Case studies during an assessment
Different types of case studies are used in assessment centers. Companies may use a case study interview or a written exercise (In-Tray and E-Tray exercise). Case studies are used to measure your analytic skills, problem-solving abilities, communication skills and ability to deliver quality and results. These exercises also help to determine how you prioritize and organize your work.
How does a Case Study work?
During a case study interview, individuals or a small group of candidates are presented with a business case and then given time to evaluate the information and brainstorm a solution. These studies rely on real-life or hypothetical scenarios and are likely to involve a quantitative aspect that includes financial understanding, statistics, and other data. Candidate(s) have to give a recommendation or solution that refers to the integration of the presented information. Consultancy and business management companies use these tests as part of their selection process.
How to prepare for a Case Study Interview
These tests usually do not require any prior knowledge. Nevertheless, before taking these tests, it is recommended to check the particular company's website, recruitment literature and the industry's overview and recent news to have an idea of what to expect during the exercises. Furthermore, you can identify some of the competencies the company is likely looking for, and try to work them into your case study.
Tips for a successful Case Study Interview
- Don’t panic and try to relax. We know this is easier said than done, but you will have a better performance if you are relaxed. The interviewers are professionals, and they want you to succeed and perform well.
- Take your time. Do not feel rushed to provide an answer immediately, work through the issues and ask the interviewer(s) for a moment to think or clarify anything you do not understand.
- Apply a structured approach to the problem to prioritize the issues and objectives. Filter the data and focus on the most relevant information.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The case interview is meant to be interactive, going back and forth between you and the interviewer(s). Questions are expected, but make sure to ask your questions in a logical – not random – progression.
Examples of Psychometric test exercises:
-Mental Arithmetic test
-Error Checking test
- Situational Judgement test (SJT)
McKinsey and Co. Assessments
NB/ McKinsey use a combination of Numerical and Verbal Reasoning as well as a case study after the online application stage.
These psychometric tests are designed to measure your numerical abilities and relate to graphs, percentages and tables whereby you will be asked to analyse data and chose from a set of multiple choice answers.
This test comprises of a series of paragraphs which you will be required to read and then answer questions. Your options will be True, False or Cannot Tell. This test will be assessing your analytical skills as well as your comprehension and grammar.
A mixture of a case study and personal experience. It is similar to a role play exercise whereby you will be expected to analyse and problem solve using the case study with the interviewer present and assessing your work and behaviour.