Consulting Case Interviews

Case interviews, also called case study interviews, are the toughest part in Management consulting firms' selection process. Learn what these case studies are all about.

Top consulting firms such as Bain&Company, McKinsey, Oliver Wyman, Deloitte, Booz Allen Hamilton and others use case study interviews as part of their selection process.

Case studies rely on real-life or hypothetical scenarios, in which a client hires the services of one of the above firms in order to improve, or structure, new business strategies whose end target is profit maximization. The assessor first tells the applicant the basic story of the case study, then asks the applicant some questions. The candidate assignment is to ask more questions, understand the issues he is facing and answer the questions.

Case interviews are not to be confused with assessment centre case study tests which work on similar principles but require an analysis of a file of written documents rather than gathering the information in an interview form.

Skills and competencies

Each case study is likely to involve a quantitative aspect that includes financial understanding, statistical data etc, together with qualitative data in the form of research summaries, company history, etc. In turn, the applicant's recommendation should include reference to and integration of both types of data. The case is general enough to allow more than one solution to be acceptable, a feature which intentionally allows more room for creativity and a need for firm justification of the logical move made by the applicant.

Although these case studies do not require any prior knowledge of industries and set frameworks, interviewers are looking for an array of abilities:

  • The ability to structure a business plan and devise a coherent thinking process
  • Prioritization
  • Logical reasoning
  • A firm grasp of math and numerical reasoning skills
  • Creativity

We hope you have enjoyed reading through this page and look forward to helping you succeed in your upcoming case study.