Preparation for a case interview doesn’t happen overnight. It’s completely different from your typical job interview where you can predict the types of questions that can be asked. For case interviews, you can be given any hypothetical situation to respond upon. Hence, it’s extremely important to have strong analytical and problem-solving skills to crack case interviews.
Besides that, you need to be spontaneous and have a good presence of mind. It’s impossible to master all these skills in one day. Apart from being consistent in your practice, you need to get your hands on good prep material such as books having challenging sample questions with solutions. You can also take help from consultants and look for useful websites such as gradeinterviewprep.com to help you with your preparation. You will find more than 300 practice questions of numerical reasoning, arithmetic, case studies etc. on Grade Interview Prep.
With this in mind, we will discuss some crucial points that you need to keep in mind about case interviews in this article. Let’s first start with understanding what it is precisely meant by case interviews.
What Is a Case Interview?
Almost all business consultants have to pass case interviews. Your chances of securing a job at a consulting firm depend a lot on how well you prepare for your case interview. But what exactly is a case interview?
As an employee working in a company, you may encounter various different situations. How will you handle those situations? In order to test it, companies go for case interviews. In a case interview, you will be given a hypothetical situation, and you will be asked to provide your reaction. In this way, companies test an interviewee’s analytical and problem-solving abilities.
There are no “right” and “wrong” answers to the case interview questions. They are highly subjective and varies from interviewee to interviewee. The thing that matters is how well you present your approach and solution to the question asked.
To better understand a case interview, let’s take an example. For instance, a company is facing a decline in its sales. So, as an interview, you can be asked how your input as an employee can help the company to increase its sales and what strategies will you follow to achieve the same.
Just like the above example, you can be given any situation where you have to formulate a strategy or come up with a response. It’s essential that you logically defend and explain your take with the help of examples to make your answer strong.
Is preparing for a case interview possible in one day?
Frankly speaking, no. It is not possible to prepare well for a case interview in a day or two. You need to practice a lot before you can actually face the questions asked in case interviews. These questions are very demanding, and you need to be creative while answering them.
It’s only after a thorough practice that you can excel in a case interview. You would need to take mock interviews, look for sample questions and consult different people who can help you to prepare well. Preparing well and remaining consistent is the key to crack case interviews.
How to Prepare for a Case Interview?
Below are some tips that will help you to prepare for a case interview.
- Research: If you are clueless about getting started with your preparation, try doing research. Look for different websites and explore the Internet thoroughly. You will definitely find some reliable sources that can help you prepare for your interview. There are also many academies that give coaching to prepare for case interviews. Research and see what works best for you.
- Practice: You need to practice a lot. Looking at two or three questions and solving them just a day before your actual interview won’t help. Try to be consistent with your preparation. Devote a fixed number of hours every day.
- Look for Tricks to Solve Questions: There are tricks to solve case interviews. Try to look for some of the useful tips that work for you. Generally, there are some basic steps to solve case interviews. You need to be clear about the question asked. After that, it’s important to prepare a framework and present your argument with logical solutions and evidence to justify it.
- Time Management: Time management is very important while preparing for case interviews. See what’s the usual time given for solving case interviews. Try to answer your questions within that time while preparing.
- Work on Your Communication Skills: Most people who prepare for case interviews go wrong when it comes to presenting their answers. This is because they have their answer prepared in their minds while practising. They don’t practice presenting their answers. You need to imagine yourself talking to a real interviewer. Practising in front of a mirror can help. Try it. With time, you will see that you are able to present your answer more clearly and with confidence.
Preparing for case interviews is not easy. It demands a lot in terms of your critical thinking and analytical skills. Besides that, you need to have good communications skills. If you lack good communication skills, you will not be able to present your answer in a coherent manner. Having said that, it’s not possible to prepare well for a case interview in a day. You might be able to get some idea of the type of questions asked in such interviews, but that’s it. That’s all you will be able to do in a day.
However, what you need is to logically frame your answer and present it with proper arguments and reasons. For that, you need to devote some time daily to practise sample questions. It will give you the confidence to face the interviewers. You will also get into the mode of thinking critically over time. So, only practice is the key to prepare for a case interview, and it takes time, dedication and efforts.