This page collects all the consulting case interview questions reportedly used by major consulting firms in summer intern or full-time candidates recruitment.
Top 10 Case Interview Tips
1. Listen to the introduction – Do not think ahead to your answer(s).
2. Ask 1-2 clarifying questions, if necessary – Begin to formulate a hypothesis in your head, and test if they are reasonable. While asking these questions, you buy yourself a few moments to postulate.
3. Do not ask for every piece of data. Some interviewers will try to overload you up front with meaningless data. If you ask for it, you may get it, but later find it irrelevant.
4. Take notes – Some suggest this is a faux pas, others think it is a great idea. Ask the interviewer if you need to take notes. Keep in mind that every real consultant, in real life, will almost without fail takes notes in an interview. If you can keep track of all of the minutia in an hour long client interview, more power to you.
5. Structure the problem – i.e. begin to fit the problem into one of the frameworks.
6. Pick a branch to probe – Develop hypotheses, ask for relevant facts, defend/refine hypotheses based on new information, probe further, and describe implications you see. *Key note: if you find yourself running down a rabbit trail of random issues with no end, stop, think, and go back up to 30,000 feet to see if you are even in the right ballpark. It is better to discover this halfway into the interview and leave yourself some recovery time, than to discover this when your hour is done.
7. Pick a second branch, and so on.
8. Prioritize your responses – Support your arguments with your strongest points first.
9. Put it all together – Try to answer overall questions (the big picture) with a reasonable, actionable conclusion.
• Review where you have been, and what you know
• Clarify what you do not understand, and what, with more time, you would like to know
• Solidify and tender your recommendation (where appropriate, as sometimes the interviewer cares less about your recommendation, and more about how you get to it).
10. Get feedback. Sometimes this is appropriate, sometimes it is not. If the case was a real example, they may tell you what really happened. Each case is a learning experience, and it might be good to know that you missed the boat completely – next time you will do better. If you go out thinking you hit it, but really missed the boat, next time you will make the same mistakes.