Campus Blog: How to ace that case interview!
By Lyndsey Ritz
Business Analyst Strategy & Operations, Consulting | Summer 2014 Co-op
Congratulations, you have earned an interview with Deloitte Consulting! The initial excitement is fleeting as you notice a note at the bottom of the email: the interview will include a case component. If your first reaction is to ask “what is a case interview?” you are not alone. In fact, many students have little to no case interview experience before they face an actual interviewer. Let me put your mind at ease with three strategies you can use to prepare for the interview and ace the case.
Understand the why
The first step in conquering the case interview is to understand why Deloitte is having you do one to begin with. Everyone says they possess problem solving and analytical skills and can perform under pressure on their resumé. The case is an opportunity to actually prove it. This is a chance to show off your creativity, insights, communication and logical thought process – all traits of a good consultant.
Brush up on your presentation skills
Prepping for the case interview is as much working on your presentation skills as it is practicing cases. Use this opportunity to showcase who you are and how well you can interact with people. One way you can practice is to present cases to a friend who is also applying for consulting or who is already in consulting. I recommend recording your practice sessions and watching the videos afterward. It can be awkward to watch yourself on camera, but it is the best way for you to see yourself from the perspective of someone who is unfamiliar with you and how you think. Ask yourself honestly: Does my story flow? Is it clear? Is it logical? Am I engaging? Am I confident? Would I hire that person on camera?
Use silence to your advantage
The knee-jerk reaction in stressful situations is to say whatever comes to mind. However, it takes time to properly sort through and organize the large quantity of information presented in the case, and the interviewer knows this. So remember to stop, take a moment, and really think through your approach during the interview. Do not feel pressured to respond immediately – silence is recommended! Just as you need time to work through your analysis, so too does the interviewer need time to accurately write notes and comments.
Remember, the interviewer will see many students in a given day. Focus your attention on making sure you stand out in all the right ways – have confidence in yourself and bring your energy!
Lyndsey is a fourth year student at Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary majoring in a Bachelor of Commerce.