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Case Interview/Question

This type of question can be used to assess a candidate's ability to structure thinking, respond to complex or ambiguous problems, and reach sound conclusions with limited facts in a short time. In this approach, there usually isn't a "right" answer. Rather, the goal is to assess what logic structures candidates use to develop an answer. Specific knowledge of the industry covered by the case question is not necessary. A case interview question enables interviewers to see:
  • How well a candidate can identify, structure and think through problems
  • A candidate’s ability to listen, gather information, and present conclusions
  • A candidate’s ability to identify information that will allow him/her to solve the problem
  • A candidate's level of resourcefulness and ability to "think on his/her feet"
  • How well a candidate reacts to an unfamiliar situation
  • How well a candidate analyzes the problem, focuses on the key issues, and asks for additional details
  • How well a candidate organizes his/her thoughts under pressure
  • How creative a candidate is
  • To what extent the candidate uses numerics in his/her reporting

Types of Case Questions

  • Classic Business: Measure candidates’ general business knowledge and how they logically apply this knowledge to a common business problem. Several types of business questions could be posed, in areas such as: resource management, organizational structure, marketing, etc.
    • A school/college finds that, while its enrollments are higher than they have ever been, the organization is still operating at a loss. What is going on?
  • Brain Teasers: Logic questions used to gauge creativity, quantitative skills, and problem solving skills.
    • Why are manhole covers round?
  • Guess the Number: Questions in which a candidate needs to use logical deduction and general statistical information.
    • How many tires are sold in the U.S. each year?
    • What is the University's market share of highly qualified students?