Interviews take place in varied forms. There is no particularity in the kind of interviews one can be a part of. There is a format but that doesn’t limit the interviewer in any way. The kind of interview taken depends on the position and job. Additionally, it also depends on the kind of skills the interviewers are looking to judge. One popular and crucial form of interviewing is the case interview method. Let us know more detail about ‘Case Interview Examples’.
Case interview examples- preview
Case interviews are widely used among many companies. It is one of the practical ways to test the applicant. This article contains examples and quite a bit of information on the same. Additionally, a brief guide to the tips and tricks of acing case interviews.
What is a case interview?
Before we get to understand how to answer, let’s see what a case interview is. To put forth business scenarios upon the applicant to gain their perspective and insight. This can be the basic definition. However, there is a lot more to it. The process sets up a challenge for the applicant. Through this, the interviewers check whether their methods comply with those of the company.
Many people assume it is a very tough aspect of interviews. However, it’s necessary to remember that the interviewer doesn’t have much time. Case interviews come as just another question. It is up to the interviewee to fill in all the potential information possible within that question. Now, also remember that even though this is just another question, it’s a crucial one. Not something impossible, neither something negative. Just another important component of an interview.
Why is it used?
It is important to know why the interviewer opts for a case interview. Certain skills vary based on the position, job, and company. Furthermore, even the scenario they put forth can be a deciding factor. What skills are being looked upon can be derived from it. There are a few basic skills that are generally judged with this question:
1. Your approach
Generally, case interviews consist of problems or issues that the company or your position may face. It depends on the interviewers whether they give you an easy or tough one. How you approach it makes an impact on how you’ll carry forward your duty as an employee.
2. Your reaction
The way you react to the question itself as well as to your solution within your answer tells a lot about how you’ll manage things. Management skills and problem-solving skills are looked at too.
3. Decisive skills
The decisions that you make. Generally, apart from giving a problem, the interviewers may put forth options which you need to choose from. What and how you choose will decide the output for the company. Therefore, decisive skills are tested.
If you’re applying for managing positions or even otherwise, a leadership scenario may be put forth. The situation may require that you take lead and guide. If you’re applying for a managerial role itself, it’s natural that you’d have to answer based on how you’d direct your team.
5. Teamwork and communication
How you communicate the problem to others too would also matter. How you can cooperate with your team makes a difference in your presentation and skills. When the interviewers put forth scenarios, how you’d communicate and act with your team on it tells a lot about how potential you are to the company.
The interviewers want to know if you’re a one-man show or if you look to consulting others before you take action. Quite often interviews want employees who will look for the best of the company and coordinate with superiors. Whether or not you include superiors in your decision-making and execution will tell a lot about how you’ll act in the future too.
7. Analysis and logical reasoning
How you read any situation is a necessary factor in deciding the output. Analysis skills are important to form conclusions. The data given and the ability to interpret it well is an essential skill. This skill can be a deciding factor in interviews. In the case of interviews, when situations are put forth, you are required to analyze the information. How you do it and form a solution tells a lot about your potential for the company.
How does it work?
So what is the process and how does it work? Generally, as mentioned before, it is just another question of the whole interview. However, like there is a format for every answer, there is one for this too. Moreover, this is an important question that forms most of your interview. Therefore, it requires more time and attention compared to other questions. It follows a general question-answer format. There is a good 20 minutes or so taken to answer this question as it involves understanding, analyzing, forming conclusions, and many factors. Right from understanding the problem, the customer, the product, and your potential, all fit into this one scenario that is put ahead of you.
Another factor to note is that this is an interview question but not a regular one. As mentioned, it is different, practical, and more specific to a wider aspect of the company itself. What you answer within those 20 minutes may decide the course you’ll follow if you’re hired. How you can incorporate your skills, knowledge, and experience into an actual scenario tells a lot. Other interview questions will equally focus on how you respond and what interview etiquette you use. When it comes to case interviews, what you say is of more importance. This is because in this case, the situation is directly linked with the company.
Types of case interviews
There could be a variety of case interviews. Still more types of formats that each interviewer may follow. However, a few common and basic ones are mentioned below:
This format includes the control of the interviewer. The interviewer will guide the course that the applicant is to follow while answering. This may include cross-questioning, putting forth alternatives, and so on. The whole format is led by the interviewer. The applicant follows the directives while answering.
Candidate-oriented interview cases are quite the opposite. Here, the question is laid out and the applicant can go all out. The interviewee chooses the path to follow, the conclusion to come to. Changing factors, using unique strategies to form conclusions, and so on can be practiced here. The interviewer will just lay the question and is all ears. They give you more freedom and want to see where you can take the situation.
While people can mistake the idea of a written case interview to be merely written, that is not the case. Indeed, this type is written but there’s more to it. Consider why they’d want to take a written case interview in the first place. In such formats, the situation is put forth along with a partial solution or assisting aspects. What the interviewee has to do is interpret this in their written format. From this, they may come to a firm conclusion. This type aims to understand the information given and make something out of it.
This is just as the name suggests. A group interview takes place with the interviewer and a group of interviewees. In such types, the interviewer lays a scenario for the entire group to collectively work on. Their teamwork, coordination and communication, and other factors are given center focus here. How the members can work together to frame a strong outcome tells how each individual will work with your team. Additionally, if several interviewees are selected, it may tell how they will coordinate with each other too.
How to answer?
This is a comparatively longer question than regular interviews. While normal questions take 10 minutes tops, case interviews generally go beyond 20 minutes. You don’t want to waste all that time. Much about you is being judged from the case interview itself. Include valid information and be straight to the point.
2. Look out for skills
It is unlikely that the interviewer will ask other questions after the case interview. Therefore, fit in all relevant skills that the interviewer may need to know about you. Judging from the job and the case interview scenario itself, you’ll be able to tell a little about what the interviewers are looking for. Be sure to fill in all those blanks with your relevant skills.
Whether it’s a group or individual case interview, follow an organized format. Structure your answer well to gradually conclude. Not only in your answer but also while framing the same, follow a flow. Listen, understand, analyze, formulate a strategy and eventually add other factors. All these steps may not be noticed by the interviewer but will show in the answer you give. Avoid being hasty or abrupt, it will lead to uncertainty.
Whether the scenario is directly linked with the company or not, your confidence in answering is assumed for the company directly. If you don’t show confidence in your answer, it will leave the impression that you can’t take responsibility and aren’t very reliable. Case interviews may require you to brainstorm, persuade, convince or guide. No matter what procedure you are to follow, show confidence.
Don’t leave out small bits of information. There may be extra tips or reasoning that may add to the value of your answer. Make a mention of those. These will back you up and add to convincing your interviewers. However, make sure you avoid adding unnecessary information. The point is not to prolong your answer but to add concreteness and clarity to it. Choose quality over quantity.
You need to maintain a balance while answering. What does this mean? You have to stay neutral. Don’t go overboard or lean on extreme ends of the scale. You’re bound to fall, in this case, fail. For instance, if the scenario requires that you take a risk, think carefully and mention that you’ll take the risk. However, avoid going overboard; you may mention that you’d consult with others before you take the risk. Balancing decisions can give the idea that you know how to take good control.
Examples of case interviews
Now that we’ve looked at the pros and cons as well as the tips and tricks, let’s head out to some examples of case interviews. The following are different types of case interviews that judge various abilities.
1. New product
Question- Our company is thinking of launching a new art supply box. This box will contain materials made from organic ingredients only. Do you think it’s a good idea? Suppose you’re in favor of the product, what do you have to say?
Answer- Businesses are in a need to develop by envisioning the future. I strongly believe that using organic ingredients for art supplies would be an ideal alternative. Art supplies are used by children and youth over adults. The probability is only greater that they will be influenced by such innovative ideas and become aware of the need to save and recycle. Moreover, organic supplies will be innovative and healthy options to choose from. It will add to the natural aura that most artists find themselves in. There are benefits on all fronts for all sides. Not just the user and producer but the environment and the future too. Right from the use to the disposal, everything will follow an authentic and easy setting. This offers much ease and fewer hassles. To focus on art with the right supplies rather than having to worry about secondary factors, the organic art box will be brilliant to the market.
2. Risky scenario
Question- Say all employees have a meeting on an important project at 1 pm. However, you and the team you’re heading have to submit a due assignment. You couldn’t manage to finish before the meeting and if you go to the same, the deadline will pass. What do you do?
Answer- Thank you for this question. I understand that I am responsible for myself as well as the team. I would consider the importance and prioritize accordingly. However, on a general basis, I’d choose to go with teamwork and punctuality and sit back to finish the assignment. I’d naturally take the onus of my team’s absence and apologize for the same. If it is possible to send in a few members for the meeting and keep a few behind, I’d consider that too. However, being the head of the team, I’d stay back having informed the concerned. Yet again, prioritizing comes first along with the company’s values. I’d give those first preferences before I can make a decision.
3. Pricing matters
Question- Your team is in charge of pricing and is thinking of increasing the price of a product by throwing in a few features. On what basis would you and your team conclude?
Answer- I think there are a lot of factors to look at before pricing a product. Secondly, being a team requires all the more communication to come down to the best price. Market value, expense, profit, and a lot more have to be taken into consideration. However, given that there will be added features, that counts for something. I don’t have a personal conclusion to make nor can I speak for myself. Yet, I think my team and I would focus on the added features and increase the price a tad bit based on that. There is no doubt that we’ll consider other elements too. Added features mean added expenditure on our part. In the least, if we can’t agree with a profitable price, we’d settle for one that can make up for the labor and resources. Additionally, we’d also pull out strategies to add efficiency to result in profits.
4. Growth and reach
Question- You need to increase the reach of the company. To do this you create a company profile across various social media. How will you promote vibrant engagement and reach?
Answer- There is no doubt about the potential of digital and social media. Moreover, being a sports brand, our target audience would include youth among others. Firstly, I’d choose the apps with caution and consultation. I’d first focus on apps that have a guaranteed response probability. Secondly, I’d maintain the professional status but at the same time involve novel and frequent strategies. Since we’re targeting youth, I’d look up to the trends of today and combine those with the role models of today. This would ensure promotion. At the same time, the profile has got to be engaging and interactive. It has to reach out on a level youth will connect. So I will shape the content accordingly. Next, we can focus on getting rid of any kind of misconceptions and faulty business. We can also balance formal and informal content. Lastly, I’d also consult with the superiors and move on to other platforms once these are stabilized.
5. Campaigns and initiatives
Question- As you’re aware, our company looks forward to participating in collaborations to send in profits to organizations in need. We are thinking of collaborating with one of our partners to involve interns to design handmade cards. A few of these will be sold and profits sent to an organization. How do you think this will work out for our company?
Answer- I think it’s a great initiative to consider. There are cons but not more than the pros. Since the aim of the company is to reach out, this would accurately serve the purpose. Moreover, having interns work with professional experts and quality materials will be a massive learning field. It will add to the productivity of the initiative. Thinking of the company, the name is what will be seen through the hard work of others. So we have nothing to lose. It is creativity and with experts, nothing can be considered wrong. To add to this, the company’s power and guidance together with the imagination of the interns can work wonders for both sides. I believe it is a golden opportunity to reach out! Not to mention, the response will be great since it’s for a good cause as well as an internship. There are a lot of young minds out there waiting to be directed on the right path. Owners, experts, partners, interns as well as the organization will all be happy with the results.
A brief yet loaded guide on how you can get through case interviews. The next time you’re faced with a case interview, don’t panic! It’s not rocket science. Once you get the basics and techniques, it’s just a crucial question requiring prudent analysis and response.
- Do case interviews take place in all interviews?
No. case interviews entirely depend on the interviewer and the job and position. Mostly higher position interviews are bound to have case interviews compared to others. This is because their decisive and other skills are going to be more important in assisting the team. However, again it’s on the interviewers whether or not they wish to go with case interviews.
- Does having a case interview depend on the position or job?
Yes. the product you’re working for is going to be in focus in your case interview. Secondly, if you’re applying for a team player position, there are lower chances of having case interviews. Case interviews are taken to specifically test your compatibility with the company and product therefore, the job and position are deciding factors in having case interviews.
- Can one ask questions to clarify the case in a case interview?
Yes! It is advised that you pay attention and listen well when the interviewer is giving you the case. Mostly, there wouldn’t be a need to ask questions as the interviewers are skilled and know how to frame their cases. However, if you still feel the need to clarify something, go ahead and ask. It is better to doubt than to answer something wrong. Be sure to avoid irrational doubts. Before you can question, try to understand and analyze of your own accord. However, remember the content and if it isn’t clear, don’t hesitate to ask.