Practice is the key to passing your consulting interviews. To practice, you’ll need some examples of case interview questions and answers to work with.
We’ve got links to loads of them below.
In addition, we have:
- Tips on how to use case interview examples to prepare for your consulting interviews,
- A video case interview example with My Consulting Offer founder Davis Nguyen, and
- Insight into the difference between average and exceptional answers to case interview questions.
Get ready to dive deep into structuring your analysis of business problems, identifying the key issues, and recommending solutions!
Keep reading to find out how to use case interview examples to ace your case.
How to Use Case Interview Examples to Ace Your Case
1. Start Your Case Interview Preparation Early.
You’ll need to practice dozens of case interview examples to get good enough to receive an offer from one of the top consulting firms. This is not something you can cram the night before an interview.
Start as soon as possible.
2. Don’t Read Straight through Sample Case Interview Examples or Passively Watch Videos.
Some people think that the best way to improve their chances of passing a case interview is by reading as many cases interview examples as they can.
This is like reading about how to play tennis but never picking up a racket. To get better at tennis, for example, you need to actually pick up a ball and be active. The same applies to your interview preparation.
Stop and think at each step in the case interview question. Come up with your own answer and say it out loud. Practice driving each part of the case interview example yourself.
- How would you structure your analysis of the problem?
- What questions would you ask the interviewer?
- How would you set up the case math problem?
- What recommendation would you make to the client?
After you’ve developed your answer, compare it to the suggested answer for the case.
What did you get right?
How did your answer and the case interview example answer differ?
Are there things you miss consistently across multiple case interview examples?
The answers to these case interview examples can look simple when you just read through them, but it’s not easy to come up with all the key aspects of the solution on your own.
Nail the case & fit interview with strategies from former MBB Interviewers that have helped 89.6% of our clients pass the case interview.
3. Find Partners to Practice Case Interviews with.
Teamwork is an important part of consulting work, so get ready for it now. Find a case interview practice partner, preferably someone else who’s applying to jobs in the management consulting industry because they’ll know more about what recruiters are looking for.
Practicing cases with a partner provides the opportunity to get feedback from someone else on what you’re doing well and what you need to improve. Additionally, you’ll learn a lot by watching how your partner solves sample case studies.
Look for aspects of their approach that are effective as well as what they could do better. Working with a partner will make your consulting interview practice feel more real.
Similar to how you need a tennis partner to feel what is like to play tennis, you need a case partner to experience what a case interview is like.
4. Master the 4 Parts of the Case Interview.
In our article on Case Interview Prep, we discussed the 4 parts of the case interview: the opening, structure, analysis, and conclusion. As you practice with consulting case interview examples, practice each of these 4 parts to ensure you’re strong at them all.
5. Avoid Case Burnout.
You were drawn to consulting as a career because you loved the idea of solving complex business problems with smart, passionate teammates. But one thing that can happen as you spend hours practicing how to answer case interview examples is that it can practice too much and become a case interview zombie.
A case zombie is someone who’s grown tired of casing from doing too much of it. Their answers feel rehearsed, not conversational.
They may seem bored, not engaged in solving the problem. They’ll be less creative in their solutions. They certainly won’t pass the airport test!
Avoid becoming a case zombie by practicing smarter, not harder.
Video: Case Interview Examples – Questions & Answers
In the following case interview example, Davis Nguyen, founder of My Consulting Offer solves McKinsey’s SuperSoda case. The video is broken into 4 parts of the case interview.
Remember, don’t just watch the video. Stop the video and provide your own answer before listening to Davis’s answer to the case question.
Step 1: Case Interview Example Opening – Ensure you understand the client and the problem you’ll be solving in the case.
Step 2: Case Interview Example Structure – Break the problem down into smaller parts. Make sure you cover all key case issues.
Step 3: Case Interview Example Analysis – Ask questions, gathering information from graphs and charts provided by the interviewer, do case math, and provide insight into the client’s business problem based on what you learn.
Step 4: Case Interview Example Recommendation – Develop a rational recommendation for the client based on all you’ve learned throughout the case interview.
Tips for Acing Your Consulting Case Interviews – The Difference Between Average & Exceptional
Case Interview Opening
The opening is a great point to ask “dumb” questions because, at this point, you’re not expected to know much about the client and their business.
Here your goal is to understand the client, their business, and what a successful project will look like.
Don’t shy away from asking for clarification on things that will help you better understand the business problem and solve it. For example, if you don’t know how life insurance works and the case is about life insurance, then ask.
After ensuring you understand the client and their problem, the next thing to ask about is key metrics of success.
For example, the client may want to find new avenues for growth. Are they looking for a 5% increase in revenue or to double their business?
Finding out what success looks like in the client’s eyes will ensure you work to deliver a solution that meets their expectations, not one that’s underwhelming.
After you find out what success looks like, ask further probing questions to better understand the client, their business, and any constraints on solving the case.
Examples of Relevant Questions to ask Your Interviewer
Examples of relevant questions about the client might include the geography they operate in or the sector of their industry they are strongest in.
Examples of relevant questions about their business might include what products or services are most profitable or most important to their customers.
Examples of relevant questions about the problem might include whether there are any costs that can’t be cut or what the maximum amount the client is able to invest in developing a new product.
Asking these types of questions up front will give you a better context for solving the client’s problem and make it more likely that you will solve the case interview.
Case Interview Structure
You’ll need a framework to make sure your analysis covers all key aspects of the consulting case.
You can use one of the many standard Case Interview Frameworks we’ve outlined, but top interviewees develop their own framework for analyzing the case interview question.
Their frameworks may include pieces of one or more of the standard frameworks but are tailored to the particular business problem they’re discussing.
Good frameworks are hypothesis-driven, that is to say they can be tested similar to the science experiment, so that the answer is either a “yes” or “no.” For example, examining your bank account to see, “if I have $400 for a ticket” is an example.
Second, good frameworks cover all topics relevant to the answer. For example, if the client is opening up a new hotel in a foreign country, checking out the existing competition should be part of the framework.
As you study more about interactive case interviews and practice them you’ll develop a sense for what factors are relevant or not relevant to the case at hand.
Finally, a good structure will be MECE or mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive.
This means the framework will break down the market or population being analyzed into segments that include every part of the whole (collectively exhaustive), and each segment of the market or member of the population will show up in one and only one category without overlap (mutually exclusive).
For example, if you divide the target market for a retail product into segments by age, these segments would be MECE:
- 40-49, etc.
The categories 15-25, 20-30, 27-35 would not be MECE because people could be counted twice.
Case Interview Analysis
In the analysis phase of your case interview example, you’ll ask questions to get the information you need to solve the client’s business problem. Your questions will likely lead you to one of the 4 types of analysis that are common in consulting interviews: market sizing, brainstorming, quantitative reasoning (case math), or reading exhibits.
No matter which of these types of analysis comes up, there’s a 4-step method that ensures you can crack the case.
This 4-step method is:
- Ask for data,
- Interpret the data,
- Provide insight, and
- Outline next steps.
The data you ask for will depend on the case interview question you’re solving. For example, if the question is about profitability, you’ll need to know about the client’s finances: dig into revenues and costs.
Once you have the data, you need to interpret it. What does it mean with regard to the problem you’re trying to solve?
For example, if you find that the client’s revenues are flat while their costs have been rising, you’ll know that the problem is in the cost structure and that you’ll need to examine costs more closely.
Next, provide insight. As you examine costs further, you’ll find out why they’ve grown faster than revenues.
This insight will naturally lead to the next steps. What does the client need to do to get costs under control and fix their profitability problem?
You may need to go through this 4-step method a couple of times, focusing on different aspects of the client’s business problem.
Once you’ve examined and developed insight into all key aspects of the problem, your next step will be to conclude the interview with a recommendation for the client.
Case Interview Conclusion
At this point, you’ve hopefully cracked the case and are ready to present your recommendations to the client (your interviewer).
The best way to do this is to use the 5R approach:
- Recap – restate the business problem you’ve analyzed. In consulting this is done because a CEO might have hired 5 McKinsey teams and can’t remember which one you are on.
- Recommendations – Provide the solution your analysis led to. We lead with the recommendation because it is the most important piece of information. Stating it first and clearly puts everyone on the same page.
- Reasons – Summarize the key facts and insights that lead you to your recommendations.
- Risks – Outline any risks the client should be aware of as they implement your recommendations. No recommendation has a 100% probability of success. Clients need to be aware of business risks in the same way patients need to understand the side effects of drugs.
- Retaining the client – Provide next steps for how you can help the client ensure success. As consultants, we are paid for helping our clients. If there is a natural extension of the work as the client implements the team’s recommendations, we should tell them how we can provide further assistance (and ultimately make money for your firm).
While most candidates will address their recommendations and possibly the reasons for their recommendations, few will hit all these points.
In particular, outlining risks and further ways you can help the client will differentiate you from other candidates and help you to advance to the second round of interviews or get the offer.
Free Online Case Interview Examples from 7 Top Consulting Firms
Now that you’re familiar with how you should use case interview examples and what differentiates an average answer from an exceptional one, you need sample questions to practice with.
Below, we provide links to dozens to help you hone your business problem-solving skills.
1. McKinsey Case Interview Examples
Disconsa – Help a not-for-profit develop better financial-service offerings for remote Mexican communities.
Electro-Light – Help a beverage manufacturer prepare for a new product launch.
GlobalPharm – Help a pharmaceutical industry client manage with its merger and acquisitions strategy.
Transforming a National Education System – Help a country’s education ministry develop a new strategy for educating the country’s children.
2. BCG Case Interview Examples
3. Bain Case Interview Examples
Coffee Shop Co. – Help a friend decide whether they should open a coffee shop.
Private Equitas – Help a private equity company maximize its investment in a portfolio company.
4. Deloitte Case Interview Examples
Footloose – Help a footwear company improve their market share in the boots category.
Recreation Unlimited – Help a global apparel and sportswear company improve its digital customer experience and its revenue.
Agency V – Help a large federal agency recover from a front-page scandal that sparked investigations and congressional hearings.
Federal Benefits Provider – Help a federal agency that provides benefits to millions of U.S. citizens prepare for a major expansion of its mandate.
5. AT Kearney Case Interview Examples
Promotion Planning – Help a national grocery and drug store chain improve its product promotion strategy.
6. PWC Case Interview Examples
Modernizing a Hotel’s Loyalty Platform – Help simplify and modernize the platform, providing customers with immediate access to their data.
Green Energy – Help an energy company transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Nonprofit Impact – Help a community organization respond to client needs during the pandemic.
Love at First Byte – Help a data management client comply with new regulations.
Prioritizing Ethics and Integrity – Help a software company leverage data analytics to comply with regulations.
7. Accenture Case Interview Examples
8. Capital One Case Interview Examples
Ice Cream Corporation – Help the president of Ice Cream Corporation grow profits.
9. Oliver Wyman Case Interview Examples
10. LEK Case Interview Examples
Free Online Case Interview Examples from Consulting Clubs
Need more case interview examples? Here are links to MBA case books compiled by INSEAD, Harvard, Wharton, Darden, and several other business schools.
Recent Consulting Case Interview Examples
- Darden School Of Business 2020-2021 Casebook
- NYU Stern MCA 2020-2021 Casebook
- The Duke MBA Consulting Club Casebook 2021-2022
- Kellogg Consulting Club 2020 Casebook
- FMS Consulting Casebook 2021-22
- INSEAD Consulting Club Casebook 2021
- IIMC Consulting Casebook 2021-22
- UCLA Case Book 2019 – 2020
- The Duke MBA Consulting Club Casebook 2018-2019
- Columbia Business School 2021 Casebook
- IIM Lucknow Casebook 2022
- Cornell MBA Johnson Consulting Club Casebook 2020-2021
Older Consulting Case Interview Examples
- 2019 Berkeley Haas School of Business Consulting Club Interview Preparation Guide and Case Interview Examples
- 2017-2018 McCombs University of Texas at Austin Consulting Case Interview Examples
- Columbia Business School Management Consulting Association Case Interview Examples 2017
- Duke Fuqua School of Business MBA Consulting Case Interview Examples 2016-2017
- NYU Stern MBA MCA Case Interview Examples: 2017
- UCLA Anderson School of Management Consulting Association Case Interview Examples 2015-2015
- Darden Consulting Club Case Interview Examples: 2014-2015
- Yale Life Sciences Consulting Case Interview Examples 2014
- ESADE MBA Consulting Club Case Interview Examples 2014
- Darden Consulting Case Interview Examples: 2012-2013 Edition
- Kellogg Consulting Club Case Interview Examples and Interview Guide: 2012 Edition
Even More Consulting Case Interview Examples
- The Cornell Consulting Club Interview Interview Examples
- Harvard Business School Management Consulting Club Case Interview Examples
- The MIT Sloan School of Management Consulting Club Case Interview Examples and Interview Guide – October 2001
- The Berkeley MBA Haas Consulting Club 2006 Case Interview Examples
- London Business School – The 2006 Consulting Club Case Interview Examples
- Columbia Business School Management Consulting Association Case Interview Examples – 2006
- Torch the Case – The NYU Stern Consulting Case Interview Examples – 2007 edition
- Michigan – the Ross School of Business Consulting Club 2010 Case Interview Examples
- Wharton Case Interview Examples by the Wharton Consulting Club – December 2010
- The Duke MBA Consulting Club Case Interview Examples – 2010-2011
- Case Interview Examples by the ESADE MBA Consulting Club 2011
- INSEAD Consulting Club Handbook and Case Interview Examples – 2011
Still have questions?
If you still have questions on case interview examples, leave them in the comments below. We’ll ask our My Consulting Offer coaches and get back to you with answers.
We have tons of other articles to help you get an offer from one of the top consulting firms. Check out our pages on:
Help with Case Study Interview Preparation
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Nail the case & fit interview with strategies from former MBB Interviewers that have helped 89.6% of our clients pass the case interview.