Tips for approaching a case study
As there is a lot of data and documents to go through in a short period of time, your time management skills are being put to the test here. The key to success is working fast and efficiently, prioritising and identifying key issues while ignoring irrelevant information.
- "Delve into" the case study. Reflect your thoughts as the character you were assigned to, and address the corresponding characters you have been asked to report to.
- The test demands time management, prioritisation and distinction between important and peripheral.
- Case study exercises are usually designed to have more than one ‘correct’ answer; as long as you logically justify your recommendations and they stand up to questioning by the assessor, then your analysis can be regarded in a positive light.
- Don't spend too much time trying to learn the nuances of a particular industry. Focus instead on tackling common challenges faced by most businesses. But don't hesitate to clarify pertinent questions, as listening to clients is just as important as advising them.
- Remember, this is a real client case, so you want to establish the needs of the clients before you can give advice!
- Be confident but not arrogant. When presenting, one must give off the notion that one is speaking with an air of knowledge and authority. However, no one likes it when this turns into over confidence. If this happens, one might end up not listening and missing vital cues from the questioner, and of course clients won’t like this either.
- Even though you are working against the clock, take the time to analyse the situation before attempting to make notes or answer the questions.
- Identify the key issues, and then prioritize them by importance so that you discuss the most pertinent issues first.
- Don’t stress!! Practice your presentation on friends or family if you can. If you can’t then just remember, you have come this far, you are well equipped to complete this task in the way that is required.
Questions you are likely to be asked
There are two types of questions that can be asked by the assessors. Questions of a quantitative nature would ask to perform some numerical calculations, requiring basic mathematical operations, nothing that exceeds the use of the four basic operations, percentages and ratios. Questions of a more qualitative nature can relate to strategic decisions, future projections, and market analysis. Popular questions would be:
- What penetration strategy do you find suitable for the Chinese market?
- What are the changes that company Y must go through if it seeks preservation of existing markets?
- What are the approximate annual developmental costs of company X?
Expectations from candidates
The candidates are judged on:
- Understanding the situation in hand
- Thoroughness of the analysis
- Logical presentation of ideas
- Practicality of the proposed solutions
- Creativity in problem-solving
- Presentation abilities and structuring
- Be prepared to answer off the cuff comments.
The judgment is commonly made using a competency matrix. The candidate is assessed according to each competency displayed during the test, usually on a scale of 1-5.
What we offer
Our testing team experts put together a unique package to help you succeed in your upcoming assessment centre case study test. The pack contains 2 full case study exercises with real time constraints, solution guides, scoring forms to get acquainted with the assessment process and general guides with tips and more information about the test.