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Case Interviews

The objective of a case interview is to test your analytical skills and your ability to take data and in a structured manner, derive a conclusion. You may be given incomplete information and be expected to ask questions of the interviewer. The key is to stay calm and organize your answers mentally before you verbalize them.

The key to case interviewing is PRACTICE! We recommend that students practice 50+ cases before interviews begin.

Tips for the Case Interview

Five qualities of great case interview responses:

  • Structured response that demonstrates that you can think clearly and make sense of an ambiguous situation.
  • Broad perspective (Big Picture Thinking) - Mention all possible areas of exploration and do not focus on narrow areas that you think are right.
  • Concise and linear thinking.
  • Business judgement and ability to identify and prioritize high-impact areas of the case to investigate first.
  • Unusual and creative insights and showing you can come up with ideas without having the interviewer push you toward them.

Resources to Prepare for Case Interviews

Haas Link to Vault Guides: Once you create an account (no charge), you will have immediate access to the following guides.

  • Vault Case Interview Practice Guide 2 (193 pages)
  • Vault Guide to the Case Interview (243 pages)
  • Vault Case Interview Practice Guide--More Sample Cases (144 pages)

Many consulting firms host sample cases on their website, including practice and interactive cases.

Join the Haas Consulting Club. They have many sample case resources and consulting events.

Books: David Ohrvall's Crack the Case, and Marc P. Cosentino's Case in Point

Additional Consulting websites:

  • Management Consulting Case Interviews. Treasure trove of case interview questions.
  • Consulting Magazine. US based publication. Good resource for a snapshot of the consulting industry. The website is a good way to stay current on the different consulting firms. The Careers section appears to be quite generic, and may not be the best place to find high quality job openings.
  • Consulting Times. London based publication. The issue I reviewed revealed relevant nuggets of insight for would-be management consultants.
  • Top Consultants. A career website presenting global opportunities. A good resource for determining industries, firms and practice areas which are currently hiring.
  • Case Interview.com. Case secrets from a former McKinsey consultant.