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Case Study Interview – How to Prepare for It?


Case study interview test people in all manners so that the candidate becomes best in terms of action. They are designed to evaluate the process information as this can solve problems and how to react to difficult situations. The topics in case studies can be anything that is mediated and evaluated within teamwork.

Case Study Interview Tips

What is Case Study Interview:

A case study interview is a special interview that is used in the hiring process mainly used by professional service providing organizations. Usual interviews comprise of aptitude tests but in case study interviews, a case study is given for assessing the candidate’s qualities.

This type of interview is mainly used for selecting associate-level employees who would be skilled enough to act as the face of the firm.

What Skills Case Studies Are Looking to Test:

Case study interviews are the later part of the recruitment process which will be performed on candidates who get through the basic interview stages. Some of the top skills that the case interviews look for are

  1. Good and effective communication
  2. Business intuition
  3. Asking right and important questions
  4. Analytical thinking

Tips on How to Perform Well During the Case Study Interview:

  • Make the conversation moving forward
  • Treat your interviewer as one of your company’s clients
  • Indicate that the task is fun
  • Maintain the communication appropriately
  • Engage with the interviewer actively

How to Prepare and Practice Effectively:

Performing a case study interview on a candidate helps in analyzing the approach which they use to business problems. Tackling the problems effectively show your working pattern of how you would be handling the firm’s clients.

Some of the best ways to practice case study interviews are as follows

  1. Should be having active listening skills
  2. Practice a few real cases
  3. Build a style of solving complex business solutions
  4. Improve your analyzing skills and make the right decisions
  5. Familiar yourself with fundamental analyzing strategies
  6. Understand the consulting industry’s most used standard frameworks

Case Study Interview Examples:

Case studies interviews can present upon a few parameters such as a company’s profitability, business intuition, etc. Here are some of the examples of case study interviews.

a. Maximizing the business:

The question will raise as if the clients in the global organization that manufactures and distributes a huge range of chocolates will try to expand the business. They can expand either introducing a new channel via the existing distribution or building a completely new business to set many retail stores.

So the candidate should answer in such a way that to make this plan successful, the organization has to approach different investments for a better solution. These decisions cannot be taken blindly instead there must be a valid reason behind every decision.

b. Increasing profitability:

Here if the employer asks “How will you manage if there is declining profitability of an organization?” The employer will expect the candidate to find out a solution and the ways to implement it. So the candidate has to analyze the performance of the entire chain.

After identifying the problem, he/she must answer the question as it is because of the cost effective solution that might make the organization that will address each supply chain.

c. Foreign market:

The employer may ask “How to introduce a new product in the foreign market?” So the candidate should analyze the risks and benefits of producing the product in his/her own country than in a new country. Also, he/she has to verify the terms and policies of the new nation regarding the product.

d. Restructuring a company:

The question may raise as “If a company has to restructured, how will you manage it?” So the candidate has to answer that he/she will identify the problems that the company is facing and the ways to address it and also the reasons for the recommendation.

e. Manhole cover:

Some of the logical questions will be asked by the interviewer. For instance: About the manhole cover. Why is it always in a round shape? The candidate has to answer as if it is square then the cover can fall diagonally as they cannot be dropped directly as manholes.

Case Study Interview Preparation Strategy:

To prepare for the case study interview, the candidate has to understand the firm’s recruitment sample case studies. This type of work can involve by the other type of work i.e. how the company works with its clients etc.

The candidate has to have a glance at the press releases to understand the type of work that the organization undertakes. This will help the candidate to analyze the recommendations, a business carried out and also the client’s feedback.

Here one can also gather a deep knowledge of the case study interviews by undergoing workshops, presentations, etc. As there are two types of case studies, the performance of the candidate will be evaluated.

  • Mission impossible and market sizing case study interview
  • Condensed project assignment interview

The basic structure of every question has to answer and also the reasoning and voice assumptions are to manage. This helps them understand the reasoning challenges and the assumptions that can be made accordingly. Here are some approaches for case study:

  1. Prioritizing the information and developing a hypothesis.
  2. Developing an exhaustive structure.
  3. Gathering data that ultimately derive a solution.

Tips From Consultancies:

Case study interviews play an effective role in an interview. It deals with the past and the experiences of sustainability. The solution for every problem can identify on the day to day working of a client project. The top consulting firms have a list of valuable advice for approaching the case study interviews.

They are:

  • The candidate must be good at analytics and logic of mathematics.
  • Preparing a structured approach towards the problem and focusing more on the issues.
  • The candidate must not outbreak if the answer is unclear.
  • Before answering the candidate must take some time to approach and organize the thoughts.
  • The candidate must try to concentrate and analyze the hints given by the employer.

How to Solve the Case Study in Interview:

The candidate must try to establish a bi-directional communication in front of the interviewer. This rapport conversation will enable the candidate to collect more data for the case study.

The relevant information given will be transparent for the thought process and also for the current hypothesis. The interviewer will provide a chart based on the questions. Here are some of the ways to understand the problem.

a. Preparing a schedule:

If the candidate is more focused on the interview preparation then he/she must try to cancel the other events as to focus more on the preparation for the interview. This method maximizes the chances of succeeding in a short period. It is advisable to work almost 12-14 hours per day regarding the interview.

b. Restating the question:

By restating the question the candidate can confirm the question with the interviewer. To understand the problem better, the candidate must try to rephrase the question in his/her way. This is done mainly to avoid misunderstandings. Here it is advisable to understand the needs of the customers.

c. Focusing on goals:

Initially, the goal must set to increase the bottom line to initiate the business. The candidate must try to break the problem into pieces and also to stay focused eventually. This will help in clarifying the goals and to consult periodically.

The interviewer expects the candidate to be more attentive about the goals. This will help them come up with different points for the question asked.

d. Structuring the answer:

It is always mandatory to ask a few seconds to the interviewer before answering the question. Meanwhile, one can prepare the answer and deliver it. While solving the cases the candidate must be analytic and also reasonable.

Delivering the answer with the help of an issue tree will make the interviewer understand more about the candidate’s point of view.

e. Business firm model:

To state the answer, asking different questions to the interviewer politely about the firm will help the candidate to answer the case study. The candidate must identify the size of the company, profitability and the growth that the company achieves and the product that produces.

Regarding external factors, the candidate must know the point of lifecycle, configuration, and suppliers involved. Regarding the product, the candidate must be aware of the exact product, brand, and its corresponding reputation.

f. Understanding the expectation of the interview:

Generally, the interviewer will like to hear the conclusion and later the reason for it. The candidate must have excellent communication while explaining. Even the problem solving skills are analyzed while answering.

Creativity and the logical reasoning given by the candidate will strike a note for the interviewer whether to hire the candidate or not. The candidate can impress the interviewer by generating actionable recommendations. Some of the candidates fail due to improper structuring of the answer.

g. Note taking:

This method has to follow throughout the preparation for the interview. Most of the candidates fail due to improper delivery of answers to the employer, so this process of taking notes will help the candidate to process the information by understanding, referring and remembering the structure of the answer.

h. Data analysis:

The interviewer will give the necessary information to solve the question. So the candidate must try to gather the information, organize it and must be able to find a solution by performing data analysis. It is more important to demonstrate the reason for the answer given. Before analyzing the candidate must paraphrase the answer.

i. Focusing on every piece of information:

The candidate must be an active listener and must focus and concentrate on the information or the question asked. To proceed further, he/she must write the points clearly as it becomes a structure for the answer. Every piece of information has to be analyzed.

j. Hypothesize:

Always listing possible solutions will help the candidate to understand the reviews that are mentioned and the problems that are focused on. Planning for a solution and listing the hypotheses will develop creativity which in turn will help to identify more answers. To identify the best feasible solution the person has to enquire about the company to the interviewer.

k. Challenges that the business face:

Analyzing and gathering information about the real life challenges that the company faces will help the candidate to provide more structured decisions. It also creates a bridge between the frequent happenings and also the high level programs. This framework has to modulate the answers in various categories that the structure is made.

l. Logical framework:

To construct a framework, the candidate must create critical solutions for the sample cases. These can be included from the marketing business and also depending upon the situation that is encountered by the organization.

m. Using resources:

Making use of the websites and resources to provide good answers in the interviews is the agreed techniques by the experts. Assessing the cases by receiving help from experts is important. Remembering the interview process and preparing accordingly is a smarter technique.

n. Graphic representation:

Building a graphic representation will enhance the analysis of parameters, other influencing factors and also decisions. The recommendations of the strong arguments have to be made as this approach has an added benefit for the preparation.

o. Assessing the competency:

The candidate must be aware of the strengths and weaknesses. This will help them to evaluate the master of other consulting frameworks. The answers will be more specified in time as it becomes the relevant data. This will help them to determine the frameworks that are set at finding a complete solution.

p. Practicing with an expert:

It will be more effective if the candidate mocks the interview by undertaking fruitful efforts. Thinking more about the areas of improvement will help to clear the interview. Working more on the negative feedback will help in defining more about the goals as this becomes an evaluation of strengths and weaknesses.

q. Asking intelligent questions:

The candidate must collect details to ask some intelligent questions to the interviewer. This can be done by preparing for the additional information as this may clarify the doubts while going on the wrong path.

r. Scanning the news:

Candidate must be aware of the general incidents that happen all over. He/she must stay updated about the issues. For the sake of reference, the candidate can go through the news about international affairs, politics, etc.

s. Improving quantitative skills:

As we are all aware of the fact that each interview will be composed of a few of the quantitative questions, one should focus more on those. Actual case interviews will focus mainly on numerical abilities. Data interpretation, self awareness identity are the most expected questions in a case interview.

t. Practicing sample cases:

There are many websites and plenty of books to go through before attending the interview. Candidates can gain confidence in solving the sample case questions. This will help to create a structured answer and also help them to understand the questions.

Thus, by preplanning and practicing the sample cases one can mock the case interview easily. Regardless of the cases, one can consider a few parameters such as abilities to analyze the situation, identifying the exact issues and answering.