Few things are more helpful to employers than case interview questions.
And on the flipside, few things are more dreaded by potential employees.
At their core, case interviews help uncover an applicant’s skills at business, communication, logic, and reasoning.
You’ll usually be given a specific problem and asked to solve it.
By asking the person conducting the interview questions to help you understand the situation and reach a conclusion, you’ll prove that you’re worth hiring.
Here are a few case interview examples, including the questions and what your answers can tell the interviewer.
Three case interview examples:
1. How Many Auto Tires are Sold in New York Each Year? – This is one of the most common types of case interview questions, known as a market estimation question. You may be asked anything along these lines, from how many bananas are sold in the country each year to how many homes have computers today.
Essentially, you’re expected to ask questions to glean data that you can use to provide an estimated answer. You aren’t going to land on the exact figure, so don’t bother worrying about that. Show that you understand how to figure out the estimated figure based on your questions.
2. A Technology Firm is Considering Buying a Competitor. Should It? – Known as a business case question, this type of case interview question will assess your ability to make good business decisions. This is a simple case interview example, and some questions of this type will be very complex.
As with example one, you need to ask the right questions to reach an answer. “What does each company specialize in?” may be one question to ask, “what are sales stats by region?” could be another. The questions you ask are often just as important as the answer you supply.
3. How Many Times do the Hands of a Clock Overlap in a Single Day? – They’re rarer than the other two types of case interview questions, but you may also be asked logic based case interview questions like this. Your answers will need to be more specific in these instances, so break out a pencil and some paper and figure it up.
Essentially, the interviewer is assessing your ability to use logic to overcome problems. While the question about clock hands will never influence a business decision, your ability to reason your way to a solution will.
Understanding case interview questions and what your answers will tell the interviewer is important. Your ability to reach a solution is often more important than the solution itself, but you should try to be as accurate as possible. Stay calm, stay focused, and ask questions to your interviewer to help you reach your solutions.
Keep your mind on solving the problem that has been presented to you instead of on what the outcome of your case study interview might be. And remember that your problem solving ability is what is truly being tested. Use these case interview examples to prepare yourself. The odds are it won’t be as difficult as you are imagining.