What Is Case Interview Questions

An interview can come in different approaches. Perhaps, they are only testing your skill sets or gauging if your personality suits their needs. But sometimes, companies will go to extraordinary lengths to find the best suitable candidates. They are trying to find the cream of the crop. For that, they do case interview questions. So what is case interview questions? 

If you are applying for a job that involves administrative tasks, then you will likely come across some case interview questions. Of course, they won’t tell you which ones are the case interview questions and which aren’t. They will introduce it naturally as the interview goes along. 

Although they are common for management positions, they are not limited to them. So best be prepared for them. To prepare yourself for that kind of question, you must first identify it. 

Answering case interview questions can be the difference between getting the job or not. Make sure to don’t miss it out! That said, we will help you not only identify them but also how to answer them. 

What is Case Interview Question?

What Is Case Interview Questions 2

 

Case interview questions are a form of an interview that engages the candidates’ abilities by presenting a business situation. What typically happens is that they will present you with a business scenario, and they will ask you how you will handle it. Case interviews are a must in management positions and consulting services since most cases in those jobs are varied.

Case interview questions are there to ascertain which candidate has sufficient problem-solving or analytical skills for the position. Questions can vary in difficulty, and they might come in simple questions, trick questions, to questions involving how you would deal with an unsatisfied customer. Case interview questions are also a must in banking for strategic purposes. 

It is certainly important that you spend time preparing for your job interview. However, you need to also dedicate some time to answering case interview questions. 

Your job interview is like an appetizer, while the case interview is getting to the main course. The interviewer would want to dig into the appetizer, sure, but they want to get to your core. They want to know what you can really offer to them. 

Types of Case Interview Questions

1.) Business Scenarios

You will be given a scenario to gauge your abilities in general businesses management. They will want to know now only what you know, but how you will logically use your knowledge.

It can range from anything that involves businesses, such as marketing strategies, maximizing the efficiency of an institutional framework, profit to loss margins, and handling clients or customers. 

Example:

 “Although online shopping has been on the rise, and yet the online store is still operating at a loss. What do you think is going on?”

2.) Market Sizing Case Questions: 

These series of questions are centered around determining the size of a market based on yearly income or the number of units sold instead of deciding how to contend effectively against other businesses. 

Market sizing questions are used to sort out the candidates’ abilities, especially when hiring in consulting firms. They would ask what market sizing questions during the interview process to determine who has and who hasn’t had a deep background in business. 

Expect the questions to be quite complicated or technical. It will focus on asking you some market estimates, basic math, and creativity in approaching market sizing-related topics.

Example: 

“What is the size of the market for smartphones for this year?”

3.) Non-Profit Case Questions:

Case interview questions don’t necessarily equate with businesses costs and revenues.

Non-profit case questions, although not centered around profit, can still be business-related. Depending on the position they are offering, they might ask questions relating to employee relations or employee retention. Likewise, they might question your understanding of the current competition between businesses. 

Another application for non-profit case questions is through assessing applicants by putting them in a hypothetical business scenario. You and the interviewer will work together to solve the presented business problem. 

For non-profit case interview questions, there is no real proper answer. What you need to do is to offer the best possible explanation. 

Expect non-profit case interview questions in consulting services. In that kind of job, situations are nuanced. There is no single way to approach the problem, and that’s why creativity is a must. 

You do not want to keep sticking to textbook protocols since each situation is different. They want the most logical and yet creative employee for the job. 

Example: 

“How can we increase renewable energy in third world countries.”

How Do You Answer?

Keep in mind that when answering these questions, there is no one correct answer. Case interview questions are there to evaluate your analytical and problem-solving skills. Their primary goal is not the final outcome but in how you will approach it.

Your future boss is very interested in how you will approach a problem. Do you carefully look at every detail to avoid a hast conclusion? Do you ask perceptive questions? Are you creative in approaching the subject? Are you exhibiting good critical thinking?

Getting to the right answer is certainly a huge plus. However, you always won’t have the definite right answer. Sometimes, they might not provide all the information, or there are multiple correct answers. 

As long as your reasoning is sound, you are getting there. To be more specific in your approach, here are some general guidelines that can help you answer questions more effectively. 

  1. Pay attention: Once they provide the question, make sure to be attentive to each detail. Understand what they are trying to say, and take notes to use as a reference later on.
  2. Don’t hesitate the ask questions!: Remember, you are here to solve a problem. Make sure that you thoroughly understand the case. If you think there is something that needs to be clarified, feel free to ask anytime. 

You might think that asking questions might deduct your points. However, it’s better to ask and answer it right than get it wrong. 

  1. Strategize Your Approach: After understanding the questions, proceed to explain how you will strategize your approach. It shows that you have a clear purpose in answering the question.
  2. Think Out Loud: As you go along in your interview process, feel free to express your thoughts. However, be tactful about it. You don’t want to blurt out ideas that seem unintelligent. 
  3. Focus on the topic: There might be too many details that will derail you. But keep in mind to keep yourself on the topic.
  4. Show off!: Feel free to express your skills on a particular subject. However, keep in mind that you do not boast about it but instead show off when dealing with it. 
  5. Summarize your answer: Once you got yourself a good answer, summarize it and explain how you will solve the problem. 

Conclusion


All of these points aren’t great if you don’t practice! Spend time to try mock-up interviews or even ask someone to practice with you. Explain to them the basics and make the roleplay realistic. 

You can likewise read or study your field expertise deeper. The deeper you understand the subject, the better you can provide an answer.