Case Interview

This page collects all the consulting case interview questions reportedly used by major consulting firms in summer intern or full-time candidates recruitment.

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Top 10 Case Interview Tips

1. Listen to the introduction – Do not think ahead to your answer(s).

2. Ask 1-2 clarifying questions, if necessary – Begin to formulate a hypothesis in your head, and test if they are reasonable. While asking these questions, you buy yourself a few moments to postulate.

3. Do not ask for every piece of data. Some interviewers will try to overload you up front with meaningless data. If you ask for it, you may get it, but later find it irrelevant.

4. Take notes – Some suggest this is a faux pas, others think it is a great idea. Ask the interviewer if you need to take notes. Keep in mind that every real consultant, in real life, will almost without fail takes notes in an interview. If you can keep track of all of the minutia in an hour long client interview, more power to you.

5. Structure the problem – i.e. begin to fit the problem into one of the frameworks.

6. Pick a branch to probe – Develop hypotheses, ask for relevant facts, defend/refine hypotheses based on new information, probe further, and describe implications you see. *Key note: if you find yourself running down a rabbit trail of random issues with no end, stop, think, and go back up to 30,000 feet to see if you are even in the right ballpark. It is better to discover this halfway into the interview and leave yourself some recovery time, than to discover this when your hour is done.

7. Pick a second branch, and so on.

8. Prioritize your responses – Support your arguments with your strongest points first.

9. Put it all together – Try to answer overall questions (the big picture) with a reasonable, actionable conclusion.

? Review where you have been, and what you know
? Clarify what you do not understand, and what, with more time, you would like to know
? Solidify and tender your recommendation (where appropriate, as sometimes the interviewer cares less about your recommendation, and more about how you get to it).

10. Get feedback. Sometimes this is appropriate, sometimes it is not. If the case was a real example, they may tell you what really happened. Each case is a learning experience, and it might be good to know that you missed the boat completely – next time you will do better. If you go out thinking you hit it, but really missed the boat, next time you will make the same mistakes.

3 Responses to Case Interview

  1. Van Hoang says:

    I think the real skill is to know when to pause and ask for clarification or time to think. And wow, I didn’t know we could ask for feedback. I’ve written some on case interview here myself: Would you mind come take a look and give some feedback? Thank you very much!

  2. These tips are great. Keep it simple and do not be afraid to ask questions. I have compiled a short list of personal case interview advice from my experience working in several consulting firms before starting my own. The list may be found here: Check it out.

  3. Samit Kanti Bose says:

    Kindly offer me some amount of guidance, wherein, on the next working day, I can successfully qualify in the Agency Manager, Interview, as it would last for a maximum of 50 minutes, only. Email: samit_bose1974 at yahoo com

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