Standard Q&A based interview sessions are a thing of the past. Gone are the days when the answer to a few commonly asked questions could get you a job. Merely using a professional resume template won’t be as effective, especially in light of the growing competition in the recruitment processes. Recruiters are now using a “Case Analysis” method to evaluate the skills and mental ability of the candidates. So if you are still hoping that questions like “Why should we select you?” are going to come your way, then you have already lost the battle.
A case study based Job Interview involves the presentation of a business problem (usually derived from real life scenarios) which needs to be analyzed by the job seeker. The reason why most recruiters have adapted this method is the revelation of a candidates analytical, problem solving and deducing capabilities. Moreover, the presentation of a case study that is similar to the working environment of the organization could very well provide an accurate depiction of the ability of the candidate’s performance in the given environment. This is a highly valuable information as the HR personnel were able to detect problems with an employee’s adaptability only after a substantial amount of time had passed since joining. At least now, the recruiters are able to identify these factors prior to the selection of the desired candidates.
What Should Job Seekers Expect?
The first and foremost requisite of any case study is the application of appropriate calculation methods and statistical analysis methods. When you step inside the interviewer’s room, you should be prepared to perform quick calculations and arrive at a calculated and quantifiable conclusion. This is the essence of case interviews. Once you have properly analyzed the case at hand, begin your explanation with a discussion on the possible problems that you have identified and then give specific resolution for each of them. Subsequently, you could end with an overall conclusion to the case.
Remember – coming up with standard resolutions may be the safest way to approach this situation, but at times this gets repetitive. Try and be as innovative as possible and come up with out-of-the-box solutions for the case. This would not only help to gain the interest of the recruiters, but it would also help in portraying your skills in a better manner.
The nature of the case interview is dependent on the preference of the recruiters. At times, the recruiter may simply provide pre-interview resources to the candidates with which they would be required to prepare a presentation based on their analyses. Such situations test the ability of the candidate to analyze large amounts of data for extracting the best insights as per his expertise and understanding.
The presentation is used as a testing tool for gauging the job seeker’s communication skills, comprehension, and the ability to deliver information with conviction to an audience. For senior positions, this method may also be used to analyze the candidate’s ability to modify his communication method to suit the comprehensive abilities of the audience. If you were to consider the day to day operations of a global organization, then these abilities are key requisites for ensuring high productivity and efficiency levels.
Common Mistakes That Need to be Avoided
The usual scenario in an interview room indicates high levels of anxiety marked by unusually fidgety responses made by the job seeker. The key to cracking even the toughest interview is to keep your cool. In a case interview, try to listen and absorb all the details of the case as presented by the interviewer. Taking notes is a good way of going about it and at the end of the case’s presentation, you could reiterate the key points so that you are able to confirm your understanding. Confidence is a virtue when treated delicately. If you feel that you need to inquire about specific sections of the case, then go ahead but never sound arrogant. Being confident is a good trait, but it lies on the thin borderline of arrogance. So play your cards wisely.
Whenever you present your answers, make sure that they are not the outcomes of possible guesswork or estimations of “correct” answers. Your conclusion should be based on the conclusive evidence that is derived from analytical deductions and calculation of data that has been provided. Keep the interviewer involved in your thought processes by communicating your understanding and deductions. This will also give an idea to the recruiter about your analytical methods.