You need to know about Case Interviewing. The objective is to provide you with a series of situations to see how you handle them toward solution: “What would you do if…..?” At times there are no “good” answers. The case interview can take multiple hours, dependent upon the level and type of position.
It goes something like this:
- You receive a case study of a fictitious situation. You get all the information and time you’ll need to absorb the key points, and then determine priorities and approaches.
- You’ll be given an office or a workspace. You’ll also be given all of the tools necessary to “work” the process, such as telephones, computer, email, maybe a “helper”, subordinate, or boss.
- Situations will be forwarded to you, such as a crisis within the organization, requests for reports, briefing papers, presentation materials, and so on.
- Your job is to prioritize and deal with them as you would if you were the responsible party. You’d need to separate out the most important versus the less important while juggling administrative requirements and interruptions.
- One goal of the Case Interview is to cause stress to give the company an opportunity to see how well you function, both in process and solution.
- The company is looking at the way you data collect, develop alternatives, the decisions you make and the potential results for the company, customers and staff.
There is no easy way to prepare for the Case Interview directly. Visit “Case Interviews” on the internet for examples.
A Problem-Solving Model: There are no universal answers to Case Interviews, but you should have an organized approach as a model. Once you train yourself in its use, you will automatically work through the process-steps mentally. In simplified form they are:
- Define then prioritize the issue – What is really being asked for you to do? Where in the priority does it fall? Reprioritize after each new issue is identified.
- Develop potential alternatives – What are the two or three best ways to approach the issue? Define the pro’s/con’s, implications, cost, time and other key factors?
- Define the rationale for the action – Why is this important to the organization? Is this issue short-term or long-term in the outcome? Can it be rationalized in a different way?
- Identify the desired results – What do you want the outcome to look like? Put it against reality of time and effort. Act, defer, reprioritize or move to a different level (up or down).
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