The LEK Case Interview: Our Comprehensive Guide

Ace Your LEK Interview – Our Comprehensive

Congratulations! You’ve landed an LEK interview. Now you want to know how to make the most of this opportunity and land your dream job in consulting.

Preparation for any consulting interview is tough, and it’s no different for LEK Consulting. You’ll want to understand how to ace a case interview, what behavioral / fit questions to expect, and how to prepare your answers. AND there’s the LEK written case.

But don’t worry. We’ve got the answers for you.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • LEK’s culture & values.
  • LEK Consulting’s interview process.
  • The LEK case interview.
  • LEK’s behavioral interview.
  • How to ace the LEK written case interview.
  • Our 7 tips on passing the LEK interview process.

Let’s get started!

LEK Consulting’s Culture & Values

To ace the LEK interview, especially the behavioral / fit questions, it’s important to put in the time to get to know LEK’s history, culture, and values. In fact, we recommend doing this for any firm you are applying to. Here’s a brief snapshot to help set you up for success.

LEK was founded in 1983 and named after three partners: James Lawrence, Iain Evans, and Richard Koch, therefore, the name L.E.K. LEK’s presence spans 20 offices across the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific, with Iain Evans as the firm’s Global Chairman and Clay Heskett as Global Managing Partner. Each of LEK’s 1600+ professionals is aligned to a fundamental goal of helping LEK’s clients maximize the potential of their business. It’s why LEK prides itself in hiring people who value analysis over assumption – what LEK calls “valuing evidence over opinion.”

LEK has a particularly strong  practice serving life sciences clients, so if you have a background in biopharma, healthcare and related services, or MedTech, it could be a great match for you.

The culture of LEK is very open, supportive, and non-hierarchical with a strong emphasis on teamwork and collaboration. Teams are encouraged to openly discuss any issues / challenges. For instance, LEK has a “traffic light” system to manage work-life balance for its employees. Every Friday, the manager on the team proactively shares which nights of the coming week they expect the team to be working late. This helps everyone plan their work and schedules accordingly.

LEK also invests in maintaining a vibrant office social culture. Social committees organize events for colleagues to unwind after work and foster camaraderie to build lasting friendships. Watch The LEK Culture to learn more.

The LEK Consulting Interview Process

The LEK interview process follows these steps:

  • Submit your application on LEK’s online application system provided by Oleeo.
  • Take the LEK Digital Assessment, a series of games that are simple and intuitive (e.g., mental math, pattern recognition, etc.), that takes about 10 minutes to complete. From 2020, the LEK digital assessment has been included as part of the company’s application process. However, it is unclear if LEK is using data from these assessments to move candidates on in the recruitment process.
  • Interview. Each interview round includes both case studies and behavioral / fit questions. Case studies can be either quantitative or strategic / qualitative in nature. You may also be asked to complete a written case interview, where you will need to present your case solving approach and recommendations in PowerPoint slides.
  • Initial interviews are typically conducted by recruitment specialists and consultants. Later interviews are led by senior managers or LEK Partners. LEK typically administers two rounds of interviews with 2-3 interviews in each round, depending on which office / geography you’re applying to.
  • Receive your decision. After successfully navigating the LEK interview process, you’ll finally receive the coveted letter that welcomes you as the newest member of LEK’s team. Congratulations!

The LEK Case Interview

The LEK case interview is a business problem that you solve live with guidance from an interviewer. It involves showing that you know how to think and communicate in a structured way and that you use analysis over assumption in developing recommendations (LEK’s culture values evidence over opinion).

Our Ultimate Guide to Case Interview Prep explains in depth what the case interview is and details its various stages:

  • The opening,
  • The structure,
  • The analysis, and
  • The conclusion.

It also gives you tips on how to become proficient at each stage. The best way to get smarter about answering case interview questions is to master this four-part approach.

The LEK Case Interview: The Details

LEK case interviews are designed to assess your quantitative skills, business logic, and strategic thinking. LEK typically administers two rounds of interviews with 2-3 interviews in each round. The case constitutes the meat of each interview. For instance, if the interview duration is 30 mins, ~20 mins will be used for the case and the remaining ~10 mins will be for introductions, behavioral / fit questions, and wrap-up.

LEK case interviews are candidate-led, similar to BCG and Bain cases. Essentially, this means you are expected to drive the case using the information provided to you. Consider the interviewer your biggest asset and keep drawing on him/her to share more information as you progress through the case. A few guidelines for a candidate-led interview:

  • Ask sufficient preliminary questions to clearly scope the problem statement. You’re in charge, so the interviewer may or may not reveal relevant information to you at the outset. Therefore, it is on you to spend enough time processing the problem statement and clarifying with the interviewer to make sure you solve the right problem.
  • In your case structuring, ensure that you talk through your approach and take the interviewer along with you on the problem-solving journey. It works best to lay out your overall approach, classify the buckets of issues you plan to solve, and seek your interviewer’s go-ahead as you move from one bucket to the next.
  • Articulate your initial hypothesis including the data you need to prove/disprove the same. Many times as we are in the driver’s seat during a candidate-led case, we inadvertently miss out on communicating key assumptions or limitations of our approach. Remember to over-communicate!
  • Track your time. It’s fine to check in with the interviewer on how much granularity they want to get into, if the analysis needs to be strengthened with more data (or a different dataset), if it’s time for synthesis, etc. If they tell you to move on without further analysis, you may be running short on time and be at risk of not moving fast enough to present your recommendation.

LEK case interviews tend to focus on market sizing and strategy. This strongly correlates with the day-to-day expectations for a consultant at LEK where market sizing is deployed in due diligence and strategy projects. Market sizing questions focus on estimating the size of a market in terms of annual revenue or the number of units sold rather than determining how to compete successfully in the market.

Examples of Market Sizing Questions:

What is the size of the consulting industry in the UK?

What would be the annual revenue of McDonald’s in the USA?

These questions test your problem-solving ability by assessing how you size a market using reasonable assumptions. It’s critical to lay out a sound approach even though you may not get to the “right” answer (the interviewers are mostly interested in the former).

We have curated a detailed guide for you on how to ace Market Sizing Questions. It details 2 approaches you can use to accurately estimate and answer any market sizing question you might be asked in your LEK consulting interview. After you have reviewed these approaches, head over to the Market Sizing Interview case sample question shared by LEK to test your skills.

Finally, LEK does the majority of its work across the healthcare, industrial, consumer, and private equity sectors, and they are particularly strong in life sciences in some markets. Therefore, if you have a background in this area, it is ideal if you prepare for cases focusing on biopharma, healthcare and related services, and MedTech to “dazzle” them during your interviews.

LEK’s Behavioral Interview

LEK Interview

The behavioral and fit elements in the LEK interview assess whether you have the personal qualities required of a successful consultant and whether you can use them effectively within the culture of LEK. It’s the classic test of whether the interviewers see you as a good fit for the team, the LEK culture and values, and if they’d be comfortable having you work with clients. 

Therefore, you should be prepared to answer questions about your experience with teamwork, conflict resolution, and leadership.

Common LEK Behavioral Interview Questions

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why are you interested in working for LEK?
  • Why Consulting?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is the most challenging project you have done?

As you prepare for these questions, it is relevant to note that the richer you make your narrative, the better your answer will sound to the interviewer. To do this, make sure you highlight examples demonstrating leadership skills, and get into specific details of the impact you brought to the project or the organization. Head to our comprehensive article on behavioral interviews to find out more about how to prepare strong answers for the behavioral interview questions.

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How to Ace the LEK Written Case Interview

LEK is one of the few firms that test candidates via written case interviews. Let’s break it down step-by-step so that you are aware of what to expect and how to prepare to come out with flying colors.

Unlike a regular case interview in which you discuss a business problem with your interviewer, in a written case interview, your written work and analysis will become the center of discussion.

What does that entail?

You’ll be provided with slides/handouts containing information in a text-based format. There could also be charts for you to perform analysis on. The ultimate objective is for you to wade through the sea of information on those pages to identify opportunities or the root cause of the problems presented. Then, you’ll neatly synthesize (not summarize!) the recommendations for the clients. Lastly, you’ll present your solution to the interviewers.

The written case tests your analytical skills as you work through the data to prepare analysis, and it tests your synthesis and communication skills as you write down your recommendations and present them to the interviewers. Typically, you get:

  • ~1 hour to complete the analysis and synthesize recommendations
  • 30 minutes to present your work: ~20 minutes to share your slides and ~10 minutes for Q&A with your interviewers.

We recommend that you go through our comprehensive guide to The LEK Written Case Interview to set yourself up for success when you’re faced with a written case.

Our 7 Tips on Passing the LEK Interview Process

LEK Interview - Written Case Interview

Preparation tips

1. Get Started Early

Avoid the last-minute rush and the stress it can add to your state of mind and performance in your LEK interview. This is especially important for LEK as its interview process includes a few unique elements (i.e. the digital assessment and the written case interviews).

Starting early also helps you plan your preparation schedule better to accommodate other priorities you may have on work, family, study, etc. Ultimately, the sooner you start, the more time you have to hone your case-solving skills for the interview, so no matter where you are in your journey of interviewing with LEK, getting a headstart will certainly be beneficial.

Case interview tips

2. Brush Up on Analytical Skills

LEK places strong emphasis on analytical skills. This doesn’t mean that you need to learn regression and coordinate geometry (though with LEK’s emphasis on biopharma work, that could give you an edge!) .  You should be comfortable with numbers and simple business analytics (e.g., linear equations with single variables, basic mathematical formulas applied in day-to-day business, such as Profit = Revenue – Costs).

Given that LEK is known to test its candidates on market sizing, chances are you will be required to perform some quantitative analysis during your case interviews. And if you’ve prepared well on math fundamentals, then you will not only feel “in control” of the case analysis but also exude confidence in your quantitative problem-solving skills. And that’s exactly what you want your interviewer to take away!

For a structured preparation, head to Case Interview Math to learn the different types of math problems tested in cases and equip yourself with the right tips and techniques to minimize math mistakes. Make the numbers work for you!

3. Bring in the Structure

One of the most important skills you need to develop to be able to pass LEK case interviews is case structuring. You need to ensure you have covered all the relevant factors in your overarching case structure before you begin to deep-dive into any single issue. You shouldn’t come across as someone who can intuitively think of a few factors but who jumps too quickly into case solving. The ideal candidate would spend sufficient time understanding the problem statement, scoping out different factors contributing to the case, all the while ensuring that no critical piece of information is left untouched. Because, if you are able to set up a strong structure, then solving the case becomes much more streamlined.

We recommend that you review Our Ultimate Guide to Case Interview Prep to master the 4 stages of solving a case, one of which is structuring.

4. Articulate Evidence over Opinion

One of LEK’s core values is “analysis over assumption,” also referred to as “evidence over opinion.” LEK consultants pride themselves on being analysis-driven and basing their recommendations for clients on strong data-backed evidence. Therefore, they actively look for this trait in their potential hires. In fact, all of the components of the interview process – from case interviews to behavioral assessments – test candidates’ analytical skills not only in their problem solving but also in their communication.

One way to turn the tables in your favor is to actively demonstrate this trait across all interview rounds that you face. During your LEK case interview, base your hypotheses on some supporting data points. When you’re presenting your solutions / recommendations to the interviewer, use phrases such as “The data suggests that…” or “Driven by the results of our analysis on…” When you share examples of your past projects during your behavioral / fit interview, ground your opinions in data. Always remember to share your rationale and critical thinking with the interviewer.

5. When in Doubt, Ask!

It is easy to get absorbed in the process of solving the case, especially when you’re in a candidate-led case interview setting. You must remember that the interviewer is your greatest asset. He/she holds relevant information that you can use to successfully navigate the case. Therefore, whenever you feel stuck during the case interview, ASK your interviewer if you’re headed in the right direction.

A great way of doing this is to first articulate your hypothesis so that the interviewer is looped in with your thought process and then say something like this: “Is this the right way to think about this problem statement?” or “Do you think this is ok to proceed with?” and then pause for your interviewer to respond. Similarly, in a market sizing case, if at any point you feel that the assumption you’re making is a bit of a stretch, clarify with the interviewer the limitations of such an assumption.

It is always better to keep checking in and asking the interviewer on the way forward as long as you’re clearly sharing the hypotheses and rationale behind each of your moves.

 Behavioral / fit assessment tips

6. Build a Story

The simplest way to ace your behavioral interview is to make your interviewers remember you. One of the easiest ways to make your answers memorable is to weave them together into a strong and compelling narrative.

  • Build a story using your past experiences and share them with the interviewer.
  • Highlight the impact that you brought to the team, to the project, to the organization in your previous roles.
  • Spend time demonstrating your potential to your interviewer, talk honestly about your strengths and weaknesses, and be yourself. After all, it’s your story! The interviewers are looking for genuine folks, people who have strong integrity, are helpful and collaborative, and are fun to work with. Take the time to get to know the interviewer and share stories about yourself so that the interviewer gets to know you.

7. Confidence Is Key

As a consultant, you’ll work on some of the most challenging business problems. You will face difficult clients and encounter some difficult situations and will need to stay calm and confident. This is also exactly what your interviewer will be testing for. The interviewers are taking cues from your body language as you respond to their questions, as you solve the case, even as you present your recommendations. What this means for you is that projecting confidence will hold you in good stead.

One way to naturally feel more confident is to put in sufficient practice in the days or weeks leading up to the interview. The more case practice you have under your belt, the more calm and composed you will stay during the interview. For instance, if you appear nervous or shaky in your quantitative skills, the interviewer may not like to put you in front of the client where LEK’s credibility may come into question. Therefore, you must exude confidence not only in your voice but also in the entirety of your body language. The way you walk into the interview room, how you sit up, your eye contact with the interviewer, the way you solve the case – everything matters.

Remember to smile, pause, respond calmly, reflect before you answer, and humbly admit what you don’t know. Confidence is the key to cracking the LEK interview process.

We wish you the best!

– – – – –

In this article, we’ve covered:

  • LEK’s culture and values.
  • The LEK Consulting interview process.
  • An overview of LEK case interviews (including market sizing and the LEK written case) and behavioral / fit assessments.
  • 7 Tips to successfully pass the LEK interview process.

Still have questions?

If you have more questions about the LEK interview, leave them in the comments below. One of My Consulting Offer’s case coaches will answer them.

Other people prepping for the LEK case interview found the following pages helpful:

Help with Case Study Interview Prep

Thanks for turning to My Consulting Offer for advice on passing the LEK interview. My Consulting Offer has helped almost 85% of the people we’ve worked with to get a job in management consulting. We want you to be successful in your consulting interviews too. For example, here is how Tracy was able to get her offer from LEK Consulting.

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Nail the case & fit interview with strategies from former MBB Interviewers that have helped 85% of our clients pass the case interview.

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