How To Ace Case Interview

Setting yourself up to ace your interview is a noble goal, but it is another for a case interview. If you are looking to apply to be a consultant, you will get something much more than an interview. A case interview is an interview where you will be asked to solve a problem. Are you prepared to ace it? In this guide, we will help you how to ace a case interview. 

Case interviews are a norm in consulting firms. It is so effective in finding the right candidates that so much so other industries use it. Case interviews simulate handling cases in a consultancy job, and they can be made-up scenarios or based on real-life examples. Typically, the questions that will be asked are previous experiences that the firm once tackled. 

The regular interview is merely self-introduction. Case interviews will be the ones that will find out what are your real capabilities. It will have a say if you are getting the job or not. Consulting firms hire someone to help them fix a problem, and will you be the guy they need?

Worry not, we will help you convince them that you are the right man for the job. As long as you help yourself and follow the guide, you are on the road to acing your interview!

Types Of Questions In A Case Interview

Questions in case interviews can vary a lot, but there are general types that you should consider. Here are some of the general question types to expect in case interviews:

Trick Questions

Trick questions are sort of like brain teasers or puzzles. There are there to test if you can analyze the question and think outside the box. Trick questions are rare, but it’s something to prepare for just in case. However, don’t fret too much about it; they are not part of your things to look out for checklist.

Business Scenarios 

Interviewers will provide you a business scenario to solve to test your knowledge about businesses. And yes, it is a very broad topic, and it is hard to narrow it down. But here is what you can expect; marketing strategies, profit to loss margins, and customer service. 

Although the focus is the knowledge, your approach to solving them is the most important part. You need to practice both your analytical and problem-solving skills.

Market-Sizing Questions

In market sizing questions, you will be asked to estimate your make calculations. Business scenarios will be handling how to solve business-related problems. On the other hand, market-sizing will be centered around looking at graphs.

Market-sizing questions will be very technical.  It’s centered around asking you to guess or identify market estimates, do basic math, and creativity in approaching market sizing-related topics. To better prepare yourself for market-sizing questions, keep an eye on market trends. Watching business news can help you in that.

How To Approach Your Case Interview

How To Ace Case Interview

Now that you have an idea of what questions to expect, how will you go about solving them? In a case interview, it will be between you and the interviewer. They will provide a context in which you have to solve it. It will resemble a conversation rather than a written test. So here is how you will approach your interview and acing it.

Be Expressive

After the interviewer has shared the problem, you don’t have to keep it all in your head. Sure, you can keep quite a while to take down notes, but it doesn’t have to be the entire interview duration. 

Keep in mind that case interviews are not all about getting the right answer. While it is important to get your math right, your correct answer is just part of the points. What interviewers want the most is to understand your line of thinking. 

It’s fine to feel nervous during the interview, but remember, an interview is to show that you are capable of the job. So make sure that you leave a good impression, and keeping quiet won’t help. A case interview is roleplaying your future job, so imagine you are talking to a client and you don’t interact a lot. It will not help solve the problem.

Expose yourself and your abilities, be confident about it. Share how you are approaching the problem, how you will solve it, and according to your logic—explain why your to-be solution will work. Show that you are an expert, but keep it simple and not too gaudy.

Interact With The Interviewer, But Don’t Cooperate.

You are going to have to interact with the interviewer to solve the problem. However, you are not going to cooperate. Remember that you are in a test. You are going to lead the whole interview and not lead by the interviewer. 

In consulting, your client is there asking you how to solve the problem. So you both are going to interact to know the details. But you are not going to cooperate, and your client is there to ask for a solution. They do not ask you to implement it, and it’s their job—not yours. If it’s cooperation, you are going to go hands-on to solve the problem.

Interact to gather information to know what you are working with, but do not cooperate. 

Let Your Skill Speak of Itself

You don’t have to keep saying to the interviewer that you tackled something similar before. Likewise, there is no need to mention your job experiences. 

Let your skills speak of themselves, and simply focus on the task at hand. If you are skilled at it, it will come out by itself, and they will see it.

Explain Why Your Solution Works

Case interviews rarely give out one answer to a problem. Most likely, it will be mostly open-ended questions. So if there are several approaches to it, why would be your solution be the most effective? Explain it to them and back it up according to your own logic or using data. 

You must practice this since future clients will do the same. Your clients might ask why they should apply your solution to their problem. Practice to convince them.