Angela Ciborowski walks us through the case-based interview used in consulting and technical jobs, and gives our listeners a sneak peek on what the company is looking for when they ask you “how many jellybeans does it take to fill a 747.”
To download this podcast, click hereMany consulting companies use case-based interviews, which use certain techniques to assess a person’s problem-solving ability and business logic. The interviews vary depending on the skill they are trying to assess. The five types of cases are brain teaser (which assesses creativity and how quickly a person can think on his feet), strategy (which determines a candidate’s business economics and how she handles complex business issues), operation (which assesses the understanding of business operations and basic industry knowledge), finance (which determines the understanding of finance and accounting), and complex (which is a mixture of two or more types of cases). The interviewer is not necessarily looking for the correct answer, but how the candidate approaches the problem. They are evaluating how well the candidates listen to the question, their quantitative and analytical skills, their creativity, and their ability to think quickly under pressure. The three key attributes of being a successful business advisor are organizational skills, problem-solving abilities, and communication skills. Case interviews are effective because the company can assess people on many levels and see how they deal with real client scenarios, and also determine the candidate’s strengths and areas for improvement. The four steps to having a successful case interview are: (1) understand the question being asked, (2) structure and analyze response: use a framework and determine options, (3) evaluate the different options available, and (4) arrive at a conclusion and clearly articulate it.
Angela is an Assistant Director with Ernst & Young and has been with the firm for eight years. During her career with EY, she has recruited for five Advisory Services practices as both an Experienced Hire and Campus Recruiter. Currently, she is a Campus Recruiting Project Manager for the Advisory Services practice and helps to coordinate the MBA recruitment efforts for the Performance Improvement practice.
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