Intro to case interviews

The banter about your incredible accomplishments (a.k.a. Personal experience Interview) is over and the interviewer says: “So, our client is a major tissue paper manufacturer in Slovenia…” Sweat drips from your forehead, stinging your eyes as you struggle to follow the facts your interviewer is giving….


Case interviews are simply word problems based on real client projects on which the interviewers themselves have worked. The purpose of the case question is not understanding the technicalities of tissue production in Slovenia. The interviewer is just assessing you on several areas that characterise a good consultant. Consulting is first and foremost about solving new and complex business problems. A management consultant is, above all else, a problem solver and therefore this is the core skill that recruiters look for when interviewing candidates.


The internet is full of videos, blogs and books about case interviews. However, they all basically teach one thing: a set of frameworks where you can force-fit the case that the interviewer gives you. The flip side of this approach? You structure your case based on an abstract framework rather than the real problem the client is facing. That's why consultants do not use pre-packaged frameworks in their work. In our guide and our preparation programmes we don't teach you any off-the-shelf frameworks, we teach you to think like a consultant. After all, this is what makes the difference between the 2% of applicants that make it and the 98% that don't. 

What ARE consultantS good at?

A consultant is not an expert. Arguably, no consultant knows more about the tissue business that the people who worked in than business for 20 years. However, a consultant has the skill to get up to speed and understand what is critical in a business, has superior problem solving capability and can leverage an international network of colleagues who faced similar problems on the other side of the globe.

What are interviewers expecting from you in a case interview?

In a nutshell, your job is to sort out the key issues, build a logical approach to tackle them, come up with the solution and translate it into a recommendation relevant for the client. In cases there is no right or wrong answer, what really matters is way you think  the problem through, how confident you are with your conclusions and how quick you are with back of the envelope arithmetic.

6 questions the interviewer will ask himself during your interview

  1. How do you analyse the problem? Are you able to break down the problem and identify the key drivers? Or do you randomly jump from one idea to another without any logical flow?

  2. How comfortable are you with dealing with a sector you know absolutely nothing about?

  3. Are you conscious of priorities? Can you differentiate essential information from irrelevant information? Do you use the “80/20 rule”?

  4. Are you consistent in your thinking? Can you stick to a line of thinking and follow it through to its conclusion?

  5. Are you able to synthesize and communicate your recommendations in a simple, compelling and concise way?

  6. Are you a team player? Is working 15 hours a day with you fun and enjoyable?

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