How To Pass Case Interview Questions
If you are interested in becoming a consultant in a consulting firm, you most likely will come across case interviews. Case interviews are a core part of the hiring process for consulting firms. They are almost in every firm, most especially in well-known firms.
Case interviews are there to examine an applicant’s analytical, problem-solving skills, and communication skills. Even more than that, they likewise examine how you present yourself and your personality. They will want to know if you are fit for the company or not.
Even if you are looking for other types of jobs, a case interview can still pop up from time to time. Due to their effectiveness, case interviews are now in different job sectors. What’s more, case interviews are getting more challenging. That said, how to pass case interview questions?
The odds may be stacked against you, but they are there for a reason. It may seem hard, but you can make it less challenging by following the right guide to passing a case interview. Don’t be intimated by it, but instead, you should approach it with confidence. Easier than done, I know. But remember, how you act is closely examined.
How To Pass Case Interview Questions – What To Expect
As you might have noticed in the name, you are not going to get an exam. Expect a face-to-face interview Typically, the interview will happen in two phases, and it will start with a fit interview and then a case study interview.
Case studies, however, are not a one-done task. Case studies will be done in different stages and with a different interviewer for each stage. Likewise, the topics will be different for each stage. After the two phases, you can ask questions to the interviewer about the firm’s company culture and operations.
>Well-known consulting firms, such as McKinsey, Bain, BCG, and Deloitte, have thousands of applicants per year. Despite the number, only 1% of the applicants are accepted in a year. You are not only competing against yourself but also against a thousand other applicants.
Passing should not only be your goal, but you should go for excellence. If you are interested in beating those odds, here is how you can do it:
Structures are your centerpiece to solving case studies. How you present your structures is even more important than getting an answer during the interview. It is even more important on how much knowledge you have in different business sectors.
By having a decent structure, you can efficiently flaunt your skills to the interviewer. It will show the interviewer that your thinking is precise and concise.
An interviewer’s main concern is your approach toward the case. It’s not all about the correct answer, as there can be several answers to a case. They want to understand how you handle information, process it, and then give a sound logic or provable answer.
For each case study topic, there is a structure suitable for it. Study different structures so that it comes out naturally once a niche topic is introduced by the interviewer. It might seem obvious, but other applicants take too much time trying to remember which structure is suitable for the introduced topic.
Likewise, don’t get too caught up using structures rigidly. Structures are a guide, and they are not a one-trick solution to anything. Adapt as you go, and don’t repeat structures you previously used. Interviewers will notice due to years of experience, and that is an immediate deduction.
Treat each case as unique and make structures specific for them.
Research About The Company
Learn about the company that offered an interview. Know the job position you are applying for and the firm’s history. Study the cases they previously tackled and what type of person they want for the job.
Believe it or not, a lot of the points will be affected by your personality. If you are going to be a consultant, you are going to meet different clients. They want someone who can bring ease to the client and also build long-lasting business relationships.
On the other hand, they might need someone with analytical skills. It depends on their preferences, so you need to research them.
Likewise, you can also research the type of cases they frequently tackle. Case interviews are typically realistic scenarios or based on previous experiences. If you do your research, you can expect the topic niche they are going to give to you for the interview.
Practice, Practice, And Practice
Research cases that have been previously solved and study their approaches. Study cases with the intent of knowing how they reached their conclusions. The only way you can truly understand what is a case interview is being in one.
Find a case interview partner to help each other out. Practice with them, and if possible, practice regularly. Be each other’s hardest critics. The more you see each other’s flaws, the more you can patch them out and improve.
Another thing to practice is your math skills. Case interviews will involve a lot of math. Practice math until you can do basic arithmetic in your head.
Study cases that you can handle, then improve the difficulty as you go.
Note You Progress
Your improvement won’t mean much of anything if you can’t remember. While it is embarrassing to write down mistakes, write them down for your own good. No matter how small it might seem, it will make a lot of impacts later in the interview.
After each practice session, take note of what you did right and what you did wrong. Later on, practice the same case interview again and see if you improved this time.
If you need more professional advice, I suggest hiring a coach. They can help you a lot since they have a lot of experience under their belt. With their expertise, they can accurately examine your structures, communication skills, and other hard skills. You will benefit a lot from their feedback.
The more perspective you have, the clearer it is to see mistakes and improve upon them.