2005 – 2006
The Reference Guide to
Practicing Consulting Case Interviews
？1995 – 2005 by the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business Management Consulting Group, Chicago, IL. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher.
From the University of Chicago Casebook Editor:
The cases in this Case Book seek to address the multiple skills needed to succeed in the case interview.
I do not believe that there are any easy or difficult cases, i.e. I do not believe that success in a case interview depends on “the level of difficulty” of the case. Rather each individual case should be viewed as equally important and as its own individual lesson.
The basic elements that will be evaluated in a case interview are:
； Ability to structure a problem
； Analytical, quantitative and problem solving skills
； Ability to effectively communicate the analysis
； Ability to synthesize and summarize the analysis to arrive at recommendations
However, these are necessary but not sufficient to “crack” the case interview. In addition to getting the case right, an important goal of the case practice sessions is for both the interviewer and candidate to develop and refine relationship building skills within the time constraints of the case interview. In an ideal interview, the interviewer should enjoy the case discussion. This is only possible if you are relaxed and have fun during the
case. Make sure you do that!
The first step towards case preparation is to get comfortable with different frameworks (3Cs, 4Ps, Profitability analysis, Porter‟s 5 Forces, Value Chain, etc). Rather than looking for a quick-fix approach of getting all these frameworks at one place, I would encourage you to explore and build
your own tool-kit of frameworks. Apart from frameworks, it is also useful to develop a business sense in terms of identifying key success factors
and value drivers for companies in different industries and with different market positions. Reading Standard & Poor industry reports (available on
the school website) is helpful for this.
At the second stage, it is then important to get comfortable with the case interview process and the different types of cases. Discussing the mini-
cases in the case book with other students will facilitate this.
At the final stage, it is important to role-play and practice cases with one student playing the role of the interviewer and the other student solving
the case as an interviewee. You should form a core study group of 4-5 students with complementary backgrounds and strengths. It is not easy to
give cases – the person playing the role of the interviewer needs to be very comfortable with the case prior to the case practice. The cases in this
Case Book are not supposed to demonstrate the only right way of doing the particular case and the sequence of discussion during the actual case
practice sessions may vary – the case giver needs to have this flexibility while knowing when to guide a candidate who is going down the wrong
path. Finally the case giver also needs to be very aware of the dimensions on which to evaluate the candidate, and be able to give actionable and
precise feedback. The “Case Giver Feedback Sheet” in the Case Book helps do this in a structured manner. Study groups may find it relatively
effective to divide the cases and have interviewers specialize in giving three or four of the cases.
Lastly, please take a moment to appreciate all the significant time and energy that students from the class of 2006 put into writing the cases for a
new University of Chicago Casebook.
Remember, have fun with the process. If you do not enjoy solving cases, you may not enjoy being a consultant!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. COMMON “FIT” QUESTIONS (Erin) 15. JESS CAPITAL PARTNERS (Dror) 2. MINI CASES (Dror) 16. ANDREW‟S METROPOLIS ART INSTITUTE (Erin) 3. RICHARD‟S SCANDINAVIAN HEADBANGERS (Rajesh) 17. EDDY‟S OIL COMPANY (Eddy) 4. OLEG‟S HEALTHCARE (Erin) 18. ROBERT‟S TAXI CAB (Dror) 5. STEVEN‟S MIRRORING DIVISION (Dror) 19. SAUMIL BIOTECH INC. (Rajesh) 6. JAIRAJ & KUMAR‟S MEDICAL DEVICES CO. (MT) 20. BERRY SCANTECH LASER (Sukeert) 7. OHAD‟S TOMATO SALES (Erin) 21. MR.CHOPRA‟S GOLF APPAREL (Sukeert) 8. PAL‟S TECHNOWIZ SEMI (Rajesh) 22. ELECTRIC SHVETA (Sukeert) 9. THE VAN FOSSEN MOUNTAINTOP SKI RESORT (Eddy) 23. AJ VONG‟S CHINESE RESTAURANT (Sukeert) 10. KAPIL‟S UPSCALE DEPOT (MT) 24. VIVIAN‟S VIDEO RENTAL
11. HOLZMAN‟S ONLINE TRAVEL (Dror) 25. KUNAL‟S AUTO PARTS
12. PATRICE‟S NATIONAL LOTTERY (Erin) 26. HAUFMANN‟S PAPER
13. SUKEERT‟S HOURGLASS CO. (MT) 27. S&S CLOTHES MANUFACTURING 14. COULEMBIER CAR REPAIR (Rajesh) 28. SUBRAMANYAN-SANOFI PHARMACEUTICALS
CASE GIVER EVALUATION SHEET
? : Needs significant ?? : Good base to improve on ?? ? : Excellent ??? ? : OUTSTANDING!
Structure & Framework Problem Solving
- Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive - Good analytics: interpreted & used data well (drew strategic - Customized (and not entirely generic) insights & conclusions)
- Easy to understand and implement - Comfortable with numbers and graphs
- Used throughout by candidate - Creative in drawing conclusions, analyzing reasons
Communication & Body Language Summarizing & Recommending
- Confident & relaxed - Concise and to-the-point
- Crisp & concise - Structured (went back to the framework & question) - Drove the case / discussion (active rather than passive) - Comprehensive (did not miss any relevant point discussed) - Overall built good rapport - Compelling