Today I’m gonna show you a curated list of the 9 VERY BEST Case Interview Example videos from all around the web.
So you don’t have to go through the same pains I did back when I was preparing:
- I watched TONS of videos on YouTube, but most of my time was WASTED because many weren’t helpful at all.
- I couldn’t tell which cases were realistic and which were unrealistic, or which were hard and which were easy.
- I couldn’t even tell whether each answer by the candidates was good enough to pass the interview or not (my best proxy was their confidence, which I later found was NOT a good proxy).
So that brings us to this article.
What's in for you:
Every hour you spend on the examples in this article is the equivalent of spending 3-5 hours browsing YouTube on your own, reading Case in Point, or going through piles of casebooks.
This article is the result of...
24 of those videos didn’t make it to the list: they were a mix of poorly recorded, unrealistic and even misleading.
I curated just the best so you wouldn’t have to waste your own 20+ hours to find them.
- #1. Playworks market entry [Best for beginners]
- #2. Recreational marijuana market entry [Easy case, unusual industry]
- #3. A+ Airlines’ reaction to competitor’s change
- #4. Auto manufacturer profitability decrease [Best profitability case]
- #5. Swift fox population decrease
- #6. Bed and Bath e-commerce acquisition [Best for solo practice]
- #7. FlashFash acquires LaMode
- #8. Metrocity waste management [Best public sector case]
- #9. Pepsi’s LA bottling plant
(And here’s a bonus case that wasn’t good enough to make it to the list, but still had something special that might be interesting to you.)
#1. Playworks market entry
- Easy case, with one Estimation, one Quantitative Analysis, and one Chart Interpretation questions within. Overall, good to practice and to get a feel for case interview dynamics
- You can’t see the Exhibit the candidate is shown, but you can find it in this link provided by Yale SOM Consulting Club (go to page 9)
- Stellar framework, touching on all relevant issues and showing a plan to solve the problem from beginning to end
- Great job performing a spontaneous reality check to his estimation
- I would expect more reasoning behind some of the key assumptions (# of high schools and colleges in the US). He was, however, close to the real values – his background as a teacher could have played a role, but as an interviewer I would still have needed to see his reasoning behind those numbers
- Big mistake inadvertently converting square yards to square feet (~10x difference in final answer) combined with math confusion within the Estimation and inefficiencies in Analysis: his analytical skills would have to be tested more thoroughly in a third interview or in a next round
The next case is mostly useful for its framework question.
It’s a good question to practice because it’s an easy question in an unusual industry.
(I bet you haven’t seen a case on recreational marijuana yet.)
It also has one easy Chart Interpretation question, which is not frequent on case interview examples you see out there.
But… It doesn’t go much further.
The candidate’s answer to the Framework question is below OK, and his answers to the Chart Interpretation questions are also not good.
But at least you can use the case to practice on your own if you know what elements your answers should have.
#2. Recreational marijuana market entry
- This candidate missed a few insightful issues in the initial structure, which would have made it a great answer – here they are:
- “Would we be able to use our current facilities to provide for that country and just export?”
- “Benchmark for all these questions and metrics in other potential countries”
- “What is the market size in target country?”
- He did not lead the case at all from the insights he got after reading the chart
There’s another problem in this candidate’s answer that you should know.
This one deserves more space, that’s why it’s down here and not in the comment box.
The first thing the candidate said he would want to look at is the “political/economical/social/technological/environmental and legal situation” of the country.
I want to challenge you to ask yourself the questions the manager and the partner of that project would be asking themselves if a business analyst proposed that in a real consulting project.
- What’s the scope of those analyses?
- What specifically does he want to know?
- How long is that going to take?
For the political situation of a given country, you could have political scientists write a dozen books and still not be exhaustive. How does he plan to fit that into the project?
It’s clear that he doesn’t want that level of depth, but what DOES he want to know?
So… what should Robin have said to justify that part of his framework?
Answer: Whatever he thought he could find that would actually change the course of the client’s decision.
Here’s an example:
“I just want to make sure that there’s no chance that the country will suddenly prohibit recreational marijuana again, or that the rules will change and they’ll allow only for local companies to grow and sell.”
Before we move on…
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Now to the next video…
Yale SOM Consulting Club and Elaine Dang deserve congratulations on the two videos they made.
It’s super high quality work.
Both of their video examples are similar to real case interviews in format and content, and they’re even superior to some made by case interview prep websites.
#3. A+ Airlines' reaction to competitor's change
- Questions and difficulty realistic for McKinsey, Bain, or BCG
- A real case might have more Brainstorming questions within the case
- Negative: you can’t se the exhibits the candidate is shown
- Great: all of her answers were backed by at least one layer of structure
- Insights provided after calculating every new number, which is super important (learn more)
- She did a good job keeping the interviewer on board by doing her math out loud at all times
- One thing she could’ve done better was to not constantly come back to the “cash tied up in the cash box” idea – she should’ve tested it once and definitively as to whether that is relevant or not (it isn’t) – a partner would have certainly challenged her on that
Featuring next: me reviewing my own video from a neutral point of view.
Yes, I know that can’t possibly be unbiased.
But here’s why I think this video will get you ahead of other candidates and why you should ABSOLUTELY NOT miss out on this:
- The case comes nearly straight from my own Bain final round.
- My question in the end is difficult (even for McKinsey, Bain or BCG’s standards), and Bruno’s answer is impressive.
- Bruno’s solution is not perfect, and this gives us both an opportunity to openly discuss how it could’ve been better by the end.
#4. Auto manufacturer profitability decrease
- Average-difficulty profitability case in the first half, and a difficult question at 15:44
- Full realistic drill-down to find the real root cause of the problem, which is a common thing in case interviews that you’ll only find in this video
- Bruno should have presented his answer as a plan before diving into the profit tree, which is an advanced skill that makes you sound more like a consultant and less like a candidate
- Efficient and organized drill-down in the profit tree, a must-master habit for all candidates
- Super insightful answer to the second question because it shows second-order level thinking
If you’re mainly looking to improve your performance in profitability cases, there are two pieces of content worth checking out:
- And this article, the state-of-the-art in profitability trees: Profitability Trees: The Complete Guide
What I love about the next case is that the first question is on diagnosing a client’s issue, but it’s not a profitability case.
It’s actually a public sector case!
Most beginners think you only use issue trees and drill-down analysis when solving a profit problem, but as you’ll see in this case, this is not true at all.
The candidate’s answer is good, so you can compare your own answer to his.
#5. Swift fox population decrease
- This is a difficult, realistic diagnostics case, great for advanced candidates to step up their practice with hard cases
- You are not shown a critical exhibit the candidate gets in the middle of the case, making it unsuitable for practice from then on
- The candidate’s initial structure is insightful because it breaks down the population problem into its key drivers
- The insights the candidate provided on the exhibits are spot-on, but I would expect next-steps after the conclusions (e.g. after 10:33, he could have said “And to figure out whether this really is the cause of the population decrease, the next thing I would do is…”)
- But he doesn’t make the same mistake twice – at 23:20, he gets to a number the interviewer asked and, this time, he leads the case perfectly: he comes up with a conclusion (the insight), and then proactively leads the case with next steps
The next video is THE SINGLE BEST in this list for solo practice.
You will see Bruno’s reaction to challenges most people only face in their actual interviews. Mock interviews hardly prepare you for this at all:
- How should you react when an interviewer asks you for more ideas after you’ve given everything you have?
- What do you do when your interviewer asks for a recommendation having given you nearly no data?
Go ahead and see for yourself.
(And how would a real candidate do in this case? I interviewed a candidate with this very same case and recorded it so you could see for yourself.)
#6. Bed and Bath e-commerce acquisition
- Pay special attention to how I made spontaneous challenges to Bruno after his answers. Most mock interviews, even with consultants, don’t have that. So candidates end up getting surprised by them in their actual interviews. You might even want to show this to your peers so they’ll do more realistic mock interviews with you
- In 9:00 I challenge Bruno to see if he’s sure whether customer loyalty was good (higher customer lifetime value) or bad (harder to increase market share) for the acquisition
- In 16:22 I challenge Bruno to find even more ideas other than the ones he had already given
- Due to being interviewer-led AND having great benchmark answers, this is the best video in this list for solo practice
- Super structured brainstorming, which showed me he would not leave any important area behind and helped him give me a ton of creative, insightful ideas
- Insightful framework answer (e.g., 99% of candidates would not talk about whether running this business would be attractive to the friend, much less in depth like he did)
The next case is one of the unmissable videos in this list for two main reasons.
Number one, the candidate’s answers are great, good enough to be benchmarks to your own.
Number two, it’s a difficult M&A case (which is not as exciting as watching the last Avengers movie, I get, but still…).
#7. FlashFash acquires LaMode
- Realistic, challenging interviewer-led case for McKinsey, Bain and even BCG (as some interviewers there have been doing this type of case recently)
- Quality answers make it great for solo practice
- Insightful, well-built framework, definitely a benchmark
- Notice how the candidate shows his structure for the quantitative analysis before diving into the math – that’s a great habit you definitely want to copy
What I love about difficult cases is that they always allow for creative structures and ideas.
The case I’m gonna show you next is one of my absolute favorites because it’s a tough public sector case.
It’s a shame it didn’t get more views on YouTube.
If you’re serious about your case practice, I highly recommend you spend as long as you need to structure that case as deeply as you can, as that’ll help you build your structuring skills.
Don’t be surprised if your answers are more structured than hers – actually, that’s what you should be aiming for.
#8. Metrocity waste management
- This case is difficult and unusual because of its case question, and super realistic due to the natural follow-up questions asked by the interviewer
- It’s a great case to practice if you’re an advanced student – just remember that your answer can (and should) go deeper than hers
- Although she had a good structure and good ideas, she could have gone deeper, and definitely could have had more creative ideas, such as finding different destinations to waste (incineration, composting), or compressing the waste inside the landfill from time to time
If you want to learn how to be more creative in case interviews, check out this golden article Bruno recently wrote about that topic.
(If you’re gonna click that, brace yourself: it’s a full 5,971-word article with 11 highly actionable tips to help you be creative in your case interviews.)
The next video shows an operations case example.
It’s a wonderful use of process structures to diagnose an issue on production line.
I don’t really like its style for practicing for two main reasons.
First, it just doesn’t have the right tempo for you to pause and practice and then compare answers.
Second, the comments in the middle break the flow.
Nothing wrong with those comments. They’re actually helpful.
The problem is they make this video good for learning a few new concepts, watching a good structure put to use, but not really to practice by yourself.
If you’re an advanced candidate and your practice is up to date and you’re just looking to learn something new, jump right in.
#9. Pepsi's LA bottling plant
- Only one person playing the interviewer’s and the candidate’s roles, which doesn’t give you an idea of how the case would flow
- Difficult case, great case for advanced candidates to increase their experience/library
- Not really tailored for you to pause and solve at each moment, doesn’t have a good tempo for that
Want to learn to solve cases like the best interviewees in these videos?
Here’s the deal: you can watch as many of these great videos as you want, but they will only help you up to a point.
They’ll help you understand what a case interview is like…
And if you try to answer the questions as you watch them, these videos will even help you get some practice…
But examples of case interviews will never teach you HOW to do cases well.
And if you want to be outstanding at solving cases so that firms like McKinsey, Bain, or BCG are begging you to accept their offers, we have something for you!
We’ve created a free course that will teach you EXACTLY HOW to answer the 6 (and only six!) types of questions you will find in ANY case interview.
(You can even go back to ALL the questions asked within the 9 examples of this article… You’ll see that each of them can be answered using one of the six techniques.)
Just click the button below to get exclusive access:
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Now, you might be asking yourself: is this even worth my time?
I get that! There’s so much content out there, and so little time to practice.
Well, here’s the kind of e-mail we get from candidates all the time… It speaks for itself:
In the beginning of this article, I told you there’d be a video by the end that didn’t make it to the list.
It’s not that good to make it to a “best of” list.
Still, I want to add it as a bonus, as it will add value to you in its own way.
#10. 1930's gangster growth strategy
Do NOT watch it without reading the comments.
Sometimes the greatest lessons come from mistakes. This is one of those times.
There’s a comment in the video in which the interviewer suggests that a necessary step in every case is “getting to” a chart.
This gives candidates two false impressions:
False Impression #1) There is a chart in every case, and your goal as a candidate it to “get to it”.
False Impression #2) If your interviewer has given you all the charts they had, you’ve done a good job!
Your goal as a consultant is to find the relevant hypotheses to solve the problem in a structured way and to test them with data.
If you do that, you will have done a great job, and your interviewer may or may not have given you a chart along the way.
This is true for interviews and the consulting job alike!
- Interesting case, as it’s a growth strategy in an unusual “industry”
- It is one of the few cases available online that let you practice Chart Interpretation questions, a common type at McKinsey, Bain and BCG
- Unfortunately, it gives the impression that “getting to all the charts” is the overarching goal of solving a case
- In the first Chart Interpretation question, the candidate missed a critical insight: that they already have 100% market share in all markets. While the interviewer downplays it, it was a big foul that would be hard to recover from in a real interview
- The candidate provided insight after reading each exhibit – good job. However, he’d never proactively give clear next steps, which is what a well-prepared candidate would do
- If you’re practicing by yourself, remember not to use this candidate’s answers as a quality benchmark
And now it's your turn!
Are there any videos in this list that you think shouldn’t be here?
Or that you think SHOULD BE and aren’t?
I’d also love to know if there are any types of case interview examples that you were looking for and didn’t find anywhere. We may even make one just for you.
Let me know in the comments. I’ll read and respond to each and every one of them.