Case Interviews: A Complete Guide
Consultants typically use “frameworks” to provide a structure for illustrating specific business problems. Frameworks enable you to highlight key issues and then lay out your analysis at the beginning of the case. Wetfeet Press sponsors an “Online Ace Your Case” to demonstrate a typical business case and a sample solution and also sells “Ace Your Case” in hardcopy format. The following are only two of the many frameworks you can use in a case interview situation:
- Profitability Analysis: Profits = Revenues and Costs. Useful to keep in mind when answering questions about sudden changes in a company’s operations or profits. Problems stem from issues surrounding revenues or costs or with both, driving poor results.
- Porter’s Five Forces: Michael Porter’s book Competitive Strategy outlines five forces that determine how competitive and how profitable an industry is. Useful when answering questions about introducing new products, entering new industries, or addressing declining sales or profits. The five forces are suppliers, buyers, competitors, substitute products, and new entrants. Hint: Don’t tell the interviewer “I’m using Porter’s five forces as the framework to analyze this problem.” It will sound too canned!