Case interview books are resources designed to help individuals prepare for consulting interviews, particularly those that involve solving complex business problems or case studies. These books provide guidance on the interview process, frameworks, and case examples to practice.
Selecting the right case interview book to use can make the difference between acing your case interviews and getting rejected by consulting firms.
You’ll spend many hours practicing cases using the strategies that you learn from these prep books. So, you’ll want to make sure you are using the best books to learn the most effective and efficient case interview strategies.
In this article, we’ll thoroughly review 15 of the top case interview books. We’ll cover the positives and negatives of each and recommend you the best case interview books to read.
If you’re looking for a step-by-step shortcut to learn case interviews quickly, enroll in our case interview course. These insider strategies from a former Bain interviewer helped 30,000+ land consulting offers while saving hundreds of hours of prep time.
Why Do You Need to Read Case Interview Books?
A case interview, also known as a “case” for short, is a 30 to 60-minute exercise in which you and the interviewer work together to develop a recommendation or answer to a business problem.
Case interviews simulate what the consulting job will be like by placing you in a hypothetical business situation. Cases simulate real business problems that consulting firms solve for their clients. Many case interviews are based on actual projects that interviewers have worked on.
As you can see, case interviews are unlike anything you’ve probably ever seen before at school or on the job. They require sufficient preparation. Very few candidates can walk into a consulting interview and nail their case interviews with zero practice.
Case interview books are needed for five primary reasons:
1. What to expect: Case interviews books cover the typical structure and flow of a case interview. You should be familiar with this so that you know what to expect in your interview.
2. Case interview strategies: Case interview books provide strategies and techniques that you can use to nail the different parts of the case interview. In a case interview, you’ll need to:
- Summarize the case background information
- Ask clarifying questions
- Structure a framework
- Kick off and drive the direction of the case
- Solve quantitative problems
- Answer qualitative questions
- Deliver a recommendation
3. Math refresher: Some case interview books provide a refresher of the essential math skills you need to solve case interviews. This is especially helpful for candidates that don’t have a quantitative background or candidates that have not done math in a while. Important math skills needed include:
- Addition and subtraction
- Multiplication and division
- Percent change formula
- Profit formula
- Compounded annual growth rate formula
- ROI formula
4. Business refresher: Some case interview books provide a refresher of essential business knowledge and concepts. This is especially helpful for candidates that do not have a business background. Examples of important business concepts include:
- Barriers to entry
- Market size
- Competitive advantage
5. Practice cases: Case interview books provide examples of case interviews that you can read, follow-along with, or practice with a case partner. Getting sufficient practice greatly improves your chances of passing your case interviews.
What Are All of the Different Case Interview Books?
There are currently 15 major case interview books available. These books are:
- Hacking the Case Interview (Taylor Warfield)
- The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook (Taylor Warfield)
- Case Interview Secrets (Victor Cheng)
- Case in Point (Marc Cosentino)
- Crack the Case (David Ohrvall)
- Interview Math (Lewis C. Lin)
- Embrace the Case Interview (Brad Schiller)
- Case Weights (Ben Okon)
- Cracking Case Interviews (Max Serrano & Jonathon Yarde)
- 20 Days to Ace the Case (Destin Whitehurst & Erin Robinson)
- Case Interviews for Beginners (Stephen Pidgeon)
- The Case Interview Workbook (Robert Mellon)
- Case Master (Ron Clouse & Valentin Nugmanov)
- Mastering the Case Interview (Alexander Chernev)
- How to Get into the Top Consulting Firms (Tim Darling)
We’ll provide a comprehensive review of each book, covering the pros and cons of each and recommend you the best case interview books to read.
How We Assessed Which Case Interview Books Are Best
We assessed the top 15 case interview books by consolidating customer reviews from Amazon, Goodreads, and consulting forums with my perspective as a former Bain Manager and interviewer.
These case interview books were assessed on the following eight criteria: comprehensiveness, depth of coverage, clarity, conciseness, currentness, practice cases, author credibility, and engagement.
- Comprehensiveness: Does the case interview book cover all the necessary principles and concepts to ace interviews? Does it provide strategies and tips for every step of the case interview process?
- Depth of coverage: Are sufficient examples provided? Are there sufficient explanations provided?
- Clarity: Is the case interview book written clearly? Is it easy to read and understand?
- Conciseness: Is the case interview book written concisely? Does it avoid adding fluff or unnecessary anecdotes?
- Currentness: Has the case interview book been updated recently? Does it contain the latest, up-to-date information?
- Practice cases: Does the book have high quality practice cases? How many practice cases are provided?
- Author credibility: Does the author come from a relevant and credible background? How knowledgeable is the author on case interviews?
- Engagement: Is the case interview book an interesting and fun read? Is there some personality or style added into the content?
What Are the Best Case Interview Books?
Here is our ranking of the best case interview books:
Hacking the Case Interview Review
We strongly recommend Hacking the Case Interview as the first case interview book you should read. It teaches the most efficient way to learn case interviews to make the best use of your time. The strategies and methods in this book are much more updated and robust than traditional strategies found in Case Interview Secrets and Case in Point. Additionally, the practice cases closely simulate real case interviews.
Hacking the Case Interview has consistently received reviews as the most concise and straight to the point case interview prep book in the market. There is no fluff, anecdotal stories, or long explanations that many other case interview books have. The book breaks down case interviews in a simple, clear, and concise format for easy understanding and application.
The book has received praise for its robust framework strategy, which allows candidates to showcase their natural business intuition instead of using stale, memorized frameworks. Many other case interview texts push for methods or frameworks that are overly complex and not that effective.
The primary feedback from readers is for more practice cases to be included in the book, which is what led the author to write “The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook.” That book provides additional practice problems and practice cases to supplement this book.
The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook Review
We highly recommend The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook to hone your case interview skills once you have learned the right case interview strategies,. The 15 practice cases can be done individually or with a partner and closely simulate the case interviews you’ll see on interview day. If there are particular areas of the case interview that you struggle with, you can hone in on those areas by doing over 65 practice problems across nine different types of case interview questions.
Reviews have consistently complimented the wide range of high-quality practice problems and practice cases that The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook provides. One reviewer mentioned that out of 33 case interviews, 25 of them had cases that were similar or relevant to the practice cases in this book. Readers have found the explanations in the book to be clear and insightful, helping them improve their case interview abilities.
Reviews also mention that this book is great for practicing case interviews on your own because they are written in a format such that they can be done individually or with a partner.
Since this book focuses on case interview practice, it only provides a brief summary of case interview strategies in each section. To learn case interview strategies, you should supplement this book with “Hacking the Case Interview” or another case interview prep book that teaches you strategies.
Case Interview Secrets Review
Case Interview Secrets is worth a read. Overall, it provides great explanations of essential case interview concepts. The stories and anecdotes in the book are entertaining and help paint a clear picture of what to expect in a case interview, what interviewers are looking for, and how to solve a case interview.
Case Interview Secrets is the book I primarily used to land my job offer at Bain. It provides great explanations on fundamental case interview concepts. The book paints a clear picture of why case interviews are used, what to expect, and how interviewer’s evaluate candidates.
However, the book is quite a long read and some concepts and principles could have been summarized in a much shorter way, without using long stories and anecdotes.
Additionally, the framework strategy is a bit too simplistic to be effective in all case interviews. The book basically teaches you two frameworks. One framework is simply the formula for profit. The other framework is known as the business situation framework and is comprised of the elements of customer, competition, product, and company, to use in nearly all of your cases.
Now a days, interviewers can easily tell when you are using memorized frameworks, so just using this book’s framework strategy will not help you stand out among other candidates.
Finally, there are no practice cases in this book, so you’ll have to find practice problems and cases elsewhere.
For a more detailed review, check out our article on a Comprehensive Review of Case Interview Secrets.
Interview Math Review
Interview Math is a decent book. It is most helpful for candidates that are looking to improve their consulting math skills. The book provides plenty of practice on how to solve common types of problems, such as market sizing, profitability, and breakeven. However, the book lacks practice on how to use business judgment to correctly interpret answers to quantitative questions. You’ll likely need to supplement this book with other books or resources to get that type of practice.
Case Interview Math is structured very clearly, so you can easily focus on the types of math problems that give you the most trouble. There are plenty of practice questions and clearly explained solutions.
However, the book focuses purely on doing math. It does not cover how to use business judgment to make sense of the numbers. Rather, it focuses on just calculating the correct answer and stopping there.
Embrace the Case Interview Review
Embrace the Case Interview is a decent book. It covers a lot of material, including resumes and cover letters, behavioral interview questions, and case interviews. The information and strategies are all useful and better than most consulting interview prep books. However, there are a few case interview books that provide slightly more robust strategies and explain the different parts of the case interview in a bit more detail.
Unlike many other case interview books, Embrace the Case Interview covers how to write an outstanding resume and cover letter. The tips are helpful, but are not as comprehensive or detailed as many of the consulting resume and cover letter guides online that you can read for free.
The framework strategy presented in Embrace the Case Interview is similar to the framework strategy in Hacking the Case Interview, but is not as robust.
Embrace the Case provides great information on answering qualitative questions, quantitative questions, and delivering a recommendation.
Overall, the information in the book is collectively helpful. However, there are other case interview prep books that explain certain sections a bit more thoroughly and provide slightly more robust strategies.
Case Weights Review
Case Weights is a decent workbook to practice your case interview skills. Although it goes into detail on how to approach the nine different components of the case interview, some of the strategies are unnecessarily complicated.
Additionally, the book does not provide as many practice problems as other case interview books and has no full-length practice cases. It may be helpful to read through the strategies presented, but know you’ll likely need to adapt the strategies to make them a bit simpler.
Case Weights has an interesting way of breaking down the case interview into nine components, which make up the “Fortress of Caseitude.” The book is very structured in providing a lot of detail on tips to approach each component. However, some strategies are unnecessarily complicated. Other case interview books have strategies that are simpler and more effective than the strategies in this book.
The book provides a few drills in each section, but more practice problems are needed to really practice case interview math, market sizing, brainstorming, and interpreting charts and exhibits.
Finally, there are no full-length practice cases included, which would have been helpful to bring all of the learnings together.
Case Master Review
Case Master is an okay case interview book to practice working through various different kinds of case interviews. While the cases are detailed and thorough, the pacing and style may not be representative of actual cases you’ll see in a consulting interview. Instead, the book focuses on providing more challenging cases to help you identify weakness areas.
Because of this and the fact that there are only eight practice cases, you’ll likely need to supplement this book with other case interview books to get more practice.
The practice cases in the Case Masters are very thorough, detailed, and much longer in length than practice cases in other case interview books. The case dialogue helps the reader understand what the case interview sounds like and the case debrief provides a lot of learnings that the reader can take away.
The only potential issue with these practice cases is that they are not entirely representative of the types of cases you’ll see in real case interviews. A case interview goes quite quickly, usually lasting between 20 to 40 minutes. In a real case interview, you will not have the time to think through all of the potential considerations and get answers to all of your questions.
Nevertheless, the practice cases are entertaining to read and you’ll learn a new business concept in each case that you complete.
Cracking Case Interviews Review
Cracking Case Interviews is a decent book. While none of the information in the book is groundbreaking or unique, it provides clear summaries for key case interview concepts, heavily focused on McKinsey style interviews. The book also includes resume and cover letter tips and strategies for answering behavioral questions. However, most of the tips are fairly straight forward and covered in many other case interview books.
Although there are five practice cases, reader feedback suggests that they serve more as a guide rather than realistic case interview practice.
Case in Point Review
Case in Point is the most popular case interview book. Although it has been the best-selling case interview book on Amazon for a long time, the strategies in this book are outdated and overly complex. The practice cases are not representative of cases you’ll see in an actual case interview. However, it does cover a lot of fundamental business concepts by going through the 12 popular case scenarios, which may be helpful to read for those without a business background.
Case in Point provides a ton of information by covering 12 different case scenarios. These may be helpful to read for people that do not have a strong business background.
However, Case in Point’s strategy of memorizing 12 different frameworks to apply to 12 different case scenarios does not work in case interviews now a days. Often, memorized frameworks will have elements that are not relevant and important to the particular case you receive. Even when they are relevant, interviewers can tell when you are using memorized frameworks and not thinking critically.
If you solely rely on the case system strategy in this book, you will have a hard time distinguishing yourself from other candidates.
Additionally, the practice cases in this book are too short and simple to be representative of cases you’ll actually see in a case interview. They are written in a dialogue format, making it difficult to practice on your own or with a partner.
For a more detailed review, check out our article on a Comprehensive Review of Case in Point.
Crack the Case System Review
We do not recommend Crack the Case System. It overcomplicates the case interview process by providing many different mnemonics for the reader to memorize for different case situations. A lot of the information in the book is generic and common-sense. There are much better case interview books that provide more robust and effective strategies in a more succinct and easier to understand way.
Readers of the book have commented that 25% of the book is useful and the rest is fairly generic information.
The first one hundred pages of the book provides a lot of generic case interview advice that does not need one hundred pages to explain. For example, the author tells you to be nice, avoid wearing unprofessional clothing, make small talk, and have a firm handshake, which does not add that much value to readers.
The strategies in this framework revolve around basic mnemonics. For example, one strategy provided is summarized as FRAME: form a plan, read the audience, anchor a hypothesis, mine for an answer, and end the case. Again, this information does not add that much value to readers.
The author’s Maximum Value Model is a massive set of different things to memorize for five different case scenarios. The Maximum Value Model is not only difficult to memorize, but ineffective in most case interviews.
Using memorized frameworks to solve case interviews is not the right way to solve cases. Often, the elements in your memorized framework will not be relevant to the case. Interviewers also know when you are regurgitating memorized information and not thinking critically for yourself.
Additionally, the supplementary online videos repeat a lot of the contents of the book. You do not need to purchase the book to get access to the online material, so if you decide to use this resource, you can get the same material online for free.
Overall, the book and online material overcomplicates the case interview process and presents a lot of generic case interview strategies using mnemonics.
Case Interviews for Beginners Review
We do not recommend Case Interviews for Beginners. While it does provide basic and helpful information on case interviews, there are many other case interview books that do a much better job of it. There are no unique strategies or pieces of information in this book that other case interview books do not cover.
The book provides very basic information on the case interview. By the end of the book, you’ll understand what a case interview is and have an idea of what mistakes to avoid. However, the book does not offer too many actionable strategies for tackling each step of the case interview. For example, it does not go into detail on how to create an effective structure or how to deliver a structured recommendation.
While the book is fairly short in length at about 130 pages, it does repeat many points. Additionally, there are also no practice cases in Case Interviews for Beginners, so you will need to use other books and resources to practice anything that you have learned in the book.
The Case Interview Workbook Review
The Case Interview Workbook is not worth your time or purchase. We strongly recommend that you use other case interview books or resources to practice case interviews.
With 60 practice cases, the Case Interview Workbook sounds like a great resource, but unfortunately does not live up to expectations.
One, these cases are not representative of case interviews you’ll actually see on interview day as they are overly short and simplistic. Each practice case is only 1 – 2 pages long, covering only one or two questions each.
Two, these cases are taken from publicly available resources on the internet. A lot of the titles to the practice cases are taken directly from MBA casebooks. Why pay for these cases when you can use MBA casebooks for free? While the author claims to have edited these cases, they are still low-quality practice cases. There are many other case interview books that provide higher-quality practice cases.
20 Days to Ace the Case Review
We do not recommend 20 Days to Ace the Case. The book does not provide enough detailed strategies to tackle each part of the case interview. There are case interview books that provide more robust and effective strategies as well as higher-quality practice cases.
Structuring the book to prepare for case interviews in 20 days is a very interesting concept, but unfortunately the book does not live up to expectations. Since half of the chapters are mock interviews, there is not that much content on actual case interview strategies.
For example, the book covers two very basic frameworks, the profitability framework and the internal/external framework. While these frameworks do work in certain case situations, the book does not cover how to create a framework for the majority of different case situations. Additionally, these frameworks are nothing special and will not help you distinguish yourself from other candidates.
If you were to solely rely on this book 20 days before your case interview, you would not learn enough strategies to tackle case interviews and you would likely not get enough practice.
How to Get into the Top Consulting Firms Review
How to Get into the Top Consulting Firms was written in 2009 and is skippable. Feedback from readers has suggested that the book is lower quality than other books in the market and fails to meet expectations. Readers cite typos, miscalculations, and even missing text. While there are some good pieces of information in the book on the general consulting interview process, these bits are easily found elsewhere. The case interview strategies are basic and simple.
Mastering the Case Interview Review
Readers cite that Mastering the Case Interview was not particularly useful when read along with a few of the other case interview prep books. The information is redundant and unnecessary with content that is easily found elsewhere. This book has the lowest Goodreads rating of all books we’ve reviewed, less than 3.5/5.
The book has sample case questions, but only a few questions are answered in each section. The rest is left as an exercise to the reader without providing solutions. There is feedback from readers that the case questions should have more thorough analysis done.
How Do I Use Case Interview Books Effectively?
Follow these steps to get the most out of your case interview books:
1. Understand what a case interview is
The first step in preparing for consulting case interviews is to understand exactly what case interviews are and what a perfect case interview performance looks like.
Knowing what a great case interview performance looks like will facilitate how quickly you learn case interview strategies in the next step. It’ll give you a concrete goal that you can replicate and strive for.
2. Learn case interview strategies first before practicing
Now that you understand what case interviews are, the next step in preparing for case interviews is to learn the right strategies to build good case interview habits.
It is much more effective to learn the right case strategies the first time than to learn poor strategies and try to correct them later.
Make sure to spend sufficient time learning the right strategies before starting to practice cases. It is ineffective to practice cases if you have no idea what strategies to practice and refine.
3. Practice 3-5 cases by yourself
Once you have learned the right strategies, the next step in case interview prep is to practice.
When practicing case interviews, it is usually better to practice with a case interview partner than to practice by yourself. Casing with a partner better simulates the real case interview experience.
However, when you are just starting to practice, I recommend doing the first 3 – 5 cases by yourself.
There are three reasons for this:
You can get the hang of the case interview structure and format much more quickly working by yourself rather than having to wait to schedule a time with a partner
There are many aspects of case interviews that you can practice without a partner, such as structuring a framework and solving quantitative problems. You can get much more practice working through these parts by yourself
You may have difficulty finding a case interview partner if you are a complete case interview beginner. Without having done any cases, you likely won’t know how to properly give a case or provide good feedback.
For practice cases, check out our article on 23 MBA consulting casebooks with 700+ free practice cases.
4. Practice 5-10 cases with a partner
The next step in preparing for case interviews is to case with a partner.
Casing with a partner is the best way to simulate a real case interview. There are many aspects of case interviews that you won’t be able to improve on unless you practice live with a partner.
When practicing cases with a partner, ensure you are spending enough time after cases to deliver feedback.
For a case that takes around 30 – 40 minutes, spend at least 15 – 20 minutes for feedback. Much of your learning and improvement will come from these feedback sessions.
5. Work on improving one thing at a time
In this step of preparing for case interviews, you will work on strengthening and fine-tuning your improvement areas. Examples of common improvement areas include:
- Creating a more complete and mutually exclusive framework
- Performing math calculations quicker or more smoothly
- Providing more structure to your qualitative answers
- Leading the case more proactively
- Delivering a more succinct recommendation
Try to focus on improving one thing at a time. This is much more effective than trying to improve everything at once.
For some areas, such as math, it will be better to work independently. For other areas, such as learning to proactively lead the case, it will be better to work with a case partner.
Alternative to Using Case Interview Books
In my opinion, the quickest and most efficient way to learn case interview strategies is to go through an online course.
Typically, online courses are more effective than just reading articles and books because they teach through visuals and audio. There is also a lot more functionality that can be put into an online course than through a traditional book.
We’ve developed a comprehensive case interview course to teach the most effective case interview strategies in the least amount of time.
Check out our case interview course (our #1 recommendation): The only resource you need. Whether you have no business background, rusty math skills, or are short on time, this step-by-step course will transform you into a top 1% caser that lands multiple consulting offers.