Case Study Interviews
Case study interviews usually take 15-20 minutes and are designed to assess the skills that are important in management consulting and related fields. Since there is often no clear right answer in solving the case studies, these interviews provide employers an opportunity to evaluate potential job applicants as they work to answer a case.
Practicing case study interviews is critical in developing the ability to think quickly and logically. To begin with, listen carefully to the question being posed.
- Gather your thoughts and give yourself some time to organize your ideas. Bring in paper for you to take notes or even draw up a graph as part of your thought process.
- Do not forget important facts, propose impossible ideas, or advise an irrational method to solve the problem.
- Demonstrate your thinking by speaking out loud so the interviewer can fully see how you are handling the case.
In the case study interview, the interviewer is trying to determine your level of resourcefulness.
- Questions from you are expected as the case study is usually incomplete. If the interviewer(s) ask why you are asking specific questions, it may be to see how your thought process is being constructed to solve the case.
- Develop a logical framework and defend your reasoning and conclusion with evidence, especially if given statistics.
- Principles and techniques you learn from school, such as a SWOT Analysis, can help support your conclusion. A SWOT Analysis incorporates the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of a particular strategy to be implemented.
Creativity and brainstorming are an integral part of trying to solve a case study and may leave a great impression on the interviewer if done properly.
- The logical reasoning you use to work through the case study is just as important as the conclusions you reach.
- Working through a case study allows you to display problem-solving and analytical skills and how you deal with a situation under pressure.
- To anticipate and answer any possible objections, your responses should be realistic and logically driven from the information provided in the interview.
Visit the Starr Career Development Center to speak with an advisor on what skills and techniques you may enhance to be better prepared for future case study interviews.
Mastering the Case Interview: Tips from an Ex-BCG Consultant
Vault Case Interview Practice Guide 2: More Case Interviews
Vault Guide to the Case Interview, 8th Edition