If you are trying to secure a job at a management consulting firm, you will most likely be required to engage in a case interview. You may not be completely comfortable with this type of interview, but you do not need to worry. There are a variety of resources and tips that you can use to prepare yourself.
A case interview normally lasts anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes. Essentially it is a single question that introduces you to a hypothetical dilemma that is being faced by a particular company. You will need to use your analytical and problem-solving skills to devise a possible solution to the problem. The firm that is interviewing you wants to make sure that you have the ability to apply your knowledge to a real world situation. It is important that you can think quickly on your feet and generate well-rounded ideas.
When you are answering the case interview question, there are several actions you can take to increase your chances of success. Make sure to listen carefully to the question being posed by the interviewer. To ensure that you fully understand the problem, it may be a good idea to repeat the question back to the interviewer. Once you have a sufficient grasp of the problem, take a few minutes to collect your thoughts and brainstorm some possible ideas. You do not want to be too hasty with your reply and provide a poor answer.
It is important for you to remember that there is no one right answer to the question. The interviewer is trying to analyze your process for reaching conclusions. He or she will not be nearly as concerned with your final answer. You should also not be afraid to ask your own questions over the course of the interview. It is meant to be an interactive process, and there should be a running dialogue between the interviewer and yourself.
In terms of how to go about answering the question, you should do your best to construct a logical framework that will allow you to explore the critical issues behind the case. The material that you learned in business school can be used to shape your ideas and craft a satisfactory answer.
If you do not think you are ready to handle a case interview, you should utilize the resources that are available to you. There is a wide range of online reading material that you can use to study, and you can also hire an adviser to help you prepare. As long as you make the effort to train yourself, you should have no problem succeeding in your interview.