Using critical thinking to crack case based interviews


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  • It is interesting to note that the first four types of interview questions listed have a predictive validity for on the job success of just 10 percent. And 10 percent predictive validity is the same level that is generated from a simple resume review. Math questions increase the predictive validity to 15 percent (since it tests intelligence, commonly a key competency for most positions) and case questions raise the predictive validity to 25 percent (and slightly higher for consulting positions). Behavioral and competency interviewing, on the other hand, yield a predictive validity of 55 percent. Still far from perfect, yet much more reliable for most interviewers. Interestingly, the first four question types are still the favored approach by most untrained interviewers, simply due to lack of experience. Behavioral and competency interviewing is gaining greater acceptance by trained interviewers because past performance is the most reliable indicator of future results, especially when it is tied to the specific competencies for the position. Companies such as Accenture have modified this approach with specific critical behavioral interviewing to target those behaviors which provide the highest correlation with the required competencies for highly predictive positive results.
  • Using critical thinking to crack case based interviews

    1. 1. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Priti Agarwal
    2. 2. Learning Outcomes By the end of this presentation, you will:  Better understand what critical thinking is  Know why critical thinking is important  Use critical thinking techniques in cracking interviews
    3. 3. “ (Thinking) . . . which exemplifies the perfections of thinking. . .” “Disciplined, self-directed thinking . . . ”
    4. 4. In “everyday” language: • Thinking “outside” the box • Thinking about thinking • “Unlimited” thinking • Divergent thinking
    5. 5. Why is Critical Thinking Important? A well cultivated critical thinker: •raises vital questions and problems, •formulating them clearly and THROUGH ACTIVITIES TIME PERMITTING, WORK precisely; •gathers and assesses relevant information, to IN YOUR BOOKLET. interpret it effectively BE SURE TO THINK CRITICALLY! •comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards; •thinks openmindedly within alternative systems of thought, •communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.
    6. 6. Goal: to become cultivated critical thinkers Cultivated critical thinkers . . .
    7. 7. By : --raising vital questions --formulating questions clearly and  Raises vital questions and precisely problems, formulating them clearly and precisely; Raise vital questions Formulate questions and problems clearly, precisely
    8. 8. •Gather information •Analyze and assess it • Evaluate it By:  Gathers and assesses relevant then --gathering information, --assessing it and determining information, using abstract ideas to what it means interpret it effectively, and what it is worth
    9. 9. By: --drawing conclusions from the information presented --finding possible, plausible solutions and testing them with relevant criteria Draw conclusions Find solutions Use relevant criteria to test them
    10. 10. Keep an open mind By --maintaining an open mind
    11. 11. Network w/others; keep lines of communication open  Communicates effectively with others By networking with in figuring out solutions to complex others and maintaining problems. open lines of communication with them and others.
    12. 12. To become a cultivated critical thinker: Dare to think outside the box! • Develop a sense of observation and curiosity • Become interested in finding new solutions • Share ideas • Ask pertinent questions • Assess statements and arguments • Seek understanding and information
    13. 13. Also . . . • Examine beliefs, assumptions, and opinions; weigh them against truth • Listen to others, think about what they say, give feedback • Become an open-minded listener and reader
    14. 14. Activity What is half of eight? 8
    15. 15. What is the answer ? Is it 4
    16. 16. Any other answer ? Or is it 2 zeroes 0 0
    17. 17. And another ? 3 THAT IS FOR YOU TO DECIDE
    18. 18. Activity Without lifting your pencil from the paper, draw exactly four straight, connected lines that will go through all nine dots, but through each dot only once.
    19. 19. Problem I have two 10 litre bottles full of wine and 2 other empty bottles of 5 and 4 litres. I want to fill 3 litres in each empty bottles without the help of any additional object and without pouring out or wasting a single drop of wine.
    20. 20. Solution  10 10 00 00 10 05 05 00 10 05 01 04 10 09 01 00 10 09 00 01 10 04 05 01 10 04 02 04 10 08 02 00 10 08 00 02 05 08 05 02 05 08 03 04 09 08 03 00 09 08 00 03 04 08 05 03 04 10 03 03 ---- filled
    21. 21. The image shows a huge Bengal Tiger standing in a bamboo forest. Your mission is to look for "The Hidden Tiger" in the image below.
    22. 22. Who SHOULD think critically? < Video on baby using problem solving techniques>
    23. 23. Problem SolvingCase Study Based Interviews
    24. 24. Types of Interview Questions Credential Verification Experience verification Opinion questions 10% predictive validity Dumb questions Maths Questions Case Questions Behavioral Questions Competency Questions 15% predictive validity 25% predictive validity 55% predictive validity
    25. 25. Types of Interview Questions Credential verification questions - Its purpose is to place objective measurements on features of your background. Sample Questions    What is your CGPA? How does it compare with the rest of your batchmates? How long were you working at…? What is your total experience in supply chain management?
    26. 26. Types of Interview Questions Experience verification questions - Its purpose is to subjectively evaluate features of your background. Sample Questions    What did you learn in this course? What were your responsibilities in that position? Point out three key learnings from your Summer Internship Project
    27. 27. Types of Interview Questions Opinion questions Their purpose is to subjectively analyze how you would respond in a series of scenarios. Sample Questions    What would you do in this situation? What are your strengths and weaknesses? If you were the prime minister of India, what are the three key changes you would bring about?
    28. 28. Types of Interview Questions Dumb questions - Their purpose is to get past your preprogrammed answers to find out if you are capable of an original thought. There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer, since it is used primarily to test your ability to think on your feet. Sample Questions    What kind of animal would you like to be? What color best describes you? If you were a famous personality, who would you be like?
    29. 29. Types of Interview Questions  Math questions Its purpose is to evaluate not only your mental math calculation skills, but also your creative ability in formulating the mathematical formula for providing an answer (or estimate, as can often be the case). Sample Questions     "What is 1000 divided by 73?“ "How many ping pong balls could fit in a Volkswagen?“ How many litres of milk are consumed in Delhi everyday? How many petrol pumps are there in Chandigarh?
    30. 30. Types of Interview Questions  Case questions Its purpose is to evaluate your problem-solving abilities and how you would analyze and work through potential case situations. Sample Questions    "What is your estimate of the global online retail market for books?“ What is the future of the luxury car market in India? How do you think the 2 wheeler market will be affected with the launch of the Tata Nano?
    31. 31. Types of Interview Questions  Behavioral questions Its purpose is to anticipate future behaviors based upon past behaviors. Sample Questions    Can you give me a specific example of how you did that? What were the steps you followed to accomplish that task? Can you give me an example where you organised an event? How did you go about it?
    32. 32. Types of Interview Questions  Competency questions Its purpose is to align your past behaviors with specific competencies which are required for the position. Sample Questions    "Can you give me a specific example of your leadership skills?“ "Explain a way in which you sought a creative solution to a problem.“ Give me an example where you helped resolve a conflict between team members.
    33. 33. Agenda     •What is the format and structure of a case interview? •Which skills are case interviews trying to test? •What are some common myths about case interviews? •How do I crack a case interview?
    34. 34. OBJECTIVES  Introduce the consulting case interview format    Objectives Typical structure Evaluation Mock case simulation and discussion     Framing Analysis Conclusions Case interview preparation tips
    35. 35. Case interviews require interviewees to solve business problems on‐the‐spot     “The most accurate predictor of future performance is the ability to solve on the‐job problems in real‐time” Focused on problem solving abilities: The interviewee must work with the interviewer to solve business problems Q&A format: Interviewer moves on to successive questions with relatively little discussion thereafter
    36. 36. WHAT DO COMPANIES LOOK FOR? Not “The Answer” Creativity Apply a unique perspective to business situations See the big picture Draw conclusions from partial information • Make assumptions, see patterns, and generate hypotheses Poise Appear excited by the kinds of issues consultants face Are not intimidated by process or problems Assimilate information quickly and effectively Ask insightful questions Analytics Provide structure to unstructured problems Break problems into components Apply transparent, logical thinking to each component Synthesize discussion into solution
    37. 37. HOW DO I ATTACK A CASE? Creating a Logical Structure is Key to Success Framing/organizing Framing • Ability to identify key issues which he/she needs to deal with in order to solve the problem Prioritizing issues • Ability to assess the issues, prioritize them and form a coherent plan of attack Analysis Identifying relevant information Drawing conclusions from facts Conclusion Identifying key implications and next steps Communication • Ability to dig deep enough to find the detailed information which leads to a meaningful answer • Ability to use information given and manipulate it accurately into a logical conclusion - identify the key displays or data dimensions needed to reach a solution - derive relationships among different dimensions of data • Ability to predict relationships and outcomes based on sound reasoning - clear logic to conclusion - delineation of alternatives skills tested throughout interview
    38. 38. INTRODUCTION TO THE CASE    Our client owns and operates an independent “mom and pop” gas station  Sells gas for 50 per litre  Operates at break-even profitability Exxon opened a gas station across the street twelve months ago  Sells gas for 85 per litre  Seem to be “blowing and going” based on traffic What would you advise our client to do?
    39. 39. WHAT IS A FRAMEWORK? Description Benefits Examples  Models, tools or maps that provide a systematic, logical way of analyzing a problem  Show cause and effect relationships to focus on Distil a complex, ambiguous problem to the relevant issues  Guides intelligent questioning of the interviewer  Lays out your analysis in a logical, coherent manner—paints a picture of how you think  Allows you to apply your experience to an unfamiliar situation  SWOT analyses  Familiar frameworks—5 forces, 7 Cs, 7 Ss, 4 Ps  Matrices—2x2, more sophisticated multi-dimensional  Value chain analysis  Comparative economics  Product/technology life cycle  Decision trees Key is application of, not simply stating, a framework
    40. 40. FRAMING Do’s Don’ts Use one to structure your answer Force fit a framework Explain insights derived using framework Overuse buzzwords (e.g., Porter’s 5 forces) Creativity is key Try to apply a framework that you do not know well Get buy-in from interviewer Ignore direction from interviewer Use analogies if possible Practice, practice, practice
    41. 41. ANALYSIS Do’s Don’ts Scratch your analysis on paper—even stream of consciousness thoughts Overly worry about basic math mistakes—yet, don’t make too many of them Use facts provided to develop support for your conclusions Worry about decimal-point precision Ask for more data, clarifying information Lose sight of the issue (get lost in the details) Keep your framework in mind (tie back) Lose contact with your interviewer Do math on paper Use round numbers Start over if needed “Think out loud” Ignore when analytics disprove original hypotheses Keep your thought processes to yourself
    42. 42. CONCLUDING THE CASE Do’s Summarize your analysis Provide a clear recommendation or hypothesis derived from your analysis Highlight any additional information you would need to know Don’ts Forget to conclude the case— regardless of progress made or time constraints Waffle or be indecisive—have a point of view and confidently support it Ask for feedback Identify any implications of your recommendations (e.g., competitor response, client reaction) Forget the original question
    43. 43. PRACTICAL TIPS FOR SUCCESS  Bring a pen/pencil and a pad of paper  Feel free to pause, particularly at the beginning  Don’t panic—ask questions to clarify facts, learn more information  Structure your analysis before you begin  Think out loud  Be clear about your assumptions  Silence can be golden  Do what makes you comfortable—approach with your personal style, not what you think is expected Most importantly, have fun!
    44. 44. Activity- Problem Solving for following cases  How many pencils are sold annually in the India?  How many dogs are there in Delhi?  What are the chances of rolling double sixes three times in a row?  A pharmaceutical company is trying to decide whether to manufacture its drugs in-house or outsource; how would you help?  The company that owns “Fruity” drink has seen a decline in revenues over the past five years; what should it think about?
    45. 45. Thank You!!