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The Consulting-Interview - Case Interview Dos and Donts

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Tipps about the Case Interview at consulting firms

Tipps about the Case Interview at consulting firms

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  • 1. The Consulting Interview Stefan Menden www.squeaker.net
  • 2. Agenda
    • Introduction
    • The Consulting Interview
      • Introduction
      • Personal fit
      • Case Interview
      • Questions
    • Summary and Q&A
  • 3. About squeaker.net Online-Career Networks Insider-Dossier Guidebooks
    • squeaker.net
    • consulting-insider.com
    • finance-insider.com
    • Nicube.com
    • Consulting-Interview
    • Finance-Interview
    • Automotive
    • Accounting
    • Consumergoods
    • Law-Firms
    • Brainteaser
    • Psychometric tests
    • Scholarships
    • Consulting-Cases
  • 4. Agenda
    • Introduction
    • The Consulting Interview
      • Introduction
      • Personal fit
      • Case Interview
      • Questions
    • Summary and Q&A
  • 5. The consulting environment
  • 6. The recruiting process
  • 7. The recruiting process
  • 8. Agenda
    • Introduction
    • The Consulting Interview
      • Introduction
      • Personal fit
      • Case Interview
      • Questions
    • Summary and Q&A
  • 9.
    • The consulting interview
    • (Analytical skills test)
    • Introduction
    • Personal fit interview
    • Case Interview
    • Questions
    • (Presentation, Group assignment)
    • The consulting reality
    • Complex problems
    • Demanding hours
    • Changing priorities
    • Teamwork / new teams
    • High impact
    • ...
    • The interviewer‘s checklist
    • Does the candidate have:
    • Drive, motivation
    • Flexibility
    • Analytical ability
    • Quantitative skills
    • Communicative & leadership skills
    • Maturity
    • Will the candidate enjoy consulting?
    • Do I want to work with this person?
    Why consulting firms use case interviews
  • 10. The components of the consulting interview Introduction / small talk Personal fit / experience Case Interview Questions 1 2 3 4 3-5 mins 5-15 mins 30-45 mins 3-5 mins
  • 11. Part one: Introduction Do’s
    • Listen attentively, keep eye-contact
    • Ask questions, join in conversation
    • SMILE
     Don’ts
    • Don‘t take over the lead
    • Don‘t pretend
    • Don‘t think that this is not already part of the interview
    • Clarify process
    • Reduce nervousness
    • Get first feeling for candidate‘s social skills
    • Get to know the interviewer
    • Explain the process
    • Small talk
  • 12. Part two: Personal fit / experience interview Do’s
    • Present your previous experience in a cohesive way
    • Add interesting details and personal experiences
    • Be prepared to answer questions about your CV
     Don’ts
    • Don‘t just repeat what‘s on paper
    • Don‘t be arrogant
    • Don‘t be too nervous
    • Does the candidate fit into our team and culture?
    • Do I want to work with this person / spend long hours in the same room?
    • Can the candidate represent our firm in front of clients?
    • Discuss your CV and personal achievements
    • Understand your motivations and communication style
    • Why do you want to become a consultant?
    • Why with our firm?
  • 13. Personal fit: Typical questions „ Talk about yourself“ „ What are your strong points?“ „ What are your weak points?“ „ Why did you choose your particular subjects in university?“ „ What was your greatest challenge?“ How did you overcome it?“ „ Why do you want to go into consulting?“ „ When did you lead a team?“ „ Your grades are not outstanding, don‘t you think?“
  • 14. Personal fit exercise: Skill assessment
    • Take a piece of paper and draw a 5x3 table like this:
    1) 1st column: What do you think are the 5 most important skills a consultant needs 2) 2nd column: Score yourself against these skills (Points 1-10) 3) 3rd column: How can you prove this from your CV?
  • 15. Personal fit exercise 2: SWOT introspection S trengths W eaknesses O pportunities T hreats
  • 16. Part three: The Case Interview Mini Case Business Case Market-Sizing Brainteaser The Case Interview Typical types of questions
  • 17. Business Cases
    • Often based on real cases
    • Often a part of a more complex problem
    • No one-size-fits-all solutions
    • Often include a strategic and a quantitative part
    • Examples
    • Market entry
    • Product innovation
    • Competitive Response
    • Reaction to changing market conditions
    • M&A activities
  • 18. Example case „ Your customer is a European low-cost-airline. The CEO asks you to prepare a recommendation for the board meeting this afternoon if the company should offer transatlantic routes as well.“
  • 19. How to solve the case Hypothesize & ask questions Structure the case Solve the case Present and evaluate 1 2 3 4
  • 20. Frameworks to structure business cases
    • Profit equation
    • Michael Porter‘s Five Forces
    • 4 P‘s: Price, Product, Place & Promotion
    • SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
    • 2x2-Matrix
    • Break-Even-Calculation
    • 4 C‘s: Customer, Competition, Cost, Capabilities
    Use frameworks to structure problems – not as a one-size-fits-all solution to problems
  • 21. Structuring problems: The pyramid principle
  • 22. The most important framework The profit equation
  • 23. 2x2 Matrix high high low low
  • 24. How to tackle the case interview Do’s 
    • Take notes
    • Ask for missing information
    • Lead the conversation
    • Listen for details
    • Take your time
    • Structure, structure, structure
    • Involve the interviewer in your thinking
    • Clearly state your assumptions
    • Sum up your conclusions
  • 25. How to tackle the case interview Do’s
    • Don‘t „copy-paste“ your solution / framework  think!
    • Practice mental arithmetic and written calculations without calculator
    • Sanity-check your conclusions and assumptions
    • Be well prepared and up-to-date on current economic events
    • Let your hypothesis guide you
    • Practice cases by inventing your own
    • Relax, keep cool and have fun!
  • 26. How to tackle the case interview Don’ts 
    • Don‘t be too spontaneous
    • Don‘t guess
    • Don‘t go into unimportant details – be 80/20
    • Don‘t be arrogant
    • Don‘t come late
    • Don‘t lose your calm and maturity – imagine you are presenting to your client
  • 27. Market sizing
    • Test ability to structure a concrete problem
    • Test quantitative abilities
    • Test mental arithmetic skills and written calculation without calculator
    • Test ability to handle large numbers accurately
    • Often part of a business case
    • Examples
    • Market size / potential of a product or service for a country, region, city
      • „ What is the market size for car stereos in Germany?“
    • Calculation of the market share of a company
      • „ What is the market share of Volkswagen in Germany?“
    • Quantitative exercises
      • „ How many tennis balls fit into a Boeing 737?“
  • 28. Brainteaser
    • Ability to structure an abstract problem
    • Ability to elaborate and present a solution in a coherent way
    • Tenacity
    • Ability to tackle a seemingly unsolvable problem
    • Quantitative skills
    • Creativity
    • Examples
    • „ How many seconds from now until New Year’s Eve?“
    • „ You are on a boat on a lake and raise the anchor – will the water level rise or fall?“
    • „ Why are manhole covers round?“
    • Weighing balls
    • Measuring the angle between hands on a clock
  • 29. Questions Do’s
    • Prepare a few questions, that
      • are not too obvious
      • are related to your background
      • are about experiences of the interviewer
     Don’ts
    • Don‘t have no further questions
    • Don‘t ask „stupid“ questions
    • Are you really interested in consulting and this firm in particular?
    • Do you have the right communicative skills?
    • „ Do you have any further questions?“
  • 30. Agenda
    • Introduction
    • The Consulting Interview
      • Introduction
      • Personal fit
      • Case Interview
      • Questions
    • Summary and Q&A
  • 31. Insider-Dossier Books: Recommended reading
    • Shop: www.squeaker.net/insider
  • 32. Stay in touch!
    •  www.facebook.com/squeaker
    • -  twitter.com/squeakernet
    •  twitter.com/nicube