How to Successfully Navigate the Case Interview
Interviews are always nerve racking. With a strong desire to put your best foot forward, you can end up putting your foot in your mouth instead. Everyone has done it at one point or another, walking away thinking “wow, that was bad”.
The case interview, a standard step in the hiring process of any consulting firm, has an added element of stress. Not only is your background and character being scrutinized, but so are your problem identification and solving skills. Remaining focused and being clear to let your problem comprehension and concise analysis shine through can be difficult in this situation.
However, as intimidating as a case interview may seem, there are three simple ways to detach from the stress and instead approach at the entire process logically in order to succeed.
A case interview is no different than any other interview in that you need to present yourself well. However, it does require a much different approach to preparation. When warming up for a fit or a character interview, you polish up on the basics, rehearse responses to standard questions like “why do you want to work here” or “tell me a time you failed and how did you respond”, and generally prepare to speak to content you are well versed in. But in case studies, you don’t know in advance what content you’ll be asked to cover.
So, the first step to preparing for a case interview is to polish your responsive analytical and problem-solving skills by taking advantage of the myriad sample case studies available online. Practice how to separate the stimulus from the question, how to break down the problem, how to identify what information is missing, and how it should be gathered and synthesized.
Do Your Research
Your next step will be to research the company’s terminology.
Study their website and their LinkedIn page, and read any publications you can find in order to learn what their “language” is. A quick perusal of Trindent’s website and LinkedIn page, for example, will show a treasure trove of vocabulary and expressions that make up the standard language we use every day.
Why is this an important step?
Remember to Adapt
Because during the interview, knowing the company’s nomenclature will help you understand the case, read your interviewer’s queues, structure your responses to fit the company mold, be concise in your answers, and hit the right points rather than explaining around them.
It will also allow you to adapt your style to match that of the interviewer. It may seem like a small thing, but the case will be presented using the company’s language, so pivoting to using their terminology will not only help you understand it better, but will also allow your interviewer to easily follow your thought process as you talk through the solution – all of which will translate into higher scores.
Being well prepared for a case interview takes a lot of time, but it also takes a great deal of stress out of it, and sets you up to succeed in your next steps of your consulting career.
Click here to learn more about the exciting opportunities available at Trindent Consulting today.