How to Prepare for Case Interviews with Graduate Student Kaitlin DeWeever

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While a graduate student in the Adult Education/Human Resource Development program and the Graduate Assistant to the Employer Relations and Recruiting Services team in Career and Academic Planning (CAP), I accepted an internship position at Deloitte Consulting. Deloitte is an audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services provider all over the world. After participating in their interview process, I would love to offer some insight on case interviewing.

What is a Case Study Interview?

According to the CAP website, a case interview is “a type of job interview in which the applicant is asked to solve a question or situation, known as a ‘case,’ to demonstrate the applicant’s ability to comprehend, analyze, and synthesize information. This type of interview allows the interviewer to observe the applicant’s problem-solving ability, thought process structure, and how they articulate a solution under pressure, rather than looking for a correct answer or solution.”

Deloitte uses case study interviews in hiring both intern and full time positions. More specifically, they structure their interviews in two parts. The first portion is a one-on-one behavioral interview for approximately 30 minutes, and the second half is a one-on-one case study interview. The behavioral interview is the time to highlight achievements and experiences, as well as present communication and interpersonal skills. It is an opportunity to describe situations where technical and functional capabilities, intellectual curiosity, and passion for making a personal impact were exhibited.

Preparation for a Case Study Interview

My first experience with a case interview was in the Fall of 2016 when I participated in the Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) Incubator Challenge. This event prompted students to curate a solution to a problem similar to the one solved by BAH’s full time employees. I worked with two other students to improve navigation in a new city for the legally blind. My team had two weeks to design a solution and present it to a panel of judges from BAH. As a team, we were challenged to comprehend, analyze, and synthesize information. Ultimately, we presented our solution through a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation. This was a new experience for me, and it helped me to learn where to spend my time creating a solution and how to present my conclusion in a mature, logical way.

A few days before my interview, I began my research on Deloitte. I started with the organization’s website to gain better insight on who their clients were and what kind of research they had gathered in the last year. I read articles to help me understand what services they provided. For my next step, I read previous and current employee reviews on Glassdoor (glassdoor.com). The overall feedback was positive, and it made me excited for the interview. With the help of a Google search, I solidified my approach to the case study. I understood the importance of considering all options before selecting a solution to present to the interviewer. I also learned the thought process toward finding the solution is just as important as the final answer. The last step of preparation that I took for the interview was securing an outfit in which I felt professional but comfortable.

As JMU students or alumni, we are fortunate to have many valuable resources to help us prepare for an interview. One example accessible on the JMU CAP website is InterviewStream. With this program, you can “conduct free, online practice interviews with a webcam. JMU students have access to frequently asked interview questions, can choose their own questions, or can select a prepared interview. Students can record themselves responding to each question, retry, and review the final product to improve performance.”

Benefits of using InterviewStream include:

  • Convenience
  • Interview Questions Specific to your Field Expert Advice
  • Feedback on your Interviewing Skills

Check out InterviewStream here.

Want to learn more about case interviews? Visit here.

Check out Booz Allen Hamilton and Deloitte Consulting‘s employer pages on Recruit-A-Duke!

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