When management consulting firms are in the process of hiring, they want to pick the candidates that possess the analytical skills integral to the job. They determine whether or not this quality is present by conducting a case interview. The applicant is posed a question or problem and is then asked to solve it. Usually this problem is based on a real life issue encountered by the interviewer. This type of interview is able to reveal more than just analytical abilities, and there are ways people can prepare for it and improve their chance of success.
Once the information is given to the candidate, he or she can ask the interviewer several questions in order to acquire a better understanding of the situation and resolve it. The interviewer does not necessarily expect the applicant to provide the case interview question with a correct answer. It is far more important for the applicant to display a certain set of abilities when working through the problem. Besides analytical skills, verbal reasoning, communication and commercial awareness are all vital components of the job’s criteria. As long as the applicant demonstrates a high level of ability in these areas, he or she will perform well in the case interview.
In order to prepare for this type of interview, applicants should conduct extensive research on the company they want to work for. By doing this, they may be able to ascertain the interviewing practices of the company. With the help of a career advisor, adequate preparation can be obtained as well. Many advisors are current or former consultants, and they are familiar with how interviews are conducted. They will engage in a mock interview with their clients, and this will provide applicants with a sufficient understanding of what to expect when they approach a potential employer.
When the real interview is taking place, it is important to never rush through the process of answering the question. As the final answer does not matter, an applicant should place more focus on engaging with the interviewer by asking questions and considering how to best approach a particular problem. It is far more essential to display the appropriate skills rather than reach a viable solution.
Besides conducting private research and consulting with career advisors, there are also many books dedicated to helping people prepare for the case interview. With so many resources available to assist them in refining their analytical and communication skills, applicants should not be anxious to engage in this crucial and effective interview process.