Crack the Case System: Complete Case Interview Prep (Anglais) Broché – 16 octobre 2011
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of case interview preparation and this book is the preparation bible of any serious candidates. While
preparing for my interview, I ordered a half-dozen books all pertaining to case interview preparation,
and Crack The Case System is by far the very best. My only regret is not to have discovered this book
before: it's a real gold mine! Through a very exhaustive approach, it guided me through the secrets and
insider's tips to navigate efficiently amongst the expectations and dangers of case interviews.
What I liked the most about it is its modularity: whether you have 6 months or just 2 weeks to prepare,
beginner or experienced, Crack The Case will best suit your needs. In less than 3 weeks, this book gave
me the best possible preparation for my interview with McKinsey for the following four reasons: (1) It
guided me through both case questions and behavioural questions (too often neglected by candidates);
(2) It provided me with amazing frameworks that are easy to comprehend and apply broadly; (3) It
helped me to efficiently use graphs and visual synthesis (very important!) and how to be optimize my
verbal and non-verbal communications; (4) How to open and close cases like a consultant. And finally,
what's totally unique about this book is the dozens of free videos that come with each chapter and each
case spanning over multiple sectors and focuses.
In summary, the value proposition of this book is GREAT. It proved to be my best return-on-investment.
You want to be hired as a consultant: get this book!
- Consulting and case interviews require both a breadth and depth of business knowledge. This book is excellent at teaching you 13 different categories of case questions like (Growth strategies, pricing strategies, competitor attacks, entering a new business, entering a new geography, mergers & acquisitions and many more)
- The book shows you the ideal way to walk through each type of case question in a very detailed manner
- The book tells you what to expect in these interviews
- The book helps you understand soft interviewing skills like explaining "why you're interested in consulting, tell us about a time you've failed, tell us about a time you've succeeded etc".
- My biggest con for this book is that its practice cases really aren't useful. The book gives you so much knowledge about how to crack different cases, however their practice cases suck. The cases are difficult to practice on your own, and are complicated to practice with a partner. Moreover, the solutions to the cases are brief and leave much to be desired.
For that reason, I would recommend buying this book along with Case in Point by Marc Consentino. Case in Point is almost the opposite of Crack the Case. CIP has really great practice cases and in depth solutions of A+ case answers. However its case frameworks and business knowledge is really shallow and lacking.
Good luck in your interviews!
First, David’s book is incredibly thorough. At 536 pages, it is certainly the largest case prep book I have seen and probably the largest on the market. The book touches on everything. Frameworks, behavioral questions, types of cases, tips for the actual case-day, and a wide variety of sample cases, just to name a few. In addition to that, you have access to over 100 videos on his website that support the cases in the book. The resource is truly comprehensive and very helpful in the preparation process.
Second, I really benefitted from the sample dialogue/answers David provides in his book and in the videos. It is one thing for someone to tell you to do something a certain way, but it is different for them to provide concrete examples for how to do it. For instance, I enjoyed reading the comparison of the mediocre candidate and the excellent candidate in chapter 2, section 4 because I know I was a lot like the mediocre candidate and thought I was doing pretty well. To see what a truly “excellent” candidate would say, think about, etc. as they walk through a case is always very helpful.
Third, while this book certainly gives structured frameworks for how to attack different case problems, I always got the sense that what David was trying to communicate in his book was that each case will be a little different so you have to be creative and flexible in attacking each problem. Other books feel a bit more rigid, but David provides a lot of tools to help you think creatively about how to approach different problems, or even similar problems, but from different angles. I think this is important because if you only know how to approach/solve a certain number of case questions, you will get really flustered if given something else in the interview. David’s book teaches you categories to think through, but not a rigid set of structures that could be limiting if you received a unique type of problem.
Fourth, I found Chapter 5, Section 13 very helpful because David looks at a large variety of the types of cases you may receive (growth strategy, profit, exit a business, etc.) and writes out a two page roadmap using his FRAME outline for how he would attack a problem like this. Again, it doesn’t feel so rigid that you feel constrained, but it does give helpful guidance to know how to attack these types of problems. After I do a practice case given by a friend, I will often refer back to this section see how David might have dug into a similar problem to determine areas I could improve.
Finally, though I am not very good at doing this, I think David’s advice about finding 2nd level insights and doing mid-case structures is really important. I know I sometimes get bogged down in details during cases or get going too fast and skip over important information. David’s advice about note-taking, creating graphs/charts/tables, and continuing to block & break data is key for doing well in the analysis portion of the case.
Overall, I have benefitted tremendously from David’s book and I highly recommend it to others who are preparing for cases!