This type of question
can be used to assess a candidate's ability to structure thinking, respond to complex or ambiguous problems, and reach sound conclusions with limited facts in a short time. In this approach, there usually isn't a "right" answer. Rather, the goal is to assess what logic structures candidates use to develop an answer. Specific knowledge of the industry covered by the case question is not necessary.
A case interview question enables interviewers to see:
- How well a candidate can identify, structure and think through problems
- A candidate’s ability to listen, gather information, and present conclusions
- A candidate’s ability to identify information that will allow him/her to solve the problem
- A candidate's level of resourcefulness and ability to "think on his/her feet"
- How well a candidate reacts to an unfamiliar situation
- How well a candidate analyzes the problem, focuses on the key issues, and asks for additional details
- How well a candidate organizes his/her thoughts under pressure
- How creative a candidate is
- To what extent the candidate uses numerics in his/her reporting
Types of Case Questions
- Classic Business: Measure candidates’ general business knowledge and how they logically apply this knowledge to a common business problem. Several types of business questions could be posed, in areas such as: resource management, organizational structure, marketing, etc.
- A school/college finds that, while its enrollments are higher than they have ever been, the organization is still operating at a loss. What is going on?
- Brain Teasers: Logic questions used to gauge creativity, quantitative skills, and problem solving skills.
- Why are manhole covers round?
- Guess the Number: Questions in which a candidate needs to use logical deduction and general statistical information.
- How many tires are sold in the U.S. each year?
- What is the University's market share of highly qualified students?