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Preparing for a case study interview


The current financial climate means that management consultancies are getting increasingly competitive during the interview process. This means that you need to impress the recruiters not only with your resume but also at interview stage. In fact, interviews are seen as the final obstacle to the offer but without acing a case study you will not succeed with a top management consultancy. 

Case studies are a critical component of the interview process: they are a description of real or hypothetical business problems for which you have to recommend the best solutions. Consulting firms tend to use case studies while interviewing candidates to assess whether the latter possess the same skills that consultants use, which include the ability of understanding business concepts, strong analytical skills, strategic thinking and robust communication skills.

While reviewing a case study, you should remember that there is not a single answer to a specific question; consulting firms are more interested in your ability to explain the process you follow to give your answer, rather than the answer itself.As we always say, "practice makes perfect"; therefore if you want to increase your rate of success during a case study session, practice as much as possible by getting exposure to as many case studies as possible. Most consulting firms, such as McKinsey, post online case studies.

Last but not least, never get nervous during a case study. You might have fantastic analytical and numerical skills, but you might fail the case study due to nervousness. Recruiters have the tendency to trust you more when you appear confident. It is a perception how people personally view things, but always remember that even though perception might not be the absolute reality, it is the recruiters' reality and that's all that matters while they are interviewing you.

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