Parts of the Case Interview
Case Interviews: A Complete Guide

A case interview process outlined above requires candidates to approach the problem as a “hypothesis driven” exercise. Such an exercise typically goes through the following process:

  • Collecting background information
  • Forming the rough cut hypothesis
  • Collecting further information to prove/disprove the hypotheses.
  • If necessary, collecting even more information.
  • Finalizing the insights, drawing the conclusions and formulating recommendations.

Case interviews rarely get to the last stages of this process. Instead they tend either be general and focus on the early stages of collecting background information and forming rough cut hypotheses, or be specific and focus on collecting information to test and refine the hypotheses.

The component parts of the case interview are:

  1. Opening: The interviewer describes a business problem to you. Do not jump to a response. Instead, gather as much information as possible so you understand the true problem.
  2. Your questions: You are expected to analyze the problem and ask questions in the areas that you think are important.
  3. In-depth exploration of a branch: If you asked a question that is in an area the interviewer wants to explore, the interviewer may answer your question and then ask a follow-up question that will explore this area in more depth.
  4. Analysis and conclusion. Usually, a specific area of the mock client’s business is critical to the solution of the problem: The interviewer will either drive you to this area or let you know you’ve reached it by asking follow-up questions. Always state your assumptions when presenting an opinion.
  5. Communication: You may be asked to summarize your conclusion as if you were recommending it to a client to test your communication skills.