3 Tips for Cracking the Case Interview

by Vault Careers | February 21, 2012

When it comes to interviewing, practice may not always make perfect, but it can certainly increase your chances of getting the job. That's especially true for case interviews—an interviewing technique that is pretty much mandatory in the consulting industry, and catching on in other industries too.

While many candidates spend hours practicing their answers to questions such as "tell me about your biggest weakness," it can be tempting to overlook case interview preparation. The reason: because the case interview is a test of a candidate's ability to do the job, some may assume that their knowledge of an industry will be enough to see them through. And the fact that a case interview question can literally be about anybusiness issue in any industry can make preparation an especially hard sell.

However, as the following video from L.E.K. Consultingmakes clear, preparing for case interviews isn't about hoping you pick the correct case so you can repeat an answer verbatim. Rather, it's about becoming comfortable with the format of the interview, and developing a framework that will allow you to tackle the question and show your interviewer(s) that you've got what it takes to work through complex business issues.

In the video, L.E.K. Consulting's David T. lays out a very simple three-stage approach that applies to most case interview questions:

  1. Form hypotheses about the case
  2. Ask questions that will test those hypotheses
  3. Arrive at a recommendation based on what you've learned

With that framework, and a lot of practice with different types of question, any candidate can learn to conquer the case interview.

Read More:

Vault Guide to Case Interviews

Vault Case Interview Practice Guide 2: More Case Interviews

Filed Under: Consulting | Interviewing | Job Search


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