A case interview is a type of interview regularly conducted by counseling firms mainly McKinsey, Bain, BCG during the employing cycle of new employees.
During a case interview, the interviewee is given a speculative business circumstance and asked how they would deal with the situation or take care of the issue.
The business situation is typically the one that the interviewee would probably experience while working for the organization.
Case interviews are designed to evaluate the candidate’s analytical skills and his creative mind thinking plus his problem-solving skills.
Many consulting firms conduct case interviews to see whether the candidate is a perfect fit for the job or the work you will be required to do if you get hired.
Case interview format
There is a uniform format used by different consultancy firms like McKinsey, Bain, BCG, etc for conducting case interviews.
To get a job at any of the consultancy firms, you must qualify all the case interviews which are somewhere in the range of four and six case interviews, partitioned into two rounds, with each meeting enduring around one hour.
- In the first 15-30 minutes, the interviewer will be evaluating your inspiration behind going for this particular job position in that particular consultancy firm and also testing your leadership qualities.
- The next 30-40 minutes will be the case Interview in which they will give you a hypothetical situation that you will be asked to overcome with the help of your abilities.
- The last 5 minutes will be for the other general questions concerning the job and your qualifications. In these 5 minutes, you can also put your inquiries for the questioner.
During the case interviews, the questioners are for the most part searching for the accompanying skills which are:
- Mathematical and verbal reasoning abilities
- Communication and presentation abilities
- Business abilities and business mindfulness
Applicants are frequently approached to solve a mathematical inquiry or decide on an action plan that intends to cure a business issue.
Type of questions asked in case interviews
Most case inquiry questions don’t have only one answer, instead, there might be more than one worthy approach to deal with the circumstance and decide the solution.
Each question asked in a case interview will highlight a business issue that you might face in the future during your job at the company.
The applicant will have to determine the issue and pose a solution for it within a restricted measure of time while being noticed.
Example of a question which can be asked in a case interview:
“Gastronomia – a gourmet restaurant chain has found the turnover rate among its highly-skilled chefs increasing dramatically for the last 3 years; this has led to a noticeable decline in food quality and increased training costs, among other negative effects. Which factors would you consider when tackling this turnover problem?”
How to prepare for a case interview?
Following are some of the steps you can follow to prepare yourself for your upcoming case interview:
Practice Sample Questions
Now to nail your case interview you need to do a lot of practice. You can find online many examples of questions asked in a case interview. For instance, Bain and Company have case inquiry questions available on their official website, alongside tips for preparing for a case interview.
Look for a portion of these case inquiries and use them to set yourself up and practice as much as you can.
Practice your answers
Getting yourself sample questions isn’t enough, you have to work on them and practice your answers beforehand.
Make sure that you work on responding to case inquiries with the help of your companions, family members, or your career counselor.
In case, you may know somebody who has insight into these sorts of meetings and is learned about your field, you can take his help and ask him to assist you to prepare effectively for this interview.
Monitor the Time
At the time of appearing in a case interview, time is the most essential thing you cant lose control of.
You have to be prepared and make sure that you answer their question on time and don’t make them wait to hear from you.
It is highly recommended to get a stopwatch and keep a track of your time while practicing for the case interview.
Case interview tips
Here are the five most significant tips that the best candidates must concentrate on:
Listen cautiously and ask inquiries
In your case interview, the questioner will pose an inquiry that will incorporate the circumstance of the organization you are attempting to help.
At that time your job will be to ensure that you comprehend the circumstance effectively so that you answer them correctly.
However, one can not take care of the issue or respond with an appropriate solution if he or she doesn’t get the information he or she has received from the questioner.
So at that time, it is highly suggested to listen carefully at the time they are narrating and then ask inquiries if you have any to comprehend the situation. Because only that way you will be able to answer them effectively.
Don’t reuse frameworks
At the time of your case interview, you have to make sure that every time you use a different or a unique structure to answer the inquires you are posed.
Each case they ask you is interesting and unique, and you ought to consequently make a different structure for each case you work on.
In your case interview, the questioner will ask many numerical-based cases and all of them will include doing maths calculations without a calculator.
So having good mathematical skills is a very must at the time of case interviews. You should set aside the effort to improve your memory and be 100% open to doing essential additions, deductions, divisions, increases, and development rate computations intellectually.
Give a reasonable proposal
In a case interview, your questioner will ask for your opinion and at that time you won’t be able to avoid it.
You must have to offer a reasonable response with supporting data dependent on what you have realized doing the examination.
Case interview sample questions
“A client of a company is a hotel located in New York City, New York. Their primary customer base is made up of mostly foreign tourists. What are some factors that these customers would seek out in a hotel? What influences may affect their decision to stay at the client’s hotel?”
“ business owner has recently opened their offices to the public and is currently deciding as to what type of product to put in the restroom for customers to dry their hands with. Three options have been presented: hot air dryers, paper towels, and roller towels. If the owner has to make a decision this week, what questions should she consider during the decision-making process?”