How To Prepare Case Interview
Case interviews are a highlight in picking the right applicant, most especially in consulting firms. To have a profession in very notable firms requires acing case interviews. The interview can be unnerving, yet with the right preparation, a case interview can be simplified.
With its effectiveness in finding the right applicants, case interviews are now in use in different industries. Even if you are not there for consulting firms, you still most likely will stumble upon it. Through this interview, an applicant’s soft and hard skills are thoroughly examined.
Testing your abilities in this interview doesn’t require a written test but something more complex. Instead, expect a direct one-on-one interview. It’s a lot more hands-on, so you need to prepare a lot for the upcoming interview.
But how exactly will you prepare for the interview? Before we answer that question, let’s first understand the importance of preparing for the interview.
How To Prepare Case Interview – Preparation Is Key
Consulting firms are very competitive against each other, and not only that, thousands of applicants flock to the firms too. To have an edge against competition and to pick among the thousands of candidates, they have raised the standard of their case interviews. Will you be able to not only pass but actually stand out from the crowd?
Regardless of your grades and intellect, a few days of preparation is enough. Others start to practice only when they have an upcoming interview, which is just 3-5 days of notice. Unless you are very talented, it’s very unlikely that you will manage to pull it off.
Preparation allows you to showcase your abilities. If you don’t prepare, you are limiting yourself. As the maxim goes, not preparing is preparing yourself to fail.
That said, what I am going to layout for you is just a guideline. It won’t miraculously solve all case studies, and there is no such thing anyway. After you received the guideline, keep practicing it over and over again until it comes naturally.
Is there such thing as practicing too much, though? No, you cannot practice too much for the interview. However, there is such thing as improper practice. Improper practice means that you are almost basically memorizing frameworks. Don’t stick to frameworks too much, and treat each case as unique, and they need their own framework.
That said, what is it like to be in the interview? That way, you can better prepare for it.
How To Prepare Case Interview – What To Expect
To Start The Interview
You will find yourself in a lounge waiting for your turn. When it’s your turn, you will be called for an interview. When you do meet the interviewer, greet them with a warm smile and keep eye contact. While it may not seem much, you should try to make a good impression. Be confident but not arrogant in your approach.
First impressions are a huge factor in the case interview. Consciously or not, the interviewer is already examining you. Like it or not, being examined is part of the job. Once you are a consultant, you are going to meet different clients.
Your impression should assure the client that they are in good hands. Keep that point in mind as you meet the interviewer. Treat him well as you would a future client.
To start the interview, the interviewer will now start a fit interview. A Fit interview is there to examine your soft skills such as communication skills, habits, and leadership skills.
Here Come The Cases
Following the first phase, then at that point comes the case study to solve. The interviewer will currently then hand out the case that needs solving. At the same time, have a pen and paper with you to note key details. The notes will fill in as your source during the interview.
After your notetaking, don’t rush to have a go at settling the case right away. Case studies can undoubtedly be misjudged—all the more when you are nervous. So cool off, and ask some questions. Summarize your notes to the interviewer and ask if your understanding of the question is right.
Ensure that you clear any mistaken assumptions now. Better get the image now as opposed to inclining that you got the reason wrong later on.
Time To Crack The Case
To start solving the case, time to make structures. However, remember that structures are guidelines, and don’t get too caught up with which structure to use. Focus on the case at hand, and if you don’t know which structure to use, come up with your own.
Once you’ve formulated a structure, continue to interface with the questioner. Hushing your thoughts about it won’t help you. Consider the questioner a collaborator as opposed to the person that hands out tests. Try not to get intimidated and work with them.
Communicate with them, otherwise, they can’t identify what you are thinking. Hushing your thoughts about it won’t help you. Consider the questioner a collaborator as opposed to the person that hands out tests. Try not to get intimidated and work with them.
Time To Recommend Your Solution
Now that you have the answer, do you just blurt it out? It’s not that simple. You still need to convince the interviewer why your solution is logical and rationale. Why, though?
Remember to treat the interviewer as the client. Your client has a business, and changing things up is not done with a stroke of a pen. It will take time and resources for the clients to change things up. That’s why you need to be able to convince them that the solution you found will be able to solve their problems.
Finally, Leave an Impression
You are just one of the thousands of applicants. On top of that, your interviewer will encounter different applicants which will be solving the very same case you just solved. Your interviewer probably has done the same routine couple of times already.
Against all those odds, will the interviewer remember what you just did? Well, you can help them remember! Make a good impression by giving some remarks and asking insightful questions.