Look Over My Shoulder (LOMS) Product Reviews

After not being given an opportunity to interview by McKinsey and feeling very pessimistic about my chances for success in consulting interviews in general (I come from a very structured background that has little transferability into consulting) I am happy to report that I have an offer from Bain!

I’d like to say how helpful LOMS was in preparing me for cases. I work about 50 to 60 hours a week and I scheduled my interviews around the busiest time at work which saw me pulling 16 – 18 hour days, working til late and then preparing for my case interviews even later. Not something I would recommend to anyone – you want to give yourself every opportunity for success and being exhausted during prep and then in the interview is definitely not a way to do that.

I think the reason LOMS was really helpful for me is that I didn’t necessarily have a large network of former consultants to rely on for help and there weren’t a lot of people that I knew that were in the same position I was in, so I knew that I would have limited opportunities for one-on-one case practice.

In the end, I probably did between 10 and 15 live cases and the rest of my prep was supplemented by LOMS.

What I found to be really helpful about LOMS is that there weren’t a bazillion frameworks to remember so it allowed my case solving process to be a lot more organic because I was working on the process to solve the case and not necessarily a “plug and play” exercise. This was really great because none of the questions I got asked where typical. I did not get a single profitability case (in any shape or form) throughout my entire interview process and the feedback that I got was that I asked really good clarifying questions and made sure I fully grasped the case before trying to solve it. (credit LOMS – you can’t solve a case you don’t understand).

I think LOMS was really helpful for me because I had to work on first principle on all of my interviews and because I had heard you repeat principles so many times, I had a reservoir to draw from.

I have an offer from the firm I wanted, such that I cancelled all other interviews that I had lined up as my safety options and I wanted to say thank you.

As a South African who had to pay in rand for LOMS (when the exchange rate was especially terrible) I can confidently say that the program was well worth every dime.”
“Being Thanksgiving day I would like to personally thank you.

Your material has been incredibly valuable for me, especially LOMS: I won offers with Bain, BCG, Deloitte, Alvarez & Marsal and some others and I am still in the process with McK.

Would be great to meet you if you ever come in Milan!”
“Your resources (LOMS, case interview math and success stories/emails) that I’ve been using for the last 5 months have enabled me to finally get an offer from LEK for the life sciences specialist role! Thank you so much! I am a PhD student and so was literally starting case prep from a subzero standard. I listened to your LOMS audios almost every single day while working in the lab, over and over again. I found that re-listening to them really helped me learn something new each time and/or reinforce points about structure and synthesis, which I would then incorporate while solving cases.

Thank you once again!”
“I’d like to begin by thanking you for your LOMS resource. I wrapped up full-time recruiting ~1.5 months ago and was fortunate to receive an offer from Bain, where I will be working starting this coming fall. I feel that going through LOMS multiple times was one of the “turning points” in my consulting interview prep journey, and I view the $297 investment into the program as one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. For that, I cannot thank you enough.

To give some context, prior to purchasing LOMS, I’d practiced ~30 cases live with a relative who is a former consultant, who gave me valuable feedback. I was determined to do anything I could to get a consulting offer, and when I read the testimonials about LOMS, decided that would be a great supplement to this live case practice.

The primary value of LOMS, for me, was the methodical approach to cases you teach, primarily through the presentation of issue trees and guide to hypothesis-driven thinking. Hearing you talk through those and hearing your commentary on candidates who had varying level of success with those, was very helpful for me. In particular, I felt I was able to get through cases quicker and more effortlessly after being able to come up with MECE issue trees and quickly eliminate branches that were unlikely to be promising; I no longer got “stuck” in the wrong branch of analysis for as long. I found this “speed up” particularly valuable in Bain’s first round interviews, which allowed only ~25 minutes per case.”
“Hi Victor, LOMS helped me prepare for a case interview on short notice. I ended up getting the offer and would say my performance on the case was a big part of it.

Several years post MBA I was interviewing for a new role and was given 5 days notice that my interview with a C-Level executive and former McKinsey consultant would include a case interview. Not ideal timing for someone who never did a case interview in business school, but I took Victor’s advice and focused only on the last version of each case and did about 20 hours of preparation. I found that listening to great examples while also pausing and saying my responses out loud helped reinforce how best to communicate and structure my thought process. When the interview came I did fairly well immediately in structuring the case and working the problem. That bought some goodwill when I got a curveball at the end and the interviewer helped me better see the issue since I was communicating fluidly. I ended up getting the offer for a great role and a significant pay increase. I would highly recommend the program but would also caution that under normal circumstances I would havef put in a lot more practice.”
“I’m writing this email to thank you for all you’ve done to help applicants in consulting.

I got two offers, one from L.E.K., the other from Deloitte consulting, and I’m going to sign with Deloitte because of the tech aspect. Over the past three years, I went from getting no interviews to finally securing multiple offers in consulting. I read through your book, went through LOMS transcripts, and practiced 100+ cases live with my partners. Additionally, your emails really helped me understand the consulting industry and keep a great attitude all through the recruiting cycle. So thank you, for all you’ve done.

I also want to share a bit of my personal experience, and feel free to share it with your students if you feel it’s helpful. I am an international undergraduate student recruiting in the U.S. Simply being international gave me a lot of headwind during the cycle. Basically the only option was MBB and Deloitte, and for other firms I had to negotiate on a case by case basis. From the beginning I knew that I had to be the best in the herd in order to get ANY job. During the first year, I had a lame GPA, and lackluster resume, and I was afraid to network. Understandably, I did not even get any interview. The second year, I actually took a medical leave during the fall because of a knee surgery, so I did a lot of networking through the phone. I got an interview from BCG and got into final round at Bain. At Bain I ran into a case asking me to estimate the market size of Salsa in the U.S. Since I was from China, I knew nothing about salsa, and at that time I was not trained to face something I had no sense about, and I did pretty bad on the case.

This past summer, I started a business, and worked on several tech projects. These projects were not intentional, but they helped make my resume look a lot better. This year, I got interviews from McKinsey, Bain, Deloitte, Analysis Group and L.E.K. I think I did well in Bain cases, but I did not get through the first round. I believe the main reason is that my competitors were also very strong in terms of case performance so other factors led to the decision. My McKinsey interview was intense, and I did not grasp the essence of the first case. However, I have to say that my interviewer forgot to even give me the rejection call, plus both of them were white males with a military background. The great lesson learned is that during the interview, many things can happen, and that case and PEI are not the only deciding factors (On an implicit level!). I believe I have done all I could in the prep and I don’t regret walking out of McK and Bain even though I did not even pass the first round this year.

To be honest, I had great pressures going into each recruiting cycle because I had limited options and nothing to fall back on. Luckily enough, I got some great offers. It’s hard to specify how your materials have helped, but they changed my attitude towards networking (building relationships) and helped me avoid pitfalls in resume, cover letters and interviews. I had recommended your website to many of my friends and will continue to do so if anyone else who wants to do consulting reaches out to me.

I will be working as a Business Technology Analyst for Deloitte out of New York Office starting next year”
“I am starting as a new associate with McKinsey this Fall as a PhD from a non-target school with no business background. I am using this platform to appreciate Victor Cheng and company for putting this incredibly helpful LOMS resource together. The LOMS practice examples were so beneficial. I learnt the following

1) Structuring a case and PEI: Everything about my interview was structured – even down to the part of being polite, I said ‘ Thank you, Yes, please. In the most structured way – and the interviewer from the Chicago who gave me a congratulation call pointed this out to me – and said it is a very important skill even on the job. In his words: ‘You are so polite and your Mama must be so proud of you’

– My PEI was extremely structured too as I was able to clearly define the problem, context, solution, and impact: It had to do with ‘time when I had conflicts with someone I had worked with etc.’

2)Practice, Practice , Practice:- My case interview was very unconventional – to further highlight the importance of practice – I listened to LOMS almost 50 times before the interview – I got an earpiece, and a car Bluetooth speaker and listened to it during research hours, down times and even when driving – I then began to repeat the same solutions loud to myself while washing dishes, or during a liesure time and this helped me build a enough confidence and overcome the initial fear of getting started with any case interview’. I recall using statements like ‘I’ll like to decompose this problem into its subcomponent parts’. ‘ I would like to ask about the company’s revenue streams’ . ‘ My hypothesis is the problem can be one of these 3 reasons’. My feedbacks were extremely impressive. Highlighting that I had a strong casing ability and was very defined in the way I communicated and structured my thoughts’. Furthermore, the LOMS case practice tools helped me build confidence on setting up a hypothesis, being concise and clear and the goal and objective of the problem, being creative about ideas around an initial structure following the first McKinsey prompts and synthesizing very clearly at the end of the case.

3) Unconventional problems solving – I also noticed that the problems did not have a direct resemblance to the ones I had practiced with on my LOMS and Cheng Case interview materials – hence, emphasizing the danger of memorizing frameworks or templates for problem solving. However, I learnt through practice that the most fundamental issue was decomposing each problem into components part. I am glad I learnt this before my first round which had to do with distributing some drugs across a country and improving the efficiency of a postage company. I got a ‘Wow, very comprehensive structure you have’ from most of my interviewers.

I would like to thank Victor Cheng for all your help using available resources – you make us ‘non-businesspeople look smart’ with some focused effort.”
“I’m writing you because I would like to express my appreciation gratitude for the material you put together. This proved to be more than helpful and was the major source of my preparation. I used both the free frameworks and videos as well as the LOMS.

LOMS was especially helpful to put the theory into context and see how it should be applied in practice. Besides listening to it in advance to prepare, I often used it the night before the interview to get me into the right mindset and lingo by just listening in.

Now the interesting part: I have a 100% success rate for all the interviews I did. I received offers for an internship from Bain, Roland Berger, Monitor Deloitte, Simon-Kucher and Partners and Bearing Point.

I think this really reflects that your program works and I wasn’t just lucky.”
“I have recently received and accepted an offer to join McKinsey Australia. I am writing this email for 2 reasons: 1 – to briefly reflect on my preparation phases for other candidates, and 2 – to highlight the impact your materials have had in my success. In reflection, my preparation and application stages took 3 months, beginning from my initial application to receiving the offer.

My preparations were in three parts:
1) Problem Solving Test (PST),
2) Case Interviews, and
3) Personal Experience Interviews (PEI).

Firstly the PST was an interesting exam, when I attempted practice exams, I focused on accuracy then speed, just like you suggested on your website. I saw a lot of similarity with the Integrate Reasoning section of the GMAT examination (which I was also studying for at the time).

Secondly the Case interview preparation was quite light due to lack of interview partners. To address this, I listened to LOMS on repeat for over 2 months every time I was in the car and repeated the best practice cases out loud. I estimate I would have listened to your interviewer led case examples at least 4 times each. When McKinsey HR organized a case coach for my first practice interview, I was able to structure my answer in an effective way and dive into the key problem with a structured issue tree to build my hypothesis. I think the key take away from my preparation experience is that while real case practices are the gold standard, having the mental ‘muscle memory’ from talking out loud and being able to critically assess problems are also critical in my success.

Finally, the Personal Experience Interview preparation had more weighting than I expected during my interview rounds, especially the partner interviews. My preparation during first round for PEI was fairly light, writing down a few ‘headline stories’ on a notebook and hoping to be able to discuss the details as the interviewer asked. In reality the PEI section was literally 50% of your 60 minutes, and the feedback from my round 1 interviewers was that I should brush up on my stories to be more structured and detailed. They would ask questions such as “why did you choose to talk to X in this location?”, “what reactions were you looking for when you said that?” Unless you had really thought about your stories, these details would be hard to remember on the spot.

The key take away for the PEI section is that it is definitely a 1:1 ratio for PEI to Case interviews, and your preparation should reflect this. Thank you again for your help Victor, you will have a new subscriber to your F1Y mailing list.”
“I’ve been dreaming of sending this email since I started receiving your email newsletter.

LOMS has been my go to “music” for my commute for the past 2 months. I was certain that a successful performance in a case interview had a very particular sound to it and that one method of mastering this sound was to listen to the sound often. My strategy paid off, I just received an offer from McKinsey!

I really thought I blew my interview when my 2nd final round interviewer really gave me no positive feedback and was fairly adversarial. I would answer his question and he would say something like “okkkk, but I asked you (re stated question, I just answered).” I stayed calm and simply kept referencing my framework and the exhibits he gave me. The case even ended abruptly pretty much mid brainstorm. Again, I stayed calm and just proceeded to my next (and last) interview and gave my best performance. In fact, the last case was pretty much “the car wash” case (different industry, same core issue) from LOMS. As soon as I heard the prompt, “What factors should the CEO consider in deciding to implement this new technology?” I knew “Saint Victor, Patron Saint of Casing” was looking over me. The final interview went great. I got the happy call a couple hours later from the partner who had been so hard on me during the interview. I feel like I have won the lottery. Thank you, thank you, 1000x thank you for your help.”
“I am a junior in engineering and I learnt about consulting about a week before the deadline. I never could really figure out what industry I wanted to work in, so I figured consulting was perfect. Went to coffee chats for the MBB and networked. Landed the first rounds for Bain and BCG about a week later.

I googled case interview practice/examples the night before my first round, as I had no idea what to expect. I skimmed your book, read your online resources, but couldn’t find any examples of what a good case interview actually looks like. After further digging I came across your LOMS program. This resource is likely the best ROI investment I will EVER make. I read through all the examples and gained an in-depth understanding of how to structure and think about cases.

My first actual case interview I ever did was during my first round in Bain—however, because I read through LOMS, it felt like the 10th and the interviews went great. BCG went even better as I now had a small amount of live experience. I was honestly quite shocked when I heard I got final rounds from both considering my preparation but was obviously ecstatic. I received offers from both today, and its thanks to your resources. I truly believe that LOMS teaches one to master the case faster than any other resources by a HUGE margin, and am extremely humbled and grateful to be in the position I am. By no means is LOMS a substitute for live practice, but it is about as close as you can get, and is an amazing tool to master the fundamentals.”
“Just wanted to say thank you for the excellent materials that you put together with the LOMS program.

About 10 months ago I made the decision to move into management consulting after 7 years in the oil & gas industry. I interviewed with BCG first, and while getting to the final round I didn’t manage to secure an offer. Was pretty disappointed with the news, especially since I thought my preparation was good.

It was not until I went through your materials that I realized what my weak points were, which you explain and highlight so well in the LOMS. Being hypothesis driven, synthesizing, understanding what the solution is not as you go through the issue tree, and using the top down approach when making a recommendation, to name just a few. Several more months went into preparation, and I am happy to say that last week I signed an offer from McKinsey.

So, thank you again, I wouldn’t be here without LOMS!”
“I want to really thank you. I used your LOMS program and videos on frameworks coupled with about 70-80 practice interviews with my husband and finally got into AT Kearney.

I have Masters in Economics from LSE, however, no management background. I did not even know what case interviews are initially. I moved to Dubai leaving my perfectly well job in India after marriage. I was working with the government and in UAE to work with the government I needed to speak Arabic. I could not understand where I would fit because I had experience in policy framework, design, & implementation.

Then, I started looking at management consulting. I applied initially but no reply. I think because of LSE on my resume I got a call from ATK & OW.

I got to know they conduct “case interviews”. I had just a month to prepare for these and initially I couldn’t get a hang of it. Then a friend told me about your website & your LOMS program. I invested in those and started getting better. Your LOMS program worked the best for me because whole day i would alone (with husband going to office) and listen & practice with the audios. I started getting better and then eventually really good (all of this in 3 weeks). I would sit & practice with my husband every night. Thanks to your material and his will to invest that time in me every night after work, I got an offer and I really like what I am doing now. I love my work.

Thanks a lot.”
“Thought I’d drop a line to thank you for your resources. LOMS really was worth it – the lessons on drilling down and completing a branch, synthesizing the findings, then moving on to next branch on the decision tree/bucket were fundamental to my success as an applicant.

I am now deciding on offers from Bain and BCG”
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