Case Interviews

What are Case Interviews?

A Case Interview is essentially solving a case in the context of a job interview. Thus, although you also have the opportunity to write down notes (which are important), you also have to guide your interviewer verbally through your analysis, evaluation and recommendations. You will also have the chance to ask questions.

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Interviewers are not looking for the right answer, but for an understanding of how the applicant thinks and how he/she approaches problems.

As Case Interview is a job interview in which the applicants is given a question, situation, problem or challenge and asked to resolve the situation. The case is often a business situation or a business case that the interviewer has worked on in real life.

After the applicant is given information about the case, the applicant is expected to ask the interviewer logical questions that will help the applicant understand the situation, probe deeper into relevant areas, gather pertinent information and arrive at a solution or recommendation for the question or situation at hand.

Who uses Case Interviews?

Case Interviews are mostly used in hiring for management consulting, investment banking jobs and internships or management trainee positions at multinational corporations or organizations. Consulting firms use Case Interviews to evaluate a candidate’s analytical ability and problem-solving skills: they are looking not for a “correct” answer, but for an understanding of how the applicant thinks and how the applicant approaches problems.

What kind of skills am I expected to show at a Case Interview?

  • Numerical and Verbal Reasoning Skills
  • Communication and Presentation Skills
  • Business Skills and Commercial Awareness

Candidates are often asked to estimate a specific number, often a commercial figure (such as market size or profitability). Candidates are expected to demonstrate reasoning rather than to produce an exact answer.

What are key questions interviewers ask themselves in a Consulting Interview?

  • Personality Question: “Do I like this person?”
  • Professionalism Question: “Can I put this person in front of a client?” (clothes, manners, language)
  • Organization Question: “Can she/he put forth a clear plan?”
  • Analytical Question: “Does she/he understand how to use numbers?”
  • Insight Question: “Does she/he get the main point?”
  • Synthesis Question: “Can she/he tie it all together?”
  • Enjoyment Question: “Will she/he burn out?”
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