CASE INTERVIEW MISTAKES : Don’t become a case interview robot

Remember, as a kid playing with that mechanical toy which had a spring-loaded key at the back.

Once you would tighten the spring, the toy would keep doing a repeated set of actions in a loop, till the spring lost its tension. The repetitiveness of action meant that the toy lost its appeal after a few days. As a kid you eventually got bored playing with it.

The same thing happens with candidates in case interviews. They become too mechanical in going through the case-solving process. This is typically the situation where candidates practice too many mock cases without feedback and are obsessed with the number of cases they solve.

These candidates have memorized a lot of stuff, sometimes every single thing they encounter in case practice. The problem happens with their communication during the case. I see candidates asking the same set of questions, one after the other, irrespective of the industry and case situation.

As a candidate, there is nothing worse than repeating a memorized framework, in the exact same language, often verbatim, without considering the merits of the case. It is common for candidates to end up classifying cases as market entry, profitability, new product etc. and rushing to apply the memorized frameworks to the cases.

This is a big mistake. In fact, it is a strict RED FLAG to the interviewer.

Although the cases may appear to be similar, they are always different at a deeper level. There are nuances that make every case different from the other. Your structure should always be personalized to the case. Your communication shouldn’t sound like a script. You don’t need a script to succeed in case interviews.

As a candidate, you should focus on maintaining the flow during the case without sounding too rehearsed or mechanical. Remember, every client is unique. Every client situation is unique as well.
As a consultant, it is your job to appreciate this fact. In our Consulting TREK program, our structured teaching methodology ensures that you are able to understand the uniqueness of case situations across the different types of sectors and industries. We make sure that you master the craft of case-solving “The MBB Way” and don’t end up becoming just another mechanical case bot.
In our Consulting TREK program, our structured teaching methodology ensures that you are able to understand the uniqueness of case situations across the different types of sectors and industries. We make sure that you master the craft of case-solving “The MBB Way” and don’t end up becoming just another mechanical case bot.
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Abhijeet Singh
Abhijeet is the Founder & CEO at STEPVUE. He is a heady mix of ambition, sarcasm, sports and something more. Ex: GAIL India Limited (Brand Marketing), RSM MBA and DTU
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