One of my first managers once told me that the secret to getting things done is to "work smart, not hard". And while success will always require hard work, there are a few things you can do to make the process a little bit smoother for you. Short on time? London Business School has conducted an analysis on the most popular types of case interviews. By studying up on your approach to these types of cases, you can maximize your odds of success.
I was discussing the interview process with a consultant at a Top-10 firm that has interviewed well over 100 students over the past few years. One of her comments? "There's nothing more frustrating than a student who assumes they know nothing about an industry just because they don't know it in a business setting".
The fact is: you know more about an industry than you think. Yes, you might get a case about custom-building high-end cars and you aren't making that kind of money as a student (...yet). The difference between a good interviewee and a bad one:
Interviewer: "What can you tell me about the competitive landscape for this firm?"
1. "Well I don't know much about this industry as I ride my bike to school every day. Can you tell me if the industry is fragment or consolidated?"
2. "Hmm, I can't say this is an industry I'm intimately familiar with, but I think I can make a few guesses at what the competitive landscape looks like. I imagine that it's a very service-oriented industry, with a strong emphasis on providing excellent customer service and high levels of customization that will keep customers happy. I'm also assuming that reputation is important, because of how much a buyer would be investing in making their car purchase. Thus, I'm assuming that there are high barriers to entry for new competitors because they would need to build up both the service levels and the reputation to attract customers."...