Case Interviews

Examples of Case Interview Questions

Management Consulting, Finance, and other industries using case interviews typically include business cases or other analytical questions. Here are some types of questions.

  • A client is experiencing declining profits and sells gourmet coffee in Lexington. How can they approach this?
  • We have a client whose company is experiencing issues with cash flow and needs to do a reduction in force or manage its costs- what would you recommend?
  • How would you approach an opportunity to buy a business? Assuming money was not an issue, what criteria would you use to evaluate whether to purchase it and how to value it?
  • We have a company who needs a good turnaround person to help save it. Where would you start and how would you proceed?
  • One of our clients is experiencing a decline in business because one of their competitors has decided to enter the market with a similar product. How would you approach this issue as a consultant to the client?
  • How many greeting cards do you think Hallmark sells for Mother’s Day?
  • What types of issues would you anticipate if you are given a start-up to grow? How would you evaluate market size?

Preparation and Research:  resources to help you prepare for your case interview

Preparation is key to the case interview!

  • BloombergHoovers, CEO Express, and various business journals to conduct your research and develop questions. You should also review the company’s annual reports and financial information, as well as recent Form 8-Ks and 10-Ks. Additionally, social media sites, like LinkedIn and Twitter, are great for gaining additional insight into a company and its culture.
  •  Vault and Glassdoor for reviews of companies, interview questions, and more!
  • 101 Most Common Interview Questions with Pass or Fail Answers, including the top 10 questions asked when interviewing with Google, Coca-Cola, Atlassian and other companies.

Source:  Kathyrn Vercillo

Practice:  resources to help you practice your answers to case questions

Additional Reading:  books you can read to help you prepare and practice

  • Ace Your Case II!: Consulting Interview: The WetFeet.com Insider Guide (Insider Guides Series: Company Insider), WetFeet (2011).
  • Case Interview Guides in the WetFeet Series (ex. Market Sizing, Business Strategy, Business Operations Questions,
  • Case in Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation, Marc P. Cosentino (2013)
  • Case Interview Secrets: A Former McKinsey Interviewer Reveals How to Get Multiple Job Offers in Consulting, Victor Cheng (2012)
  • Crack the Case System: Complete Case Interview Prep, David Ohrvall (2011)
  • How to Get into the Top Consulting Firms: A Surefire Case Interview Method, T. Darling (2009)
  • Mastering the Case Interview: The Complete Guide to Consulting, Marketing, and Management Interviews, Alexander Chernev (2011)
  • Vault Case Interview Practice Guide, Jim Slepicka (2003)
  • Vault Guide to the Case Interview, Mark Asher (2007)

Final Tips for Case Interviews

  • Always explain the rationale behind your responses to questions to show employers that you have a grasp on business strategy in problem-solving.
  • Seemingly “ridiculous” questions may be testing your ability to analyze and reason through a situation/problem.
  • If you are asked quantitative questions during interviews, such as calculating yield-to-maturity, costs of capital etc. the interviewer is trying to evaluate your analytical skills and how you approach answering these types of questions.
  • Some companies use a Super Day interview format.
  • For an upper-level finance position, additional questions may focus on business strategy or philosophy.

Information from “Corporate Finance Interview Questions,” by Elizabeth Johns.