Diamond visited ISB around 15 days back to have an interactive session with the Consulting Club. Yashraj Erande from the Class of 2006 also visited ISB for an informal interaction with the club.
Both the sessions touched upon the process to be followed by students to crack case studies during interviews. The main take aways from both the sessions are documented below:
Steps to problem solving:
Problem definition: After the problem statement has been given to you, ask relevant probing questions to understand the situation better. Remember that the interviewer is trying to hire a future partner and not an associate. Ask questions about the constraints, if any. Thereafter define the problem concisely
Issue tree: Develop an issue tree and identify all the possible issues. This is a very important step because you will structure the problem at this stage. If the interviewer is not showing interest in what you are saying then it means that your issue tree is going in the wrong direction. Step back and start over again.
Collect data: Ask questions and gather as much data as you can. Manage data well – make sure write it all down.
Analyze data: Work out the calculations with the interviewer – speak out each step, check for signals
Recommendations: After all your analysis is complete, wait for the interviewer to give you a signal to start the conclusion. Thereafter concisely conclude the case.
While concluding, make sure that you conduct a sanity check: If the solution seems ridiculous and you think you’ve covered everything then tell the interviewer that the solution seems a little weird – ask if you missed out on something.
Synthesize – story about your full case (60 seconds)
Some do’s and don’ts:
Do’s and don’ts about case interviews
- do take time to understand the case and the key question
- do ask questions if something is not clear or if you need more data
- do take some time to think through the entire process and then start
- do keep your interviewer aware of your thinking
- do use a pen and paper if you have data to manage
- do stop and check if you are missing something obvious
- don’t be unstructured – this is all about structure (not necessarily the right answer)
- Don’t hesitate to admit that you have got it wrong and to start again
- Don’t force fit frameworks or use too much jargon
- Don’t just hypothesize – prove your hypothesis
- Don’t focus only on the answer – the approach is just as important
Posted by: Contributions from several members of the consulting club.