How To Prepare For A Group Case Interview
It’s no surprise that consulting firms frequently do case interviews to get the right applicants. They are a core part of their selection process, and they can’t do without it. Only a handful of firms don’t practice case interviews.
With case interviews, firms can accurately determine an applicant’s analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills. It can also likewise determine your mannerisms and personality. Consulting firms want to know if you are the right person for the job.
For well-known companies, case interviews are indispensable. These companies encounter thousands of applicants per year. To ensure they only pick the qualified applicants, they evolve and adapt their case interviews accordingly. One of these adaptions is group case interviews.
Group case interviews will demand the same analytical, problem-solving, and communication skills from you. However, this time, you will be evaluated for your teamwork within a high-pressure work environment.
What is A Group Case Interview
If you are looking at how to prepare for a group case interview, you are probably scheduled for one. Despite the hardships of passing face-to-face case interviews, depending on the firm, you are going to experience it again.
It looks like you need to cross another challenging obstacle to get the job. Just like case interviews, however, you can make group case interviews much more manageable. So, what is a group case interview?
Group case interview, as the name implies, you are going to solve a case with a team. There will be 3-6 people in a team, and you will be closely monitored on how you collaborate with others. Group case interviews only typically happen during the last session of the interview.
To get a good grasp of case interviews, you first need to understand the normal case interview. Just like normal interviews, your analytical, problem-solving, and communications skills are scrutinized. But now, you will also be scrutinized on how you will interact with other people.
A case interview is a simulation of real business problems. So your approach should also be as if you are working to solve a real problem. Together with your team, you will work together to come up with the best solution possible. While you are competing against each other, don’t emphasize it, and concentrate on working together.
The consulting firm will offer jobs to a couple of you if they are impressed. It’s not a battle royale since everyone can win and have a chance for a job offer.
Simulate as if you are on the job already. Be positive with the team, and don’t try hard to outdo them in every single term. The way you act here will reflect your attitude on the job later on. Show them that you can collaborate with any team you are put in.
A group case interview can happen in either two ways, and here is how:
Group Case Interview Formats
Each firm has its own take in doing group case interviews. Typically, though, they follow a strict format. A group case interview can happen in either two ways, and here is how:
Just like the normal case interviews, the interview format will closely resemble it. Now though, you will work together with other 3-6 people.
Once you go to your scheduled group case interview, you will notice a small crowd of candidates with you. Then, the interviewers will separate the crowd into several groups with 3–6 people each. After that, each group will be given a case along with some information and review materials.
Now, you will be asked to discuss the case along with your group. The discussion will take place in front of several interviewers. Finally, after the discussion, the interviewer will now give out questions for the next 15-20 minutes.
In a presentation format, you are going to present your solution to several interviewers. Sometimes, working as a consultant, a client will want you to explain to them the solution. But before they do, they first want to hear if you come up with any solution.
The solution first, and then you can explain how and why your solution works. After that, they will ask for more details about your solution. The presentation format is practicing the art of convincing a client.
Just like the interview format, you will be grouped with other people. Again each group will be given a case to solve along with some review materials. However, this time, unlike interview the interview format, you will be given 1 hour to review and prepare a presentation.
During the preparation, the interviewer will only observe and not interfere. After the one hour is up, your group will be then asked to present your findings for 15 minutes. After the group presents, they will be then subjected to a series of questions for 15-20 minutes.
With the details above, you now know what to expect in a case interview. It will better help you prepare for the upcoming group case interview.
How To Prepare For A Group Case Interview
To better maximize your chances to pass, do the steps below:
1.) Study Your Structures
Your structure is more important than getting the right answer. The more familiar you are with structuring, the better you can concisely and precisely make an answer. It’s a very logical approach instead of a convoluted and confusing approach.
2.) Practice Cases
If you can get a practice case interview partner, the faster you can improve. Practice case interviews with each other and give constructive feedback. However, if not possible, conduct mock case interviews by yourself. Ask questions and answer them out loud. It feels weird, I know, but it will help you practice communication.
3.) Take Note Of Your Progress
Take note of your progress every step of the way. If you saw any mistakes in a mock case interview, write them down and improve on them. After several days, try the mock case interview again and see, if this time if you improved or not.
4.) Learn How You Come Across On Anyone
See if you leave a good impression on others. Evaluate or have someone evaluate your interpersonal skills. You want to be seen as someone that can easily be worked with. If you identify any negative mannerisms, now is the time to address them.
If you follow these steps, then you are on your way to acing the interview!