What Is a Case Interview?

Case interviews begin by interviewers posing a question, challenge, or situation that candidates are expected to solve. In this scenario, candidates are given background information and are then expected to ask interviewers questions that will help them either understand the issue (by collecting more information) or solve the problem. Employers and interviewers are assessing candidates' ability to analyze information and act on it; they want employees who can both listen to and work well with instructions while still being independent and productive. 

Sometimes case interviews can be given both individually or in group exercises, but regardless of team size, interviewers are assessing the same things—analytical judgement, numerical and verbal reasoning skills, communication and presentation skills, and overall business and professional awareness.


Case Interview Questions and Format

There are two types of questions that can be posed by assessors—quantitative and qualitative. Questions of a quantitative nature ask applicants to perform numerical calculations and basic mathematical operations (nothing will exceed the use of the four basic operations, percentages, and ratios). Questions of a more qualitative nature can relate to strategic decisions, future projections, and market analysis.

Typically, case interviews take 45 minutes to complete—30 minutes to go through the information and formulate answers and conclusions and 15 minutes to present findings. 

It's important to note that you may receive 10 or more pages of information, research, etc., so manage your time wisely. 


Six Helpful Case Interview Tips

Because there are a lot of data and documents to go through in a short period of time, your time management skills are being put to the test here. The key to success is working fast and efficiently, prioritizing and identifying key issues while ignoring irrelevant information.

  • Take your time – Even though you are working against the clock, take the time to analyze the situation.
  • Utilize resources – Be sure to use the information given to you and make important notes about your findings along the way. This will save you time later when you need to reference back to something.
  • Ask questions – Clarify pertinent issues. Listening to clients and their needs is just as important as advising them.
  • Manage your time wisely – You need to identify and prioritize key issues and information and then address them.
  • Double check your answers – Although case study exercises are usually designed to have more than one "correct" answer, you need to make sure your answer seems logical. By logically justifying your recommendations, they stand a better chance of holding up against the assessor's questions.
  • Practice – The more practice you have with question types and case study presentations, the better. By familiarizing yourself with these scenarios, you will become less stressed and appear more confident.

Prepare for Your Interview

JobTestPrep offers an Interview PrepPack™ that is designed to help you ace an interview and bring you one step closer to the job you're after. We provide you the tools to pick relevant interview questions and assess your overall interview skills, thus giving you the chance to thoroughly improve as well as highlight your strengths. Start preparing today to ensure your success.