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Pages: 9 (2086 mots) Publié le: 16 décembre 2010
Case Interview Workshop

How to Crack the Case


WASHINGTON, D.C. (703) 506-3900

Consulting firms (and increasingly other corporations) use case interviews to evaluate candidate skills in a more realistic environment

The Challenge of Evaluating Candidates
• The interviewer’s goal is to quickly assess if you would succeed in their consultingenvironment
— Consulting Industry: Demanding clients, changing topics, unstructured problems — Dean & Company: Small firm, quantitative, early ownership, non-hierarchical

• Your resume is critical in earning an interview by establishing that you have the raw materials we look for:
— — — Intellectual capacity Business intuition Demonstrated achievement — Entrepreneurial spirit — Effectivecommunications — Professional integrity

• However, because the consulting industry is so dynamic, we look for current skills and future potential more than your specific experience
— Limits the usefulness of traditional resume interviews

• The case interview is a discussion about a problem or scenario used to evaluate your fit with the company and position

Cases come in manyforms – at Dean & Company we tend to use Business Problems, which often contain Market Sizing elements

Types of Cases
Definition: Relatively short-answer thought question

Open-ended discussion derived from a topic on the resume • Applying knowledge in new directions • Building a logical & structured argument

Market Sizing
Estimate the size of something fromlittle hard data • • • • Structuring & logic Prioritization 80/20 estimation Sanity checking

Business Problem
Analyze a real-world problem facing a client

Key Skills Tested:

• Creativity • “Raw Horsepower” Horsepower”

• Structuring open, complex problems • Logical conclusions • High stakes communications


Three switches connect to three bulbs in another room that I canenter only once. How can I map switches to bulbs? Never

You applied for grants. How would you reform funding in [your subject matter here]? here]?

How many coffee cups does Starbucks go through in a year?

Should we invest in Company X?

Dean Use?

Occasionally, especially in ad hoc resume interviews

Rarely stand-alone, more often as part of a larger questionAbsolutely


Case interviews are more about logic and reasoning than specific results

Case interviews ARE designed to assess your ability to…
• Structure complex problems • Prioritize ideas, manage time • Perform analysis, interpret data • Demonstrate creativity • “Think business” business” • Communicate recommendations

… but they ARE NOT designed to:

• Test specific industry orfunctional experience • Have a “right” answer right” • Have a single way to address the question • Be confrontational or misleading



There are four basic skill sets we evaluate during the case interview

The Case Interview: Evaluation Criteria
• Problem solving
— Develops hypotheses — Structures thinking — Uses intuition and creativity — Gets to the “so whats” — Hasintellectual curiosity

• Communication skills
— Listens actively — Speaks clearly and concisely — Understands graphic presentation — Structures answers well — Seems excited and engaged

• Analysis and research
— Demonstrates quantitative aptitude — Gathers and evaluates information, asks questions — Sees the forest for the trees

• Interpersonal skills
— Is well rounded — Displays maturity andresponsibility — Has high energy level — Is tactful — Fits with the firm’s culture firm’

Can the person do the work?

Would I want to be “stuck” in an airport with this person? Could I put this person in front of a client?

Part of the challenge is structuring your thoughts and managing your time well

The Four Stages of a Case Interview The Set-Up
I. Ask Initial...
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