Case Interview Question #00304: Suppose you have just been appointed to be the new president of the University of Pennsylvania (or the university the candidate is currently attending) by the Board of Trustees. What do you think the biggest challenge facing you might be? How would you address this challenge?
Note to the Interviewer: The objective of the interviewer should be to take the job candidate through a series of steps and see how she/he can tackle the various levels. The steps can range from identifying a critical issue, to breaking a problem into component parts, to finally identifying one or more solutions.
Step 1: Big picture thinking.
The interviewer lays out the facts and asks the candidate to articulate the critical issues facing the business. “Big picture thinking” requires a focus on the key issues and not a “laundry list” of every problem facing the business. The interviewer then asks why the candidate chose the answer she/he did.
The University has several powerful constituencies: undergraduates, graduate students, professors, alumni, government