Case Interview Prep
A case interview, also referred to as a case study, is a job application where the prospective applicant is presented with an extremely challenging case situation that he/she has to investigate and ultimately provide a solution for. Case interviews are specifically designed to assess the prospective candidate`s analytical abilities and “soft” skills in a real-life business context. In case studies, the case interview involves asking the candidate to solve a problem or make a decision under time constraints. The process forces candidates to use their “brains” – i.e. logic, critical thinking, and analysis – to solve problems rather than relying on their “brawn” – i.e.
The major benefits of case interviews are that it is a practical way to learn about people`s strengths and weaknesses. The case interview prep training programs developed by leading management consulting firms focus on teaching you how to demonstrate your ability to solve problems quickly, accurately, and cost effectively. The program also helps you develop your communication skills so you can efficiently handle both internal and external communications. This allows you to put forth a good performance in your current job and gain further consideration for advancement. You are trained to focus on solving problems and not on trying to prove you`re “more qualified” or” smarter” than everyone else.
There are four main components to case interviewing: elicitation, analysis, synthesis, and resolution. The case interview is designed to force you to bring forth a specific example (or example case) of how you solved a problem when given a set of circumstances. This forces you to think back to your previous experiences and apply your past skills, experiences, and successes to current work. In doing so, you will be forced to analyze and determine how those previous skills can be applied to solve your current case. The key aspects of the case interview preparation process include:
An interviewer is much more interested in your case interviews than in your case study or resume. Therefore, you must carefully consider how you dress, maintain professional appearance, maintain nonverbal communication, and answer interviewer questions. The case interview requires that you stand tall, be clean, appear confident and capable of handling tough interview questions. These qualities will come across clearly in your posture, voice, and body language.
Most case interviews take place on dryer days and in clean rooms. In order to create a sense of professionalism, it is highly recommended that you prepare for case interviews ahead of time. To help you with case interviews, consult with certified consulting case interview formats used by case managers, investment banking associates, corporate attorneys, venture capitalists, corporate law firms, and other industry professionals.
As a member of a consulting firm, you will have the opportunity to learn about the best mckinsey case interview prep practices. Your consulting offer will likely offer the member access to industry specific case study templates. These templates can provide you with practice questions that you can compare to the qualifications required of the job opening. It may also offer you practice exercises and case study questions from successful interviewees. Additionally, your member consulting firm will likely have a network of case interviewers who can provide you practice questions and provide feedback on your performance.
When preparing for the case interview prep, it is important that you understand the industry you are applying for and the type of skills and experience required. For instance, financial consulting offers one on one client contact, whereas venture capital firms typically hire an investment bank for transactional work. Therefore, if you have experience working with business finance, accounting, or investment banking you will have a better chance of being hired by a venture capital firm. While the consulting offer may have resources that allow you to do well in their industry, remember that these resources are usually in high demand and may not be available to candidates who lack the required experience. Therefore, it is important that you understand the industry, your specific skill-set, and what the hiring company is looking for before submitting your application.
There is another option available to case interview preparation in that some firms offer a mock case interview program that you can use to learn how to conduct yourself during the case interview. The program is usually designed for new candidates and will give you practice interviewing techniques. Some case companies offer case questions that you can use to prepare for your case interview. As you gain experience in case interviews, the more likely you are to make it through the final review process and be hired.