevant to the candidate-led format. In interviewer-led cases, I am not driving… so why should I need the map?
The truth is, in Interviewer-led cases, the interviewer may ask “framework” questions.
Now, we will start with some comprehensive ones then move to some more generic frameworks.
1. Comprehensive framework No.1: Profitability framework
2. Comprehensive framework No.2: 3C & P
3. Comprehensive framework No.3: McKinsey M&A framework
- First, how is the targeted company doing? What are their values, core strengths & weakness? Etc. The term we at McKinsey often refer to this bucket is: “the stand-alone value” of the targeted company.
- Second, is it a good fit? Collectively, is the whole better than the sum of each individual company?… And the official term for this is: “Synergy”.
- The third bucket is for any other miscellaneous factors such as: feasibility, culture fit, legal issues, etc.
1. Mini framework No.1: External & Internal
2. Mini framework No.2: Qualitative & Quantitative
3. Mini framework No.3: Cost & Benefit
4. Mini framework No.4: BCG 2×2 framework
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MECE – key principle for structuring and breaking Problems, Ideas, Workstreams
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