What is a case interview?
Consultants are continually called upon to analyze complex, often ambiguous problems and scenarios and develop solutions. The case interview is designed to simulate this thought process.
What is the purpose of a case interview? What does Oliver Wyman look for in interviews?
Solving complex business problems is what we do every day. If you're excited about working through a case, you'll probably enjoy working as a consultant. The case interview allows us to:
Introduce you to the work consultants do every day
Analyzing a case requires breaking down complex situations into logical components. It entails the use of a wide range of analytical skills to evaluate many forms of data. It involves starting with little specific knowledge and gathering relevant information to build up to an answer. These are all core aspects of the kind of the work we do at Oliver Wyman.
Understand how you think
Our interviewers are looking for the intellectual curiosity and strong analytical and interpersonal skills that will make you a successful Oliver Wyman consultant. Consultants have to think on their feet, so interviewers want to assess how you understand and attack problems. How do you approach difficult and unstructured challenges? Can you evaluate data and use it effectively in your analysis? Do you think “outside the box”? Do you structure and communicate your analysis clearly? Can you apply common sense to business problems?
While analytical reasoning is key, presentation and professionalism are also essential qualities for a consultant. Presence, credibility and communication skills are qualities we look for throughout the interviews.
Case Interview Structure
A scenario that needs a resolution
After explaining the format of the interview, your interviewer will pose a short, usually business-related scenario to you. Your objective is to walk through the main issues in a structured manner and drive towards a final answer. In the process, interviewers will give you additional data or charts or diagrams that you will be asked to analyze. In some instances, the interviewer may pose a scenario that is not directly business-related. As in any case, the key is to structure your thinking and apply the relevant business concepts.
A conversation, not a test
Think of the interview as a problem-solving dialogue with the interviewer rather than as a test. There is more than one answer to the case. As long as you demonstrate an understanding of the main issues involved, structure your thinking, and use data and calculations appropriately, you can form your own path to a final recommendation. If you feel lost, ask questions. Acing the interview is as much about asking the right questions as it is about finding the perfect answer. The interviewer won't be trying to trick you or catch you out. We want you to succeed and we will help you through the process while also challenging you to demonstrate that you are right for Oliver Wyman.