Case Interview Resources

Many employers are starting to understand the importance of getting to know their employees before hiring. Knowing the individuals’ mindsets, goals and work styles can help increase efficiency and productivity for the individual and the company as a whole. In evaluating these things, different interview styles have immerged. One such interview style is the case interview. This type is common for those in the business field, as well as for positions that require strong problem solving skills. To formulate proper answers, it is important to be aware of what this interview style is, what it entails and how to prepare for it, including any possible case interview resources.

What is a Case Interview?

A case interview follows some of the same protocol as a normal interview. Common interview questions such as, “Tell me about yourself” and “What makes you a good candidate for this position?” are usually still asked. However, the majority of the questioning is case based. As the name implies, interviewees are asked questions that simulate various scenarios, or “cases,” and are asked to analyze and often solve the situation. They are often required to do so in a short time frame, so individuals must be able to think on their feet, analyze and formulate intelligible answers to a wide spectrum of questions. Though many of the questions will usually be targeted towards situations that might be faced on the job, some may be more general in just trying to determine how you think, so be prepared for anything.

Common Questions

Though questions may be worded differently, there are common aspects that you can expect in a case interview’s line of questions. Usually, the questions will start off by providing a company’s current state or issue and then provide the direction that it would like to go in. Sometimes the actual question is implied, while other times the interviewer will focus the question on one specific area. Check out these examples:

  • You were just hired to reorganize a company’s sales force, and they want to cut $2.5 million in costs from this area within the next six months.

  • You are head of a large corporation and the company is harnessing a new energy source. You must select the proper region to build the energy plant. What factors would you consider?

    How to Prepare

    Case interview resources can be a great help in preparing for case interviews. These resources detail different questions that may be asked, such as those above, as well as give tips on how to properly answer such questions. However, as previously mentioned there is no way to know the exact line of questioning. Nevertheless, there are a few things that you can keep in mind and do to make sure that you stay prepared to address any case thrown your way.

  • Listen intently to the question to make sure that you understand what is being asked and that you address each aspect. One way to ensure that you do this correctly is to repeat the question within your answer.

  • Remember that silence is okay. The interviewer does want you to think on your feet, but they still expect you to provide a thoughtful answer. Therefore, a bit of silence is required.

  • Ask intelligible questions. A unique aspect about the case interview is that constant back-and-forth communication is encouraged. Remember, the interviewer desires to get a feel for how you think and work through various issues. So ask all the questions that you need to in order to fully answer the question.

  • Provide a well constructed answer. Prioritize the issues within the case, focus on the objective and develop a framework to execute your solution. Take a moment to properly formulate your answer in a concise manner, and then share it.

    In order to execute the aforementioned tips to perfection during the interview, you will want to practice answering different case interview questions beforehand.

    Make sure that you are prepared for your next case interview by considering the aforementioned information. Take time to research and practice answering common case interview questions. You can enlist the aid of a friend or go about it on your own. Just make sure that you incorporate the tips and deliver your answers with confidence. Utilizing case interview resources can also be quite helpful in your endeavors to prepare for this unique type of interview.

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