Case Interview Preparation
During a business interview, the interviewer will present a challenging problem/case that the interviewee needs to examine and come up with a solution on how to solve the case. A case interview is used to assess many of the same characteristics that interviewers look for in the standard interview. Therefore, it is much more important that you clearly communicate your abilities and fit with the company you are interviewing with, than that you come up with the “correct” answer to the case. In general, the case interview will be used to evaluate you along three primary dimensions: creativity and common sense, analytic ability and poise and enthusiasm.
To get a sense of your level of creativity and common sense the interviewer will be judging your ability to:
- Conceptualize problems
- Develop innovative solutions to business situations
- Make assumptions, see patterns, generate hypotheses and draw conclusions from only partial information
Your analytic ability will be assessed based on how well you:
- Provide structure to unstructured problems
- Simplify problems into their individual components
- Apply transparent and logical thinking to each component
- Synthesize all of the pieces into a logical solution
And last, but not least, the interviewer will be trying to get a sense for your degree of poise and enthusiasm. To score well in this area it is important that you:
- Seem excited by the case, which is akin to the kinds of
- issues and problems consultants face
- Are not intimidated or daunted by the problem presented in the case
- Assimilate information quickly and effectively
- Ask insightful questions
- Take notes. Be sure to take careful notes on the numbers and facts given
- Make no assumptions. Your interviewer will inevitably leave things out of the case presented to you
- Ask questions; ask as many intelligent questions as you need to obtain an accurate picture of the relevant facts in the case
- Listen to the answers you get
- Maintain eye contact as it demonstrates confidence and authority
- Take time to think through your answer. One minute of deep thinking should be fine
- Layout a road map for your interviewer. Tell the interview which approaches you are going to take
- Think out loud and explain your reasoning so the interviewer can assess your performance
- Present your thinking in a clear, logical manner. Use frameworks and business concepts where appropriate to organize your answers
- Quickly summarize your conclusions
Meet a Career Advisor
Our career advisors are available to meet with you individually and assist you with your management consulting case interview.
You can schedule a Mock Case Interview appointment on your CareerWEB account | Counseling Appointment tab.
Attend a Workshop
The Career Center offers the following workshop:
Case Interview 101
This workshop is for students who are interested in the consulting field and preparing for case interviews. During the workshop students will get more acquainted with what consultants look for during case interviews, how the case interview typically runs, tips on how to crack it, and useful resources that will guide students in their preparation.
For details about the workshops, refer to CareerWEB | Events Section | Workshops tab.
- Vault.com Guide to the Case Interview