Case Interview Season: Everything You Need to Know to Ace the Interview
Congratulations! All your hard work at the Consultport Academy has paid off. You are now ready to become a consultant. Applying for jobs is one thing. Getting a job is another. When being interviewed for a consulting position, there are two parts to the process; a fit interview and a case interview. A fit interview questions your motives behind joining the company and tests whether the company is the right place for you. The case interview is the more technical side. This is where the interviewer tests your skills and abilities. During the case interview, you are given a business problem that you must solve and analyse. It is not uncommon for people to freeze during this stage, even though they may know their stuff. To help you through this, we have included some tips and tricks to acing the interview and impressing the interviewer.
Preparing for Case Interview
When preparing for a case interview, there are many things to consider. Preparing for a case interview can involve both mental and technical ability tasks. Mentally you need to get yourself into a good headspace. You need to feel confident in yourself and your abilities. In terms of skills, you need to brush up on your case interview frameworks, world news, consulting terminology and case math skills, as there are some math formulae that you need to know off by heart.
Case Interview Frameworks
Before your interview, make sure that you are familiar with the case interview framework methods you could refer to when approaching the specific problem you’ve been given. The case interview framework methods will help you break down the problem into smaller, more digestible pieces. However, these frameworks should not be parrot-learned and repeated off by heart in your interview. You need to use these case interview frameworks as a basis to create your unique frameworks off of. Some of the most important frameworks in the consulting world are:
- Probability Frameworks
- Market Entry Framework
- 3Cs Framework
- Merger and Acquisition Framework
This simple framework breaks down any profits the business has made into its revenues and costs, and helps to identify why the company isn’t turning a profit.
This helps a business decide whether they should launch into a new market or stay put in the market they are already in. In order to make that call one needs to look at the market, client capabilities, financials, and entry strategies.
The three C’s are customers, competition, and company. This is a helpful framework for putting together a business strategy.
This helps a business decide whether it should join forces with the competition. This framework looks at the market, target, buyer, and synergies, and risks.
Case Interview Secrets
If this is your first time heading into a case interview, you may not know what to expect. Luckily for you, there are many already established consultants who have been in your position before. They were nice enough to share a few of their case interview secrets. These case interview secrets include:
Case Interview Examples
When applying for consulting positions at some of the top consulting companies, there are some business problems that they commonly ask the interviewee to solve. This is a typical case interview example:
McKinsey Diconsa Case Study
Client goal: McKinsey has been asked by The Gates Foundation to create a financial services design for isolated Mexican communities.
Situation Description: Most of the rural parts of Mexico are inhabited by relatively poor individuals that rely on government cash relief and benefits. Due to this fact, most of these individuals do not have bank accounts. The closest banks to them are miles away. Diconsa is a chain of Mexican stores owned by the government. There are thousands of these stores in the rural areas of Mexico. They provide individuals with essentials such as food and clothes. They also have thousands of delivery trucks and a network of warehouses.
McKinsey Study: Investigate the potential of using Diconsa stores and their already established network to provide basic financial services to make up for the fact that there are minimal banks in the rural areas. The service would initially start with distributing government benefits, but later it would include other financial services such as bank accounts and insurance offers.
What do you do in this scenario? What is your advice as a consultant?
Whether you are a case interview newbie or not, these strategies and secrets are sure to help you stand out from the crowd. We recommend you also bring your personality into the interview. After all, talent only gets you into the room, but character is what keeps you there.