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Case Interviewing

What is a case? A case is a simplified version of a consulting project that in 15-30 minutes evaluates the consulting-specific technical abilities of the candidate. It is an interactive process.

What industries use case interviews? While many organizations could utilize this method of interviewing, it is primarily common in consulting interviews where they deal with clients on a regular basis. 

How do cases evaluate candidates’ potential? They explore whether the candidate #1 approaches and solves problems in a logical way, #2 delivers analysis in a clear and useful manner, and #3 engages with people with confidence.

How should you approach the case interview?

  1. Listen to the case and rephrase the case to indicate understanding
  2. Ask clarifying questions and show enthusiasm in the case!
  3. Stop to organize your thoughts on paper. Ask the interviewer for the time, then be silent and think for 30 seconds or more.
  4. Construct an approach to the case. Draw pictures or create charts and write it all down in a logical manner.
  5. Share your framework and responses with your interviewer(s). Converse about the problem and your proposed solutions so that it isn't a one-sided conversation.
  6. Summarize your main points and highlight the most important pieces of your conclusion or suggested next steps.

Resources and Preparation:

Practicing in advance is the best way to prepare for case interviews. We highly recommend using the following resources to get started.

  • Books: Case in Point and How to Get Into the Top Consulting Firms. Copies are available in the Career Center.
  • Websites/Resources:
    • CaseInterview.com by Victor Cheng - This is a great website with both free and fee-based resources. Once you create a free account, you will have access to a series of Case Interview Secrets videos along with other useful tools and handouts to prepare.
    • Vault Guide to the Case Interview and Ace Your Case! a WetFeet Insider Guide can also be found online.
  • Student Group: the Carleton Consulting Group meets regularly to learn more about the field of consulting as well as practice case interviews.
  • Practice Case Interviews: Schedule a practice interview with a career counselor. All of our counselors are able to help you prepare for both a case interview and a traditional, behavioral-type interview. Past consulting-focused students have also created the following folder of practice cases. (Note: it is only accessible with your carleton.edu account)
  • Organizations who recruit at Carleton: Click HERE to learn more about organizations who recruit with Carleton specifically. (Note: it is only accessible with your carleton.edu account) You are also encouraged to meet with the Program Director for Recruiting in the Career Center to learn more.

View this video from Kate Whittington '98 from McKinsey & Co. about Case Interviewing.

  • Case Interviewing Prep Workshop

Career Center pages maintained by Andrea Kubinski
This page was last updated on 23 August 2019