Consulting Group Case Interview: What to Expect and How to Prepare
As you probably know, the leading consulting firms use case interviews to evaluate job applicants before extending offers. Some consulting firms use a group case interview as part of the evaluation process. If you have a group case interview coming up you are probably thinking, “How can I set myself up to do well?” In this article, we provide some advice on how to succeed in a group case interview.
What is a group case interview?
A group case interview includes a few candidates being interviewed simultaneously within the same room, with the same interview and with the same case problem. Candidates are usually given copies of the case to read. A group case interview usually takes place after initial 1-on-1 evaluations are completed, like resume screening and the PST. So only the best candidates would generally be attending a group case interview.
For example, if you are going through consulting case interview recruitment process during an MBA, consulting firms will usually do first-round interviews on campus. This will allow firms to select the best few candidates to invite for second-round interviews, which may include a group case interview. Some firms may do the opposite and some regions within firms may do things differently. For example, in the US the group interview usually is the first interview.
The case usually includes a business scenario where a client is facing a problem. Reading of the case may be followed by a group discussion or by group discussion and a solution presentation.
Why do consulting firms use group case interviews?
So, why do consulting firms use group case interviews. The same as 1-on-1 case interviews, a group case interview helps consulting firms assess critical thinking, analytic skill, and communication skills. However, in addition, a group case interview also helps firms assess team work and leadership skills.
Firms also tend to be believe some degree paths de-emphasize teamwork and communication. They use the group case interview to test for these skills. The group case interview is testing to see how a case would be solved while managing conflicting opinions and strong personalities.
The most important advice: treat candidates like teammates
Now, the most important advice we can give you for a group case interview is to treat the other candidates like your teammates. In other words, interact with other candidates as you would with your colleagues on a real consulting engagement.
One of the key things to understand is that a group case interview is not a zero-sum game. You should not be competing against other candidates. During a group case interview, the interviewer will be evaluating how you will work with your colleagues and clients, so keep this in mind as you interact with other candidates during a group discussion.
This is one of the most common mistakes we see candidates make during a group case interview. Candidates often view it as a competition and, as a result, interviewers view such candidates as a bad fit and someone who can’t be a good team player. Your goal should be to help the team solve the case, help include opinions from all members, build on what has been said and find ways to help the team. If you solve the case and the whole team fails and ends up looking poorly, it is not a good reflection on you.
If someone says something incorrect or something you think is stupid respond in a way you would respond if you already joined the firm and were working on a real project with other consultants at the firm. Be professional, respectful and watch out for the best interests of the firm and the client. On the other hand, if someone says something spot-on, be the first to point group’s attention to it and build on it. If you say something that turns out to be wrong, acknowledge your mistake and move on.
WHAT IS NEXT?
Now, if you would like to fast track your case interview preparation and maximize your chances of getting an offer from McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte etc, we welcome you to train with us. The Consulting Offer program, which is a part of Premium membership, was designed specifically for this purpose.
There is nowhere else in the world where you can see real candidates trained by former partners from major consulting firms.
You will see the candidate’s progression through each step of the case interview preparation process, including a group case interview example led by Kevin P. Coyne, ex-McKinsey worldwide strategy practice co-leader and director. And you will see candidates receiving real offers from McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte etc.
TCO II, Alice Qinhua Zhou joins McKinsey NYC, trained by Kevin P. Coyne
TCO II, Michael Klein
TCO III, Jennifer Nwankwo joins Bain
TCO III, Zach Steinfeld joins Deloitte S&O
TCO IV, Assel joins McKinsey
TCO IV, Tom & The Experienced Hire Program
TCO IV, Sizan & Prepares for McKinsey & BCG
TCO V, Ritika Mohan joins McKinsey
Insights from Coaching & TCO
DETAILED: How McKinsey, BCG et al. Runs an Engagement (275 videos)
First 90 Days in Consulting
Business Case Analysis
All conveniently available as:
900+ hours of partner-led training
No Internet required. Sync videos to watch offline, or connect with Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G
Push App to the background and play audio
Automatically beam videos from your phone to your Chromecast or AirPlay-enabled devices
Pick up where you left off
It’s all included, every month that you choose to be a member.
DO YOU HAVE ANY GROUP CASE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS?
In conclusion, if have any group case interview questions, please let us know in the comments. And don’t miss out on an opportunity to receive free access to episodes from our advanced programs by signing up for email updates on this page.
Want to learn more about how FIRMSconsulting can help your organization?
A strategy expert vs. a CEO I'm going to end today's Strategy Insights by talking about a client and some of the challenges, successes and particularly one of the deep insights we developed for this client. This client is named Raka, and she’s of Indian origin. She has worked at…
Sanctions Are Like Punishing Your Spouse by Letting Them Date Other People The next big theme is called, “Sanctions Are Like Punishing Your Spouse by Letting Them Date Other People.” That’s a funny sounding headline. What am I talking about? Imagine you had a spouse, and you don't think they…
Three people that influence you the most The first big theme is titled, “The Three Most Influential People in the World: Roula Khalaf, Gwen Robinson, and Matt Murray.” This is a very deep insight. We have a lot of coaching clients, including very senior coaching clients. I’ve asked our coaching clients,…
We are using cookies on our website
Please confirm, if you accept our tracking cookies. You can also decline the tracking, so you can continue to visit our website without any data sent to third party services.
Are you a leader or an analyst?
Sign up to receive exclusive preview episodes from powerful training programs with ex-McKinsey, BCG et al., partners. Learn the skills to become a leader and contribute to the world.
This is your time. Your stand begins now.