How To Prepare for a Case Interview

Acing the case interview is one of the most crucial steps in an aspiring consultant’s career plan. An essential preparation plan must begin with an objective. Setting objectives during the planning phase mean that your focus remains driven toward an end goal. Not only will these goals provide you with key points to evaluate your preparation performance but also means your plan can be updated to maintain your focus on the areas that need attention.

Start With Objectives

Your objectives will depend on what you want to achieve through your plan and can include anything from the number of preparation hours, frequency of practice and even the deadlines and assessment points to measure performance. Including objectives will give you a performance and assessment blueprint. Simply forging forward with preparation could result in practice not being priority driven. Do not postpone commencing the preparation. The more time you have, the better.

Use Available Resources

There are many resources available to support your preparation. These resources, ranging from apps to enhance your math skills to real case interviews to practice. There is additionally the option of expert support like consulting coaches. Remember to prepare with the same restrictions and timing as you would have in the testing environment when practicing case interviews. This will give you an idea of the time constraints during the actual case interview.

Practice Case Interviews

To start off, practicing case interviews alone can be helpful in improving your skills and gives you a good indication on how to plan your focus during preparation. Eventually, move forward to practicing with a friend in simulated case interviews is important and can also provide you with valuable feedback. While doing the case interview it is important to remember:

  • Listen carefully and ask questions to clarify information.
  • Ask the right questions. Do not waste time to simply ask random questions. Ask questions that will add value to the outcome.

Framework & Structure

Practice using frameworks and structure to break down and resolve the business issue. This is a core skill for a consultant. Do not depend on pre-existing frameworks to solve the case interview. Use the framework as the base to your solution but always ensure the structure is case and priority driven.

Case Interview Data

Properly analyzing data represents a critical step in the case interview. Not all data you will be provided during your interview will be needed to structure your case, so it is vitally significant you know how to group and sort data efficiently. Time is equally significant when it comes to sorting data, practice scanning vs. reading data. This doesn’t just help save valuable time but also enhances your skills in identifying valuable information.

A Reminder:

  • Concentrate and ask questions. Do not rush to start resolving the issue until you have properly identified the problem and comprehend what the client has asked.
  • Practice your skills.
  • Take time to develop your skills for scanning data, using graphs and presenting your key recommendations.
Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.