Book List #2 – Consulting Case Books
Consulting case interviews are common recruitment tools among among consulting companies. There are several different types of them, but many similar concepts. Given the difficulty of getting a job offer from a prominent consulting companies and the uniqueness of consulting case interviews, demand for consulting care preparation materials exists. There are several books and other materials which aim to increase the chance of success for candidates, and here are three of them briefly introduced.
Case Interview Secrets: A Former McKinsey Interviewer Reveals How to Get Multiple Job Offers in Consulting
The case preparation book by Victor Sheng is well-known and apparently successful book given the many success stories of its readers. Sheng himself has experience of being an interviewer and an interviewee in consulting, but the main viewpoint of Sheng is still to act and think like a consultant, not as a candidate. The book by Sheng is divided into seven parts which introduce the reader to the case interview fundamentals, frameworks, the structure of the candidate-led case with its variations and summing the process of actually getting the offer up.
Sheng aims to have candidates to realize why these consulting cases are used and how actual consultants approach them, instead of mechanically teaching about right frameworks and approaches. Sheng introduces readers only to three different frameworks, which is somewhat low number compared to some alternatives. Instead, Sheng believes strongly in a hypothesis-led approach, emphasizing that having and testing a hypothesis is crucial for successful completion of a case.
The approach of Sheng is certainly a useful one. It emphasizes the importance of correct thinking and also requires that from the reader. Some readers can be willing to have more framework, but the hypothesis-led and actively thinking approach of Sheng should overcome the numerical limits of frameworks. In addition to the book, Sheng has a significant material online, both on his website and youtube. The book makes many references to the website, which can be useful for people being registered on the site, but can also be seem annoying from those who prefer to have all critical material between the covers of one book.
The Case Interview: 20 Days to Ace the Case: Your Day-by-Day Prep Course to Land a Job in Management Consulting
This book by Destin Whitehurst and Erin Robinson takes a bit different approach than Victor Sheng. The book is organized as the last 20 days before an interview, and topics are in a bit different order as they start with frameworks and the concept of hypothesis is in a smaller importance. In addition, at the end of each 10 chapters is an additional chapter, a mock interview. These mock interviews show possible scripts of interviews and illustrate successful approaches as well as some, usually minor mistakes which could be avoided.
The Ace the Case is a nice read with its mock case interviews, information on the industry and straightforward approach. The book has also a relatively youthful spirit in it. However, content-wise the book might be too light-weighted on its one, but most important concepts are included and many vital key points are highlighted.
Case in Point 9: Complete Case Interview Preparation
The case prep book by Marc Cosentino is well-known with its multiple frameworks, case interviews and other exercises. The book has a lot of material and ground to cover for aspiring consultants. I have heard first-hand success stories from current consultants who have used this book as a preparation guide.
Compared to other two books on this list, this one is the richest in terms of material. On the other hand, it is also the most mechanic and requires the reader to learn and memorize multiple frameworks, a notable difference between this and especially the case book by Sheng. Somewhat annoyingly the Case-in-Point, even in its 9th version, has a lot of typos and other mistakes that worsen the reading experience. Otherwise the Case-in-Point is very good preparation book if you prefer to be equipped with a lot of frameworks and other tools.