Consulting Case Interview Preparation Guide: Mastering the Crucial Steps (2023)

A successful career in consultancy demands a sharp wit, strategic problem-solving skills, and an ability to navigate complex business scenarios. Among the most coveted professions for business management graduates, consultancy opens doors to prestigious opportunities. In particular, the top consulting firms, often referred to as MBB (McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain), hold a place of prominence.

Importance of Case Studies in Consulting Interviews

Case studies form the cornerstone of the consulting interview process, acting as a litmus test for candidates' critical thinking prowess. An adept consultant must navigate these studies with finesse, leveraging established frameworks such as Porter’s five forces, SWOT analysis, and the 4 Ps. Mastery of these frameworks distinguishes candidates as top-tier assets in the eyes of recruiting firms.

Key Strategies for Case Study Success

Successful navigation of case studies hinges on a few critical strategies:

1. Understanding the Case:

Comprehending the case's core elements is pivotal. Discerning vital information from the superfluous aids in formulating a structured approach towards problem-solving.

2. Critical Thinking and Analysis:

Developing an analytical approach rooted in frameworks is essential. The ability to dissect problems methodically using proven approaches like 2x2 matrices for outsourcing cases is invaluable.

3. Economies of Scale:

Recognizing the impact of economies of scale, particularly in outsourcing decisions, is paramount. Analyzing cost structures and projecting outcomes based on volume provides an edge.

4. Risk Assessment:

Identifying and assessing risks associated with outsourcing options—be it compatibility issues, operational risks, or supplier reliability—showcases a candidate's holistic understanding of potential pitfalls.

Case Study Example: Cali Cable

Consider the case of Cali Cable, a small business in Northern California facing a critical decision regarding outsourcing cable manufacturing. The CEO's reluctance to invest in a new factory necessitates an exploration of alternative suppliers.

Interview Questions and Solutions:
  1. Outsourcing Approach (2x2 Matrix): Consider the competitiveness and strategic importance of suppliers.

  2. Cost Analysis Slide Presentation: Comparing costs per foot for different suppliers based on varying volume.

  3. Demand Forecasting: Advising on optimal order quantities based on service levels and cost implications.

  4. Cost Reduction Strategies: Offering diversified options for cost minimization, spanning inventory management to supply chain optimization.

  5. Risk Assessment: Highlighting diverse risks linked with outsourcing, spanning product, company, operational, and customer service risks.

  6. Recommendation to the CEO: Presenting a comprehensive recommendation based on cost-effectiveness, aligning with corporate strategy, and mitigating risks associated with the Eastern European supplier.

Grading Criteria for Consulting Case Interviews

Candidates are evaluated across various parameters encompassing demeanor, structure, communication, math proficiency, creativity, and the ability to provide sound recommendations. Each aspect contributes to a holistic assessment of a candidate's consulting potential.

  • Eye contact, confidence, and composure.
  • Clarity in problem-solving frameworks and methodologies.
  • Clarity of expression and collaborative problem-solving approach.
Math Proficiency:
  • Accuracy in calculations and assumption clarity.
  • Innovative thinking and industry insights.
  • Clarity, justification, and inclusion of actionable next steps.


Mastering the art of consulting case interviews demands a multifaceted skill set. From adeptly analyzing case studies using established frameworks to delivering concise and data-driven recommendations, the journey to acing these interviews requires meticulous preparation and a comprehensive understanding of diverse business scenarios.

For a deeper dive into mastering consulting case interviews and accessing a treasure trove of resources, explore our comprehensive Consulting Case Interview Guide by Management Consulted. This guide offers a holistic approach, encompassing numerous case studies, frameworks, and strategies to help you excel in your pursuit of a career in consultancy.


  • [Management Consulted Consulting Case Interview Guide](URL of the Guide)

This comprehensive guide arms you with the tools necessary to elevate your consulting interview performance and secure your dream role at a top-tier consulting firm.

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