Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Case Interview Preparation with author of Case in Point

This blog post was authored by student guest blogger,  Mila Burdan, UG Class of 2014

What better way to prepare for a case interview than to practice with the man who wrote the textbook for successfully completing a case himself? That’s right ladies and gentlemen, the one and only, Marc Cosentino! On Tuesday, September 24th, he ventured over to Babson College and thanks to CCD, was around all day giving prospective consulting students training on getting that offer. Not only was he available for one-on-one mock interviews in the morning, but he also led a general how-to forum in Olin Auditorium and two, full-length group interview prep sessions.

What I found most useful was the two-hour group session where Marc presented a case, asked individuals how they would go about answering, and then explained to us how he would structure his framework. For me, coming up with the structure is the hardest part and it was incredibly helpful to be able to try it on my own first before hearing the explanation live. Afterwards, we asked questions to help us formulate our recommendations. At the end, Marc shared with us his solutions to the case and we compared our answers. Although cases can be answered in many ways, it was useful to be shown the mechanics of a structured thinking process by a case specialist.

My 3 main takeaways from the day for those of you who were unable to join us are the following:

1. “Your job search is more important than your classes.” This is a direct quote from Marc. Although your GPA may seem like the most important factor of your resume, if you don’t answer a case well, no consulting company will think twice about eliminating a 4.0 GPA candidate.

2. Use the frameworks as a guide. No case interview can be answered by a cookie cutter structure so manipulate yours to fit the question.

3. Come up with creative solutions to distinguish yourself from other candidates and don’t forget about the big picture!

Finally, remember that no case interview will go smoothly without lots of practice. Techniques such as recording yourself can help you consider errors you make without even noticing and allow you to edit them out of your actual interview.

I’m so glad I was able to capitalize on the opportunity to meet and learn from Marc Cosentino. This would not have been possible without the help of CCD so I want to thank everyone who helped put the event together once more! Keep up the good work.