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Possible Questions In Case Study

Here's a list of Case Interview Questions that I've received as a candidate. Keep in mind the interview format (especially for McKinsey) has evolved since the time I went through it as a candidate.

  • How much time does it take to relocated an average size mountain 10 miles using an average size dump truck? - McKinsey Case
  • Your client is a $300 million a year copper mining company. This year it has lost $50 million. How do you turn it around? - Oliver Wyman Case
  • How many gallons of gasoline does an average gas station in America sell on an average day? - Oliver Wyman Case
  • Your client is a ski resort. Global warming has made it such that natural snowfall has been reduced by 50%. They client is concerned. What should they do and why? - McKinsey Case
  • Your client is a gas station and the market is so competitive that they make no money on gasoline sales. All the profit is in convenience store sales. What is the profit maximizing way to layout the convenience store and why? - McKinsey Case
  • Your client is Motorola. The year is 1980. They just invented the cellular phone 3 years ago. They want you to estimate the market demand for cell phones over the next 30 years and tell them if there is a market for this invention (and prove it) - Bain Case
  • Volvo claims it is the safest car in the world because fewer people die in a Volvo than in a car made by any other manufacturer in the world. What's wrong with this conclusion? - McKinsey Case
  • Your nephew runs a lemonade stand. Yesterday was Monday and he was open from 2pm - 5pm, and sold 2 cups. What should he do differently tomorrow? - McKinsey Case

While many of the sample case questions are from the McKinsey interview, the are equally applicable for a bcg interview or bain interview. In prior years, the interview format across the top 3 firms were much more similar. These days, the various firms have diverged somewhat.

McKinsey is using assessment testing like the McKinsey Problem Solving Test combined with a interviewer-led case study interview format.

Bain is using some written cases (instead of purely verbal ones) in some countries in later rounds.

BCG has recently been experimenting with an assessment test as a pre-1st round step.

Most other firms continue to use the traditional open-ended candidate led case interview format.
You might also want to look at this case interview sample.

Additional Resources

If you found this post useful, I suggest becoming a registered member (it's free) to get access to the materials I used to pass 60 out of 61 case interviews, land 7 job offers, and end up working at McKinsey.

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Nov 7, 2010

Tagged as:estimate future demand, estimation question, forecast demand, industry specific metrics, mckinsey case interview, mckinsey problem solving test

Case studies can be powerful promotion tools, thanks to the many ways they can help your business. But figuring out how to write a case study, interview questions to ask, and the best ways to use your case history can be tricky. Like other aspects of your content marketing, case histories seem overwhelming.

With a little guidance and inspiration, they’re a piece of cake.

To help you get started writing your success stories and maximizing their benefits, we’ve compiled the basic steps you’ll follow to write a case study and some great interview questions you can use.

How to Write a Case Study

At its most basic level, a case study is a success story, and the most powerful success stories clearly show before and after situations and results. Follow these steps to write a winning case history outline, then use the case study interview questions to flesh out each section.

Step 1:
Describe the problem your customer or client had. Talk about specific pain points, their struggle to make things work, and what led to the decision to find a solution.

Step 2: Show their search for a solution. Explain the criteria for a perfect product or service and other solutions they considered but rejected.

Step 3: Describe the solution you provided, including what it is, how it works, and why your customer or client chose you over the competition.

Step 4: Outline the specific results and benefits the client achieved by implementing your solution.

Beyond these steps of how to write a case study, keep in mind that most case studies range from 500 to 1000 words, giving them the credibility of a white paper and the speed of a blog post.

Case Study Interview Questions

Even when you have an outline in front of you, knowing what questions to ask during an interview can sometimes be tough, especially if interviewing makes you nervous. Consider these interview questions from SmartBug Media Inbound Marketing Blog, or tweak the following questions to fit your situation and help you uncover the best information and great quotes for your case history.

Questions about the Problem (step 1):

1. What challenges in your business or industry influenced you to look for a solution?
2. Did you have a previous solution that could no longer meet your company’s needs? If so, how did your needs change?

Questions about the Search for a Solution (step 2):

1. What criteria did you have in mind for a solution?
2. How did you search for a solution to your problem?
3. Tell me about some solutions you considered but rejected.

Questions about Your Solution (step 3):

1. Why did you choose our firm over our competitors?
2. Did you encounter any challenges implementing our solution, and how did you surmount them?
3. What did you find most attractive about our company and/or solution?

Questions about Results and Benefits (step 4):

1. What benefits have you experienced from working with us?
2. What specific results have you seen from implementing our solution?
3. What business processes does our solution enhance? Does it save you time or money?

Tips on Writing a Case Study

A proven outline of how to write a case study and tried-and-true case study interview questions go a long way towards the power of a great success story, but there are a couple other things you can do to make the most of this soft-sell opportunity.

One of the best things you can do is keep an open mind. Whatever feedback your customers gives you is their reality, so don’t let what you think about the situation affect what you take away from the interview. Make sure everyone involved in the interview knows you want candid, honest feedback.

Use at least two methods of recording the interview, such as handwritten notes and a tape recorder. Try to collect at least two or three quotes per person you interview, and be prepared to interview more than one person to get the full story.

Finally, consider sending your questions to the interviewees a couple days before the interview. This gives them time to find specific data you ask for and consider the best responses.

For more tips on how to write a case study and case study interview questions, read this guide from Convince&Convert and these ideas from Freelance Writing Solutions.

Have you used case studies in your business?

What interview questions and tips did you use? Please share your experiences in the comments!

And if you think this article is a valuable resource, feel free to share it on your social profiles!

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Mar 11th, 2017Last update

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