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Everything To Ace the Case Interview (Ultimate Guide to Case Interview)

Find out how you can learn to master the case interview within as little as a week…

Consulting Case Interview Questions – Examples to Help You Prepare

1. Start early. You’ll need to practice with dozens of business problems in order to get good enough to get an offer from a top consulting firm. This is not something you can cram the night before an interview. You’ll want to start as soon as possible.

2. Don’t read straight through sample questions or passively watch the videos. Some people think that the best way to improve their chances of passing consulting case studies is by reading as many sample cases as they can. It’s not. This is like reading about how to play tennis but never picking up a racket. To get better at tennis, you need to actually pick up a ball and be active. The same applies to your interview prep.

Consulting Tools For Case Study Interviews: Business Frameworks

In Case Study Interview Prep, we talked about what consulting interviewers look for in answers to case study interview questions. It’s not a canned solution from the front page of the Wall Street Journal or a business school textbook.

Management consultants look for candidates who have a structured process for thinking through the key aspects of a business problem to find its solution.

Why?

First Round Consulting Interviews – Everything You Need to Know

If you’re on this page, you’ve probably just been invited to interview with a management consulting firm…Congratulations!

If not — if you’re just beginning to look into management consulting as a career option, start here to find out what a case study is and why consulting firms use them or here to see examples of case interview questions.

But if you’re preparing for your first round of consulting interviews and want to make sure you’re ready, that’s exactly what this page is about. It’s tough to get a job from a management consulting firm—only 10-20% of applicants are successful in getting from Round 1 into Round 2.

Tips for Efficient and Effective Case Study Prep

When you start the case interview practice, there are some things you should expect when you go through the standard casing path. The typical journey you will go through as you begin your case prep is called The Canyon of Casing.

  • The Canyon of Casing – be prepared for the journey of learning to case

It is called “The Canyon of Casing” because of the curve all of the case learners will experience during the case study practice. There are a few phases that each of you needs to pass in order to learn how to give a case interview properly.

  • Phase 1 – You Are Not Good, But You Don’t Know It

5 Questions to Ask Consulting Interviewers – Plus What NOT to Ask

Your consulting interviewer’s main goal is to test your problem-solving skills and your fit with their company. But after you pass the case study and fit questions, your interview is not over.

Now it’s your turn to ask questions.

At this point, you’re probably glad your interview is almost at an end and anxious to get out of the room before you mess up the (hopefully!) great job you’ve done. But don’t rush out the door!

Asking the interviewer questions that show you’ve done your research on the management consulting industry in general and their firm, in particular, will make you look like a serious candidate.

The answers to these questions will also help you better prepare for your future interviews.

Don’t waste this opportunity to get unique insight from experienced consultants.

What should you ask?

The Consulting Fit Interview: What to Say, What NOT to Say

People pursuing consulting careers get very anxious about case study interviews. Sometimes they get so anxious about case studies that they neglect the other key type of question management consulting firms ask — the fit or behavioral question.

This is understandable. After all, case studies are something few people have seen before. Behavioral interview questions sound like the questions all sorts of companies ask. You may think you can just wing an answer.

You can’t. 

Consulting Case Interview Questions – A List of the Common Types

On Consulting Case Interview Prep we described what a case interview question is and how you should approach answering one. You can think about that page as your Consulting Case Interview 101 course.

But if we could tell you how to ace your consulting case interview in just one page, Bain, BCG, and McKinsey would give out a lot more offers than they do every year.

On this page, we discuss the most common types of case study interview questions. We’ll take your understanding of how to answer these to the next level by outlining the key issues to consider when structuring your answer.

Let’s get started!

Consulting Case Interview Math Practice–Everything You Need to Know

Are you nervous about solving math problems in the middle of your consulting interview?

Don’t worry. You’re not alone.

Luckily, typical case interview math problems aren’t hard. They’re basic algebra – addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions/percentages. They can also involve extracting data from tables and interpreting it. All the math you need you covered by age 13–and if you need to brush up, we’ve got you covered.

You’ll find consulting math easier if you know what type of problems to expect and follow our 4-step approach to minimizing case math mistakes. 

First Round Consulting Interviews – Everything You Need to Know

If you’re on this page, you’ve probably just been invited to interview with a management consulting firm…Congratulations!

If not — if you’re just beginning to look into management consulting as a career option, start here to find out what a case study is and why consulting firms use them or here to see examples of case interview questions.

But if you’re preparing for your first round of consulting interviews and want to make sure you’re ready, that’s exactly what this page is about. It’s tough to get a job from a management consulting firm—only 10-20% of applicants are successful in getting from Round 1 into Round 2.

How to Ace Market Sizing Consulting Case Study Questions

You might have heard of the infamous questions that firms such as McKinsey ask during their interview such as:

“How many golf balls can fit into a Boeing 747?” or

“How many coffees does Starbucks sell each day?”

These are known as market sizing questions.

Market sizing case questions are often the first type of case you’ll be asked in consulting interviews.

These questions appear tricky because they’re structured to have a single correct numerical answer—but one that you’re very unlikely to know off the top of your head.

No worries.

Common Behavioral Questions Asked in Consulting Interviews

In Consulting Case Interview Prep, we discuss what a case study interview is and how to prepare for one. Here, we’re going to focus on the other main type of question that comes up in consulting interviews: the behavioral or fit question.

It goes by different names at different strategy consulting firms. In addition to being called the behavioral or fit interview, it’s also referred to as the airport test. At McKinsey, it’s called the PEI or personal experience interview. Whatever name you put on it, it’s very different from a case study question but still critical to getting an offer from a management consulting firm. You’ll need to be prepared to answer fit questions well.

We’ll help you get ready to ace them.