I’m really hoping you reply to this email if you get the time.

I have final round interviews with Roland Berger on Saturday morning. I’ve done a couple of interviews so far and apparently they went well. I watched all your videos and they have been extremely helpful. I have a question though: when I set up the customer product competitors company framework, I’m having difficulty in choosing which one to start with.

Do you have any tips that might be useful?

Thanks a lot for your help!

My Reply:

As I emphasize in my new book Case Interview Secrets, the framework is less critical than the hypothesis.

So my question to you is: in any particular case, what is your hypothesis… and my second question (which is basically the question you should be asking yourself) is which of the portions of my framework or custom issue tree most apply (referenced more in the book than in my videos).

So if your hypothesis is such that the big issue is whether or not there’s customer demand, then you start with customers. If the background of the case has established there is customer demand and it’s already well understood, and the client knows where they want to focus, but say are really worried about a new entrant, then you start with the #1 issue first.

In short, the answer to your question is to let your hypothesis determine what you examine and in which order (most important first, least important last). Importance is defined as that which once discovered is most likely to cause a 180 degree reversal in your recommendation.