Case Interview: Complete Prep Guide

Simple cursory research about the management consulting industry and how to become a consultant will quickly reveal that something called a “case interview” is an important part of the process. It is not hard to find reasonable – but basic – advice about how to approach management consulting case interviews.

  • You should be structured and use frameworks, but not overly structured.
  • You need to practice for case interviews in advance.
  • You must be comfortable with mental math.

True, true and true again. However, it’s really important to go beyond the basics when preparing for case interviews, because the reality is that during consulting recruiting, case interview performance really drives the decision-making process around hiring. In fact, I have been involved in hiring decisions where some people had serious misgiving about the “fit” of the candidate, but because they just did so well on the case interview, the momentum swung toward giving the applicant an offer.

In this article, we’ll cover the following critical points to put you in the best position possible to excel in management consulting case interviews: (Click to jump to section.)

  1. What Is A Case Interview? A full understanding of the case interview process provides the foundation for excelling during it.
  2. Case Interview Presentation Structure Here, you’ll learn what to expect during the actual case interview process.
  3. How Does the Case Interview Process at the “Big 3” or “MBB” (McKinsey, Bain, BCG) Vary vs. at Other Consulting Firms? These are the premier consulting firms, so understanding the nuances and expectations of these firms is important.
  4. Case Interview Examples What have real consulting applicants experienced during the case interview process?
  5. Case Interview Frameworks What are some common ways to approach case interview questions?
  6. What are Firms Looking for in Interviews? If you practice for case interviews and become really good at breaking down problems and solving the case, that’s an excellent first step. But you need to also understand what in your demeanor and thought process top consulting firms are looking for in case interviews.
  7. How to Crack the Case Like a Real Consultant How do you bring it all together to deliver an excellent case interview performance?
  8. Case Interview Prep Be ready for your interview. Here you’ll learn how best to prepare for a management consulting case interview.
  9. Case Interview Tips: Execution So the day of the case interview has arrived. You’ve prepared well. What can you do to optimize your performance during the interview?
  10. Case Interview Prep Wrap Up What we have learned and what you should remember about management consulting case interviews!
By Management Consulted
Management Consulted