If you’re pining for a consulting job, you’ve almost certainly heard of a case interview. During these interviews, you are presented with a specific business challenge to solve.
Case interviews demonstrate hard skills and attest to an individual’s ability to exercise critical thinking.
Unfortunately, tackling case interviews isn’t easy. Interviewers demand to see analytical thinking, data-driven reasoning, and creative problem-solving. No matter how charming you are, acing a case interview won’t be easy if you haven’t mastered these three aspects.
If you’re looking for some tips to help you ace your case interview, here are a few that can help.
Common Case Interview Questions
Case interviews don’t involve typical interview questions like “Tell me about yourself” or “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Instead, you will be given a business challenge and then asked to come up with a solution.
Sometimes the interviewer presents brainteasers, which are oddball questions intended to assess the extent of your logical reasoning.
You must remember that regardless of what question you’re asked, there’s rarely one correct answer. In fact, the case interviewer won’t be looking for the right answer. They want to evaluate the candidate’s ability to think analytically and logically to come up with a feasible solution.
Preparing for a Case Interview
Here are a few things you can do to ensure your success in a case interview.
If you’ve been given the question ahead of time, ensure you research it extensively. Look for examples of companies that have dealt with the same situation in real-life. The more you know, the better you’ll be at structuring your answer.
If you haven’t been given a question beforehand, research a few common case interview reviews and prepare accordingly.
Understand the Framework
You may have the best answer, but if you’re unable to structure and present it properly, it could come across as a long-winded and meaningless ramble. Stick to a problem-solving framework when you’re giving your answer so the interviewer can follow your underlying thought process as you describe it, step-by-step.
While knowledge and research are important for succeeding in a case interview, they can only take you so far. This is where practice comes in—you can look up online videos or practice with your friends. You can also hire an interview coach to give you personalized feedback on improving your weaknesses.
How to Ace the Case Interview
There’s nothing wrong with getting more information to clarify any misunderstanding and to polish your answer. As such, don’t shy away from questioning the interviewers. It will only tell the interviewer that you’re determined to succeed.
If you don’t believe in your answer, the interviewer won’t either. You must project confidence through your voice and body language. Be firm and decisive about your solution if you have presented ample evidence to support it. You should also ensure that you make eye contact with everyone you’re presenting to.
Be Prepared for Questions
Expect the interviewer to ask questions about the business solutions you presented. Describe your thought process as transparently and thoroughly as possible, helping to ensure you and the interviewer are on the same page.
If you need more help with polishing your case interview skills, look for an expert job interview coach near you!