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INTERVIEWS

CASE INTERVIEWS

Case interviews are broadly defined as an interview geared around solving problems on the spot. A lot of companies give you the interview based on your resume, and they are really not interested in going through a one-hour re-hash of your experience as a camp counsellor, and how it helped you become a leader. The resume part of your interview will either be cut partially or fully, in favour of a more real-life, nitty-gritty, "letís see how well you think" discussion. It cuts away from the B.S. about how you are detail-oriented Ďcause you built some spreadsheet in your dadís office last summer, and gauges exactly how detail oriented you are, by giving you a problem and seeing you work it out. The form in which that problem is presented can take many forms, but in every case interview, the interviewer is trying to judge all or some of the following:

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Logical Thought Process. How do you go about arriving at a solution, identifying key concepts, an orderly thought process, clearly separating important facts from irrelevant facts, analytical ability, are all factors which can impact the interviewerís assessment of your thought process.

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General Business Knowledge and Acumen. Though no one wants to see you use Porterís Model (in fact donít use it at all), interviewerís want to see to what degree you have insight and knowledge of relevant issues in a business problem scenario Ė competitive threats, barriers to entry, competitive advantages, target marketing, pricing strategies, etc. Each case will have different concepts highlighted Ė the interviewer wants to make sure you can recognize which types of business analysis is appropriate for his specific case, as opposed to your trying to squeeze everything into some Model you learned in class as the end-all-and-be-all of human existence.

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General Knowledge. In cases, there are a lot of times when the information you need will just not be available. This is not a problem, as the interviewer does not expect you to know them. However, you will have to make assumptions, and the degree to which your assumptions are reasonable will impact your performance. If, for example, you are conducting a market sizing example, and you say "Letís assume there are around 30 million people in Canada" Ė thatís fine, the exact population is not needed. If, however, you say "Letís assume there are 100 million people in Canada", the interviewer might wonder what youíve been smoking for the past eight years.

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Comfort with Quantitative Analysis. No one will test you on differential calculus or statistical regression abilities Ė but if you canít figure out 10% of $250,000 in your head ($25,000), youíll be in trouble. Here the interviewer just wants to make sure you donít break into a cold sweat at the mention of a number, and that you can do some rough, back-of-the-envelope calculations accurately and quickly. Itís just arithmetic Ė but you better know it. Quick, if you have 15% margins on a $20 widget that youíre selling, and you sell 3,000 units Ė what was your profit?

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Creativity. A new approach to a problem, an insightful remark, finding a hurdle that nobody else had noticed, using a strategy that worked for another company in a similar situation Ė this is what consultants do. If you can demonstrate some creativity, you will surely impress. This becomes more important in 2nd and 3rd round interviews, than in the 1st. Just make sure that in your quest for creativity, you donít come up with some ludicrous situation that make you sound like you have no idea what youíre talking about. Itís a fine line? Yes. Will you have to walk it? Yes.

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Communication skills. You could be the most intelligent person in the world, but if you canít communicate your ideas, sell your ideas, and answer to criticism about your ideas, you will not be successful. Not in interviews Ė not in the business world either. Thereís no way around this one Ė learn to communicate!

http://www.campusaccess.com/campus_web/career/c4job_inca.htm


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Behavioural Interviews

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Types of Interviews

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Sample Questions

Behavioural Interview Questions    Traditional Interview Questions    Case Interview Questions
Education    Previous Jobs    Company / Job    Questions determining your Competence
Questions on Wages / Salaries    Personal Characteristics    Your Community Involvement

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Questions You Can Ask

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Questions Not to Ask


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5 employer concerns

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Before the interview
    
Commonly asked questions in a traditional interview
    Commonly asked questions in a behavioural interview
    Questions to Ask
    Questions Not to Ask
    References
    Dress for the Interview
    Anxiety

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Researching before your interview

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During the interview

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After the interview
     Thank You Letters

Interviews