Consulting: Insider Tips for Case Interviewing

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October 12, 2021 – Upcoming Events, Opportunities & Resources

Hi Hoyas! 

‘Tis the Season of Consulting Case Interviews! 

First, I wanted to highlight some of the MBB deadlines recently released for various international programs, you can find a summary of them here (new window).

Second, I wanted to share some insight on things to remember as you’re going through the case interviewing process:

  • The Case Interview is Intended to Complement Your Behavioral Interviews
    • Though case interviews are often perceived as the ‘primary’ part of the Consulting interview process, this is rarely true. In general, the behavioral interview(s) makes up 50% of your overall evaluation and the case interview makes up the other 50%. Each firm balances these slightly differently—for example, firms like Deloitte often weigh the behavioral interview more while firms like Bain often weigh the case interview more.  
  • Doing Not-So-Well on the Case Interview is Not a Deal Breaker
    • While in a perfect world you’ll ace both the case interview and the behavioral interview, this rarely happens. Most candidates do better at one portion or the other—which is why your performance is evaluated holistically across both interview types. In general, an outstanding performance in the behavioral interview(s) can make up for a not-so-great performance in the case interview. However, the reverse is rarely true; even a great performance on the case interview usually cannot compensate for a bad behavioral interview. 
  • Case Interviews are Intended to Evaluate Your ‘Core Consulting Skills’, Not Just to Have You Solve the Problem
    • The case interview is an artificial construct that is used to evaluate behaviors that are difficult to identify in the formal behavioral interview. While interviewers are provided with a guide of the anticipated types of answer to the problem, candidate performance is generally scored based on the ability to demonstrate behaviors such as:
      • Calmness and composure under pressure
      • Collegial and collaborative communication style with the interviewer, who is playing the role of the team project manager and/or the main clientAbility to discern between relevant and irrelevant information
      • Ability to integrate qualitative and quantitative data
      • Ability to deconstruct complex or nebulous problems into their constituent parts
      • Critical thinking capabilities
      • Ability to clearly explain your thought processes and methodologies to another person
      • Familiarity with common consulting/business problem solving frameworks 
      • Emotional intelligence in determining stakeholders and their likely concerns/incentives
      • Recognition of the dynamics between consultants and clients (e.g., asking about the client’s broader goals/perspectives; properly caveating your answers to the problem; presenting the feasibility of competing solutions)
      • For Group Case Interviews: Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment by helping each person contribute to a combined solution and not dominating or over-talking others

I also wanted to highlight two self-service tools that can be used at any time:

Let me know if you have any questions about any of this at or you can book an appointment with me via Handshake at (new window)

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