Is Case Interview Coaching Worth the Money? Pros and Cons
If you are preparing for consulting case interviews, you are likely considering case interview coaching.
Many case interview coaches are former interviewers from top-tier firms such as McKinsey, BCG, and Bain. They can give you high quality mock case interviews that closely resemble the types of cases that top-tier firms use. Afterwards, they can provide you with detailed feedback to improve your case interview performance.
One session of case coaching typically costs between $100 to $300 per case.
For such a steep price, is case interview coaching worth it? Is it the best way to learn how to solve case interviews? Do you absolutely need case interview coaching to get a consulting job offer?
In this comprehensive review of case interview coaching, we’ll answer all of these questions and more.
How Does Case Interview Coaching Work?
Case interview coaching usually requires payment beforehand. One mock case interview session, which typically lasts between 40 to 60 minutes, can cost anywhere between $100 to $300.
Most companies offer slight discounts if you purchase multiple case interview coaching sessions. This might save you anywhere from 10% to 30% per session.
After you’ve paid, you’ll either choose a case interview coach or you will be matched with one. You’ll then schedule a time slot that works for both you and your interview coach. Case interview coaching is typically done through phone or video conference.
When you join the call, your case interview coach will typically start the mock case interview right away. After finishing the case, they will provide you with feedback on what you could have done better. They may suggest strategies or techniques that you should use. They’ll also point out what your strengths and weaknesses are.
Some companies record the entire coaching session and send it to you so that you can review it again at your own convenience. They may also send a document that summarizes your improvement areas.
Benefits of Case Interview Coaching
1. Feedback From a Case Interview Expert
The primary benefit of case interview coaching is that you get feedback and insights from a case interview expert. Many case interview coaches were former interviewers at top-tier consulting firms such as McKinsey, BCG, and Bain.
Your case interview coach will quickly tell you how your performance compares to other case interview candidates and whether they would pass you in an actual interview. These coaches will point out your weaknesses and improvement areas and offer strategies and techniques that you should use.
You may not be able to get this type of detailed feedback from doing mock cases with a classmate or friend.
Doing one practice case interview with a case interview expert may give you more helpful feedback and suggestions than doing ten practice cases with a partner that is a case interview beginner.
2. High Quality Practice Cases
Case interview coaches typically use high quality cases in their coaching sessions. These cases are similar to the types of cases you’ll actually see on your interview day.
If you are finding your own practice cases to use, chances are that these practice cases may not be the highest quality cases. They may not be representative of what a real case interview is like or they may not be challenging enough.
Case interview coaching solves this problem since case interview coaches only use the highest quality practice cases.
3. Convenience of Fitting Into Your Schedule
If you are practicing cases with a classmate or friend, it can be difficult to find practice times that work for both you and your partner. This may prevent you from getting enough practice hours in.
With case interview coaching, you’ll never have this problem. Since most companies have many different coaches from around the world, chances are that at least one will be available for any given hour in a day. For those with busy schedules, case interview coaching offers the convenience of easily fitting into your schedule.
4. Efficient Use of Time
When you practice case interviews with a partner, you typically have to give one case for every case that you receive. Therefore, it takes about two hours of your time to receive a one-hour mock case interview.
With case interview coaching, you obviously will not need to give your partner a mock case. Therefore, using a case interview coach helps save you time because you will only be receiving cases. This allows you to get more practice in for a given amount of time.
Shortcomings of Case Interview Coaching
1. Case Interview Coaching is Very Expensive
At a price point of $100 to $300 per practice case, case interview coaching is expensive. For the price of one case interview coaching session, which only lasts between 40 to 60 minutes, you could purchase every single case interview prep book in the market. You could also purchase a case interview course instead that contains over 20 hours of content and practice.
If you are a case interview beginner, check out our review of the 12 best case interview prep books or consider enrolling in our comprehensive case interview course. These two case interview resources are a much better use of money in the beginning of your case prep.
The money spent on these other case interview prep resources can potentially teach you way more than a single coaching session. Therefore, you should only purchase case coaching if you feel that there is nothing else you can learn from case prep books and courses.
2. There are Ways to Get Free Coaching
If you attend a top MBA or undergraduate school, there are many ways to get free coaching. You can reach out to classmates that previously worked at top-tier consulting firms. Most of the time, they will be more than happy to help give you a mock case interview. Your consulting club may also offer mock case interview sessions with students that successfully secured a consulting job offer the previous year.
If you are a working professional, leverage your network. Use LinkedIn to find connections that previously or currently work at a consulting firm. Message them and ask if they would be willing to help give you a practice case interview. If no one in your network is in consulting, you can find school alumni that work in consulting and cold email them.
If you are willing to put in the work, there are many ways to get case coaching for free.
3. The Quality of Coaching Varies Significantly
If you are paying for case interview coaching, the most important step is finding or choosing the right case interview coach. While many case interview coaches are great to work with, there are also many that aren’t.
Some case interview coaches sign up to do coaching because they see it as an easy way to make money. Because of this, they are not very invested in your development and success. They may not put in the effort or time needed to provide high quality case interview feedback to you.
If possible, make sure to read all of the reviews of the case interview coach that you are thinking about working with before purchasing any coaching sessions.
4. Conflicting Advice From Different Coaches
Some candidates may work with multiple case interview coaches. While it is helpful to get perspectives and insights from different people, sometimes coaches will offer conflicting advice or feedback. This may leave you confused about what you should actually be doing in a case interview.
Having too many different coaches and getting too many different pieces of feedback may actually hurt your case interview performance. Incorporating conflicting feedback into your case interview strategy may make your overall case interview strategy less effective.
Overall Assessment of Case Interview Coaching
Although expensive, case interview coaching can provide you with high quality feedback that can significantly improve your case interview performance. By working with case interview experts, you will be practicing with high quality cases and get detailed feedback that ordinary case interview partners are not able to provide.
You should know that you do not absolutely need to purchase case interview coaching to receive a consulting job offer. The vast majority of candidates that receive offers from top firms did not purchase case interview coaching. By purchasing case interview coaching, you are essentially purchasing convenience and learning efficiency.
Case interview coaching is best for those that have already learned as much as they can about case interviews on their own and feel that they have reached a plateau in their learning. For case interview beginners and intermediates, it may be a better use of their money to purchase case prep books or case interview courses before purchasing expensive coaching sessions.
If you do decide to eventually use a case interview coach, make sure that you find the right one. There is a wide range of quality among coaches, so ensure that you are working with someone that is invested in your development and success.
Resources to Consider Before Purchasing Case Coaching
We hope that you found this review of case interview coaching helpful. If you are considering using a case interview coach, we recommend that you first learn from the resources below to make the dollars that you spend on coaching worth it.
What you learn from these resources will save you at least several coaching sessions, saving you potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars.
- Comprehensive, One Week Case Interview Course: A structured, tailored curriculum for acing your consulting interviews. Learn through 50+ concise video lessons and 20 full-length practice cases with detailed solutions.
- Hacking the Case Interview: In this book, learn exactly what to do and what to say in every step of the case interview. This is the perfect book for beginners that are looking to learn the basics of case interviews quickly.
- The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook: In this book, hone your case interview skills through 65+ problems tailored towards each type of question asked in case interviews and 15 full-length cases based on real McKinsey, BCG, and Bain interviews. This book is great for intermediates.